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Why Aren’t ISIS and Al-Qaeda Attacking Israel?

by Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post
Aug 6, 2014

With the recent slaughter of Palestinians taking place on television screens across the world, only the grossly misinformed would believe that Israel’s Palestinian extermination program is actually “self-defense.”

Yet for all of Israel’s whining about how it is being targeted by “Islamic extremists” and “terrorists,”(which should be translated to mean Palestinians, Iran, or any other secular or nationalist Arab government in the region) there is a curious and deafening silence when it is confronted with actual terrorists and Muslim fanatics such as ISIS, al-Nusra, and the myriad of other fundamentalist groups waging jihad in Syria and Iraq.

This bizarre silence has yet to raise the eyebrows of the somnambulant general public.

Of course, Israel’s lack of concern regarding legitimate terrorist groups is not bizarre at all when one understands the perspective and goals held by the settler state toward its neighbors in the region or its connections to the very groups who espouse Israel as their number one enemy.

But while Israel does not respond with its usual apoplectic frothing of victimhood and danger regarding these terrorist groups that have now so infested the Middle East as to make the entire region a general war zone, it is important to point out that these same terrorist groups do not launch coordinated military attacks in Tel Aviv, they launch them in Damascus and Mosul – cities belonging to secular nations seen by Israel as the enemy.

The question then is “Why?” Why does Israel not share the concern it has over Palestinians, Iranians, Syrians, and Lebanese with al-Nusra, ISIS, and al-Qaeda? Why do these groups wage jihad against Israel’s enemies but not against Israel itself?

Indeed, this curious fact was also raised by Nabil Na’eem, the former al-Qaeda commander who recently gave an interview to Al-Maydeen where he stated that these organizations of Islamic terror were in fact controlled by the CIA. Na’eem stated in regards to Issam Hattito,

For instance, Issam Hattito, head of Muslim Brotherhood responsible for leading the battles against Bashar Assad, where does he reside? Is he in Beirut? Riyadh or Cairo? He’s residing in Tel Aviv.

Ahmad Jarba, does he stay in Riyadh, Cairo or Tehran? He’s moving between New York, Paris and London, his employers, who pay his expenses . . .

Na’eem is right to point out these odd bedfellows because it provides one small piece of a larger puzzle – that Israel, along with its cohorts in the West (the United States and Europe) are not victims of Islamic terror, they are sponsors of it.

From providing medical aid, military training, and outright military assistance, the so-called state of Israel has been a much better friend to Muslim terrorists than any of the regimes it claims as its enemy.

For instance, it has been well-known for quite some time that Israel has been providing wounded Syrian rebels with medical treatment inside Israel so that they can continue the Jihad against the secular government of Bashar al-Assad. According to Colum Lynch of The Cable (the news wing of the Council on Foreign Relations Foreign Policy),

In the past three months, battle-hardened Syrian rebels have transported scores of wounded Syrians across a cease-fire line that has separated Israel from Syria since 1974, according to a 15-page report by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the work of the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). Once in Israel, they receive medical treatment in a field clinic before being sent back to Syria, where, presumably, some will return to carry on the fight.

U.N. blue helmets responsible for monitoring the decades-old cease-fire report observing armed opposition groups “transferring 89 wounded persons” from Syrian territory into Israel, where they were received by members of the Israel Defense Forces, according to the report. The IDF returned 21 Syrians to armed opposition members back in Syria, including the bodies of two who died.

Later in the article, the writer mentions the fact that Israel has provided such medical assistance to Syrian rebels since at least as far back as February. Realistically, however, such assistance was being provided even further back. Lynch writes that Israel provided the medical treatment for at least a year.

Indeed, in February, 2014, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu actually visited one of the medical facilities in which the Syrian rebels were being treated and even posed for a photo op shaking hands with a death squad fighter.

More notable than even the medical services, is the fact that Israel has provided military support to the terrorist death squads in the form of artillery and air force bombing campaigns. These attacks have generally come after the Assad government seems to be making considerable gains on the ground against the Western-backed fighters.

For instance, on October 30, 2013, Israel attacked and completely destroyed a Syrian air defense base in Snobar Jableh, Syria which is located near Latakia, a port city on the coast of the Mediterranean. The base was alleged to have housed a surface to air missile battery.

Of course, this was not the only time where Israel inflicted an injury against the enemies of Islamic extremists during the course of the Syrian conflict. It is known that Israel launched attacks against Syrian forces and military convoys at least four times prior to the October 30 attack.

As recently as June, 2014, Israel launched a series of airstrikes against Syrian military positions under the pretext of retaliation for a cross-border attack which was almost certainly initiated by death squad fighters whose logistical inadequacy spilled over into Israeli occupied territory in the Golan Heights. Given the questionable circumstances surrounding the justifying incident – the killing of yet another Israeli teenager by an alleged anti-tank missile – one would be justified in questioning the Israeli story.

While the occasional attack on Syrian territory is bad enough, the fact is that Israel has apparently coordinated these attacks with the death squad directors on the ground so as to provide cover fire and diversions for death squad “swarming” and jihadist invasions.

For instance, in May 2013, WABC host and best-selling author Aaron Klein stated that an Israeli airstrike in Syria was closely coordinated with Turkey which, in turn, helped coordinate the death squad attacks to occur at the exact same time as the Israeli airstrikes. The sources speaking to Klein came from Jordanian and Egyptian intelligence agencies.

Klein wrote,

Israel’s air strike in Syria today was coordinated with Turkey, which in turn coordinated rebel attacks throughout Syria timed to coincide with the Israeli strike, according to Egyptian and Jordanian intelligence sources speaking to KleinOnline. The sources said the rebels did not know about the Israeli strike in advance but instead were given specific instructions for when to begin today’s major assaults against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. “Almost the moment the Israel Air Force departed was the moment the rebel advance began,” added the Egyptian intelligence source. Multiple reports have noted how the Syrian rebels consist in large part of al-Qaida-linked jihad groups. The Egyptian and Jordanian sources described how immediately after today’s Israeli air strike the jihadist rebels used access roads to advance toward Damascus and began heavy clashes with Syrian military forces throughout the country.

Israel was even documented in 2011 as hosting and directing a terrorist mercenary training camp inside the country in order to produce mercenaries tailor-made to be used in the Arab world.

What’s more, the Israeli establishment does not seem to feel the need to hide its support for terrorism which, in this specific instance, tends to take the form of mercenaries. Indeed, the Israeli terrorist trainers actually appear to be quite open about their efforts.

In a 2011 report conducted by The Media Line,[1] an international news organization which focuses on the Middle East, Arieh O’Sullivan was able to film an Israeli-run terrorist mercenary training camp, complete with interviews, on-scene narration, and ample video footage of actual training taking place.

As the report begins, one can see a multicultural group of men –Arabs, Africans, Europeans, etc. – dressed in typical Arab clothing, riding camels, and taking part in tactical training.

“The men on these camels have been training for the past week to operate in the Arab world,” O’Sullivan says. “They dress as Arabs, even take a ride on a desert Ferrari [camel] and learn rudimentary phrases that will allow them to do their job. They have come to Israel to learn from former members of the country’s secret services.”

The report continues by saying,

On this training base, run by the International Security Academy Israel, they are tapping into Israel’s unique experience in dealing with these threats and learning counterterrorism techniques in convoy and [VIP? ] protection. The changes in the Middle East may be dubbed the Arab Spring but, to continue with another metaphor, it’s about to get hot.

Out here far away from prying eyes, a group of personal protection specialists have come to Israel to learn about the Israeli tactics. Their background is diverse – from police to military officers – even a former French Legionnaire. They will go on to work for governments and private security contractors.

In an interview with one of the “students,” the future mercenary stated, “Only the best can train here with the best. I have this feeling that I was . . . something like was bringing me here . . . something was like ‘Go. Go and do it now.’”

Another mercenary who was interviewed, stated, “Well, I learn a lot because Israel have bring up a standard of training that everyone in the world will have to emulate from them. And, with this, as I’m going back, I think I will take what I have learned in Israel, to impart on my fellow colleagues.”

The narrator then adds, “But it’s an expensive program, costing upwards of $2,000 Euros a week. But this can be a lucrative profession, earning thousands of Euros a day. Just don’t call them mercenaries.” Still, O’Sullivan ends by saying, “This line of work is one of the oldest in the world. Still, it seems like it is always in demand.”

A mercenary who appeared to be from Singapore, named Venky Raman, also chimed in. “Some of those dictatorships governments have fallen basically. And that’s going to create new chaos and confusion in the market. And that’s also going to create some instability in the market. So that’s why I think we’re getting more of these incidents and terrorist attacks and such going to happen.”

While the individuals seen in the clip mentioned above are largely mercenaries who train the dupes and deviants who take on the role as cannon fodder for Jihad, only engaging in limited combat operations themselves, it is clear the only allegiance they have is to the almighty dollar.

Ironically, however, the individuals who make up the bulk of death squad invasions across the Arab world – religious fanatics, savages, and the criminally insane – maintain an open hatred for Israel. That is, those death squad members at the bottom who are either ignorant of the fact that Israel itself is a major backer of their own movement or those wholly incapable of understanding anything other than what their faction leader has told them are caught somewhere between tragedy and farce.

Yet Israel is not only involved in directed and implementing Islamic terrorism in other countries. On its own soil, Israel has been documented as creating “fake” al-Qaeda groups to justify its treatment of the Palestinian people.

Israel’s arch nemesis, Hamas, was created by Israel itself for the purpose of splitting the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) and Fatah, the leading outfit for the Palestinian freedom and resistance movement.

Robert Dreyfuss, a veteran journalist for The Nation, even wrote that,

In the decades before 9/11, hard-core activists and organizations among Muslim fundamentalists on the far right were often viewed as allies for two reasons, because they were seen a fierce anti-communists and because the opposed secular nationalists such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh.

***

In Syria, the United States, Israel, and Jordan supported the Muslim Brotherhood in a civil war against Syria. And … Israel quietly backed Ahmed Yassin and the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank and Gaza, leading to the establishment of Hamas.

As Justin Raimondo of AntiWar.com wrote in his 2006 article “Hamas, Son of Israel,”

Amid all the howls of pain and gnashing of teeth over the triumph of Hamas in the Palestinian elections, one fact remains relatively obscure, albeit highly relevant: Israel did much to launch Hamas as an effective force in the occupied territories. If ever there was a clear case of “blowback,” then this is it. As Richard Sale pointed out in a piece for UPI:

Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years. Israel ‘aided Hamas directly – the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),’ said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic [and International] Studies.Israel’s support for Hamas ‘was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,’ said a former senior CIA official.

Middle East analyst Ray Hanania concurs:

In addition to hoping to turn the Palestinian masses away from Arafat and the PLO, the Likud leadership believed they could achieve a workable alliance with Islamic, anti-Arafat forces that would also extend Israel’s control over the occupied territories.

In a conscious effort to undermine the Palestine Liberation Organization and the leadership of Yasser Arafat, in 1978 the government of then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin approved the application of Sheik Ahmad Yassin to start a “humanitarian” organization known as the Islamic Association, or Mujama. The roots of this Islamist group were in the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, and this was the seed that eventually grew into Hamas – but not before it was amply fertilized and nurtured with Israeli funding and political support.

It is important to note here that the Muslim Brotherhood, in addition to this close connection to the predecessor of Hamas and thus Mossad and other forms of Israeli intelligence, also contains close and historical ties to Western intelligence, most notably the British and the American versions.

With that in mind, Raimondo’s article continues by stating that,

Begin and his successor, Yitzhak Shamir, launched an effort to undercut the PLO, creating the so-called Village Leagues, composed of local councils of handpicked Palestinians who were willing to collaborate with Israel – and, in return, were put on the Israeli payroll. Sheik Yassin and his followers soon became a force within the Village Leagues. This tactical alliance between Yassin and the Israelis was based on a shared antipathy to the militantly secular and leftist PLO: the Israelis allowed Yassin’s group to publish a newspaper and set up an extensive network of charitable organizations, which collected funds not only from the Israelis but also from Arab states opposed to Arafat.

Ami Isseroff, writing on MideastWeb, shows how the Israelis deliberately promoted the Islamists of the future Hamas by helping them turn the Islamic University of Gaza into a base from which the group recruited activists – and the suicide bombers of tomorrow. As the only higher-education facility in the Gaza strip, and the only such institution open to Palestinians since Anwar Sadat closed Egyptian colleges to them, IUG contained within its grounds the seeds of the future Palestinian state. When a conflict arose over religious issues, however, the Israeli authorities sided with the Islamists against the secularists of the Fatah-PLO mainstream. As Isseroff relates, the Islamists

Encouraged Israeli authorities to dismiss their opponents in the committee in February of 1981, resulting in subsequent Islamisation of IUG policy and staff (including the obligation on women to wear the hijab and thobe and separate entrances for men and women), and enforced by violence and ostracization of dissenters. Tacit complicity from both university and Israeli authorities allowed Mujama to keep a weapons cache to use against secularists. By the mid 1980s, it was the largest university in occupied territories with 4,500 students, and student elections were won handily by Mujama.

Again, the motive was to offset Arafat’s influence and divide the Palestinians. In the short term, this may have worked to some extent; in the longer term, however, it backfired badly – as demonstrated by the results of the recent Palestinian election.

***

Israel’s relentless offensive against its perceived enemies – first Fatah, now Hamas and Islamic Jihad – has created a backlash and solidified support for fundamentalist extremist factions in the Palestinian community.

What Raimondo refers to as “backlash”, however, has revealed itself to be more of a cleverly written script designed to play out years later.

Still, The Wall Street Journal concurred with Raimondo’s analysis in an article published in 2009. In this article, entitled “How Israel Helped To Spawn Hamas,” Andrew Higgins wrote (my emphasis added),

“Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas. Sheikh Yassin continues to inspire militants today; during the recent war in Gaza, Hamas fighters confronted Israeli troops with “Yassins,” primitive rocket-propelled grenades named in honor of the cleric.

***

When Israel first encountered Islamists in Gaza in the 1970s and ’80s, they seemed focused on studying the Quran, not on confrontation with Israel. The Israeli government officially recognized a precursor to Hamas called Mujama Al-Islamiya, registering the group as a charity. It allowed Mujama members to set up an Islamic university and build mosques, clubs and schools. Crucially, Israel often stood aside when the Islamists and their secular left-wing Palestinian rivals battled, sometimes violently, for influence in both Gaza and the West Bank.

***

When it became clear in the early 1990s that Gaza’s Islamists had mutated from a religious group into a fighting force aimed at Israel — particularly after they turned to suicide bombings in 1994 — Israel cracked down with ferocious force. But each military assault only increased Hamas’s appeal to ordinary Palestinians. The group ultimately trounced secular rivals, notably Fatah, in a 2006 election supported by Israel’s main ally, the U.S.

***

In Gaza, Israel hunted down members of Fatah and other secular PLO factions, but it dropped harsh restrictions imposed on Islamic activists by the territory’s previous Egyptian rulers.

***

The Muslim Brotherhood, led in Gaza by Sheikh Yassin, was free to spread its message openly. In addition to launching various charity projects, Sheikh Yassin collected money to reprint the writings of Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian member of the Brotherhood who, before his execution by President Nasser, advocated global jihad. He is now seen as one of the founding ideologues of militant political Islam.

Mr. Cohen, who worked at the time for the Israeli government’s religious affairs department in Gaza, says he began to hear disturbing reports in the mid-1970s about Sheikh Yassin from traditional Islamic clerics. He says they warned that the sheikh had no formal Islamic training and was ultimately more interested in politics than faith. “They said, ‘Keep away from Yassin. He is a big danger,’” recalls Mr. Cohen.

Instead, Israel’s military-led administration in Gaza looked favorably on the paraplegic cleric, who set up a wide network of schools, clinics, a library and kindergartens. Sheikh Yassin formed the Islamist group Mujama al-Islamiya, which was officially recognized by Israel as a charity and then, in 1979, as an association. Israel also endorsed the establishment of the Islamic University of Gaza, which it now regards as a hotbed of militancy.

***

Gen. Yitzhak Segev, who took over as governor in Gaza in late 1979, says he had no illusions about Sheikh Yassin’s long-term intentions or the perils of political Islam. As Israel’s former military attache in Iran, he’d watched Islamic fervor topple the Shah. However, in Gaza, says Mr. Segev, “our main enemy was Fatah,” and the cleric “was still 100% peaceful” towards Israel. Former officials say Israel was also at the time wary of being viewed as an enemy of Islam.

Mr. Segev says he had regular contact with Sheikh Yassin, in part to keep an eye on him. He visited his mosque and met the cleric around a dozen times. It was illegal at the time for Israelis to meet anyone from the PLO. Mr. Segev later arranged for the cleric to be taken to Israel for hospital treatment. “We had no problems with him,” he says.

In fact, the cleric and Israel had a shared enemy: secular Palestinian activists. After a failed attempt in Gaza to oust secularists from leadership of the Palestinian Red Crescent, the Muslim version of the Red Cross, Mujama staged a violent demonstration, storming the Red Crescent building. Islamists also attacked shops selling liquor and cinemas. The Israeli military mostly stood on the sidelines. [emphasis added]

***

A leader of Birzeit’s Islamist faction at the time was Mahmoud Musleh, now a pro-Hamas member of a Palestinian legislature elected in 2006. He recalls how usually aggressive Israeli security forces stood back and let conflagration develop. He denies any collusion between his own camp and the Israelis, but says “they hoped we would become an alternative to the PLO.”

A year later, in 1984, the Israeli military received a tip-off from Fatah supporters that Sheikh Yassin’s Gaza Islamists were collecting arms, according to Israeli officials in Gaza at the time. Israeli troops raided a mosque and found a cache of weapons. Sheikh Yassin was jailed. He told Israeli interrogators the weapons were for use against rival Palestinians, not Israel, according to Mr. Hacham, the military affairs expert who says he spoke frequently with jailed Islamists. The cleric was released after a year and continued to expand Mujama’s reach across Gaza.

Taking into consideration the fact that Israel has provided military and medical support to the most bloodthirsty and brutal Islamic extremist terrorists in the world and the fact that it has created Hamas from the very beginning, the answer to the question of “Why aren’t organizations like Nusra, al-Qaeda, and ISIS attacking Israel?” is quite simple – because Israel is partly responsible for funding and directing them.

With all of this in mind, any claims of victimhood by Israel should immediately be discarded. Indeed, this portrayal of self-defense and endangerment should especially be discarded when one considers the history of the state itself.

Israel has made its own enemies by virtue of its colonial nature, its foreign and domestic policy, and even by direct organization and funding. It is thus wholly accurate to say that Israel’s enemies are literally those of its own making.

In the end, the information presented in this article is simply one more window into the realm of the Anglo-European-American-Israeli intelligence apparatus and the depths to which the rabbit hole goes in terms of international terrorism. The script which is being acted out across the Middle East and the rest of the world is clearly being directed by a force unseen by the vast majority of the world’s population.

Still, the players act out their roles according to the predetermined narrative provided to them, despite the fact that they have no idea they are actually acting out the will of a shadowy “other” who does not have their best interests at heart.

In this game, virtually all of those acting out their parts on the ground are merely players unaware of their roles.

Notes:

[1] “Arab & Western Mercenaries Train at an Israeli Security Academy.” YouTube. Posted by AnonMI SR. Posted on December 30, 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0ZWijzG6qQ

Recently from Brandon Turbeville:

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 

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Destroying Hamas would only create another ‘Islamic State’ – top Pentagon official

Friends of Syria
Jul 27, 2014

Defense Intelligence Agency director U.S. Army Lt. General Michael Flynn (Reuters / Gary Cameron)

Defense Intelligence Agency director U.S. Army Lt. General Michael Flynn (Reuters / Gary Cameron)

A grim and unpredictable future could befall the Middle East if Hamas is destroyed, a top Pentagon official said, warning that another rampaging extremist group akin to the Islamic State terrorists could rise up in its place.

Israel steps up operation in Gaza LIVE UPDATES

While Lt. General Michael Flynn criticized Hamas for exhausting finite resources of the Gaza Strip to build a network of tunnels for the purpose of fighting Israel, he nevertheless said that destroying the group would only lead to a widening of the regional conflict and probably an extremist group fighting in its stead.

“If Hamas were destroyed and gone, we would probably end up with something much worse. The region would end up with something much worse,” Reuters quoted the outgoing head of the Defense Intelligence Agency as saying on Saturday at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

The Lt. General then envisioned an Iraq/Syria scenario, where large swathes of northern territories have fallen under control of the Islamist fighters of the Islamic Caliphate: “A worse threat that would come into the sort of ecosystem there… something like ISIS.”

With over 1,000 Palestinians now dead since Israel commenced the ground phase of its 20-day-old operation, a tentative 24-hour ceasefire ended on Sunday with hostilities renewing.

The pause in fighting was intended to open up a humanitarian corridor for food and medical care, but as Israel offered to extend the ceasefire it also warned that it would retaliate if Hamas continued to fire rockets from the Gaza territory.

For its part, Hamas refused to accept the ceasefire deal “without Israeli tanks withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and without residents being able to return to their homes and ambulances carrying bodies and being able to freely move around in Gaza,” their spokesman said.

To many in the world the conflict between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory looks to be never-ending. And they are worried that the same is now true for the Middle East at large. Flynn’s views were voiced in the midst of a broader assessment of conflicts in the region, which is now crumbling under the weight of terrorism.

Although few people would prefer another Islamic State-style faction taking over Hamas’ place, Flynn made clear that peace between the two warring sides would not happen “in my lifetime.”

Source


Hamas is a Creation of Mossad

Global Research

Global Outlook, No 2, Summer 2002
www.globalresearch.ca   23 March 2004

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ZER403A.html


Thanks to the Mossad, Israel’s “Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks”, the Hamas was allowed to reinforce its presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, Arafat’s Fatah Movement for National Liberation as well as the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression and intimidation

Let us not forget that it was Israel, which in fact created Hamas. According to Zeev Sternell, historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Israel thought that it was a smart ploy to push the Islamists against the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)”.

Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Islamist movement in Palestine, returning from Cairo in the seventies, established an Islamic charity association. Prime Minister Golda Meir, saw this as a an opportunity to counterbalance the rise of Arafat’s Fatah movement. .According to the Israeli weekly Koteret Rashit (October 1987), “The Islamic associations as well as the university had been supported and encouraged by the Israeli military authority” in charge of the (civilian) administration of the West Bank and Gaza. “They [the Islamic associations and the university] were authorized to receive money payments from abroad.”

The Islamists set up orphanages and health clinics, as well as a network of schools, workshops which created employment for women as well as system of financial aid to the poor. And in 1978, they created an “Islamic University” in Gaza. “The military authority was convinced that these activities would weaken both the PLO and the leftist organizations in Gaza.” At the end of 1992, there were six hundred mosques in Gaza. Thanks to Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad (Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks) , the Islamists were allowed to reinforce their presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, the members of Fatah (Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine) and the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression.

In 1984, Ahmed Yassin was arrested and condemned to twelve years in prison, after the discovery of a hidden arms cache. But one year later, he was set free and resumed his activities. And when the Intifada (‘uprising’) began, in October 1987, which took the Islamists by surprise, Sheik Yassin responded by creating the Hamas (The Islamic Resistance Movement): “God is our beginning, the prophet our model, the Koran our constitution”, proclaims article 7 of the charter of the organization.

Ahmed Yassin was in prison when, the Oslo accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government) were signed in September 1993. The Hamas had rejected Oslo outright. But at that time, 70% of Palestinians had condemned the attacks on Israeli civilians. Yassin did everything in his power to undermine the Oslo accords. Even prior to Prime Minister Rabin’s death, he had the support of the Israeli government. The latter was very reluctant to implement the peace agreement.

The Hamas then launched a carefully timed campaign of attacks against civilians, one day before the meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, regarding the formal recognition of Israel by the National Palestinian Council. These events were largely instrumental in the formation of a Right wing Israeli government following the May 1996 elections.

Quite unexpectedly, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered Sheik Ahmed Yassin to be released from prison (“on humanitarian grounds”) where he was serving a life sentence. Meanwhile, Netanyahu, together with President Bill Clinton, was putting pressure on Arafat to control the Hamas. In fact, Netanyahu knew that he could rely, once more, on the Islamists to sabotage the Oslo accords. Worse still: after having expelled Yassin to Jordan, Prime Minister Netanyahu allowed him to return to Gaza, where he was welcomed triumphantly as a hero in October 1997.

Arafat was helpless in the face of these events. Moreover, because he had supported Saddam Hussein during the1991 Gulf war, (while the Hamas had cautiously abstained from taking sides), the Gulf states decided to cut off their financing of the Palestinian Authority. Meanwhile, between February and April 1998, Sheik Ahmad Yassin was able to raise several hundred million dollars, from those same countries. The the budget of The Hamas was said to be greater than that of the Palestinian Authority. These new sources of funding enabled the Islamists to effectively pursue their various charitable activities. It is estimated that one Palestinian out of three is the recipient of financial aid from the Hamas. And in this regard, Israel has done nothing to curb the inflow of money into the occupied territories.

The Hamas had built its strength through its various acts of sabotage of the peace process, in a way which was compatible with the interests of the Israeli government. In turn, the latter sought in a number of ways, to prevent the application of the Oslo accords. In other words, Hamas was fulfilling the functions for which it was originally created: to prevent the creation of a Palestinian State. And in this regard, Hamas and Ariel Sharon, see eye to eye; they are exactly on the same wave length.

[related: (Jan 27, 2006) Israel’s Hamas]