Syrian Jihadi Cleric: Hamas-Israel War Undermines Normalization Process, Exposes Iran's Interest-Seeking Approach, Claims Lack Of Direct Involvement Represents Opportunity For Hamas To Quit Iran-Led Axis

November 7, 2023

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On November 6, 2023, "Al-Mahajjah," a jihadi magazine, released its fourth issue on its Telegram channel, featuring articles authored by prominent jihadi clerics and ideologues who expressed support for the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.[1]

"Pauses With Al-Aqsa Flood," was written by Syrian jihadi cleric and ideologue Dr. Abu Abdullah Al-Shami, nom de guerre of 'Abd Al-Rahim 'Attoun. Al-Shami is the chief religious official of Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), and his article is among the magazine's prominent featured pieces. In his article, Al-Shami argues that the Hamas attack broke the "rules of containment" imposed on Gaza, exposed the "functional role" of Israel and Arab governments in the region, and constituted an opportunity for Hamas to quit the Iran-led coalition.

Reality Of The Conflict And The Jihadi Doctrine

Al-Shami began by saying that the October 7 attack brought to light the reality of the conflict with Israel and established the firm belief in jihad, as a course of action, in the hearts and souls of Muslims.

The consequence of the war, he wrote, accentuated the illegitimacy and impracticality of what he called the "humiliation" of democracy. He discounted the approach of pacifism, saying that the Hamas attack inflicted a devastating blow to the ill-fated Oslo Accord process and the ongoing normalization path aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause.

In addition, he argued that the attack broke the rules of containment imposed on Gaza. Hamas’s attack represents the beginning of the end of the "ill-fated relationship with the Iran-led neo-Safavid alliance which traded in Sunni blood and the Palestinian cause to serve its own agenda and destructive project in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen."

"The Zionist Enemy Is As Frail As The Spider's Web"

Al-Shami contended that the October 7 attack revealed Israel's weakness, exposed the failure of its intelligence services, and shattered the legend of the invincible army, claiming as evidence the fact that the West urgently intervened to rescue Israel and protect its existence.

He further argued that Israel's "weakness" was also due to the "unprecedented internal breakdown" before the attack and "an apparent coldness in its relations with its backers."

U.S. And Western Positions Recede

According to the Al-Shami, the conflict came at a time when the U.S.-led West is experiencing unprecedented internal disintegration and a receding foreign presence, following the "terrible defeat in Afghanistan."

He argued that despite being absorbed with the Ukrainian-Russian War and the effort to contain China's rising influence, the West rushed to stand by Israel following an attack that "constituted a painful existential blow to its spearhead in the conflict with the Islamic world."

Iran And Its Proxies

Al-Shami argued that Hamas attack also exposed the nature of the conflict between Iran and Israel. The lack of "serious involvement" by Iran and its proxies in the region in the Hamas-Israel war serves as reminder for Hamas to seize the opportunity and "quit the criminal axis." He contended that if Hamas quit the Iran-led alliance, "It would be one of Allah's many gifts of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood."

"Arab Tyrants And Puppet Regimes"

The jihadi cleric condemned the "functional role" played by Arab regimes. Their positions, he stated, were known to all in advance: "Denunciation and condemnation in the media but, in fact, constant coordination and agreed-upon roles."

What is different this time, he added, is the advanced stage of overt normalization of ties with Israel, with many rulers making statements that "clearly supported the occupier more than denouncing it."

The position of the "Arab Zionists" was clearly evident in the position of Bahrain and the UAE. Meanwhile, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority continued to display a "repeated commitment to protect the occupier and preserve their thrones and regimes."

The Obligation Of The Muslim Ummah

Al-Shami wrote that the battle for Al-Aqsa relies solely on the blood and sacrifice of the people of Gaza, noting that the battle for Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa is the battle of all Muslims.

He exploited the ongoing developments in Gaza to declare a "rise of the flood of the ummah as a religious obligation" that all Muslims are bound to undertake, urging them to support Gaza using the media, donations, prayers, and marches towards the border with Israel. Threaten attacks against Israel's and its Western "masters,'" he advised, aiming at their embassies, consulates, interests, and other targets.


Lastly, Al-Shami argued that the current conflict emphasizes the significance of the true nature of the conflict and the need to adopt jihad and reject "humiliation, containment, and democracy."

He went on to acclaim how the aftermath of the Hamas attack uncovered Israel's "functional role" supported by the U.S.-led West, exposed Iran and Iran’s proxies' interest-seeking approach in their conflict with Israel. The attack undermined the path of normalization and the Oslo Accord peace processes, and continues to expose the "collaborationism" of Arab countries' governments.



[1] Telegram, November 6, 2023.

The full text of this post is available to subscribers.

Please login or register to request subscription information from MEMRI


The Cyber & Jihad Lab

The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

Read More