Mosab Yousef, the son of Hamas leader in the Palestinian Authority (PA) Sheikh Hassan Yousef known for working for the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) from 1997 to 2007, urged Israel Tuesday to go to war with Hamas -before the terrorists rebuild Gaza strongholds
Yousef stated in a special interview with Walla! News that he is well aware of the significance of his call – and that, far beyond “warmongering,” he urges Israel to war really due to practical and security considerations.
“I know it sounds dangerous, like warmongering,” Yousef said. “But it does not stem from that motive at all.”
“I say these things because you cannot escape from reality,” he continued. “You cannot escape from [Hamas militarization] with temporary solutions. You have to address the Hamas problem by pulling it up from the roots, once and for all.”
Yousef added that now is the “perfect time” for Israel to re-engage with Gaza, before it expands on its reconstruction efforts. Indeed, analysts have already raised concerns and provided evidence that Hamas has begun to reconstruct terror tunnels into Israel – and began to do so mere weeks after Operation Protective Edge this summer ground to a halt.
Hamas: Rebuild Gaza or We’ll Attack Israel
by Khaled Abu Toameh via The Gatestone Institute
The only option Hamas faces, therefore, is to attack Israel again as a way of ridding itself of the severe crisis in the Gaza Strip and the growing frustration among the Palestinians living there. Hamas’s biggest fear is that this frustration will be translated into disillusionment with its regime. That is why Hamas is now seeking to direct the anger on the Palestinian street toward Israel.
Hamas is also hoping that another war will further increase anti-Israel sentiment around the world and earn the Palestinians even more sympathy.
Hamas’s threats should be taken seriously. Hamas is also angry with the Egyptians for closing the Rafah border crossing after a terror attack in Sinai in which 32 Egyptian soldiers were killed.
Moreover, Hamas has rejected the United Nations plan to reconstruct the Gaza Strip on the pretext that it “sidelines” the Islamist movement and allows Israel to decide who would benefit from the work. “The UN plan is unacceptable and ineffective,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.
Hamas is opposed to the UN plan mainly because it denies the Islamist organization any role in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is also worried that the involvement of the Palestinian Authority in the reconstruction effort would undermine Hamas’s control over the Gaza Strip, and allow Abbas and his Fatah faction to take credit for helping the Palestinians living there.
Last month, a donor conference in Cairo pledged $5.4 billion for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.
Rising tensions between Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority are the real reason why the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip has still not started. These tensions reached their peak with the recent bombings that targeted the homes and vehicles of 15 senior Abbas loyalists in the Gaza Strip. Abbas has held Hamas responsible for the attacks — a charge that the Islamist movement has strongly denied.
Hamas cannot launch terror attacks against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank thanks to the presence of the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] there. Hamas will also refrain from doing so to avoid being accused by Palestinians of “destroying national unity.” Hamas does not want to be held responsible for Palestinian civil war.
Hamas is not going to initiate a crisis with the UN out of fear that such a move would rally the world against the movement and end the international organizations’ services and relief work in the Gaza Strip.
The only option Hamas faces, therefore, is to attack Israel again as a way of ridding itself of the severe crisis in the Gaza Strip and the growing frustration among Palestinians living there.
Hamas’s biggest fear is that this frustration will be translated into disillusionment with its regime. That is why Hamas is now seeking to direct the anger on the Palestinian street toward Israel.
Hamas’s threats against Israel should be taken seriously, especially in light of reports that the movement is continuing to prepare for another war. Hamas not only continues to dig tunnels under the border with Israel; it has also been test-firing rockets into the Mediterranean Sea.
Hamas does not have much left to lose in another military confrontation with Israel.
The killing of a few hundred more Palestinians in the Gaza Strip will allow Hamas to shift attention from its failure to rebuild the Gaza Strip to blaming Israel for “waging another war” on the Palestinians. Hamas is also hoping that another war will further increase anti-Israel sentiment around the world and earn the Palestinians even more sympathy.
Abbas also stands to benefit from another war in the Gaza Strip. Renewed fighting would absolve him of his responsibility toward the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Additionally, of course, there is always the possibility that Israel would “do the job for him” and get rid of Hamas. And like Hamas, Abbas too would seek to take advantage of the fighting to wage another campaign of incitement against Israel in the international arena.
Netanyahu Hits Back at ‘Jewish State Law’ Critics
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shot back at critics of the “Jewish State Law” during a meeting with his Czech counterpart Bohuslav Sobotka, during a high-level visit to promote ties between Israel and the Czech Republic.
Recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is a basic requirement of any peace deal as far as Israel is concerned, Netanyahu reminded the bill’s detractors.
“Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish nation. Israel is a model democratic state – that’s how it (always) was and that’s how it will be,” the PM said. “A state which enshrines equal personal rights for each and every one of its citizens.”
“I don’t know of a more vibrant democracy that Israel in the world – certainly not in our region” he continued. “This democracy is guaranteed. What is being challenged is Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and therefore we are updating via the law this national right of the Jewish people, side-by-side with a guarantee of the personal rights of all of its citizens.”
Netanyahu repeated his pledge to push the law through, whilst making sure it enshrines those two core values of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. “We will continue to do this in order to clarify the fact that Israel is (both) a Jewish and democratic state,” he said.
On Monday, the US State Department issued a statement implying that the law would undermine Israel’s dedication to equal rights.
“Israel is a Jewish and democratic state and all its citizens should enjoy equal rights,” spokesman Jeff Rathke stated Monday. “We expect Israel to stick to its democratic principles.”
In response, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) declared that the US had no business getting involved in the bill.
“I say to the Americans that the affairs of the State of Israel – we will manage [ourselves],” Bennett stated, speaking on IDF Radio’s “Good Morning Israel” show Tuesday morning. “We have to deal with the implications of [the law and] what kind of country we want.”
“At the end it is our problem,” he added. “This is an internal issue and I think that no one has the right to intervene with it.”