Senior Hamas official says that “prisoners of the occupation will never see the light until our prisoners of freedom see it.”
Arutz Sheva Staff , Oct 16 , 2021 11:06 PM
Terrorists releasedFlash 90
Khalil al-Haya, a member of the Hamas Politburo and a senior member of the movement in the Gaza Strip, sent a strong message to Israel amid continuing difficulties in negotiating an exchange deal in which captive IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians will be returned in exchange for the release of Palestinian Arab security prisoners.
In an interview with Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV channel, al-Haya said that “prisoners of the occupation will never see the light until our prisoners of freedom see it”, emphasizing that Hamas has adhered to its demand for a new deal and is ready to carry it out if Israel carries out its obligations. Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar recently hinted that Hamas would demand the release of 1,111 security prisoners.
He warned Israel against continuing the “criminal” policy towards security prisoners in Israeli prisons and in a message to security prisoners said: “We stand by your side, we will never leave you alone in the confrontation with the actions of the occupation and harm committed against you.”
In another context, al-Haya said that Hamas would not agree to grant Israel an unconditional ceasefire and demanded, and could even forcibly extract, the complete lifting of the siege on the Gaza Strip. Al-Haya threatened that if Israel did not act in accordance with Hamas’ demands, Hamas would re-escalate the security situation
IDF observers noticed two suspects trying to cross the no-mans-land at the Gaza border, the IDF Spokespersons unit reported on Twitter on Friday eveningUpon reaching the border, the two suspects put down an improvised explosive device, which exploded not long after.IDF soldiers arrived on the scene and arrested the suspects, taking them in for questioning
The Alma Research and Education Center,an Israeli think tank that specializes in security threats on the northern border, released a report this week outlining the true scope of Hamas’s military activities in Lebanon, indicating that the terrorist rulers in Gaza are building a second front from which to attack Israel.
The report identified the principal senior political and military Hamas leaders active on Lebanese territory, the organization’s multiple military projects, and working plans. It also identified the locations of some of Hamas’s key Lebanese military sites.
The report also analyzed Hamas’s complex relationship with the Iranian-led radical Shi’ite axis.
The report detailed how Hamas’s two operational units in Lebanon – El-Shimali and Khaled Ali recruit members, train them in specialized combat skills such as sniping, anti-tank missile attacks, operating drones, and more. The units also develop and produce their own weapons – rockets, offensive drones, and small unmanned underwater vehicles. And they set up operational cells while preparing attack plans against Israel.
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The two branches are guided by Hamas’s ‘Construction Bureau,’ based in Lebanon and Turkey, which influences Hamas activity in Gaza, Lebanon, and Judea and Samaria. the Construction Bureau operates covertly out of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, concealed from both Hezbollah and the Lebanese government. According to the report, the two units develop and manufacture weapons in Lebanon including rockets, drones, and small unmanned submarines. In addition, the two sections of the Construction Bureau recruit and train would-be terrorists in specialized courses such as sniping, operating anti-tank missile launchers, drone operators, urban warfare, aeronautics, naval diving, and tactical intelligence collection.
It is believed that Saleh al-Arouri , the deputy head of the Hamas’ political bureau In Lebanon who is responsible for terror attacks in Judea and Samaria was behind the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in 2014, which preceded the IDF incursion into Gaza.
One of Hamas’ leaders in Lebanon,
Hamas activity in Lebanon is ultimately directed by the Iranian Quds force. This creates a broad threat as Hezbollah was established as part of an Iranian effort, through funding and the dispatch of a core group of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (pasdaran) instructors, as an anti-Israel entity on Israel’s northern border. Iran also supports the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad in his civil war.
Proof of Hamas activity in Lebanon came in the form of five incidents of Grad rockets fired from Lebanon against Israel between May and August. According to the report, at least some of the rocket attacks were launched without the knowledge or consent of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization that represents fully one-third of the Lebanese Parliament. The Alma report concluded that this indicated a developing rift between Hamas and Hezbollah. The report claimed that as a response to Hamas firing rockets at Israel from Lebanon, Hezbollah was forced to follow suit.
“[This] actually forced Hezbollah to join the rocket fire and in our assessment doing so without genuinely desiring to,” read the report. “[This] has the potential of creating a severely difficult challenge for Hezbollah. Hamas pursues its own interests in Lebanon, including not informing Hezbollah ahead of time when Hamas fires rockets into Israel – a pattern that could drag Hezbollah into a war with Israel, against Hezbollah’s own interests.”
Alma noted that Hezbollah views itself as the dominant force in Lebanon and tolerates Hamas as “guests”. “Based on the intensification and independent military operations carried out by Hamas from Lebanon, Hamas does not appear to see itself as ‘just a guest’ in Lebanon.\,” the report concluded.
“Hamas’s constant force build-up in Lebanon has the potential of creating a severely difficult challenge for Hezbollah. Hamas pursues its own interests in Lebanon, including not informing Hezbollah ahead of time when the Hamas fires rockets into Israel – a pattern that could drag Hezbollah into a war with Israel, against Hezbollah own interests,” the report stated. “For Israel, the time has come to stop viewing Hamas as separate Gazan and Lebanese entities and to view the organization as a single return address for any necessary future retaliation for Hamas aggression. Precise Israeli action against Hamas in Lebanon actually matches Hezbollah’s interests.”
The report came to a powerful conclusion, recommending a course of action for the Israeli defense establishment:
“Israel should ‘think outside the box’ and act openly against Hamas targets in Lebanon if Hamas attacks from the Gaza Strip and vice versa.”
Hamas and Islamic Jihad warned the Israeli occupation against “testing the patience and resistance of the Palestinian people,” emphasizing that the occupation must bear the consequences of this “foolish policy” that may lead to a wide explosion in the region.
This was revealed during a meeting on Thursday between a Hamas delegation led by the deputy head of the Political Bureau Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri, who was joined by Zaher Jabarin, the official in charge of the prisoners’ file, and a delegation led by the Islamic Jihad movement’s Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala.
The two movements affirmed that the occupation “is not allowed to single out any prisoner or faction inside prisons,” including removing all prisoners from isolation.
Hunger strikes of the prisoners were also supported by the movements, as well as their right to “Freedom and ending the unjust policy of administrative detention,” which according to the movements aims to undermine the determination of the people’s fighters.
Earlier, the Al-Quds Brigades announced a general mobilization among its fighters in response to the Israeli occupation’s punitive measures against prisoners.This was preceded by the movement’s announcement that about 150 of its prisoners started an open hunger strike, a step marking the start of a gradual escalation in their battle against the occupation prison authority.
The lasting impact of the latest round of Israeli escalation builds on already existing trauma from previous conflicts and a grueling ongoing blockade on the Gaza Strip, warned the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
UNRWA said in a feature published on the World Mental Health Day, that sixty-six children were killed in the latest conflict in Gaza and some 113,000 Palestinians were displaced during the 11 devastating days.
The more than two million Palestinians who call Gaza home have lived through four wars in the last thirteen years and this latest round of hostilities added another layer of psychological distress on an already traumatized population.
An alarming number of the population of Gaza, almost 600,000 of whom are children and youth, display symptoms of severe distress and are at risk of developing mental health conditions and display symptoms of severe distress.
UNRWA has implemented mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programming to mitigate the mental health costs arising from the increased need for mental health support and being born by residents of Gaza. This includes individual and group counselling sessions, hotlines for mental health support, afterschool sessions and the Keeping Kids Cool (KKC) summer camp activities that ran in Gaza throughout July 2021, targeting 150,000 children.
On this World Mental Health Day, UNRWA underscored the importance of a life lived in dignity and free of the violence of war, remembering that the right to health, education and a dignified life are clearly enshrined in international human rights law.
UNRWA also lauded the valiant efforts of mental health care professionals like those who are on the frontlines of service provision in Gaza. Many of them were involved in this year’s Gaza Keeping Kids Cook summer activities, providing vital psychosocial support to tens of thousands of traumatized children.
People in Gaza have already been living on the edge and many families struggle to put food on the table. Their situation has deteriorated even further over the past year due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
According to data by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Gaza is one of the world’s most densely populated areas, with more than 5,000 inhabitants per square kilometer. The Gaza Strip is smaller than the city of Oslo but is home to three times as many people.
Gaza is described by many Palestinians and humanitarian actors as the world’s largest open-air prison, where nearly 2 million Palestinians live behind a blockade and are refused access to the other occupied Palestinian areas and the rest of the world.
NRC said 7 out of 10 Palestinians in Gaza are registered as refugees, and many of these come from families who were forced to leave their villages in 1948. Many have also been forced to leave their homes due to war, violence, and economic hardship.
All of the Palestinian group Hamas should be listed as a terrorist organisation by the federal government, a parliamentary committee has recommended.
The report by the joint intelligence and security committee found the entirety of Hamas, along with four other groups, should be formally listed as a terrorist organisation.
Previously, only Hamas’ military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was formally listed.
The committee’s chair Liberal senator James Paterson said the listing of all of Hamas would be in line with measures taken by the US and EU.
“The expert evidence provided to the committee overwhelmingly rejected the idea that Hamas’ Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operates independently from the rest of the organisation,” Senator Paterson said.
“Leaders of Hamas have repeatedly made statements which meet the advocacy test for terrorist listing, including direct incitement of acts of violence against Jewish people.”
The committee agreed that Hamas operated as one entity and had overlapping members with the military wing.
However, the report warned the listing of all of Hamas may come with problems for government departments.
“Should the Australian government accept this recommendation, the committee acknowledges there will be some practical challenges for various agencies in implementing and adjusting to this decision,” the report said.
The entirety of Hamas has been previously listed as a terrorist organisation in 2014, but was removed shortly after.
Committee Chair Senator James Paterson, said that it was clear from evidence received during this review that the whole organisation of Hamas met the definition of a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code.
‘Currently, the US, Canada and the EU list the whole organisation of Hamas as a terrorist organisation under their respective proscription regimes.
‘The expert evidence provided to the committee overwhelmingly rejected the idea that Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operates independently from the rest of the organisation. There was agreement that Hamas operates as a singular entity with overlapping personnel, finances and structure. In addition, leaders of Hamas have repeatedly made statements which meet the advocacy test for terrorist listing, including direct incitement of acts of violence against Jewish people,’ Senator Paterson said.
Further information on the inquiry as well as a copy of the report can be obtained from the Committee’s website.
For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.
New report states that Gaza-based terrorist group behind series of rocket attacks since May from Lebanon
Hamas is gaining a foothold in southern Lebanon, establishing a military infrastructure in the past year-and-a-half, according to a new report from the ALMA Research Center, an Israeli think tank that specializes in security threats on the northern border.
The report states that Hamas was likely behind a series of five rocket attacks aimed at northern Israel in May, July and August.
The Gaza-based terrorist group has an active “Construction Bureau,” headed by Majed Qader Mahmoud Qader, who recently moved to Lebanon from Istanbul. Two units of the Construction Bureau contain hundreds of operatives — Al-Shimali and Khaled Ali.
The Al-Shimali unit is headed by William Abu Shanab and the Khaled Ali unit is commanded by Muhammed Hamed Jabara.
The two units are responsible for recruitment and training and also operating drones and rockets.
According to the report, many if not all of the rockets fired since May were launched without the knowledge of Hezbollah, which could indicate a rift between the two terrorist organizations.
The Construction Bureau is covertly based out of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. The activities are kept hidden from the Lebanese authorities and Hezbollah, which the report states “has the potential of creating a severely difficult challenge for Hezbollah.”
However, the Iranian Quds force ultimately manages the activities of the two groups as the Islamic Republic’s proxies on Israel’s borders, security analysts suggest.
The recent rocket attacks on northern Israel launched by Palestinian militants in Lebanon include three rockets fired toward the town of Nahariya on May 13; two rockets fired toward Central Galilee on May 17; four rockets fired toward Acre and Haifa on May 19; two rockets fired toward Western Galilee on July 19; and most recently three rockets fired toward Kiryat Shmona on August 4.