The Mossad (Israel’s national intelligence agency – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mossad) has a respected international reputation. Its daring operations are the stuff of books and movies. But few know that the agency has a biblical motto. Its original motto was taken from Proverbs 24:6 “For you should wage war with cunning stratagems, and there will be victory through the abundance of advisors” (see also Proverbs 20:8).
Recently the motto was updated to another similar verse from Proverbs, written in the days of King Solomon: “In the absence of a strategic plan, the people will collapse in defeat, but through the multitude of strategic advisors there is victory” (Proverbs 11:14).
Five hundred years after King Solomon, the Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu penned The Art of War, a classic treatise on military strategy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_War). This book has a profound influence on military thinking in China and in the West, in business tactics, in legal strategy etc. Illustrious military leaders from Chairman Mao Zedong to General Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. honor the influence of this book on their battlefield strategies.
Recent events in Gaza call for us to consider the present military tactics of the Islamist terror group offshoot Hamas (in Arabic Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, Arabic for ‘The Islamic Resistance Movement’ – see https://davidstent.org/hurtling-through-the-fog-of-war-a-messianic-perspective-on-the-new-hamastan/).
One if by land, two if by sea
Paul Revere warned the Massachusetts citizens as he galloped to Concord that the British regulars (the Redcoats) would be invading that very night. One lantern in the church steeple was military code for an invasion from the South (Boston, Brookline, Cambridge), while two lanterns signified the more Northern ‘sea’ route (Charlestown, Mystic River, Medford). Whether by land or by sea, the American colonists needed to be forewarned and forearmed.
John the Revelator mentions the four spheres of creation – on land, in the air, on the sea and under the ground – “every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea” (Revelation 5:13). Hamas has been attempting to wage war against the Jewish people and their state on all four playing-fields. What can be said about their success in these four areas?
“No solution except jihad”
Hamas has been attempting to wage jihad against the Jewish state of Israel since it was established in December 1987, when seven Gazan Islamists gathered secretly and declared loyalty to Hassan al-Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood, to Sayyad Qutb’s Islamist definition of jihad, and to the Qur’an’s and the Hadith’s vision of Israel’s subjugation and destruction. Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam (Osama bin Laden’s mentor) who later founded al Qa’eda, was involved in strengthening Hamas’ organization and jihadi strategies – before he was blown up in Peshawar in 1989 by unknown operatives.
Hamas’ goals are, like most revolutionary movements, publically proclaimed and readily available. Here are some instructive points from the August 1988 Hamas Charter (www.acpr.org.il/resources/hamascharter.html):
- “The Platform of The Islamic Resistance Movement (ed., Hamas): Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors … The Islamic Resistance Movement…joins its hands with those of all Jihad fighters for the purpose of liberating Palestine” (Introduction)
- “The Islamic Resistance Movement…strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine” (Article #6)
- “Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: ‘The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!’” (Article #7)
- “Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief ” (Article #8 – The Slogan of the Hamas)
- “The land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf (ed. irrevocably Islamic land, never to be owned again by non-Muslims) throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection. No one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it … Any … violation of this law of Islam, with regard to Palestine, is baseless” (Article #11)
- “(Peace) initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement … There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad” (Article #13)
- “In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad … We must imprint on the minds of generations of Muslims that the Palestinian problem is a religious one, to be dealt with on this premise. ‘I swear by that who holds in His Hands the Soul of Muhammad! I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill’” (Article #15)
- “The Muslim women have a no lesser role than that of men in the war of liberation; they manufacture men” (Article #17)
- “The women in the house…carry out the most important duty of educating their sons to observe…the duty of Jihad awaiting them” (Article #18)
- “The Arab states surrounding Israel are required to open their borders to the Jihad fighters … The other Arab and Islamic states are required, at the very least, to facilitate the movement of the Jihad fighters from and to them (Article #28)
- “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims” (Article #28)
- “Media people, … educators and all different sectors in the Arab and Islamic world, are all called upon to play their role and to carry out their duty … Jihad means not only carrying arms and denigrating the enemies. Uttering positive words, writing good articles and useful books, and lending support and assistance, all that too is Jihad in the path of Allah” (Article #30)
The strategy of Hamas is clearly and simply stated:
- The existence of Israel as a Jewish state is an affront to Islam
- The Jewish state must be totally destroyed and its people murdered
- An Islamist government must arise on Israel’s ashes
- This is a Koranic and Islamist requirement
- There is no possibility of any peace process with Israel
- All Islamic countries must allow jihadi attacks against Israel to cross their borders
- Media support of Hamas is an effective jihadi strategy
With these seven points in mind, the developing media frenzy over Gaza in the past few weeks comes into clearer focus as part of Hamas’ jihadi military strategy
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil!” (Jeremiah 13:23). The Deputy Head of Hamas’ Politburo Moussa Abu Marzouk agrees with Jeremiah, noting that “Hamas changes neither its skin nor its principles and it will deal with the West on this basis” (Jerusalem Post, Thursday February 2, 2006, p.6).
Strategies on the earth
Hamas terror attacks began with the kidnapping and murders of Israeli soldier hitch-hikers. Later jihadi attacks involved RPG attacks on Israeli children’s school buses, grenade attacks and shootings of Israeli civilians, and then suicide bombers on Israeli buses, in shopping malls, restaurants, markets, crowded downtown areas, etc. Mortar attacks in the Gaza Strip on Israeli kibbutzim were also carried out, and in response IDF Special Forces engaged in cat-and-mouse counter-terror operations. In 2005 Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon forcibly removed all Israelis and their kibbutzim and moshavim from Gaza, though many in Israel were opposed to this strategy. Sharon promised that if even one Hamas Qassam rocket were subsequently to be fired into Israel, then the IDF would come back with massive firepower and retake Gaza.
Former President Jimmy Carter was visibly supportive of democratic elections in Gaza (www.cartercenter.org/news/documents/doc2287.html). These elections overthrew the PLO and solidly established Hamas as a democratically elected jihadi government. Hamas then systematically arrested, tortured and murdered many PLO followers. Kneecapping à la IRA was also a regular occurrence (www.hrw.org/report/2008/07/29/internal-fight/palestinian-abuses-gaza-and-west-bank).
- Since Israel’s disengagement from Gaza, Hamas has been prevented from carrying out a land invasion of Israel due to the security fences and constant vigilance of the IDF, as well as its asymmetrical disadvantage against Israeli forces. This is still the case on the ground today
Strategies in the sky
Though Gaza now no longer was under Israeli control and no Israelis were living there any longer, Hamas remained true to its jihadi roots and began mortar and rocket attacks on Israel. In spite of Sharon’s vow, from 2006 and up to today, over 20,000 rockets and mortars have fallen on Israel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel). The supposed wisdom of PM Sharon regarding the Gaza Disengagement has been shown to be foolishness. The Apostle Paul once noted, “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20).
Over the past ten years here have been two major IDF incursions into Hamas territory in order to prevent mortar and rocket attacks (Operation Cast Lead, December 2008 and Operation Protective Edge July 2014) as well as countless targeted IAF airstrikes and Special Operations Forces operations.
The development and deployment of Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome) has for the most part stymied Hamas’ aerial attempts to murder Israeli citizens and cause civilian infrastructure damage.
Drone warfare has been another Hamas attempt. In this it is following the lead of Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah:
Again, the IDF has achieved marked success in frustrating Hamas’ drone efforts. These repeated failures are causing Hamas to seek out news strategic moves to weaken, damage and defeat Israel.
Strategies under the earth
Though Islamist rockets are very much waiting in the wings (this is also true for Hezbollah’s Lebanon and Assad’s Syria), Hamas has diversified its weaponry. It has turned to digging underground attack tunnels, hoping to be able to surprise IDF and Israeli civilians from the rear. The goal has been to kidnap soldiers or civilians (either alive or dead) and to cause jihadi terror casualties. A network of tunnels has been dug by Hamas far surpassing what U.S. forces encountered in Vietnam:
Israel’s scientific and military strategists have developed engineering counter-strategies involving underground radar sensors (www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5036556,00.html) and these methods have allowed the IDF to neutralize the tunnels, usually when Hamas engineers are busily at work constructing these cross-border tunnels. Israel’s success rate has been so massive that Hamas has again tried to diversify its attacks.
Strategies in the sea
Hamas has been upgrading and training its naval commandos for attacks against Israeli kibbutzim, farms, towns and cities bordering the Mediterranean.
Israel has responded with increased vigilance and technological development of new weapons systems and radar (www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5037845,00.html) which have again frustrated the majority of Hamas efforts to wage jihad against the Jewish state.
Hamas finds itself stymied by Israel on land, in the air, at sea and under the ground. Keeping that in mind, and in line with the Hamas Charter Article #30 (see above), Hamas strategic thinkers have chosen a slightly different strategy which, they believe, will cause significant damage to Israel. This involves bussing civilians to the security fences of Gaza, blending Hamas terror operatives into civilians crowds of men, women and children, and then attempting to break through into Israel and create a huge media blitz – creating headlines that might read “The Palestinians have finally returned to their own land!”
Hamas reasons that, should Israel stop the invasion of its country and the violation of its sovereign borders, the result would be lots of Palestinian casualties – men, women, children and terrorists among them. Israel has clearly and repeatedly warned Gazans not to come within 500 meters of the security fences, and that those who approach the fences with harmful intent will be fired on (see also www.timesofisrael.com/white-house-calls-on-gaza-protesters-to-avoid-border/).
Hamas bussed in 30,000 rioters/demonstrators last Friday March 30, Passover eve, and 20,000 this past Friday April 6, 2018. Out of the thousands who attacked the fence perimeters, some of them threw Molotov bombs against IDF soldiers. Others threw rocks or fired steel projectiles from special slingshots. In some cases IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were hurled at Israeli troops or concealed along Israeli security perimeters. Other terrorists fired on IDF troops during the late afternoon or attempted to break through fences under cover of darkness.
- Hamas media spinmeisters are portraying the casualties as Israeli aggression and violence, rather than Hamas-initiated attacks on Israeli soldiers protecting an Israeli border fence
On the past two Fridays there have been over 1,000 Palestinians treated each week for tear gas inhalation or rubber bullet wounds, or for live fire wounds. Eleven identified Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed attacking Israeli forces last week (www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-says-gaza-toll-rises-to-18-as-another-palestinian-dies-of-wounds/) and seven others were killed while attacking the fence. This past Friday saw nine deaths under the same circumstances:
Hamas’ goal in these violent demonstrations is to get images of blood – wounded Palestinians – onto the TV screens of the world, and then to accuse Israel and blame it for the wounded and the suffering. They want to create political pressure on Israel, force it to retreat from its own borders and allow a jihadi terror group to establish itself on the mountains of Israel (see Ezekiel 36:1-6). This strategy is reflected in the popular Arabic proverb, “First he hits me. Then he starts to cry. Finally he runs ahead of me to the judge and sues me.”
How should we then pray?
- Pray for the plans of the enemy to be frustrated and stopped
- Pray for the shapers of world media – that they would receive a revelation of the truth and speak out clearly
- Pray for the Jewish people to be protected from all who would do her harm – both physically and spiritually
- Pray for believers and prophetic intercessors worldwide to tap into God’s heart about these issues
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s army speedily and in our day
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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