Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke in a November 24, 2022 video conference for an "international" event commemorating 33 years since the assassination of Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, a Palestinian jihadist who had been one of Osama Bin Laden's mentors. Haniyeh praised Azzam for having been "determined," "merciful," "devoted," and a "knight" and "symbol" of Jihad. He also said that martyrdom is man's greatest objective, and he praised Azzam for waging Jihad in Afghanistan when he could not do so in Palestine. The commemorative event was organized by the League of Islamic Scholars in Palestine. Haniyeh's remarks were aired on Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas-Gaza).
Ismail Haniyeh: "The name of the martyr Dr. Abdallah Azzam speaks for itself – he was a determined ['Azzam'] man. His name speaks for itself through his history and his shining path. He was very merciful, may Allah have mercy on his soul. He was a man of da'wa. He had devotion. He was a knight of Jihad and resistance against the enemies of Allah.
"Secondly, he was a symbol of Jihad. He wasn't only an Islamic jurisprudent, scholar, intellectual, and educator, with all of the virtues associated with these great titles. In addition to all these things, he was also a mujahid. He would bear arms, and he fought for the sake of Allah. Even when he was beleaguered, when the borders were closed, and when he and the men of the Islamic nation and of Palestine were prevented from fighting their Zionist enemy on the land of Palestine – he exerted himself to be on [a different] Jihadi battlefield for the Islamic nation.
"Thirdly, Allah honored the imam Dr. Abdallah Azzam by granting him martyrdom, which is the greatest goal that a man seeks. He always said: 'If I have to die, let it be for the sake of Allah.'
"We always shout: 'Death for the sake of Allah is our loftiest aspiration!' Just like life for the sake of Allah is our loftiest aspiration, death for the sake of Allah is also our loftiest aspiration."