Few days ago, I had a conversation with someone considers himself in a neutral position on the Palestinian-Israeli case, what caught my attention during this conversation was his continued use of the word “terrorist act” by Hamas which led me to ask him to define the word “Terrorist”. What a terrorism act is? This word has been used only since the beginning of 2000s when USA declared war against Afghanistan. Since then, this word has been resonated in Western media every time USA or Israel wants to launch attacks or declare war in the Middle East. This word has resurfaced these days in conjunction with the current “war” of Israel against Palestine.
The main reason to write this blog, is to provide historical, political, logical facts that the act of Hamas the 7th of October cannot be “terrorism act”. Unfortunately, many of people are using this word nowadays in their arguments to refer to Muslim community without having an idea about the meaning of this word.
So, let’s begin with the definition of “Terrorism”.
What is terrorism?
According to Oxford Reference, terrorism is the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to inculcate fear. Terrorism is intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.
Other definition, a terrorist act is “a political act ordinarily committed or inspired by organization group, in which violence intentionally directed at non-combatants (or innocents in suitable sense) or their significant property, in order to cause them harm”
In other words, the word terrorism means: a mass or group organization that commits acts of violence against innocent people to intimidate the government.
In the rest of the blog, I will decorticate this definition into three parts and compare it on the ground.
1. Group organization
There is no doubt that Hamas is not a random organization that came from nowhere. Their statue in Gaza is obtained through election. Legislative elections were held in the Palestinian territories on 25 January 2006 to elect the second Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). The result was a victory for Hamas, contesting under the list name of Change and Reform, which received 44.45% of the vote and won 74 of the 132 seats, whilst the ruling Fatah received 41.43% of the vote and won 45 seats.
In the opposite side, according to the historical facts, the state of Israel had no existence before 1946. According to Schlomer Sander, a Polish Jew and professor of History at Tel Aviv University in Israel.
Zionism did gain recognition after the World War 2. In fact, many of Jews immigrated to the north of US before WW2 (18 million in the world, 6 million of them were in US), during this period the Jews gained unimaginable wealth. As early in 1896 the Zionists represented by T. Hertz, with the support of the Jewish consortium, established a new headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, the global financial capital. The first “National Restoration Congress” was held and the “restoration program” was adopted, which clearly stated that a “Jewish home” would be established in Palestine.
The Balfour Declaration was the public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War announcing its support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population.
Now here is the question, by what right a colonizer promises a piece of a land to another people? Or state?
Furthermore, the Zionists used two famous “Propaganda” to establish their state in Palestine.
- The promised land in Palestine, it refers to the fact that Jews lived 3000 years ago in this land and God promised them to get it back. However, this claim is already refuted by a lot of religious Jews men and the religion itself.
According to Torah and the Old Testament, Jews will be sent into Exil by God, and they will be gathered in from Exile only when the Messiah comes. In contrast with Muslims and Christians, Jews don’t consider Jesus as the Messiah.
- The second Propaganda is the antisemitism, this propaganda is based on the Holocaust: “everyone does not agree with Zionism is Antisemitic”. Yet,
Semitic is rooted in the Biblical name Shem, the son of Noah, the direct ancestor of the Jews and Arabs. Relating to, subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic language family that includes Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and Amharic.
Which means, that Muslims are semitic and Christians who are following Jesus who was semitic prophet. Therefore, both cultures are already pro-semitic (1).
Hence, the existence of Hamas in Palestine is the legal one since it was gained through elections, contrary to Israel who they gained the land through statement and claims.
Let’s jump to the next part of the definition of terrorism.
2. Terrorist harm and commit act of violence against innocents.
Indeed, while I didn’t initially see the need for this chapter, presenting certain historical facts and statistics is essential for the readers’ understanding.
In February 2022, Amnesty International released a 280-page report showing how Israel was imposing an institutionalized regime of oppression and domination against the Palestinian people wherever it exercised control over their rights, fragmenting and segregating Palestinian citizens of Israel, residents of the OPT and Palestinian refugees denied the right of return.
- Unlawful attacks and killings
On 5 August, Israel launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip targeting what she calls them the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and its armed wing, destroying or damaging some 1,700 Palestinian homes and displacing hundreds of civilians.
According to the UN, 49 Palestinians were killed, including 31 civilians. Amnesty International established that Israeli forces killed 17 of the civilians, including eight children. On 7 August, an Israeli missile, apparently fired by a drone, hit Al-Falluja cemetery in Jabalia refugee camp, killing five children and injuring one, in an apparent direct attack on civilians or indiscriminate attack.
Since the 7th of October and beginning of the Aqsa flood war, more than 5000 Palestinian civilians was killed, nearly 50% of them were children. Approximately 12,500 people have been injured, and more than 1,000 bodies are still trapped beneath the rubble. I didn’t want to go further, and expose the Hospitals, schools, mosques bombed.
According to USA, Israeli medias, the main reason behind the aggressive attacks launched by Israel in Gaza is to target Hamas. However, in the west Bank there is no Hamas!
- West Bank
Israeli forces killed 151 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and injured 9,875, according to OCHA-OPT, amid a surge of military incursions that involved excessive use of force, including unlawful killings and apparent extrajudicial executions. Defence for Children International-Palestine reported that Israeli forces or settlers killed 36 children across the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
On 11 May, Israeli soldiers killed Shirin Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-US Al Jazeera correspondent, and injured her colleague, while they were covering an Israeli army raid in Jenin Camp. In September, the Israeli authorities admitted that an Israeli soldier “likely” killed the journalist but concluded that no criminal offence had been committed.
Moreover, this attack is not the first one and not the only aggressive acts that Israel have committed against the people of Palestine. Here is a short list of the other crimes committed by the Zionists in Palestine.
- Freedom of movement
In the West Bank, 175 permanent checkpoints and other roadblocks, as well as scores of temporary irregular barriers and a draconian permit regime, supported by a repressive biometric surveillance system, continued to control and fragment Palestinian communities.
In October, Israeli authorities placed additional restrictions on freedom of movement in the occupied West Bank reportedly in response to Palestinian attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians, through sweeping and arbitrary closures that severely disrupted everyday life and amounted to unlawful collective punishment.
According to COGAT, a unit of the defence ministry, Israel revoked the permits to work in Israel of 2,500 Palestinians as a means of collective punishment.
- Forced Evictions:
· Tens of thousands of Palestinians are at risk of forced evictions in Israel and the OPT.
· 952 Palestinian structures were demolished across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
· This resulted in the displacement of 1,031 Palestinians and affected many others’ livelihoods.
· On 4 May, over 1,000 residents of Masafer Yatta are at risk of forced transfer due to designation as a military training zone.
· In July, a reversal took place regarding the Mitzpe Kramim settlement, previously ordered to evacuate in 2020, but was later legalized.
· OCHA reported that 2022 marked the sixth consecutive year of increased state-backed settler violence, peaking in October.
· In Israel, 35 Palestinian villages remain unrecognized, depriving them of essential services.
· Actions such as tree planting in Saawa al-Atrash and demolition in al-Araqib indicated forced transfers and demolitions.
By the end of December, 866 individuals, primarily Palestinians, were in administrative detention, marking a 14-year high.
On 15 April, a raid on the al-Aqsa mosque led to the arrest of over 400 Palestinians and the injury of at least 152.
- Torture and Ill-treatment:
· Torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees by Israeli forces continued.
· Internal investigations into torture allegations were reported as inadequate.
· On 24 November, Ahmad Manasra’s solitary confinement, seen as an act of torture, was extended, even though he had a severe mental health condition.
- Illegal Block aide to Gaza
A blockade has been imposed by Israel and Egypt on the movement of goods and people in and out of the Gaza Strip since 2005. After Hamas’ takeover in 2007, the blockade aimed to isolate Hamas and prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. It has also led to significant humanitarian challenges, as it restricts the flow of essential goods, contributes to economic hardship, and limits the freedom of movement for Gaza’s residents. Which is considered a Collective punishment.
Collective punishment has been clearly forbidden under international humanitarian law through Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. No exceptions are permitted,” Michael Lynk, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, stated in his 2020 report.
t’s clear to any rational person that this mirrors apartheid politics; there’s no need to delve deeper into this point.
The last point of the definition of terrorism is “the act of violence in order to intimidate the government”.
3. Terrorism act violence to turn people against their government.
In fact, Israel has made clear that there will be no ceasefire until they eliminate Hamas. Having said that Hamas has won by elections and was chosen by the people of Gaza. Hamas is the rightful governor of Gaza. Therefore, the actions of Israel are considered a terrorist action, simply because they are tending to intimidate the government.
To sum up, the existence of Zionist state was by a promise, or a decision made by a previous occupier. In order to give right to its existence, two propagandas have been invented. While the first one was rejected by the Jews religion itself. The second one is historically and rationally refuted.
Hamas has the rightful authority to stand as the government elected by the people of Gaza, these people who have been suffering from the apartheid politic by the occupier, according to statistics and the reality.
In the world we live in today, many people fall into the fallacy of attributing meaning to a word without understanding its basic definition. The problem arises when we blame a victimized community and support the guilty. I’m not saying this is the intention of most people, but it’s certainly true for those who lack a clear perspective and have been misled by the predominant image presented in society.
(1) The origin of antisemitism
Martin Luther, the founder of the 16th century Reformation and Protestantism, wrote a pamphlet in 1545 entitled The Jews and Their Lies, claiming that Jews thirsted for Christian blood and urging the slaying of the Jews. The Nazis reprinted it in 1935. Some scholars feel that these scurrilous attacks mark the transition from anti-Judaism (attacks motivated because of the Jews’ refusal to accept Christianity) to anti-Semitism (hatred of Jews as a so-called race that would contaminate the purity of another race).
The term “anti-Semitism” was coined in 1873 by Wilhelm Marr, a German political agitator in his work, Victory of Judaism over Germanism. His thesis was that Jews were conspiring to run the state and should be excluded from citizenship.