Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan delivered a hate-filled sermon calling for the “liberation of Palestine” through terrorism rather than through inter-Arab and international conferences.

Ismail Radwan delivering the Friday sermon: a call to slaughter the Jews and liberate Palestine with guns and rockets (Palestinian TV, March 30, 2007)

1. The Friday sermon of March 30, 2007, on the occasion of the birthday of Muhammad, was delivered by Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan in the Gaza mosque of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan. 1 The sermon was broadcasted live on the Palestinian national television, controlled by Abu Mazen, the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority. The sermon included a call to fight against the Jews and slaughter them, citing a hadith called �Vision of the Apocalypse� (a hadith is a collection of religious rulings, sayings, and citations attributed to Prophet Muhammad and handed down orally from generation to generation).

2. �Vision of the Apocalypse� is a hadith attributed to Muhammad, which includes what could be interpreted as a call to slaughter the Jews. In his sermon, Ismail Radwan included the following verse: �The Day of Judgment will not arrive until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jew hides behind the stones and the trees; and each stone or tree will say: Oh Muslim, Oh servant of God, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him; except for the gharqad, which is the tree of the Jews.� 2

3. Other subjects in the Friday sermon delivered by Ismail Radwan and broadcasted on Palestinian television:

a. Stressing the need for a national unity similar to that which existed in the time of Prophet Muhammad. According to Radwan, once a national unity of the political leadership has been achieved, the next objective is to achieve a unity of those �jihad warriors� who are in the same trench of �resistance� (referring to the unity of the terrorist-operative wings of the various terrorist organizations).

b. The earthworks carried out by Israel at the Mugrabim Ramp are meant to remove the Mugrabim Gate and build the Temple of Solomon . Ismail Radwan calls for jihad and �resistance� (i.e., terrorism) to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian people, while praising jihad.

c. Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque will not be liberated by conferences (hinting to the Riyadh Summit), international decisions, or negotiations, �instead, they will be liberated by the rifle, since the only language the occupation understands is force.� According to Radwan, �honor and strength will not return and Palestine will not be liberated unless it is through jihad and resistance, as told by Allah in the Quran.� 3

d. Radwan referred to Muhammad’s statements on the �victorious faction� which subdues its enemies and is not hurt by those who invade it or eliminate and arrest its people. 4

e. Radwan criticized the Islamic nation for having abandoned jihad in its conferences 5 and stopped supporting the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestine . He once again stressed that Palestine will only be liberated by means of jihad (holy war) and resistance (violence and terrorism).

4. Born in 1962, Ismail Sa’id Muhammad Radwan, of the Shati refugee camp, is a Hamas spokesman. He is also a lecturer on the Shari’a (Islamic religious law) in the Islamic University in the Gaza Strip, one of Hamas’s strongholds. In his statements following the Riyadh summit (including a speech given to the participants of a rally in Khan Yunis), he repeatedly stressed that Palestine would not be liberated by means of conferences or negotiations but only by means of weapons.

5. Even though controlled by Abu Mazen, the Palestinian national television frequently broadcasts incitement songs and programs, which more than once have religious Islamic motifs. Nevertheless, a sermon such as this, expressing overt support of the continuation of terrorism and incorporating anti-Semitic themes of Islamic character, is highly unusual in the past two years, since the termination of Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiras’s hate-filled anti-Semitic sermons. 6

6. Ismail Radwan’s sermon reflects a recent escalation in the rhetoric of Hamas spokesmen, who repeatedly stress Hamas’s continued commitment to terrorism and its determination not to recognize the State of Israel. The reason, in our assessment, is Hamas’s interest to clarify that there has been no change in the movement’s views and, possibly, to provide an answer to both internal and external criticism that the movement leaders abandoned the movement’s principles by agreeing to the national unity government and by participating in the Riyadh Summit.