The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
Following the recent clashes between Palestinians and Israelis over the past weeks, including the violent rioting at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during which hundreds of people were injured and arrested, and the firing of hundreds of missiles from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, which provoked a harsh Israeli response, a statement was released on May 12, 2021, by Al-Andalus, the official media outlet of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
The statement praises the Palestinians who are battling the Israeli forces at Al-Aqsa Mosque and urges them to expand the area of activity to the West Bank, for "the action of a single individual with a knife there is equivalent to a rocket launched from Gaza."
In the two-page statement titled, "Al-Aqsa Has a God Who Protects It with His Servants Who Redeem It with Blood," harsh criticism is also aimed at the Palestinian Authority and its head, Mahmoud Abbas, who is described as "a secular traitor" and "enemy of Islam and the Muslims." The statement calls on the Palestinians to fight him alongside their fight against the Jews.
The organization encourages the Palestinians to continue their struggle against the Jews, saying that this struggle also has influence on the fate of the Arab regimes which, according to the organization, collaborate with Israel, and prevent jihadi fighters from reaching Palestine. The organization stresses that the way to liberate Jerusalem must traverse the toppling of the regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Jordan, Syria and Iraq, and emphasizes that the jihadi fighters are fighting these regimes, whose end is near, so that they will be able to reach Jerusalem.
Similar statements were made in previous publications by other Al-Qaeda affiliates which praised the attacks against Israel and encouraged the Palestinians to intensify their violence, and urge Muslims worldwide to attack Jewish and Israeli interests.
The following are translations of the main points expressed in the AQIM statement:
"During these very days a battle is being waged in Bayt Al-Maqdis [i.e. Jerusalem], a battle of heroism in which our brothers the residents of Jerusalem are the ones who are determining its characteristics and hoisting its banner. With their bare bodies they are holding in check the hostile, infidel, enemy who is armed from head to toe, which receives the support of the countries and regimes of the world – headed first by the Arab regimes, before the foreign regimes… but this does not weaken the arms of the heroes of Al-Aqsa, rather it only increases their faith and understanding that the truth is on their side and that they are the armor of the Muslims which protects the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that Bayt Al-Maqdis will remain an Islamic holy site for all the Muslims and will return to the bosom of Islam and be the capital of the coming caliphate which will soon arise with the help of Allah…"
After these words of encouragement and praise, the organization levies harsh criticism at the Palestinian Authority and its head, Abu Mazen, and points out that the confrontations in Jerusalem erupted at the same time as the cancellation of elections in the Palestinian Authority. According to the organization, many people mistakenly thought that the elections were a way to liberate the land and to protect the holy places, however, the confrontations at Al-Aqsa proved that the only way to liberate the land and to protect the holy places is jihad for the sake of Allah.
The organization adds that the confrontations proved that "democracy is an illusion and a mirage, a spot where the thirsty believes there is water so that he runs toward it to quench his thirst. However, he reaches nothing, and his thirst only intensifies. This is the truth about democracy, which enables Mahmoud Abbas, the secular traitor who sells out Jerusalem and Palestine, and his gang, which rules the West Bank under orders from its Jewish masters, to run in the elections. These treacherous secularists are the first obstacle on the path to victory and to liberation. The battle against the Jews will have no influence if it does not include those who are close to the Jews. The Zionist Authority which is falsely named the Palestinian Authority occupies the West Bank with the support of the Jews, the original occupiers. This Authority has no connection to the righteous Muslims… It is the enemy of Islam and the Muslims like its masters the occupying Jews.
"Therefore, soldiers of Al-Aqsa and Islam in Bayt Al-Maqdis, hold fast and know that every day that passes for the Jews while you are repelling their apostasy and oppression, brings closer the liberation and the extermination [of the enemy]. Oh heroes, know that you are waging jihad that, as it increases in strength, so its flame consumes the Arab collaborators; regimes which defend the twisted Jewish state. Your ability to continue to resist the Jews will topple the regimes of the collaborators with the Jews even before they topple their masters. The liberation of Bayt Al-Maqdis passes through Cairo, Riyadh, Dubai, Amman, Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran…"
The statement stresses that Jerusalem always was and remains the ultimate aspiration of the jihadi fighters, who strive to participate in the defense of Al-Aqsa, but "tyrannical regimes and governments and collaborators with the Jews and Christians," defend the borders of the Jewish state. The statement claims that the jihadi fighters are battling against them and that their end is near.
The organization also advises the Palestinians not to limit the campaign against the Jews to one area, because, they say, this allows the Jews to recover and regain their strength: "If you want to defeat your enemy, ignite a fire under their feet on the entire land of Palestine, especially in the West Bank, where, and from where, it is possible to wear down the strength of the Jews. Do not expect our brothers and yours in the Gaza Strip to bear [the weight] and the banner of the campaign on their own. Whatever the effect [of their struggle] will be, it still will not be like the effect of the jihad and the resistance coming from the West Bank. The act of a single individual with a knife in the West Bank is equivalent to a rocket fired from Gaza. If you succeed in setting the entire land of Palestine alight, you may be sure that the day is drawing near when the soldiers of the Islamic nation will meet on the land of Palestine."
 Talk.gnews.bz/channel/aqim-mussh-alandls, May 12, 2021.
 See MEMRI JTTM Reports: Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Calls On Palestinians To Launch All-Out Militarized Uprising To 'Spill Jews' Blood,' Urges Muslims Target Israeli Embassies, Jewish Interests In Asia, America, Europe, And Africa, May 8, 2021; Pro-Al-Qaeda Media Outlet Calls On Muslims To Attack Israeli Embassies, Citizens Around The World, Hack Israeli Websites, Revolt Against Arab Rulers Who Normalized Relations With Israel, Boycott Nestle, Nike, Coca Cola, May 11, 2021; Al-Qaeda Central (AQC) Bulletin Calls To Help Palestinians By Attacking U.S. And Israeli Interests, Rebelling Against Arab Rulers, May 12, 2021;