RealNews

Inside Hamas

The Palestinian group known for suicide bombings suffered a jolt last week when Israel assassinated its spiritual leader. But its power is based on an enduring, secretive network. We waited on the beach to meet a killer. The man we had come to see carried out murder operations for Hamas, the militant organization bent on reclaiming all of historic Palestine from Israel. We parked our car in a designated spot so his watchers could check that we hadn’t been tailed. As the sun dipped into the sea lapping the Gaza Strip on a steamy night last June, the killer was cooling off with a swim. For a wanted man, he seemed rather audacious, relaxing unarmed on the crowded seashore. But though he appeared at ease, he took meticulous precautions against Israeli agents. Two bodyguards drifted over to surround him while he toweled off and dressed, and then they climbed into the backseat of our car beside him. We were told to switch on the air-conditioner so the windows would turn opaque with steam as he explained why he had chosen to live an assassin’s life. “It’s not a hobby to kill, you know,” said Mohammed, which, of course, was not his real name. “When we attack, the voice of the Palestinians is heard. We are sending a message to say, ‘We are here.’ If we stop, no one will care about us.” The killer had an attractive, open face and an engaging manner. But he was unwavering in his convictions and certain that his cause would prevail in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He offered no apologies for all the deaths Hamas has caused in more than a decade of armed struggle or for the collapse of every attempt to negotiate a peace. Hamas, he said, had “evened the balance of terror,” and he would keep killing Israelis “until God decides.” His end came quickly. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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