Suicide bombings and social welfare

Can the Palestinian Hamas be banned??

The "War on terror" is waged on all fronts. As in every war, images of the enemy are produced and exploited, those supposedly responsible are named and persecuted, and the calculated death and damage to the civilian population is either denied or dismissed as a threat "Collateral damage" accepted lightly.

This policy determines the war against Afghanistan as well as the war against the Palestinians. After two devastating suicide bombings in early December in West Jerusalem and Haifa, which killed 25 Israelis, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat was quickly identified as the culprit. The accusation: his police do not arrest the extremists. The latter arrested more than 200 people. But on the one hand "small fry", so the Israeli government. On the other hand, many were publicly arrested, but walked out the back door again. Gleichzeitig bombardiert Israel Einrichtungen der palastinensischen Polizei, in der grobten Luftangriffswelle seit dem Krieg von 1967 und der Besetzung von Westjordanland, Ost-Jerusalem und Gazastreifen. Die israelischen Luftschlage schwachen die Polizei und verhindern gerade die Umsetzung der israelischen Forderungen.

"Muslims should carry out Jihad with their own selves and money and if they could not they should equip a fighter for the cause of Allah or cater for that fighter’s family.

All Muslims and believers must prepare themselves for a lengthy battle because this century is the century of Islam, the century of liberation, the century of victory and sovereignty. All those oppressive regimes will fall God willing with our determination and sacrifice and we will be the future (ruling) power Insha’allah "Such days (of varying fortunes) we give to men and men by turns"; so live up to your pledge with Allah and Allah will be with you.

Followers of great Islam … our Palestinian people vow before Allah then before you that they will never surrender, compromise or raise the white flag and they will persist in Jihad and sacrifice despite displacement, siege, starvation, murder and destruction. They are determined to attain their rights and liberate their lands and holy shrines no matter how long it takes until either victory or martyrdom.

… And it is a Jihad until either victory or martyrdom " – Message from Sheikh Ahmed Yassin to Arab and Islamic peoples in general and to the Palestinian people in particular on the advent of the holy month of Ramadan

Aber warum tut sich Arafat so schwer damit, die "Terroristen" von Hamas und Islamischer Dschihad zu verhaften? Zwei Grunde. Erstens genieben sie groben Ruckhalt in der Bevolkerung, "da sie die einzigen sind, die gegen die israelische Besatzung kampfen", so die palastinensische Sichtweise. The arrests under the influence of the immense threat of auben can be seen within the population that "Terrorists" as freedom fighters and social workers can hardly be legitimized. Secondly, the destruction of these organizations had fatal consequences for a large part of the impoverished population.

Arafat and Hamas

The religious-political organization was founded in 1988, at the beginning of the first uprising (Intifada) against the Israeli occupation. Islamist circles could not remain neutral in the struggle of nationalist and leftist forces and wanted to set their own accents. Initially, Israel supported Hamas – Arabic short for Islamic Resistance Movement – in the hope of weakening the intifada through an internal conflict between these camps. Their members, unlike other activists, enjoyed freedom of movement and their work was not hindered, despite the fact that Hamas became the "liberation of all of Palestine", i.e., the destruction of Israel, called for the. The organization was banned and persecuted by Israel only in 1989 with the establishment of its armed arm, the Iss ed-Din al-Kassam Brigades. The attempted split had not worked.

The establishment of the Palestinian Authority eight years ago was part of the peace agreement with Israel. The Palestinians were to gain their independence within five years. Hamas was henceforth persecuted by the Palestinian police as well. With the arrest of members, the banning of the organization’s newspaper, and a campaign to denounce Hamas’s armed policies as "directed against the Palestinian goals" to denounce. However, those arrested have never been brought to trial, despite often long periods of detention. The use of Israeli investigative findings, which was necessary for this purpose, had given Arafat the reputation of a "Collaborators" brought.

But soon the hope for a better future vanished into thin air, as the Israeli occupation policy continued unhindered under the guise of peace. The number of Jewish settlers in the occupied territories was reduced to 200.000 doubled. A network of roads controlled by the army, to be used only by Israelis, divided the Palestinian territories into many small units that can be isolated from each other at will. An independent Palestinian economy cannot develop in this way, products cannot be delivered.

Hamas, on the other hand, has taken up armed struggle. Hamas responded to raids by Israeli soldiers and settlers on Palestinian villages with bombings in Israeli cities. In contrast to the "weak autonomy authority that lets the Israelis dictate everything to it", Hamas is fighting against the Israeli occupation in the eyes of the Palestinians.

Hamas as a charity

In the USA and Canada, the accounts of Islamic aid organizations accused of financially supporting Hamas have been frozen. "Now the net is closing around the terrorist supporters", according to US President George W. Bush. "Those who do business with terrorists will not do business in the USA and its sphere of influence."

Like other organizations active in Palestine, Hamas runs a large number of social institutions. The financial power of the Islamic movement, based mainly on donations from the Gulf States, allows the maintenance of hospitals and schools, creating thousands of jobs. Their services can be used by the population for a fraction of the amount that would be charged in "state-owned" Institutions must be put on the table. Due to the continued closure of the occupied territories, more and more people are becoming poor and many are forced to go begging. The aid organizations have now moved to distribute some of their funds. Constantine Dabbagh of the Middle East Council of Churches in Gaza has noted increasing malnutrition among the population. "What are we supposed to do with our budget to plan any projects?", he says. "People are starving. We have therefore exchanged a part of our budget for fifty dollar bills and have sold them on 6.000 families."

Compared to what Hamas is doing, this is peanuts. Since the beginning of the intifada 14 months ago, its welfare committees have given well over 250.000 donations of money and food to families in need from. A ban on the organization and its aid could not even be absorbed financially by the Palestinian Autonomy Authority. A hunger revolt would be its political end.

Popular attacks against Israel

Can Arafat ban Hamas? "Of course it could", says Ismail Abu Shanab, a leader of the organization. He studied in the United States and now teaches engineering at the Islamic University in Gaza. "But for this he must first achieve something politically."

The goals formulated by Arafat are to send an international observer or even protection force to the occupied territories, to stop Israeli settlement construction in the territories, and of course to end the occupation. No Palestinian believes that this will happen during the reign of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The longer the occupation lasts and the more Palestinians are killed, the more support Hamas gains. According to the latest poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center in September, the organization is currently trusted by only one-fifth of the Palestinian population. But over four-fifths approve of attacks inside Israel.

As late as the summer, Arafat was able to persuade Hamas to cease its bombing campaign. But Israel is now demanding the arrest of Hamas leaders and thus breaking the fragile truce in Palestine. With the liquidation of cadre Machmud Abu Hanud by an Israeli missile in mid-November, the cease-fire broke down. On 2. In December, a Hamas bomb in Haifa murdered 15 Israelis.

Peter Schafer, Ramallah