Israeli media is reporting that the Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza has called on European governments to remove Hamas and other Palestinian groups from their list of terrorist organizations. According to a Times of Israel report:
December 2, 2012, 10:26 pm The Hamas prime minister in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, on Sunday called on European governments to remove Hamas and other Palestinian groups from their list of terrorist organizations. The time has come for European states to lift Hamas’s classification as a terrorist group, Haniyeh told a European delegation to Gaza, days after Hamas and other terror groups fired 1,500 rockets into Israel in the course of an eight-day conflict with Israel. He said that his organization, and the other Palestinian groups operating in the Gaza Strip, are ‘national liberation movements engaged in self-defense in the face of Israel’s continued aggression against our people.’ According to Haniyeh, Israel is the world’s largest terrorist state. ‘The time has come to prosecute the leaders of the occupation for their continued crimes against our people, the latest being the Eight Days’ Aggression,’ he said, referring to last month’s Operation Pillar of Defense. ‘It is no exaggeration to say that the occupation is committing war crimes, given the cruelty and hardship our people faced in these eight days of war,’ Haniyeh said. He added that Hamas aspires to ‘a Palestinian state with complete sovereignty, with Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of the refugees to the lands they owned in 1948.’ =Israel launched the eight-day operation in mid-November against Hamas and other terror targets in the Gaza Strip in response to relentless rocket attacks against cities and towns in southern Israel. The Israeli government and military repeatedly condemned Hamas for firing rockets from densely populated areas and for targeting Israeli civilians. The European Union classifies Hamas and its armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, as well as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as terrorist organizations. The United States and Canada also list them as terror entities.
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The European Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas maintains a lobbying effort in Brussels known as the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR). The CEPR Web site describes the organization as “an independent not-for-profit organisation which has been established to promote dialogue and understanding between European, Palestinian and Arab parliamentarians and policy-makers.” Despite its claim of independence, the CEPR is headed by Dr. Arafat Shoukri (aka Arafat Madi, Arafat Madi Shoukri) who is also the executive director of the Palestine Return Centre (PRC) in the U.K. The PRC has strong ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood and two PRC directors are also directors of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), generally regarded as part of the UK. Muslim Brotherhood. The PRC is also listed as an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) dominated by UK. Muslim Brotherhood groups. PRC activities are frequently promoted by the MAB, MCB, and other U.K Brotherhood organizations. PRC director Ghassan Four is also a Trustee of INTERPAL, a key member of the Union of Good and part of the Muslim Brotherhood Hamas fund-raising network . PRC director Zaher Birawi is a Trustee of Education Aid for Palestine (EAP), also a part of the Union of Good. Mr. Birawi is also head of programming for Al-Hiwar TV which frequently features MB/Hamas individuals and organizations and was founded by Azzam Al-Tamimi, a U.K Muslim Brotherhood leader and close to Hamas. An Israeli web site, known to be close to Israeli military intelligence, has reported that Mr. Birawi, along with another PRC Trustee are “past Hamas operatives who found refuge in Britain in the early nineties.” Dr. Shoukri is also the chairman of the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza (ECESG) which was the main organizer of the unsuccessful Second Gaza Flotilla and which operates from the same address and has the same telephone as the PRC. The CEPR appears to operate largely as a lobbying group at the EU and has accompanied EU lawmakers on trips to Gaza.
The Hamas charter states that it is ” is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and an early media report indicated that shortly after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives were present to review Hamas military formations . In 2007, a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and in 2008, an Israeli TV station reported that Muslim Brotherhood “representatives” had traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the open border to meet with Hamas. Hamas is supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood and a NEFA Foundation report has documented the Hamas fund-raising activities of the Union of Good, a coalition of Islamic charities linked to the Brotherhood that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. Previous posts have also discussed the worldwide campaign orchestrated by the global Brotherhood against Israeli actions in Gaza during the 2008-2009 conflict with Israel.
Despite the claim in the above report that Hamas has “no problem with Jews worldwide”, Hamas reserves particular vitriol for Jews and Israelis and earlier posts have reported:
- In March 2010, the Hamas Deputy Minister of Religious Endowments called Jews “foreign bacteria” that should be “annihilated.”
- In June 2010, a Hamas affiliated cleric said that the conflict between Muslims and “Jews and Crusaders will continue to the Day of Judgement” and that the destruction of Israel will be “achieved through Islam.”
- In October 2010, Hamas cleric Yunis Al-Astal called upon the Islamic nation to kidnap Israelis in Arab and Islamic countries:
- In November 2010, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahhar (aka Mahmoud al-Zahar) justified the historical persecution of the Jews and says that they “have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed to annihilation.”
Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite, is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. Qaradawi has written that all Jews and all Muslims will fight each other in a final battle in which Muslims will emerge victorious.