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Hamas: Martyrdom death for Allah is ideal
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Hamas: Martyrdom death for Allah is ideal
"We love death more than you love life"
"You [Israel] scare us with what we love"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

During Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense that aimed to destroy Hamas' terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, Hamas' TV propaganda included various ideological messages. Palestinian Media Watch documented one such message that promoted the killing of Jews as worship of Allah. Another ideological message promoted the Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood interpretation of Islamic tradition that places love of Martyrdom death for Allah - Shahada - above the desire for life. Addressing Israelis, Hamas' spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said:

"You [Israelis] think that we will be afraid of your killing policy and of these threats. We say to you: This policy is futile. Hamas leaders seek Martyrdom (i.e., death for Allah). You scare us with what we love (i.e., death)."
 
Click to view

The same spokesman presented Martyrdom death fighting Israel as the supreme achievement when he spoke of the head of Hamas' military wing, Ahmad Al-Ja'abari, who Israel killed at the outset of the conflict, stressing that death was his greatest aspiration:
"The commander, the great Martyr (Shahid) Al-Ja'abari, achieved his greatest aspirations (i.e., when killed by Israel)."
 
A video broadcast on Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV during the recent conflict addressed Israelis with the same message:
"From the Al-Qassam Brigades to the Zionist soldiers:
The Al-Qassam Brigades love death more than you love life."
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), Nov. 18, 2012]

Click to view

PMW has documented that both Hamas and the PA in the past have glorified and encouraged Martyrdom death for Allah.

During the recent conflict, Hamas also encouraged and comforted "every mother who has bid farewell to her beloved Martyrs" - her dead children - with the ideology that it is an honor to die:
"Adorn yourself with a crown with inlaid blood. This is the blood of honor, for honor will not be disgraced."
As this is read aloud, pictures of women embracing dead children and children being buried are shown.

Click to view

Since Hamas hides and launches its rockets against Israel from among the civilian population, innocent Palestinians lose their lives as Hamas uses them as human shields.
Hamas has publicly acknowledged and prided itself in the past on the tactic of using "women, children, the elderly" as "a human shield." In 2008, member of Hamas' Legislative Council, Fathi Hamad, stated:
"[Palestinians] created a human shield of women, children, the elderly and the Jihad fighters against the Zionist bombing machine, as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: We desire death, as you desire life."
 
The Hamas ideology that Martyrdom death is preferable to life is not a message that is acceptable in international discourse. Accordingly, during a press conference in both Arabic and English, Hamas' Minister of Health Mufid Al-Mukhalalati said in English to the international community: "We are human, we like life. We would like to live like other people living." [Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), Nov. 18, 2012] However, he did not make this statement in Arabic.

The following are longer excerpts of Hamas' broadcasts:

Statement by Hamas' spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, after Israel killed head of Hamas' military wing Ahmed Al-Ja'abari, explaining that achieving death while fighting Israel is what Palestinians "love":
"We say to the occupier: You [Israelis] think that by killing us we will go underground. You think that we will be afraid of your killing policy and of these threats. We say to you: This policy is futile when dealing with leaders like Hamas leaders. Hamas leaders seek Martyrdom (i.e., death for Allah). You scare us with what we love (i.e., death). The commander, the great Martyr (Shahid) Al-Ja'abari, achieved his greatest aspirations (i.e., when killed by Israel and thereby achieving death as a "Martyr")."
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), Nov. 18, 2012]

The following is the text written and read aloud in a short clip about mothers of "Martyrs" on Hamas' TV:
"To every mother who has bid farewell to her beloved Martyrs: Adorn yourself with a crown of inlaid blood. This is the blood of honor, for honor will not be disgraced."
[Al-Aqsa TV, (Hamas) Nov. 19, 2012]

Member of Hamas' Legislative Council, Fathi Hamad speaking in 2008:
"For the Palestinian people death became an industry at which women excel and so do all people on this land: the elderly excel, the Jihad fighters excel, and the children excel. Accordingly [Palestinians] created a human shield of women, children, the elderly and the Jihad fighters against the Zionist bombing machine, as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: We desire Death, as you desire Life."
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), Feb. 29, 2008]


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