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November 8, 2011 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 756

11 Years After Al-Aqsa Intifada, Al-Qassam Brigades Take Stock, Take Pride In Suicide Bombings

November 8, 2011
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 756

Introduction

To mark the 11th anniversary of the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, the website of the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, launched a special page titled "The Al-Aqsa Intifada – A Shining Light in the History of Palestine." The page features a document with information on the Brigades' military operations, including statistics of Israeli and their own casualties. In the document, the Brigades also proudly present the suicide attacks that they carried out, including the 2002 Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya, in which 30 Israelis were killed, and the June 2001 suicide bombing outside the Dolphi discothèque in Tel Aviv, in which 21 Israelis, most of them teenagers, were killed. Also mentioned are the 2008 Mercaz HaRav shooting, in which eight yeshiva students were killed, and the April 2011 rocket attack on an Israeli school bus on the Gaza border, which caused the death of an Israeli teenager. The document concludes with a pledge to continue in the path of jihad until all the lands of Palestine are liberated.

The following are excerpts: [1]

Brigades Pride Themselves on Number of Killed – On Both Sides

"The 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, constituted a major lever of the blessed Al-Aqsa Intifada that began 11 years ago. [The Brigades] employed the wide range of [means] available to them in confronting the oppressive enemy, and laughed in the face of the Zionist scheme and the crazy war [the Zionists] waged against them... They will continue in their path until victory...

"Al-Qassam's harvest during the last year of the intifada [i.e. 2010-2011][2] was two Zionist fatalities and over 31 Zionist wounded in several jihad operations, in addition to the firing of over 84 mortars and over 30 Grad and Qassam rockets. The number of those martyred from among the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades along the path to victory and liberation reached 1,697, which is to say, 1,842 martyrs from Al-Qassam since its founding."

Thousands of Heroic Operations – Most Notably the Passover Massacre and the Tel Aviv Discothèque Suicide Bombing

"The number of heroic operations... reached 4,300... The Brigades' operations included 61 martyrdom operations, 24 abductions, 230 armed clashes, 33 incursions, 423 bombing operations, 90 sniping operations, 146 ambushes, and 25 raids on Zionist targets. Al-Qassam's most noteworthy operation during the last year of the [Al-Aqsa] Intifada (2010-2011) was the attack on the Zionist bus near the Zionist settlement of Kfar Sa'ad [i.e. Kibbutz Sa'ad] east of Gaza, which struck [the bus] directly. The occupation announced that a soldier [sic] was killed and another severely wounded [in the attack].

"The Al-Qassam Brigades also [took responsibility] this year for the operation by the Al-Qassam martyr 'Ala Hashem Abu Dhaim, from Jabel Mukaber in Jerusalem, two years after it was carried out on March 6, 2008. [The operation], against the racist 'HaRav' school, caused the deaths of eight Zionists and wounded more than 30 others, according to the enemy's report.

"It should be noted that Al-Qassam's noteworthy martyrdom operations during the Al-Aqsa Intifada included the Park Hotel operation, carried out by the martyr 'Abd Al-Basset 'Odeh, which caused the deaths of 36 [sic] Zionists and wounded some 190. The Brigades carried out dozens of additional martyrdom operations, most notably [the Dolphi discothèque suicide bombing]."

8,085 Rockets and Bombs, including 2,627 Qassams and 303 Grads

"During this intifada, the Al-Qassam Brigades shifted the balance [of power] with the enemy [in the Palestinians' favor], despite all [the enemy's] attempts to constrain, persecute, and harm [them], and crushed [the enemy's] strongholds with the help of the means of warfare available to them and invented by their heroic engineers – from crushing the [Jewish] settlements to bombing Zionist military bases and special strategic outposts. During the Al-Furqan War [Hamas's term for the Gaza War], the Al-Qassam Brigades' rockets, reached targets deep within the Zionist entity, at a distance of [up to] 55 km from the Gaza Strip.

"Data show that the Brigades succeeded in crushing the settlements, [population] centers, and [other] enemy targets with some 8,085 rockets and bombs, including 2,627 Qassam rockets and 303 Grad rockets. It should be noted that these rockets were a main cause for the Zionist enemy's [withdrawal] from the Gaza Strip in 2005, as well as its defeat in the Al-Furqan War in 2009... Through their jihad operations, the Brigades caused the deaths of 910 Zionists and wounded 4,554...

"The Al-Qassam Brigades remain at the forefront of jihadi activity in Palestine, and every day emphasize, with their heroic operations, patience, and steadfastness, in the face of all plots near and far, that they will continue in their path and not deviate from it until the land is liberated, the holy places are purified, the prisoners inhale the scent of freedom, and the refugees return to their homeland. It is not important how many fall victim and how deep the darkness grows – the path of jihad and resistance remains the shortest path to realizing the hopes and dreams of the Palestinian people, which has shown forbearance [while striving for] its liberation from the yoke of the occupation."

Brigades Spokesman: For the Sake of the Land, We Sacrifice Pure Souls Whose Limbs Are Scattered Everywhere

Also posted on the special section of the website was a statement by Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu 'Obeida, which read: "...The intifada came to save the Palestinian cause from the swamp in which it had become mired following discriminatory and oppressive agreements that did it much damage... The greatest lesson of the Al-Aqsa Intifada is that our Palestinian people is unwilling to give up even an inch of the land of Palestine or a single one of its steadfast principles. This intifada – during which our Palestinian people sacrificed thousands of martyrs, and our jihad movements and the Al-Qassam Brigades likewise sacrificed thousands of martyrs, wounded, and prisoners to the prisons of the occupation – proved that our Palestinian people is ready for sacrifice. [It] understands that there is a price for protecting its steadfast principles, the [Palestinian] cause, and the holy places – a price which all our people are willing to pay.

"We have proven to all the world that there is in this land an exemplary Palestinian jihad and resistance group, which clings to our positions and defends our land, people, and holy places, and which sacrifices pure blood for their sake – pure souls whose lost limbs were scattered everywhere. All these [sacrifices] are small compared to the value of our Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa, and our historic land we are striving to regain... The occupation proved during this intifada what we have always said... that it understands nothing but the language of force and bloodshed, and that it has been living atop a pool of blood since 1948...

"Our Palestinian people does not regret this intifada. Despite the hindrance of the hinderers and the weakness of the weak, and despite the attempts by some to enfeeble our Palestinian people [by saying] that this intifada was a mistake and a rash move, our Palestinian people understands today more than ever that this intifada was a right and necessary step toward restoring our usurped historic rights. ...This intifada can be renewed... if there is any attempt to abandon the steadfast principles of our Palestinian people and cause."

Endnotes:

[1] Alqassam.ps, October 2, 2011.

[2] According to the Brigades, the Al-Aqsa Intifada is still ongoing.

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