The opening session of sixth general Fatah convention
Fatah convention website, August 3, 2009
Rocket and mortar shell fire since the end of Operation Cast Lead
The sixth general convention of the Fatah movement
The opening session of the Fatah convention
Convention representative laying a wreath on the grave of Yassir Arafat
Wafa News Agency, August 4, 2009
The first page of the draft copy of the policy platform
Hamas demonstration in the Gaza Strip
Ismail Haniya delivering the Friday sermon at a mosque in Rafah
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Left: The opening session of sixth general Fatah convention (Palestinian Television, August 4, 2009). Right: The first page of the extremist Fatah policy platform presented to the participants
The relative calm in the western Negev continues. This week as well no rocket hits were identified and no mortar shells were fired. However, attacks against IDF patrols and civilians near the border fence continue.
This week’s events focused on the sixth general Fatah convention which began on August 4. It was plagued by internal Fatah disputes and Fatah-Hamas dissention until the last moment because Hamas prevented Fatah delegates from leaving the Gaza Strip. On the eve of the convention Fatah issued a draft of the policy platform presented to the delegates, blatant in its extremist, hostile, anti-Israel positions regarding various aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Hamas, on the other hand, continues smiling at the United States and the West, using softened rhetoric completely different from the extremist language employed when speaking to the Palestinians.
The Gaza Strip
Rocket and mortar shell fire
During the past week no rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory and no mortar shells were fired.
However, attacks on IDF patrols and civilians continue:
On July 28 a mortar shell was fired at an IDF force near the Karni crossing. There were no casualties. The military-terrorist wings of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack (Saraya website; Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades website, July 28, 2009).
On August 3 shots were fired from light weapons at Israelis engaged in civilian activity near the northern Gaza Strip border. There were no casualties. The military-terrorist wing of the PFLP claimed responsibility for the attack (Hamas’s PALDF forum, August 3, 2009).
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israeli territory
since the end of Operation Cast Lead 1
Shootings, Molotov cocktails and stones thrown in Judea and Samaria
This past week terrorist attacks continued in Judea and Samaria and included shootings, Molotov cocktails and stones. The main incidents were the following:
July 29 : Shots were fired at an IDF position at a checkpoint east of Tulkarm. There were no casualties.
July 28 : Stones were thrown at an Israeli vehicle northwest of Bethlehem . There were no casualties but the vehicle was damaged.
July 28 : Stones were thrown at several Israeli vehicles southwest of Ramallah. There were no casualties but one vehicle was damaged.
July 28 : Two Molotov cocktails were thrown at an Israeli vehicle east of Qalqilya. There were no casualties and no damage was done.
The Gaza Strip after Operation Cast Lead
The crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip
This past week deliveries of humanitarian assistance continued into the Gaza Strip at the rate of 100 trucks a day. For the first time since Operation Cast Lead Israel permitted cement for UNRWA into the Gaza Strip , to be used for specific projects such as rebuilding institutions and building factories. On July 29 one consignment was delivered to rebuild a cemetery.
On August 2 Hatim Huwayda, office manager for the minister of economy in the Hamas de-facto administration, welcomed the entrance of merchandise and new products. He said he hoped Israel would allow other new items into the Gaza Strip. He also said that the amount of cement received was tiny and insufficient. Jamal al-Khudayri , Hamas faction member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, wrote an open letter to the press calling for donor nations �to exert more pressure on the Zionist occupation� to permit deliveries of concrete and iron, which are needed to build and repair �factories and mosques� (Filastin al-�An website).
The Rafah crossing opens for three days
On August 3 Egypt opened the Rafah crossing for three days. The interior ministry of the Hamas de-facto administration registered 7,000 Palestinians who wanted to leave the Gaza Strip for Egypt (Wafa News Agency, August 2, 2009). The Egyptians authorized the return of 700 Palestinians to the Gaza Strip.
The tunnel industry
The smuggling tunnels continue claiming victims. On July 29 a Palestinian was killed and four were wounded when a tunnel in Rafah collapsed. Hamas accused Egypt , the Red Cross and other international organizations of not helping remove the wounded from collapsed tunnels because they claim the tunnels are illegal. The commander of Hamas’ civil defense, Yussuf al-Zahar, said that there was no coordination between Hamas’ civil defense and the Egyptian authorities. He also said that the relief organizations, especially the Red Cross, refused to intervene ( Felesteen , July 29, 2009). On the other hand, the Egyptian rescue forces reportedly searched the area to find the opening of a tunnel which collapsed on July 28 to remove the bodies of the dead (Al-Basha’air website, July 29, 2009).
A July 30 article by Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel in Haaretz called the tunnels Gaza ‘s largest and most profitable industry. Every day more than 100,000 liters (about 380,000 gallons ) of diesel fuel enter the Gaza Strip, equal to what Israel delivers. In addition, commodities such as cement, foodstuffs, cigarettes, electric appliances and farm animals are smuggled in. Smuggling has led to spinoffs such as the need for cranes, carpenters, mechanics, porters, marketers and even real estate agents because of the great demand for land in the Gaza Strip. According to the article, Hamas controls every aspect of the tunnel industry and every tunnel dug receives its authorization. Criminals also exploit the tunnels to smuggle drugs and alcohol.
Rebuilding the military networks
The terrorist organizations continue military training. On July 29 there was an explosion at a Hamas training camp west of Khan Yunis, apparently a �work accident.� No casualties were reported (Hamas’s PALDF forum, July 30, 2009). On July 30 the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine held a military display in Rafah where its operatives showed their weapons to the media (Reuters, July 30, 2009).
Rebuilding security and the economy
Hamas continues rebuilding the Gaza Strip with the emphasis on structures belonging to the security forces destroyed during Operation Cast Lead. They are constructed of mud and clay due to the lack of ordinary building materials. The Palestinian media reported that the police station in Beit Lahiya was built of mud and that the work went on around the clock. However, according to the report, mud and clay cannot replace ordinary materials because the high temperatures of the Gazan summer make them unfit for human habitation ( Felesteen , July 30, 2009).
Meanwhile, the agriculture ministry of the Hamas de-facto administration encourages agricultural self-sufficiency as part of the so-called �resistance economy.� On land where the Israeli settlements were formerly located, the Palestinians grow primarily citrus fruit which do not require large amounts of water, which is scare in the Gaza Strip ( Felesteen , July 29, 2009).
The Islamization of the Gaza Strip 2
As part of the Islamization process of the Gaza Strip the �Say yes to virtue� campaign continues. Its objective, according to Hamas, is to fight the moral corruption rampant in Palestinian society. A Hamas newspaper reported that once the campaign ended, the police would enforce the law and deal with all the issues addressed in the campaign, such as the supervision of Internet caf�s, women’s clothing stores, revealing dress on the streets and removing mannequins from store windows ( Felesteen , July 24, 2009).
The Hamas campaign has provoked reaction among Palestinian figures in the Gaza Strip. For example, Talaa’t al-Safadi, a member of the political bureau of the Palestinian People’s Party, accused Hamas of instituting an �Islamic emirate� instead of a sovereign Palestinian state ( Al-Ayyam , August 2, 2009). Rabah Muhana, a member of the PFLP political bureau, claimed that Hamas was trying to force female junior high school students to wear Islamic dress through pressure from Hamas teachers. He said that �anyone who thinks that establishing an Islamic or Communist state is a stage in national liberation is a criminal� ( Al-Ayyam , August 2, 2009).
The Internal Palestinian Arena
The sixth convention of the Fatah movement
The convention’s website bearing the heading �The sixth general convention of the Fatah movement,
dedicated to the memory of the commander, the founder, the shaheed Yasser Arafat,
August 4, 2009� ( http://www.fatehconf.ps ).
The opening session
On August 4, with a festive atmosphere, the sixth Fatah convention began in Bethlehem after a long series of preparations plagued by internal dissention. The convention will last for two days and is the first held in twenty years. There were more than 2,000 representatives present at the opening session and more than 70 delegations from the Arab countries and around the world (Convention website, August 2, 2009). Abu Alaa opened the convention, saying �In the name of the shaheeds and in the name of Jerusalem , the capital of the Palestinian state, we declare the sixth convention of our movement, Fatah, open� (Ynet, August 4, 2009). Mahmoud Abbas then delivered the opening speech.
The opening session of the Fatah convention
(Palestinian Television, August 4, 2009).
The following were the main points of Mahmoud Abbas’s speech (first version):
The PLO is the legitimate and only representative of the Palestinian people. Yasser [Arafat] is �the commander, the symbol� of Fatah. The first Fatah military operation was in 1965 and signaled the establishment of the movement and �was a sign of the birth of the new Palestinian.�
After Arafat’s death the Palestinian Authority underwent a process of building and rehabilitation on its way to realizing the national Palestinian goals, which are independence, to establish a state whose capital is Jerusalem and to solve the problems of the final status arrangement, and especially the problem of the refugees [referred to by Mahmoud Abbas as �the key to our future�]. He said that the establishment of a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders and Jerusalem as its capital had become only a question of time.
The Palestinians have met all the requirements of the Road Map. Israel , on the other hand, he claimed, did not meet any of them. The Palestinians recruited the international community, including the United States , to exert pressure on Israel to meet its commitments to the Palestinians. Mahmoud Abbas is still waiting for Israel to agree to the two-state solution and to freeze building in the settlements.
Jerusalem has been exposed to settlement, the destruction of buildings, and the confiscation and detachment of Palestinian lands in the West Bank . Israel must withdraw from the 1967 territories, especially from Jerusalem , �the capital of the Palestinian state.�
The Palestinian people is conducting �popular resistance� against the Israeli settlements, the so-called separation fence and the confiscation of buildings. He praised those who �are struggling in Bili’in, Na’alin and Jerusalem against the settlements and the occupation.�
Mahmoud Abbas attacked Hamas for the �coup� it staged in the Gaza Strip, while he and Arafat before him drew Hamas to them, had relations with Sheikh Yassin and treated Hamas like a partner. He accused Hamas of sabotaging the attempts to hold a Fatah-Hamas dialogue but called national unity and for the resolution of their common problems.
The disputes between Fatah and Hamas prevented the participation of Fatah activists from the Gaza Strip
The convention was preceded by a Fatah-Hamas crisis over the issue of exit permits for Fatah delegates from the Gaza Strip. Hamas tried to make permits to exit the Gaza Strip conditional on the release of the Hamas operatives detained by the security forces of the Palestinian Authority. To overcome the pressure exerted by Fatah, Hamas’ security forces in the Gaza Strip detained Fatah activists and ordered the interrogation of the Fatah delegates who were supposed to participate in the convention. Ihab al-Ghussein, spokesman for the Hamas interior ministry, also threatened to detain all the Fatah delegates who managed to leave the Gaza Strip ( Al-Bayan Center website, the Gulf States , August 1, 2009). In retaliation, elements within the Palestinian Authority threatened to detain dozens of Hamas activists in the West Bank , including members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, should Hamas insist on preventing its delegates from leaving (Al-Quds website, July 30, 2009).
In view of the situation, the Fatah leadership wondered if the convention should be held without Gazan participation. Although some groups within Fatah expressed objections, Azzam al-Hamad, head of the Fatah faction in the Palestinian Legislative Council, said that the Fatah leadership had decided to hold the convention, regardless, because they had reached the conclusion that Hamas would use the issue to blackmail the Fatah leadership ( Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda , August 3, 2009). He added that legally speaking the convention could be held because there was a quorum, which would make it possible to pass resolutions even without the 250 delegates from the Gaza Strip ( Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda , August 3, 2009).
A top official in the office of the Palestinian Authority’s ministry for civil affair added that following the arrival of the delegates from the Gaza Strip, the Fatah leadership intended to allot five to six of the 21 seats on the central committee to them and 25-30 of the 132 seats in the revolutionary council. A number of delegates from the Gaza Strip who did manage to arrive, in spite of the Hamas prohibition, said that they would not take part in the convention because they wanted to show solidarity with fellow delegates who had been prevented from attending. Ibrahim Abu al-Naja, a Fatah representative in the Palestinian Legislative Council from the Gaza Strip, said that he was returning to the Gaza Strip to express solidarity with those left behind (Qudsnet website, Ma’an News Agency, August 3, 2009). Welcoming the delegates to the convention, Mahmoud Abbas said that the absence of the delegates from the Gaza Strip was unfortunate, but would not damage the Palestinians’ determination and that it would be held without them.
Left: Convention representative laying a wreath on the grave of Yassir Arafat. Right: Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas receiving the Fatah delegations from Syria, Lebanon and Jordan
Draft of the convention’s policy platform
On the eve of the convention, Fatah published a 44-page draft of its policy platform. On August 1 the central committee ratified the platform, which would be presented to the convention ( Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda , August 2, 2009). The draft, which was posted on the convention’s website, propounded extremist views regarding the conflict with Israel . It reflected the generally extremist atmosphere within Fatah resulting from the internal schisms and rivalries which plagued the preparations for the convention. However, beyond that, in our assessment it reflected the basic Fatah ideology which has its roots in the Arafat era, and which was not fundamentally updated under Mahmoud Abbas.
Some of the items in the platform were the following:
A �historical� survey of the Palestinian-Israel conflict according to the traditional Palestinian narrative hostile to Israel : The draft begins with a �historical� survey in which the Palestinian people are represented as having been �attacked by British imperialism� at the beginning of the 20 th century. The British, according to the narrative, wanted to take control of the oil in the Middle East and of strategically located Palestine . One of the manifestations of the British �attack� was the �racist Zionist settlement-oriented imperialism which worked to expel our people from their land by force and to establish foreigners there instead…� The �Zionist occupation� was supported by the global Jewish movement and alliances with the West, and provided various services for the Western countries. The �Zionist occupation� often reminded the Christian West of its guilt complex regarding the Jews, especially after what the Nazi Germans did to the Jews in �what is called� the Holocaust.
Establishing an independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem : The platform mentioned the Palestinians’ fundamental, inalienable right to self determination, to establish an independent, sovereign state with the 1967 borders, and the right of the Palestinian refugees to return and receive compensation based on UN Resolution 194. As opposed to the emphasis and elaboration of the Palestinians’ rights, recognition of the State of Israel and its right to exist side by side with the future Palestinian state appears only indirectly and by inference. For example, the article which discusses how the Palestinians deal with their rights notes that they must persist in negotiations with Israel according to the Arab peace initiative and international legitimacy, while determining a schedule for negotiations. The platform notes that there will be no peace unless Jerusalem is reestablished as the eternal capital of the Palestinian state, and that its Palestinian national and cultural identity must be reinforced.
The absolute refusal to recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state : The fourth section of the platform makes it clear that the State of Israel will not be recognized as a Jewish state and that the rights of the �Palestinians� on the Israeli side of the Green Line must be protected. It states that �Palestinians in Israel , beyond the Green Line, are an integral part of the Palestinian people… Fatah objects to the Jewish nature of the State of Israel . It recognizes the Israeli Palestinian demand turning Israel into a country for all its citizens, and Israel must recognize them [the Israeli Palestinians] as a national minority with rights, a culture and a language.�
The issue of the armed struggle against Israel : The platform attempts to distinguish Fatah from Hamas in the issue of the armed struggle against Israel , but at the same time leaves a back door wide enough for an interpretation supporting terrorism. The section entitled �the paths and forms of the struggle� contains a (fabricated) �historical� account of Fatah since its founding, according to which it has refused to harm civilians and opposed abducting hostages, firing rockets at civilian targets and taking the terrorist campaign abroad. 3 After paying lip service to �opposition to extremism and terrorism,� it states that �there is no way to avoid making a distinction between terrorism which kills civilians for political purposes and the legitimate resistance to a foreign occupation and the struggle of people for their liberty, independence and self-determination…� [ Note : Such a distinction provides the terrorist organizations with justification for carrying out terrorist attacks against civilians on the pretext that it is �legitimate� resistance to occupation.] The platform calls for an international committee to be formed which will define what terrorism is and what the differences are between it and �the right of a people to struggle to rid themselves of a foreign occupation…�
A civilian struggle alongside negotiations : The platform pays lip service to �adherence to the option of peace� but also specifically states that the Palestinians cannot make do with negotiations alone to achieve peace . They will have to renew their struggle against the settlements, using an outline of civil struggle with limited violence (for example, according to the platform, the events protesting the fence near the village of Bili’in ), �although much more strongly [than before].� It also states that the Palestinians must struggle against the fence and the settlements and to �rescue Jerusalem � and prevent its Judaization. The struggle must be accompanied by a boycott of Israel products and a civil disobedience against the �occupation� using �new methods.�
A hint at Israeli responsibility for the death of Yassir Arafat : As part of the �historical� survey, under the heading �The martyrdom of the commander, Abu Amar [Yasser Arafat],� the claim is made that without a doubt, the government of Israel had the greatest interest in seeing him dead and did not hide its intention of getting rid of him. According to the platform , �there is no doubt that a continued investigation [into the death of Arafat] will eventually lead to exposing the secrets which will reveal how our president, the shaheed, was assassinated.�
The first page of the draft copy of the policy platform as it appeared
on the convention’s website ( www.fatehconf.ps )
The crisis in Fatah-Hamas relations concerning the sixth Fatah convention prompted Hamas to reexamine the dialogue with Fatah. In a Friday sermon Ismail Haniya, head of the Hamas de-facto administration, said that if no progress were made regarding the release of Hamas activists detained in Judea and Samaria by the Palestinian Authority. He added that if more activists were detained, Hamas might boycott the seventh round of reconciliation talks scheduled for the 25 th of August in Cairo (Sawt Al-Aqsa, August 1, 2009).
On the ground, the Palestinian Authority continues exerting pressure on Hamas. It was reported that dozens of Hamas-affiliated employees in Judea and Samaria were dismissed and that detentions of Hamas activists continue. According to an official Hamas report, during July the Palestinian Authority detained 152 of its activists (Sawt Al-Aqsa, August 1, 2009).
Left: Hamas demonstration in the Gaza Strip protesting the detentions in Judea and Samaria (Al-Aqsa TV, July 30, 2009). Right: Ismail Haniya delivering the Friday sermon at a mosque in Rafah
The Political Arena
The speech of Prime Minister Netanyahu at the National
Defense College and reactions to it
On July 28 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech at the graduation exercises of the National Defense college. He said that the State of Israel had to respond to two problems: �on the one hand, the problem of the denial of our right to exist, and on the other hand, the problem of security which stems from Israel ‘s geographic dimensions.� He mentioned five foundations which were the basis of the Israeli government’s policy regarding the Palestinian issue:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the National Defense College ‘s
graduation exercises (Israeli Government Press Office, July 28, 2009).
The first foundation is for dealing with denial of the State of Israel ‘s existence, and it is the recognition of the State of Israel ‘s right to exist . �This is a demand which we state in the clearest, most direct manner to our neighbors. This is not in order to receive their approval, which we do not need. We need this in order for the Palestinians to internalize this right . �
The second foundation is that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of the State of Israel . �It is not possible to maintain this small state as a state with a clear Jewish majority if the State of Israel is flooded with refugees and their descendents. This is also unjust . �
The third foundation is for reaching an end to the conflict � and it is the end of the conflict . �When we sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians, which I believe will happen � we want it to be a final agreement � an end to the conflict, an end to the conflict’s claims . �
The fourth foundation is demilitarization for security. �None of us wants a repeat of what happened in Gaza , or in South Lebanon . We want to ensure that any territory which we vacate within the framework of an arrangement will not be seized by terrorists or by Iran ‘s representatives.�
The fifth foundation is international recognition of the demilitarization . �I wish to clarify that we are not talking about American or NATO soldiers defending us and doing the defense work of the State of Israel. We have never requested this, nor are we requesting it now . We are talking about an international guarantee, headed by the United States , for the demilitarization arrangements that we will establish.�
The Prime Minister went on to discuss the difference between Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip . He spoke of easing the everyday lives of the Palestinians, and said that �We are doing this because we are convinced that economic progress and development will help achieve both diplomatic and political peace… The Palestinian economy here in Judea and Samaria is currently growing at a rate of more than 7%, and it can grow even higher. I want you to imagine what will happen when the skylines of Ramallah, Jenin and Hebron start to be filled with skyscrapers, when malls, cinemas and restaurants are opened, and when the Palestinian youth know that they have a future . �
As for the Gaza Strip , Netanyahu said that �We are convinced of this because there is a struggle here, as in other parts of the world, with dark, radical forces, where the last thing that they want is progress. I say that our real test, here, with the Palestinian Authority, is whether they can move closer in Dubai ‘s direction, or whether they will retreat in Gaza ‘s direction. I am not saying that it will be like Dubai here tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow, but they are growing as a result of the things that they have done and that we are doing . � He added that �We saw this a month ago in Teheran, we saw this six months ago in Hebron , Jenin and Ramallah during Operation Cast Lead, and I tell you that we will see it in Gaza tomorrow. The very fact that the Hamas regime, an offshoot of the Iranian tyranny, is forcing women to wear veils � I can tell you � is not winning it favor among the Palestinians in Gaza , and if they had the power to overthrow this regime, they would do it � and it will be in their power …� [ITIC emphasis].
Hamas’ reaction to Netanyahu’s speech
The prime minister’s speech provoked negative reactions from Hamas. Senior Hamas figure Musheir al-Masri said that Netanyahu was working openly to divide the Palestinians politically. He said that he believed in the Palestinian people �who chose Hamas to lead them in all the Palestinian territories…� He said that the current stage was the stage of the �resistance� [i.e. terrorism] and the return of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians after a period of �humiliation and submission� ( Al-Bayan Center website, the Gulf States , July 29, 2009). Sami Abu Zuhri , Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, said, regarding Netanyahu’s remarks about the need to wear veils, that the Palestinians had the right to defend their traditional dress, especially if Israel had the right to have its society adopt the �culture of nudity� (Hamas’s Palestine-Info website, July 29, 2009).
Hamas continues smiling at the West, particularly the United States
Hamas continues smiling at the West, particularly the United States , as Hamas spokesmen use softened rhetoric while discussing Hamas’ positions on various issues linked to its relations with the West and the conflict with Israel . Prominent were the recent Wall Street Journal interview with Khaled Mashaal and the British Economist interview with Ahmed Yussuf, the deputy foreign minister of the Hamas de-facto administration. Hamas spokesmen have repeatedly called on the West to open diplomatic channels with Hamas; they make a point of the cessation of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, representing them as in the interests of the Palestinian people; they repeat that Hamas will not be an obstacle to the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state with the 1967 borders and with Jerusalem as its capital; they also state that Hamas is also prepared to cooperate with the international community in a peace process which will lead to the establishment of such a state.
At the same time, however, when speaking to Palestinians, Hamas spokesmen continue their routine extremist rhetoric in line with Hamas ideology. For example, while Hamas tries to convince the West of its moderation and pragmatism, it works to reinforce the concept of violent confrontation and opposition to negotiations with Israel , especially among the younger generation in the Gaza Strip . To that end, on July 20 the ministry of culture of the Hamas de-facto administration organized a conference to strengthen the �culture of the resistance.� The participants included representatives from educational and cultural institutions and Gazan intellectuals. Special attention was paid to the Palestinian educational system and the curriculum which the Hamas de-facto administration has enforced in the Gaza Strip to brainwash the younger generation with radical Islamic ideology, characterized by hatred of Israel and Western values, the willingness to participate in the armed confrontation with Israel . 4
1 The statistics do not include the mortar shells fired at IDF soldiers patrolling the border fence which fell inside the Gaza Strip.
2 For further information see our August 3, 2009 bulletin about the Islamization of the Gaza Strip, available in Hebrew at http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/Hebrew/heb_n/html/hamas_076.htm . It is currently being translated into English.
3 The �Black September� network, which carried out a campaign of terrorist attacks abroad against Israeli civilians, including the abduction and murder of the Israeli sportsmen at the Munich Olympics in 1972, was created and implemented by Fatah. In addition, its military network in Lebanon (destroyed during the first Lebanon war 1982) started the era of indiscriminately firing rockets at civilian Israeli population centers.
4 For further information about Hamas’ smiles to the West, see our August 3, 2009 bulletin in Hebrew which will shortly be translated into English.