1. Hamas considers the Internet as a particularly important weapon in its battle for hearts and minds. The movement’s radical Islamic ideology; anti-Fatah, anti-Israeli and anti-Western propaganda; and preaching the use of terrorism against Israel are all disseminated by Hamas through its 25 Websites , led by Palestine-information.net.
2. At a time of extreme Palestinian economic distress, Hamas pours enormous sums of money into its Websites. With respect to the Internet, Hamas is far more advanced than the other Palestinian terrorist organizations (i.e., Fatah, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees) or Abu Mazen’s Palestinian Authority .
Adding a Turkish version to the Palestine-info portal
3. Hamas recently announced that its Palestine-info portal would soon appear in Turkish , which will be site’s eighth language, after Arabic, English, Hebrew, French, Russian, Farsi, Urdu and Malaysian .
The Palestine-info portal masthead indicating the
languages which can be linked to.
4. In our assessment, adding a Turkish version is recognition by Hamas of the importance of the Turks as a target audience . That is because there is a large population of Turkish radical Muslims who for a long time have been struggling against the country’s secular nature and the legacy of Ataturk.
Upgrading Hamas’s Internet networ
5. It should be noted that during the past year Hamas upgraded its Internet network as follows: 1
A. Palestine-info.net , the organization’s most important Website, was given a facelift , the number of items posted was increased and their quality was improved.
B. A site was added for the daily newspaper Felesteen , which Hamas began publishing several months ago. 2
Felesteen’s homepage, June 20, 2007. The headline reads �Olmert and Bush discuss ways to fight Hamas and to support Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen],� part of Hamas’ propaganda campaign to represent Abu Mazen and Fatah as controlled by Israel and the West.
C. The Website of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades , Hamas’s terrorist-operative wing, now appears in English .
Turning suicide bombers into role models to be imitated: Abd al-Basset Auda, the Hamas suicide bomber who carried out the attack at the Park Hotel in Netanya on Passover Eve, March 20, 2002 (the deadliest Palestinian terrorist attack, which killed 30 civilians and wounded 144. He is commemorated in a special section dedicated to shaheeds , where he appears with other suicide bombers (the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades English Website, June 19, 2007 ).
D. A Website was launched for Hamas’ Executive Force in the Gaza Strip , the spearhead of Hamas’s violent drive against Fatah and the security forces loyal to Abu Mazen.
The Executive Force’s homepage (June 20, 2007). At the center is the picture of the Executive Force operative who was murdered by Fatah operatives. The picture appears as part of the campaign to foment hatred against Fatah and justify the repression of its members in the Gaza Strip .
E. A Website was launched for Al-Aqsa TV , Hamas’ satellite channel, which plays a key role in Hamas’ anti-Fatah, anti-Abu Mazen incitement campaign.
A posting from the Al-Aqsa TV Website blaming Palestinian TV, subordinate to Abu Mazen, for �supporting the Zionists� in their pursuit of Hamas operatives (Al-Aqsa TV Website, June 14, 2007). Palestinian TV was forced to stop broadcasting from the Gaza Strip after Hamas took over.