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May 3, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9316

Article On Al-Jazeera Website: Ramadan, 'Month Of Jihad And Victories,' Is The Season Of Palestinian Armed Operations

May 3, 2021
Qatar, Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 9316

One of the articles published on the website of the Qatari Al-Jazeera network on the occasion of Ramadan is headlined "How the Palestinian Resistance Turned Ramadan into the Season of Attacks and Victories." Written by 'Adnan Abu 'Amer, a Palestinian Political Science lecturer at Al-Ummah University in Gaza, the article notes that, throughout Muslim history, Ramadan has always been  the month of jihad and victory, and that the Palestinian terror organizations "take advantage of the spiritual atmosphere" during this month, and of the heritage of the Muslims battles and victories that took place during this month throughout Muslim history, to step up their jihad against Israeli targets.[1] 

Abu 'Amer lists a long line of deadly attacks by the Palestinian terror organizations – against both soldiers and civilians, including suicide bombings – that were deliberately carried out during Ramadan due to the month's special character. He also mentions the Israel-Gaza war of July 2014, which likewise coincided with Ramadan, and which he says serves as a model for resistance groups to this day because it included "the most prominent acts of heroism by the resistance in the history of Palestine and the conflict with the occupation." He adds that the Israeli security apparatuses are aware that, on Ramadan, the Palestinian organizations are especially motivated to  carry out attacks and therefore prepare for it in advance.    


'Adnan Abu 'Amer (Source: Safa.news)

The following are translated excerpts from his article.[2]

"The Palestinian resistance takes advantage of the spiritual atmosphere in the month of Ramadan to raise the morale of its members and step up their activity, a fact that Israel's security and military apparatuses take into account each year as this month approaches. The history of the Palestinian resistance shows that it has often chosen to carry out its harsh operations and attacks against the Israeli occupation in the month of Ramadan, thanks to the [special] tactical and ritual role of this month, exemplified by famous battles in Islamic history.  Below I will use a question-and-answer format to review the most prominent attacks carried out by the Palestinian resistance in the recent months and the losses they inflicted on the occupation, [and explain] why [the resistance] deliberately chose to carry out these armed attacks during Ramadan…

"What Ramadan victories are etched in the Palestinian memory?

"The Palestinian [custom] of mobilizing for operations and intensifying them in the month of Ramadan is inspired by [Islamic] history, which is replete with wars and conquests that took place during this month, because the Muslims clearly made special efforts to carry out attacks then. Prominent among these attacks were the Battle of Badr,[3] the conquest of Mecca,[4] the conquest of Andalusia,[5] the Battle of Tours,[6] the Battle of 'Ain Jalut,[7] and the October/Ramadan War [between Israel and the Arabs in 1973]. All these [battles] are a source of inspiration for the Palestinian resistance.

"Every year, at the beginning of Ramadan, the military branches of the Palestinian resistance factions stress that this is a [special] month, in which the jihad fighters pray during the daytime and defend their Palestinian homeland during the night. It is a month marked by outstanding Muslim victories, and the month during which the resistance carried out [its] most impressive wars of heroism and sacrifice.

"Does the resistance regard Ramadan as an opportunity to intensify its activity?

"It is the custom of the resistance to step up its activity during Ramadan, and the Israeli security apparatuses have always made a point of warning that Ramadan is a month of warfare and resistance operations. The Ramadan atmosphere increases the readiness for sacrifice, due to its religious and psychological effect, which is automatically felt by the resistance fighters. Consequently, Ramadan always sees an increase in the resistance against the occupation…

"What [targets] do the Ramadan operations of the resistance focus on?

"The Israeli security apparatuses make a point of warning that the resistance factions take advantage of Ramadan [to increase their activity], and that the list of operations reflects a diverse range of targets, belonging to the [Israeli] army and settlers, in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as inside Israel. In the recent years, the calendar of the resistance has been full of operations carried out during Ramadan, including stabbings, car-ramming attacks, shootings and bombings, which cost the lives of many Israeli soldiers and settlers.  

"What attacks are on the roster of Ramadan attacks carried out by the resistance?

"Brevity does not allow listing all the armed attacks carried out by the Palestinian resistance in the recent years and decades, but the following are some of the most prominent of them:

-- In Ramadan in 2017, three Palestinians… members of the Jabarin family of the city of Umm Al-Fahm inside occupied Palestine, attacked the Israeli security forces in Al-Aqsa and killed two [Border Police officers].[8]

-- The same year [on June 16], three Palestinians from Ramallah… carried out a double shooting and stabbing attack  in Jerusalem against the occupation soldiers, in which one soldier was killed and several were wounded.

-- In 2016 the resistance carried out ten self-sacrifice shooting and stabbing attacks, killing six Israelis and wounding 15 others. The most important [of these attacks was carried out on June 8 by] two cousins from [the village of] Yatta in the West Bank, Muhammad and Khalil Mukhamara, who entered the Sarona compound near Israel's Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, opened fire on settlers and killed four of them, while wounding 40.[9]

-- On [June 19], 2015 there was an attack near the settlement of Dolev not far from Ramallah, in which fire was opened on a settlers' car at point-blank range,  killing one settler and wounding another. The same year on Ramadan, a Palestinian from Hebron carried out a stabbing attack against two Israeli policemen near Nablus Gate in occupied Jerusalem,[10] and on [August 31,] 2010 two members of the resistance opened fire on a settlers' vehicle in Hebron, killing four.

-- In [September 29–October 16,] 2004 the resistance waged the Days of Rage campaign in northers Gaza for 17 days, during which it initiated many clashes [with the Israeli forces and carried out many] raids on settlements, ambushes and rocket [attacks], forcing the occupation to withdraw without realizing its goals.  [Also] on Ramadan that year, [on October 18], two [Palestinians], sacrificing their souls for Islam… carried out  a high-quality attack near the Sufa [border] crossing south of Gaza, in which six occupation soldiers were wounded to varying degrees. 

--On [November 15,] 2002 [three] members  of the resistance… carried out an attack against the settlers of Kiryat Arba near Hebron, killing 12 soldiers and settlers and wounding 18… The same year [on November 21], a martyr… from Hebron detonated his explosive vest on Mexico Street in Jerusalem, killing 12 Israelis and wounding 47.[11]

--Ramadan 2001 saw many resistance operations. [On December 2] a martyr… from Nablus bombed a bus in Haifa, killing 16 Israelis and wounding 55 others. When his friend brought him his iftar meal [before the attack], he declined, saying, 'I will break the fast in Paradise tonight.'

--Also in 2001 during Ramadan, martyrs… carried out a double operation against an Israeli army position in Jerusalem, killing 11 Israelis and wounding 190 others.[12] Two resistance [fighters]… stormed the Elei Sinai settlement north of Gaza, killed an Israeli nuclear scientist and wounded five others.[13]

--In 1993 a unit…  ambushed two Israeli patrols near the martyrs' cemetery east of Jabalia, killing three soldiers and wounding four.[14]   

"To what extent was the 2014 Gaza War a model for the resistance in Ramadan?

"The resistance responded to Israel's 'Strong Cliff' aggression with a campaign… that [involved] many surprises: it carried out operations across the border, captured several occupation soldiers, killed 70 soldiers and settlers and wounded 2,500 others, and fired its rockets at the cities of Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in what it called the 'Ramadan 10 Operation.' In Ramadan 2014, the Palestinian resistance waged an ongoing war against the Israeli occupation forces that lasted over 50 days, during which several high-quality military operations were carried out… Israel's war against Gaza in Ramadan 2014… saw the most notable heroic deeds carried out by the resistance in the [entire] history of Palestine and of the conflict with the occupation. The resistance [fighters] were in a complex mental state. They were fasting underground [in their tunnels], living on their last rations of food and water,  yet they were calm… They spent 21 days underground, surrounded, in one of the tunnels, without any supplies or contact [with the outside world]. They discovered a spring inside the tunnel in which they slaked their thirst, [but] throughout this period, they became accustomed to starting and breaking their fast with a meal of only two dates.

"How does the Israeli occupation prepare for Ramadan?

"Every year, when Ramadan approaches, the Israeli security apparatuses and the occupation army start to tighten procedures and try to prevent the resistance from carrying out operations  by increasing the arrests and deploying additional forces on the main roads. But the result is that the resistance maintains the [regular] pace of its operations or even increases it.  The occupation forces and security apparatuses regard Ramadan every year as the season in which the resistance increases its motivation to carry out attacks against Israelis. This is because Ramadan is the month of jihad and victories in Islamic history, and there is apparently greater readiness for self-sacrifice during this month, which increases the Israelis' security concerns."     

 

[2] Aljazeera.net, April 16, 2021.

[3] The Battle of Badr took place between the Prophet Muhammad's forces and the Meccan forces during Ramadan in 624 CE.

[4] According to Islamic sources, the conquest of Mecca took place during Ramadan in the eighth year after the Hijra (December 629–January 630).

[5] According to some sources, the conquest of Andalusia began with a raid on the town of Tarifa on the Spanish coast by a Muslim force under the leadership of the Berber commander Tarif bin Malik, during Ramadan in 710 CE.

[6] Fought during Ramadan in 732, this was an important battle during the Umayyad invasion of Gaul.

[7] This battle was fought between the Mamluks of Egypt and the Mongol Empire during Ramadan in 1260, in the southeastern Galilee.

[8] This attack actually took place on July 14, 2017, one month after the end of Ramadan.

[9] The victims of this attack were four Israelis dining at a restaurant in Tel Aviv's popular Sarona Market area.

[10] Apparently refers to an attack that took place on June 21, 2015.

[11] This attack, perpetrated by a suicide bomber on a crowded bus, actually killed 11 people, three of them children.

[12] The attack, carried out on December 1 by two suicide bombers, targeted passersby on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall in central Jerusalem. Shortly afterwards a car bomb exploded on a nearby street.

[13] On December 2, 2001, an Israeli was killed when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on his car on the road near the northern Gaza settlement of Elei Sinai. The victim, Prof. Baruch Singer, was a scientist at Nahal Sorek nuclear research site. 

[14] Unclear what this refers to. Perhaps to two separate attacks perpetrated March 20 in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in which two Israeli soldiers were killed.

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