December 19, 2016 Special Dispatch No. 6715

Hamas Marks Its 29th Anniversary, Reiterating Its Adherence To Armed Struggle To Liberate Palestine From River To Sea

December 19, 2016
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 6715

On December 14, 2016, Hamas marked the 29th anniversary of its founding with rallies, under the banner of "Al-Quds: A Vow and a Promise." Hamas officials who spoke at the rally stressed adherence to jihad, the ongoing armed struggle to liberate all of Palestine from the river to the sea, the ongoing activity to obtain the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, and the eventual disappearance of "the Zionist entity." The movement held a military parade in Gaza featuring its weapons and a model of a tunnel. At the parade Hamas activists vowed to "continue working day and night above and below the ground until the occupation is expelled." [1]

The website of Hamas's mouthpiece Al-Risala and Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV marked the occasion by posting an animated film presenting the development of Hamas's violent operations over the years.

The website of the Hamas's military wing, the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, posted a special report on the movement's weapons manufacturing efforts throughout the years. For the special report, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6714, Hamas's Military Wing Marks Organization's 29th Anniversary With Special Report On Its Military Industry, December 19, 2016.

The following are translated excerpts from statements by Hamas officials on the occasion of Hamas's anniversary.


Hamas Official Al-Zahhar: Our Land Stretches From The River To The Sea

At a rally in Khan Yunis attended by tens of thousands of residents, Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said: "Our movement adheres to the option of resistance... Resistance using any weapons and all options is a legitimate right that we will utilize, never relinquish, and never surrender to anyone. We will continue to aim our guns at collaborators and traitors, and especially at the Zionist enemy. Our land is all of Palestine from the river to the sea." Al-Zahhar called on the PA, Fatah and the PLO to end security coordination with Israel and "adopt the option of resistance as a plan for liberation."[2]

Hamas parade in northern Gaza (, December 9, 2016)

Hamas Official Khalil Al-Hayya: Time Is Not On The Side Of The Occupation; The Zionist Entity Will Disappear

At another parade, in northern Gaza on December 9, Hamas official Khalil Al-Hayya said: "The issue of the prisoners is a top priority for the Palestinian resistance and the Al-Qassam Brigades, and the occupation should pay the price for it. Time is not on its side... Hamas will not back down from the option of resistance, and promises the prisoners in the occupation prisons that it will continue on its path until they are released... We will not recognize the Zionist entity, and are certain that this entity will vanish and will have no future on our land."[3]

Hamas Officials: Following The Path Of Jihad; Ready To Export Rockets To Arab Countries

Other Hamas officials made similar statements in the days leading up to the anniversary. Thus, in a Friday sermon on December 10, 2016 marking the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, Hamas Legislative Council Deputy Speaker Ahmad Bahr said: "Gaza is following the path of resistance and jihad – the path of our honorable Prophet."[4]

Hamas official Fathi Hamad said, in an unusual December 10 statement to Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV: "We are ready to export rockets to Arab countries so they fight Israel. The sole purpose of establishing Hamas was to liberate all Palestinian lands and claiming all rights in full."[5]

In an article marking the anniversary, Hamas information official in Lebanon Rafat Murra wrote: "Resistance is a strategic option for achieving the independence of the Palestinian people, expelling the occupation and its terrorism, attaining self-determination, and establishing an independent and fully sovereign state. Resistance plays a key part in defending land and man, protecting citizens, and targeting the occupation and its military, economic, and security infrastructure... The civilian intifada, the rock intifada, the stabbing and car ramming operations, and the cultural and economic boycotts of the occupation are part of a large strategic effort that is one of the achievements of the Palestinian people and the younger generation."[6]

Hamas official 'Issam 'Adwan wrote: "Hamas is a Palestinian movement whose purpose is resistance to the Jewish enemy that occupied Palestine, using all methods of resistance, chiefly armed struggle, until Palestinian land is fully liberated... [As for] armed resistance to the enemy – it is solely limited to Palestine... Hamas has successfully developed its military capabilities over 29 years. It started from nothing and currently has strategic tunnels to combat the enemy, self-produced medium-range rockets with a range of 160 kilometers, and thousands of fearless fighters."[7]

West Bank-based columnist Lama Khater wrote on the pro-Hamas website "Hamas, which began with no backing in the region, has upgraded its means of struggle from rock to knife to rifle to explosive vest to rocket and to tunnel. The military wing of Hamas went from individuals to a well-structured military, and is the first line of defense in any war or round of conflict with the occupation."[8]

Hamas Mouthpiece Posts Video Depicting Development Of Movement's Operations

The website of Hamas's mouthpiece Al-Risala and Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV marked the occasion by posting an animated film in which a lone Hamas fighter, representing the movement's operatives throughout the years, carries out a series of attacks against the Israeli enemy using increasingly sophisticated means, from stones and firebombs to rocket launchers and tunnels, until he eventually approaches Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque.[9]

To watch a clip of the video on MEMRI TV, click below:


Hamas Marks Anniversary With Military Parade

At a December 14 Hamas rally in Gaza, which included a military parade, the Al-Qassam Brigades displayed the model of a tunnel, as well as weapons used by the Brigades in confrontations with Israel, including artillery, Kornet anti-tank missiles and M-75 rockets that were fired at Tel Aviv in the last round of fighting with Israel in 2014. One fighter said: "The Al-Qassam Brigades will continue working day and night, above and below the ground, until the occupation is expelled."[10]

Images from the military parade in Gaza (, December 11, 2016)

Hamas Twitter Account Marks Anniversary By Listing Five Hamas "Firsts"

Hamas's Twitter account marked the occasion with a post listing five types of operation that Hamas was the first movement in Palestine to carry out:[11]

"Hamas was the first to carry out a martyrdom operation. [It was carried out] in 1993 using a car bomb that was detonated by 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam fighter Saher Tammam."


"Hamas was the first to fire self-manufactured rockets at the Zionist entity. [They were fired] in 2001 at the area of the occupied [town of] Sderot."


"Hamas was the first to fire locally-manufactured rockets at Tel Aviv, in 2012 in response to the killing of Ahmad Al-Ja'bari."


"Hamas was the first to carry out a fidai [self-sacrifice] operation using the tunnels, in 2001 when it bombed [Israel's] Termite outpost in Rafah."


"Hamas was the first to carry out a naval commando attack inside occupied Palestine, the Zikim operation."



[1], December 11, 2016;, December 14, 2016.

[2], December 11, 2016.

[3], December 9, 2016.

[4], December 10, 2016.

[5], December 10, 2016.

[6], December 13, 2016.

[7] Filastin (Gaza), December 13, 2016.

[8], December 14, 2016.

[9], December 14, 2016; Al-Aqsa TV, December 15, 2016.

[10], December 11, 2016;, December 14, 2016.

[11], December 14, 2016.

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