Radhwan’s sermon — broadcast live on Hamas-controlled Al-Aqsa TV — began with heartfelt thanks to Hamas’ fearless jihadists:
We are here today to salute the mujahideen who rocked the very pillars of the occupation, and retaliated for the crimes of the occupation, in the West Bank – in Hebron and Ramallah. Indeed, we salute and honor those modest hands that proved to all the conspirators, as well as the occupation and its helpers, that they are capable of regaining their vitality. Yes, we salute the mujahideen, who killed the Zionists, who killed the settlers.
Then, Radhwan devoted the thrust of his exhortation to educating his audience on the proper Islamic way to solve political problems. With a carefully worded slap at those Palestinian leaders who had publicly disapproved of the Hamas shooting, Radhwan said:
The path to the liberation of Jerusalem and Palestine is through the gun, through Jihad, and through resistance. We say today that we adhere to the option of Jihad and resistance, the option that is ridiculed by Abbas, Fayyad, and conspirators. The path that they mock is the path decreed by Allah.
As Radhwan then pointed out, Allah’s disdain for peaceful negotiations with Jews is particularly harsh:
The Prophet Muhammad said: “There will be a hijra after the hijra, so the best on earth are those who keep to the land of the hijra of Ibrahim. Only evil people will remain in the land.” Who are the evil people?: Those who negotiate, those who hasten to normalize [relations with Israel], and those who waive [the Palestinian rights]. “No one will remain but the evil, and the land will spew them out.” That is what is happening today.
The land will spew them out, the spirit of Allah will sully them, and the Hellfire will gather them, along with the apes and pigs” – with the Jews, the Zionists, whom Allah transformed into apes and pigs. They will be gathered in the Hellfire along with those who were loyal to them and stood by them, and who abandoned the cause of the Islamic nation and of Palestine.
The Prophet Muhammad asked: “Haven’t I told you about who has the highest standing on Judgment Day?” The people said: “You have told us.” The Prophet Muhammad said: “The one with the highest standing on Judgment Day is the man who set out, the reins of his horse in his hands, for the sake of Allah.” That is the mujahid, the martyrdom seeker, the one who wages resistance.
Preaching the status of Jews as subhuman apes and pigs and declaring eternal damnation for those who deal peacefully with them are sentiments Radhwan has expressed on numerous occasions. In a sermon given in 2007 on AL-Aqsa TV, he said:
The Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, and the rock and the tree will say: “Oh, Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, kill him!
We must remind our Arab and Muslim nation, its leaders and people, its scholars and students, remind them that Palestine and the Al Aqsa mosque will not be liberated through summits nor by international resolutions, but it will be liberated through the rifle. It will not be liberated through negotiations, but through the rifle, since this occupation knows no language but the language of force… O Allah, strengthen Islam and Muslims, and bring victory to your Jihad-fighting worshipers, in Palestine and everywhere… Allah take the oppressor Jews and Americans and their supporters!
Not surprisingly, such exhortations about eliminating Jews have found fertile ground among the Palestinian people. When asked in a recent survey if Jews should be killed “wherever they hide — be it behind stones, or trees — per their Islamic Hadith,” 73 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza answered in the affirmative
Hamas and its rival, Fatah, have now joined together in their shared genocidal goal. A reconciliation agreement between the two groups was signed in May 2011 to pave the way to unify a Hamas-led administration in the Gaza Strip and a Fatah-led government in the West Bank, but the deal has become bogged down as both sides struggle to hammer out the specific terms of the arrangement.
One of the stumbling blocks in the talks has been to agree on what strategies would be used in challenging Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land. Fatah has adopted a stealth strategy, while Hamas publicly remains committed to violence as the most effective route.
When word recently leaked out that Hamas had agreed to relinquish violence as a form of resistance, it caused an uproar among the various hard-line Palestinian factions, including the powerful Islamic Jihad.
In an attempt to reestablish its terrorist bona fides, Hamas was forced to furiously deny the report by quickly issuing a press release that read in part, “The armed resistance is Hamas’s unchangeable and uncompromisable program.”
Still, Hamas conceded that others, like Fatah, were free to pursue their own strategies. As Hamas spokesman Ismail Radhwan said, “All aspects of resistance are open and permissible and open to us.”
Of course, given his past public utterances, it’s safe to say where Radhwan’s true preference lies.
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