Sinwar's Ramadan Jihad Dream: Will the "Al Aqsa Flood" Reach Jerusalem?

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Dan Diker and Khaled Abu Toameh - Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is hoping that the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which begins this week, will see an upsurge in violence against Israel. This is why Sinwar is reluctant to move forward with negotiations for the release of the Israeli hostages. Sinwar and the Hamas "tunnel leadership" in Gaza have not lost hope that other Arabs and Muslims will join Hamas in its fight against Israel. Hamas' branding of the Oct. 7 massacre as the "al Aqsa Flood" followed Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat's similar branding of the "al Aqsa Intifada" that began in 2000. At the time, Palestinian propaganda advertised the Second Intifada as a duty to defend Islamic holy sites, a still-popular theme in Palestinian media. Sinwar views himself as a great Muslim warrior who successfully planned an invasion of Israel. Hamas leaders have not concealed their disappointment with their failure to ignite a multi-front confrontation with Israel. Hamas supporters have mocked Hizbullah for firing anti-tank missiles at the same Israeli military outpost for the past four months, indicating that Hizbullah is not serious about an all-out war with Israel. Hamas is also disappointed with the lack of enthusiasm for a renewed intifada in the West Bank. Though there have been sporadic terrorist attacks in the West Bank and the Jerusalem area, their intensity is not significantly different from those of the past few years. Moreover, the vast majority of Israel's Arab citizens have refrained from acts of violence and displays of support for Hamas' terrorism. There was no repeat of the May 2021 riots that erupted in mixed cities inside Israel for several reasons. First, more than 20 Arab Muslims were killed during Hamas' murder spree, and several members of the Bedouin community were kidnapped. Second, Arab Israelis were shocked by the magnitude of the savagery and barbarism perpetrated by Hamas and emphasized that Hamas did not represent the values of Islam or Arab culture. Third, the Arabs did not want to repeat the mistake of May 2021, which provided an excuse for some in Israel to label them as a fifth column. Dr. Dan Diker is president of the Jerusalem Center, where veteran journalist Khaled Abu Toameh is a fellow.

2024-03-11 00:00:00

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