Hamas is not a band of freedom fighters. They are terrorists — like ISIS and al-Qaida | USA TODAY

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Hamas is not a band of freedom fighters. They are terrorists — like ISIS and al-Qaida | An article by Avi Melamed, originally published in USA Today | as well as in more than 200 newspapers (online & print) across North America.

After Hamas’ heinous attack on Israel on Oct. 7, the world can no longer afford to overlook or underestimate the true nature of Hamas. Labeled by some as “freedom fighters,” the group is anything but. Rather, it is a sadistic and yet sophisticated band of barbarians who see babies, children, women and the elderly not as innocent civilians but as enemies who deserve to be held hostage, tortured, raped and murdered.

Hamas, like al-Qaida and ISIS, advances a genocidal agenda. All three are totally opposed to any form of freedom and are completely entrenched in forcing those under their control to obey extremist, ultra-conservative followings of Muslim teachings that significantly limit freedom of expression and speech, freedom of religion, freedom of sexual identity and orientation — all things that are the core beliefs of progressive democratic, liberal systems.

Hamas does not call for a two-state solution, but rather, its 1988 charter calls for “the violent obliteration of Israel.” It constantly reaffirms that commitment, as for example on Sept. 30, 2021, at a conference it held in Gaza named “The Promise of the End of Days” — a phrase drawn from Islamic theology, and focused on what would happen if Hamas ever gained total control of Israel. The conference closed with the publishing of a white paper with 20 points of recommendations for a future period after a Hamas conquest of “Palestine,” including calling for the murder of any Jew who “settled on Palestinian land,” and in two separate points the capture and hostage-taking of those non-Muslims who will serve Hamas in its administration and expansion of its caliphate.

Hamas, like al-Qaida and ISIS, totally rejects the concept of statehood. It rather commits to and plans to establish a caliphate — a global Islamic entity guided and ruled by the Islamic religious codex known as Shariah law. In the Hamas version of a caliphate, those who are not Muslim would be permitted to live but would exist as inferiors (dhimmis) to Muslims. These dhimmis would be forced to pay a monthly tax, a “jizya,” in order not to be killed.

Seeing ‘Palestine’ as a launching pad

Some in the West mistakenly think that Hamas’ final goal is the Palestinian state. This is an incorrect assessment that likely comes from the fact that Hamas has stolen headlines for almost 40 years about its fight against Israel. Soon after the land of Palestine is under its total control, Hamas’ plans call for it to become the launching ground for the expansion of Hamas’ utopian caliphate.

In fact, in the territory it controlled in Gaza, Hamas was doing just that. It dug tunnels into Egypt’s sovereign territory, which were used by al-Qaida and ISIS to launch brutal attacks that killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and civilians. The same tunnel systems were and continue to be used to transport drugs, weapons and terrorists throughout the Middle East and Africa, even bringing injured ISIS and al-Qaida combatants back into Gaza for medical treatment at hospitals under the control of Hamas’s Ministry of Health. For these reasons, Egypt views Hamas as a threat to its national security, which has ultimately led in part to the humanitarian crisis we’re currently watching unfold.

Hamas’ barbaric and savage attacks on Oct. 7 serve as a stark reminder of the persistent regional and global threat posed by Hamas and its terrorist allies. They attacked Israel on that tragic day, but their plans are much larger and include the broader Middle East and, ultimately, the entire world.

Ironically, while some Western progressive circles insist on exempting Hamas from accountability, the Arab world recognizes what Hamas has done and plans to do, strongly criticizing Hamas and holding it accountable and responsible for the gloomy fate it has inflicted upon Gaza and the Palestinians. When Western progressives riot on campuses and in the streets in support of Hamas, they position themselves alongside ISIS and al-Qaida, both barbaric entities responsible for shocking atrocities and crimes against humanity.

Avi Melamed is a former Israeli intelligence official who went on to serve as deputy and then as senior Arab affairs adviser to Jerusalem Mayors Teddy Kollek and Ehud Olmert, operating as a negotiator during the first and second intifadas. He is the author of “Inside the Middle East: Entering a New Era,” and his latest docuseries, “The Seam Line,” available on the IZZY streaming platform, focuses on Jerusalem’s flashpoints and his work during the intifadas.

Hamas is not a band of freedom fighters. They are terrorists — like ISIS and al-Qaida | Originally published in USA Today | as well as in more than 200 newspapers (online & print) across North America.

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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamedhttps://insidethemiddle-east.com
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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