National Security

While Obama Blames Israel, Hamas Prepares For Another War

REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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The Obama administration spent the better part of the last week admonishing Israel, meanwhile Israel’s archenemy Hamas is arming itself for another war.

Hamas celebrated its 29th anniversary Dec. 14 by engaging in a massive parade featuring its infamous al-Qassam brigades. Tens of thousands of Palestinians, including armed men and children with fake weapons, participated in the Gaza Strip parade which showcased the group’s military equipment. Hamas leaders stated their intent to continue their jihad against Israel until it is completely destroyed.

“Our movement adheres to the option of resistance … Resistance using any weapons and all options is a legitimate right that we will utilize, never relinquish, and never surrender to anyone,” said Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahhar during the anniversary celebration. “We will continue to aim our guns at collaborators and traitors, and especially at the Zionist enemy. Our land is all of Palestine from the river to the sea.”

Secretary of State Kerry made only a cursory reference to Palestinian terrorism and incitement in his speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Wednesday. A majority of the speech focused on Israel’s settlement-building in the West Bank, which Kerry claimed is a major impediment to the peace process.

Kerry’s speech followed the Obama administration’s decision to abstain from voting last Friday on a United Nations Security Council resolution which condemned Israel’s settlement building. The resolution also condemned Palestinian incitement, but that did not stop Hamas from coming out in support of it.

Hamas posted several pictures of the various weapons it manufactures in the Palestinian territories on its website to celebrate its anniversary, ranging from Uzi submachine guns to the al-Qassam rockets it often fires into Israeli territory. The pictures proudly note the year in which Hamas began manufacturing the weapons.

Hamas has been working feverishly to rebuild its extensive tunnel network for illicit entry into Israel, which was largely destroyed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. The terrorist group uses the tunnels to engage in surprise attacks against Israeli soldiers. It spent the latter part of the year rebuilding its relationship with Iran, a historic supporter of Hamas. While Iran is predominantly Shiite, it shares a common enemy in Israel with Sunni Hamas.

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