Hamas Embraces the Path of the Islamic State

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi - The emergence of the State of the Islamic Caliphate (Islamic State) has fundamentally altered the reality of the Middle East and threatens to change the map of existing state borders and undermine all the Muslim states as separate national entities. Hamas and the Islamic Movement in Israel view the creation of the caliphate as a religious duty. In line with the prophecy of Muhammad, the restoration of the caliphate is supposed to be the means to unify Muslims under the rule of Islamic law before proceeding to conquer Europe and impose the Muslim religion worldwide. In Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State continues to entrench its rule, fearlessly defying the West while attracting thousands of Muslims from all over the world and inspiring many millions more. It also exercises considerable influence in the West Bank and in Gaza. In October 2014, Palestinian security forces arrested dozens of Islamic State supporters, some of whom had tried to set up secret cells and carry out terror attacks. Neither Hamas nor Islamic Jihad, both of which are dependent on Iran as a strategic ally, is free to express direct or indirect support for the Islamic State, the cardinal enemy of the regime in Tehran. The Islamic State has initiated a jihadist surge as it achieves victories on the battlefield, fights the West without trepidation, enforces Islamic law, and promises to liberate Palestine after overthrowing the "treasonous" Arab regimes in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Hamas is trying to open a front with Israel in the West Bank and Jerusalem, adopting the Islamic State's terror methods without crediting the source of the inspiration.

2014-11-28 00:00:00

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