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April 6, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 9881

Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Other Palestinian Groups Threaten Violence During Ramadan – 'The Month Of Jihad And Martyrdom'

April 6, 2022
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 9881

Amid the current escalation of terror attacks in Israel, and as the month of Ramadan begins, officials in Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) threaten a large-scale and imminent explosion of violence. This  explosion, they say, will  take place on all the fronts – in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and in the "1948 territories" – and will be "more powerful and painful" for Israel. The officials also reiterated numerous times that Ramadan is the month of jihad, martyrdom and great conquests in Islam.

Hamas official Khaled Mash'al stated that the coming period will be difficult for Israel and "will hold surprises." PIJ official Ahmad Al-Mudallal said that Israel's fears regarding Ramadan are being realized.

Warnings about an upcoming widescale violent conflict were also expressed by columnist Rajab Abu Sariya in the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam. He wrote that this confrontation would be very difficult to prevent and likewise emphasized that Ramadan is the month in which the most glorious jihad takes place. His suggestions of ways for Israel to prevent confrontation included easing restrictions on the Palestinians, granting Muslims freedom of worship in Jerusalem during Ramadan, refraining from provocation, and creating a path for a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

The following are examples of threats and warnings by Hamas and PIJ leaders as well as excerpts from Abu Sariya's column:  

Hamas Official Khaled Mash'al: "The Month Of Ramadan Will Be Difficult And Will Hold Surprises"

An article posted on the Hamas website on March 30, 2022, stated: "The leader of the Hamas movement abroad, Khaled Mash'al, said that the coming month of Ramadan will be difficult and will hold surprises, because the enemy is trying to enforce quiet in exchange for nothing, while continuing its raids and attacks. He emphasized that the finger of the resistance is on the trigger, and that it [the resistance] is ready to repeat the Sword of Jerusalem [i.e. the May 2021 round of fighting in the Gaza Strip]. Mash'al also said, at a Wednesday [March 30] online conference titled 'The Resistance Continues,' held by the Jordanian Association for Support for the Resistance and the Defense of the Homeland: 'We are not striving for war, but we will not abandon the land, Jerusalem, and the holy places.'

"Mash'al noted that the dates for remembering the battle of Karama [March 21], Land Day [March 30], and Sword of Jerusalem [May 10] prove that resistance is on the desired path and that there is no way but to fight. He pointed out that the previous day's operation in Tel Aviv [the March 29 terrorist attack in Bnei Brak] proved that resistance is the desired path, and that it had conveyed a sufficiently clear message about normalization and negotiation [with Israel]. He said that he believed in expelling the occupation, not as a wish but by means of attrition jihad and an ongoing struggle on all levels – politically, among the masses, and militarily.

"Mash'al stressed: 'We have enough facts on the ground to sense with certainty the liberation of Palestine... and the clashes with the enemy in recent years prove that we are trending towards it, and that our enemy is trending downwards.' Clarifying that 'our people has an inventory of resistance that moves from one region to another, and from one generation to the next,' he added that we 'therefore witness resistance operations sometimes from Gaza, sometimes from the West Bank, and sometimes [within the] 1948 [lines].' He noted that the Russia-Ukraine crisis has taught the [Islamic] nation a lesson – 'that we must decide what we want without considering what they tell us,' and added that 'when you determine facts on the ground, everyone will submit to you, willingly or unwillingly.'"[1]

Hamas Announcement: The Crimes Of The Occupation Will Lead To A Great Explosion; Ramadan Is The Month Of Jihad And Martyrdom

An announcement posted on the Hamas website on March 31, 2022, after two Palestinian operatives were killed in Jenin in an Israeli military roundup of wanted men, stated: "The arrogant enemy must know that the blood of our people does not come cheap, and that, in accordance with our obligation to the martyrs, Hamas will continue on the path of resistance, with fighting the occupation and defending our people, whatever the sacrifices."

The announcement stressed: "The ongoing crimes of the occupation threaten [to bring on] a more powerful all-out explosion that will cause [the occupation] more pain, and in which our people across our occupied land will participate. This is the promise of the seekers of freedom. The locomotive of liberation has already set out, by virtue of the heroic revolutionaries, and will never go back."  

It continued: "We welcome the blessed month of Ramadan, the month of jihad, martyrdom, and mighty victories. We strengthen the hands of our heroes who are rising up in all the cities and refugee camps, first and foremost Jerusalem, and stress [that there will be] continued resistance to the occupation and to its settlers, by all possible means, until liberation and return."[2]

Wishes For The Days Of Ramadan To Be Days Of Deployment On The Battlefront And Of Resistance

An April 1, 2022 Hamas announcement on the website, marking Ramadan, stated: "We congratulate our people and our nation on the occasion of the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan, and express a wish for the days of Ramadan to be days of good deeds, deployment on the battlefront [ribat], and resistance to expel the occupation and defend Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa [mosque].

"The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, extends sincere greetings for the blessed month of Ramadan to the masses of our Palestinian people wherever they may be – in the occupied land, in occupied Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in the diaspora, and in the refugee camps. [We extend these greetings also] to our heroic prisoners, men and women, in the prisons of the occupation; to the families of the martyrs; to the wounded and the prisoners; and to the Arab and Islamic nation. May Allah grant our people and our nation [the opportunity] to celebrate [this holiday] again, with greater unity, cohesion, solidarity, and collective activity in the service of the affairs of our [Islamic] nation, and first and foremost the matter of justice for our Palestinian people.  

"Under the auspices of the blessed month of Ramadan, the month of giving, jihad, and victories, and at a time when we remember the milestones of conflict with the enemy and the attainment of victory over it in this mighty month – the most recent of which was the Sword of Jerusalem battle, in which our people gained victory for Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa... – we, in the Hamas movement, encourage the masses of our people to continue to come to the Al-Aqsa mosque and to remain there. May the days and nights of Ramadan be [days and nights] of good deeds, deployment on the battlefront, and resistance to the occupation and the flocks of the settlers on all our occupied lands, to herald the expulsion of the occupation from our blessed land..."[3] 

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Official: Today, Israel's Fear Of Ramadan Is Coming True

Palestinian Islamic Jihad official Ahmad Al-Mudallal said, in a speech at a PIJ military procession in Rafah on April 2, 2022, following the Israeli forces' killing, in 'Arabeh in the Jenin province that day, of three PIJ terrorists on their way to perpetrate an attack inside Israel, that the blood spilled on the soil of 'Arabeh on the morning of the first day of Ramadan would spark the next battle.

Al-Mudallal added: "Between us and the occupation, there is a missile, a rifle, a stone, and a knife. Across the homeland, there is a situation of conflict and ongoing battle whose flames will not die down... The occupation fears Ramadan, and today this fear is becoming reality. The occupation must expect the worst from our resistance fighters; America will not protect it, and neither will the [Arab] regimes of normalization [with Israel] or the security coordination [with the Palestinian Authority]."

Addressing the Israeli public, he said: "They deceived you when they brought you to this land of butter [sic] and honey, the land of Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. The heroic martyr Diaa [Hamarsha, who carried out the March 29 Bnei Brak attack], treated you in accordance with our Islamic values. If you insist on remaining [on our land], and if you love life, beware, lest you be the harvest of this battle, if the killing of our children and women and the destruction of our homes continue. You have no other option but to leave, because this land is ours, Jerusalem is ours, and Al-Aqsa belongs to us."[4]

The online daily Raialyoum.com reported on April 4, citing sources within the PIJ, that the movement's military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, is on high alert in anticipation of a confrontation with Israel,[5] as part of which it has set up long-range missile launchers and  prepared to confront Israeli forces in the West Bank. The report added that an operations room has been set up in the Jenin and Nablus area to coordinate between the military wings of the PIJ and Fatah.[6]


Poster circulated by PIJ Military Wing: "Ramadan – The Month of Jihad and [Military] Preparation" (Source: Saraya.ps, April 1, 2022)

Palestinian Journalist: Ramadan Is The Month Of Conquests And Jihad; There Is Little Chance Of Preventing Confrontation

In his April 1, 2022 column in the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Ayyam, Rajab Abu Sariya assessed that, in light of Israeli policy, chances of a confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians during the current month of Ramadan were very high. Noting that, even before the start of Ramadan, there had been two substantial terrorist attacks in Israel in response to Israeli policy, he added that Ramadan is famously known in Islam as the month of important conquests glorious jihad. He wrote: "The fact that Land Day passed without escalation [on the ground] means that the first date that the Israeli security apparatuses [were concerned about] has passed, [but] several more days are coming that are likely to lead to confrontations because of their importance to the Muslims. Among these are Prisoners Day, the anniversary of the March of Return [i.e., the 2018–19 Gaza border protests], as well as the first anniversary of the Sword of Jerusalem campaign, which Israel refers to as Operation Guardian of the Walls.

"Israel held contacts, and its senior officials had numerous meetings and conversations with the Palestinian and Jordanian leadership, to contend with the possibility that confrontations will break out in Jerusalem and spread to all the surrounding Palestinian areas during the blessed month of Ramadan. Several senior Israeli officials met with the Palestinian president and the King of Jordan to attempt to contain the anticipated situation. And if that was not enough, Israel also made numerous decisions and took many measures to strengthen its security presence…

"Despite this, signs in the recent days do not indicate that the occupation is capable of containing the situation, either by reinforcing its military presence or through the humanitarian gestures it has made or by [the easing the Palestinians'] everyday lives… It will not be possible to avoid bloody confrontations during Ramadan as long as the Israeli government allows offending the religious sensibilities of the Muslims – specifically considering the Jewish holiday of Passover will coincide with the blessed month of Ramadan, and then the Israeli government will allow the settlers to breach the Al-Aqsa compound, which belongs to the Muslims, and will even protect them as they do so. At the same time, it will limit the number of Muslim worshippers [allowed into Al-Aqsa] and  their ages, and persecute the Murabitoun,[7] in addition to the endless steps taken by the occupation to persecute [the Palestinian] families in their homes…

"The truth is that Israel has not managed [to contain the situation] and Ramadan hasn't even started yet. It is well known that during this month an aura of faith envelops the souls of the Muslims who fast, and during it the most important conquests and raids were achieved, and therefore the most glorious jihad takes place during this month. Israel has already been dealt two severe blows in Hadera and Bnei Brak and Ramat Gan [sic]. This indicates that what happened [in Ramadan] last year will not compare to what is likely to occur this year, and the main thing is that Israel will face all the Palestinians together, in all the arenas. In other words, it won't be able to separate [the Palestinians] in Jerusalem from those in the West Bank, Gaza and the '48 [territories, i.e., the Israeli Arabs], as it hopes to, and as it has always done throughout its history…

"Even the war between Russia and Ukraine will not manage to divert attention from the confrontation which is likely to break out, despite all the cautionary measures and the arrangements made in advance [in order to prevent it]. Even the [numerous recent] meetings which are a follow-up to the normalization agreements [between Israel and several Arab countries], the most recent of which was the meeting in Sharm Al-Sheikh [between Egyptian President 'Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi, UAE Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed, and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett]… did not prevent the outbreak of the confrontation… Therefore, it seems that avoiding a confrontation, at least [as severe as] the confrontations in previous years, will be very difficult…

"In our estimation, there are two minimal steps that [Israel] can take, in addition to easing the restrictions on everyday life, that might prevent the confrontation. The first is allow complete freedom of worship to Muslims in Jerusalem during Ramadan, and at the same time prevent every kind of extremist provocations and infiltration [of the Al-Asa compound] by Jews and settlers. The second is to pave the way to a political dialogue in preparation for an international or regional conference, in order to create a prospect for a political solution. In the absence of these, the month of Ramadan and the period following it this year will be an opportunity to ignite the fire which is destined to break out in the end, sooner or later…"[8]

 

[1] Hamas.ps, March 30, 2022.

[2] Alresalah.ps, March 31, 2022.

[3] Hamas.ps, April 1, 2022.

[4] Paltoday.ps, April 2, 2022.

[5] The state of alert was announced on orders of PIJ secretary-general Ziyad Al-Nakhaleh in response to a series of arrests carried out by Israel in the Jenin refugee camp (Jehad.ps, March 31, 2022).

[6] Raialyoum.com, April 4, 2022. It should be noted that the military wings of the PIJ, Fatah and Hamas announced several months ago that a joint operations room had been established in the Jenin refugee camp, modeled on a similar body that operates in Gaza (Safa.ps, September 14, 2021).

[7] The Murabitoun (literally "warriors preparing for battle") are groups of Palestinian activists at the Al-Aqsa compound who protest visits by Jews there.

[8] Al-Ayyam (Palestinian Authority), April 1, 2022.

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