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memri
August 21, 2003 No.
555

Syrian Government Daily Celebrates Hamas Military Wing Namesake – Izziddin Al-Qassam

In an article titled "Prominent Personalities: Izziddin Al-Qassam," the Syrian newspaper Teshreen featured a profile of Izziddin Al-Qassam, the man for whom Hamas' military wing is named. The following are excerpts from the article: [1]

'Izziddin Al-Qassam is a Name that Still Accompanies Every Palestinian Martyr'

"Arab nationalists, freedom fighters and historians today believe that Izziddin Al-Qassam was the beginning of a brighter chapter in the history of the Arabs in the 20th century A.D. ‏ ‏

"All Palestinians repeat the name of Izziddin Al-Qassam because the man's blood watered the land of Jenin in Palestine and his words and deeds made a road leading to independence and freedom."

'Jihad Represents the Sole Solution for the Palestinian Question'

"He taught his Arab countrymen that freedom and independence can only be achieved through revolution and a stubborn fight against evil forces. He stressed the Arabs' need for Jihad, for it represents the sole solution for the Palestinian question.

"Izziddin Al-Qassam, who was born in 1882 in Jablah, Syria, and grew up in the valleys and mountains of Tartous and Jisr Al-Shughour, was a knowledge seeker and a lover of Arab values and virtues. He studied the Arabic language and became a prominent preacher early in his teens. He traveled to Egypt and there he completed his studies at the [Al] Azhar University. He befriended many cultured Egyptians and won their applause and admiration. ‏

"Izziddin Al-Qassam attracted the attention of the Arab people to the dangers of the occupation forces including the Ottomans, French and British. His love for books pushed him to sell sweets in the streets of Cairo. He learnt from life great lessons. One of these lessons is that iron cuts iron and the second is right can only be bright when it is protected by force… ‏

He Called Upon Arab Youths to Be Volunteers in Resistance Against Occupation

"He knew that people's rights need strong determination and will to be guaranteed. ‏In 1911 Izziddin Al-Qassam led a protest demonstration against the Italian occupation of Tripoli, Libya. ‏He called upon Arab youths to be volunteers in the Libyan resistance against the Italian occupation. ‏

"With the eclipse of the Ottoman power in Syria and the advent of the French occupation troops through the shores of Lattakia, Izziddin Al-Qassam was preparing himself to be an active participant in the national resistance against the French troops. He sold his house in order to buy (24) guns and distribute them among his fighters who devoted themselves to defeat the French troops. After the success of the French troops in occupying Damascus and the martyrdom of the Syrian defence minister and a large number of Syrian soldiers… [in the battle of] Maysaloun, Izziddin Al-Qassam fled the French troops and he was sentenced to death."‏

'The Underground Cells of Al-Qassam are Still Moral and Material Threats to the Zionist Occupationists in Every Inch of the Palestinian Land '

"He decided to leave Syria for Palestine to launch a new campaign of national resistance against the British mandate and British colonial schemes that aimed to cut off Palestine from the Arab homeland to be settled later by Zionist invaders and settlers.

"He began his life in Haifa, Palestine, as a teacher at [the Islamic school] Al-Burj… After four years teaching at this school he became a preacher at Al-Istiqlal Mosque. He began to form underground cells entrusted to fight the British troops and British colonial projects. ‏

"In the end of 1935, Izziddin Al-Qassam's revolution in Palestine became public and he was one of the martyrs of this revolution against the British troops. ‏

"The underground cells of Al-Qassam are still moral and material threats to the Zionist occupationists in every inch of the Palestinian land." ‏


[1] This article appeared in English in Teshreen Press, http://www.teshreen.com/syriatimes/___archives.asp?FileName=20030813105500, August 13, 2003.