Terrorist Hamas uses extreme violence but not to further the Palestinian cause or to defend Palestinians

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsI am vehemently anti-Hamas although not exclusively because they arm themselves and use violence. Every society past and present has used violence to defend itself and/or to protect its interests and will continue to do so. Some were/are “just” causes others were/are not. 

Violence is & always was an integral element of human nature

The type and scale of violence and the “standards” with respect to armed conflict that used to apply – in theory (a gentleman’s code if you will / Geneva Convention most recently) – have long since fell by the wayside. 

Violence is unsavoury in all its forms but Hamas’ use of violence and the methods of its equivalents (Radical Islamists) has passed all acceptable thresholds from as far back as the 1970’s. 

Hamas Hijacking: This time it’s the Palestinian Cause not an Airplane

Hamas claim that they use force to protect their “people” against oppression, occupation, injustice and persecution. This is simply not the case. This disconnect results in tacit and in some cases outright support in the West for the Palestinian cause “represented” by Hamas. However, Hamas has in fact hijacked the Palestinian cause to further an entirely different set of strategic goals. Many in the West who lend this support misunderstand or are taken in by the false propaganda that Hamas peddles to disguise the true objectives of its use of extreme violence and aggression. 

Western Audiences Rationalising the Unthinkable

People understand others based on their own experiences. When we approach a topic like suicide bombing which is alien to all right thinking people they ask: “Wow…what would it take to make me strap a bomb to my chest to blow up a bunch of innocent people in a neighbouring country?” 

Some would say that this type of barbarous activity could only be justified because of provocation of the most extreme kind that resulted in the death of family and friends, or intense humiliation, or pure desperation. The fact is no justification exists that could legitimise anyone committing such a dreadful act. 

The Role of Veneer Thin Analysis & Biased Media Reportage 

The Western media then showcases the actions of a large, modern, well-funded army (IDF) apparently crushing an underdog that is fighting with stones and light weapons. They publish pictures of bloodied children in Gaza, bombed out houses and dead civilians to generate the impression that these actions which they describe as atrocities or state sponsored terror fuel the response from Hamas. 


Extremism & Frames of Reference

Suicide bombing is extreme, but in the context of how the media report it some people see a kind of twisted rationale behind it. However, the public’s thinking short circuits when it comes to groups like Boko Haram and ISIS, which all view as barbarians. 

Every sane person draws a blank when asking themselves “What circumstances would it take for me to behead all the men in a neighbouring town, enslave the women, and rape them until they have my children?” They have no answer – they lack anything resembling a perspective that could comprehend this let alone justify it or support it. 

The Israelis as victims of Hamas, the Christians and Muslims of the Northern States of Nigeria as victims of Boko Haram and the Kurds as victims of ISIS and Turkish State Terror all understand the perspective they are dealing with. 

Hamas, Boko Haram and ISIS all use violence as a form of religious devotion justified by their twisted interpretation of a book that was written 1400 years ago and which they interpret to suit their agenda and to develop their charters. 

The key difference between Hamas and Boko Haram / ISIS is not its ideology, it is merely that Hamas’ military tends to lose more regularly and spectacularly and use that “underdog” being bullied by an aggressor (Israel) as the key ingredient in their propaganda and funding strategies.  

They share only one thing – they are murderous extremists who cannot be negotiated with and are entrenched in views which they will not compromise for the sake of peace because they feel their cause is divine. 

The West labels it all “extremism” without fully realising that in these societies for these people it is normality and indeed seen as a religious duty. 

The Actual Strategic Objectives of Hamas

Hamas’ goal with their use of violence is not peace nor is it the achievement of a two state solution and it most certainly is not the defence of the Palestinian people. 

The Hamas objective is the explicit destruction of the sovereign State of Israel, the elimination of all Jews – man, woman and child, and the purification of a land currently held by non-believing infidels – not just Jews but Christians, Hindu’s, Buddhists, minorities – all in fact who are not Radical Islamists. This is not conjecture. The following excerpts are from the Hamas founding charter:

On Hamas belief system: 
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.

On killing Jews (pre-amble):
Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them; 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!

On peace (article 13):
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.

On Israel (article 28)
Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.

Read in full the published document: The Charter of the Hamas

Fostering A Culture of Violence and Hate 

From cradle to grave, Hamas and its predecessors have attempted to ingrain in their people a belief that the highest form of religious sacrifice is to commit violence and to give ones life for their “truths” as interpreted by them to suit their sinister agenda. Those who make that sacrifice are honoured in this world and the afterlife – by the governemnt. Streets are named after martyrs: PA names Ramallah street after Hamas terror mastermind 

Money is paid to their families as incentives rather than compensation: Documents: Saudis Paid Bombers’ FamiliesPalestinians get Saddam funds

The government has and continues to support this sacrifice by their citizens including their children who they encourage to become Shahid (witness or martyr): Arafat – “Dead Palestinian Children are the Greatest Message to the World”


Children are taught their role in the struggle: MEMRI: Hamas TV Children’s Show Encourages Killing of Jews. Palestinian children aspire to death as martyrs:

And some children play a more active role: Israel Says Children Enlist Children as Suicide Bombers – here a 14 year old suicide bomber:

Hamas possesses a entirely different mentality than Boko Haram or ISIS. Hamas many misinformed Westerners believe use violence to resist the Israeli “occupation” without realising that Hamas refers to the mere existence of Jews in Israel as an “occupation”. 

Bodies of dead and injured civilians are released and picked up globally by a liberal anti-Israeli media and attract audiences who do not understand that Hamas encourages and highlights these tragedies as a key weapon in their black propaganda efforts. 

An entire Hamas industry exists to stage powerful propaganda videos to elicit sympathy from the broader world. 

What really happens in Palestinian Media: Pallywood

This is an interesting “60 Minutes” segment about how the Palestinians use their own camera crews and actors to basically set up war scenes in their favour. Observers call it Pallywood:


Global sympathy elicited from pictures and videos of dead children are Hamas’ primary defence against the technologically stronger IDF. Sympathy is their primary source of funding from nations and individuals abroad; whether it be from those that are sympathetic to the goal of destroying Israel or those who are sympathetic to Palestinian suffering.

And the real Palestinians are suffering. Through the deprivation of their basic rights, through the stifling of their freedom to live differently, and through the constant state of war they find themselves in from both within and without – fostered by their “protectors” – Hamas.  

In summary, I do not disapprove of the use of violence to protect rights and preserve justice and oppose tyranny. But the Palestinians have a government that uses violence for far different reasons and not as a last resort – and rather than protecting free speech they stifle it, rather than uphold the rights of women to vote they suppress it, rather than encouraging new ideas to flourish they crush them, and instead of defending the Palestinian people they place them in harms way – for their own sake, for their twisted ideologies and for their personal enrichment.

The Noble (and Uber Wealthy) Man of the People

Yasser Arafat was the original head of the PLO, the mastermind behind the suicide bombing tactic, and the leader of the Palestinian PR strategy. Hamas has since taken control of Gaza, but they mention their close relationship with the PLO in their charter. 

Arafat was estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of US$300m at the time of his death, and a peak net worth of over US$1b; almost all of which was international aid and donations. His wife was well-known for her extravagant lifestyle in France, where she rented entire floors of luxury hotels and spent millions on high fashion: Why was €1m a month sent to Arafat’s wife?

Sixty Seconds to Show You What Hamas Does With Foreign Aid for its People



Acknowledgements:

First published Anonymously on Quora here.

Yarmouk burns and the world fiddles

The terror attack on Garissa University in Kenya, and the taking by ISIS militants of most of Yarmouk – the largest Syrian Palestinian camp on the outskirts of Damascus – indicate a dire deterioration in the security situation in the Middle Eastern and North African region.

In the south of the Syrian capital lies the neighbourhood of Yarmouk. Yarmouk was once a sprawling neighbourhood, home to 160,000 Palestinian refugees and Syrians but has been caught up in the country’s fighting and besieged by regime forces for more than a year. 


About 18,000 residents are estimated to remain in the camp after many fled the fighting. Populated now by mostly Palestinian refugees the camp has been ceaselessly barrel bombed and heavily shelled by Assad government forces since the ISIS launched an offensive against an armed Palestinian group there. 
Thousands of civilians have been trapped for weeks without receiving aid. Fighting has been raging since Wednesday (04.01.2015) between ISIS and rival armed groups. However, an activist in Yarmouk, speaking to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, said that the government’s bombardment of residential areas has been the main cause for civilian casualties and the humanitarian crisis. 
Doctors & Hospital Staff Flee
According to the activist and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, government helicopters have dropped barrel bombs, which are highly indiscriminate and destructive explosives, on the district. There were no details on casualties. The Yarmouk activist said doctors and hospital staff were part of the group of people that managed to flee the district, further crippling its already deprived medical system.

Food & Water Shortages
There are shortages of food and water causing rampant hunger and suffering among civilians. Palestinian officials in Damascus and other Syrian activists have said that ISIS seized control over up to 90 percent of Yarmouk and have been battling opposition groups across the district. 
Aknaf Bait al-Maqdis Arrest ISIS Fighters
But the Yarmouk activist denied reports that ISIS took most of the district, saying the cause for the intrusion of the group – coming from the nearby district of Hajr al-Aswad – was not to seize territory there, but to punish the Palestinian faction Aknaf Bait al-Maqdis for arresting ISIS fighters accused of assassinating one of their leading figures.

ISIS Expansion from Hajr al-Aswad
Fighting between the two sides has continued mainly in the southwestern outskirts of Yarmouk. Marwan Kabalan, a Syrian political analyst, told Al Jazeera that ISIL may be trying to expand its control in Damascus from the adjacent district Hajr al-Aswad, where it has been based for months. But he also noted that it would probably be “too difficult to take control over all of Yarmouk” for several reasons, including its urban nature and the number of armed groups that have established their foothold there.

“It [Yarmouk] is quite a big area. It was once the most populated area in Damascus, and now there are many armed groups there,” he said. “The regime has failed to seize the district from rebels for more than two years.” Activists reported that reinforcements from rebel groups, including Jaish al-Islam, arrived in Yarmouk on Sunday and managed to recapture several areas from ISIS.

Ahrar al-Sham, Nusra Front, FSA & Aknaf Bait al-Maqdis
Besides ISIL, control over Yarmouk is divided between the armed opposition groups of Ahrar al-Sham, the Nusra Front, Free Syrian Army groups, and Aknaf Bait al-Maqdis. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Sunday that ISIS captured at least 10 fighters from Aknaf Bait al-Maqdis and other rebel groups.

Pro-ISIL social media accounts published pictures showing 11 rebel fighters captured by ISIS beside some ammunition they seized. 


Ali Haidar, the Syrian minister of information, told Al Jazeera that the government had been working on a reconciliation deal under which the Palestinian factions would lay down their arms, and in return the government would end the siege. “We were days away from an agreement. However, rebel groups who are not Palestinian are against reconciliation, like Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham. This is why these groups allowed ISIS to come into the camp,” he said.

Barrel Bombs

A barrel bomb is a type of improvised explosive device (IED). Sometimes described as a “flying IED”, they are made from a large barrel-shaped metal container that has been filled with high explosives, with possibly shrapnel, oil or chemicals, and then dropped from a helicopter or airplane.

Due to the large amount of explosives (up to thousands of pounds), their poor accuracy and indiscriminate use in populated civilian areas (including refugee camps), the resulting detonations have been devastating. 

Critics have characterized them as weapons of terror and illegal under international conventions. The earliest known use of barrel bombs in their current form was in Croatia in 1991, where they were deployed from An-2 agricultural airplanes against Serbian positions around Vukovar. 


They were also used in Sudan in the 1990s, where they were rolled out of cargo-doors of transport planes. 

Barrel bombs have been used extensively by the Syrian Air Force during the Syrian Civil War and later by the Iraqi forces during Anbar clashes. Experts believe they will continue to be embraced by unstable nations fighting insurgencies since they are cheap to make and utilise the advantages of a government’s air-power.

Barrel bomb attacks throughout Syria have killed more than 20,000 people since the conflict began in March 2011, according to a December 2013 statement by the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC). 

It is estimated that, as of mid-March 2014, between 5,000 to 6,000 barrel bombs have been dropped during the war and their use has escalated. Aleppo has been the focal point of the Syrian government’s use of barrel bombs. 

Over time, government forces have refined their use of the barrel bomb to cause maximum damage – dropping one device and then waiting 10 to 30 minutes to drop another bomb on the same location. According to opposition activists, the aim is to ensure that those who flood the scene to rescue the victims are then themselves killed.

Yarmouk Camp

Yarmouk Camp (Arabic: مخيم اليرموك‎) is a 2.11-square-kilometre (0.81 sq mi) district of the city of Damascus, populated by Palestinians, with hospitals and schools. It is located 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the center of Damascus and inside the municipal boundaries but when established in 1957, it was outside the surrounding city. Yarmouk is an “unofficial” refugee camp; it is home to the largest Palestinian refugee community in Syria. As of June 2002, there were 112,550 registered refugees living in Yarmouk. During the Syrian Civil War, Yarmouk camp became the scene of intense fighting between the Free Syrian Army and the PFLP-GC supported by the Syrian Army government forces.

Yarmouk was established in 1957 on an area of 2.11 square kilometres (0.81 sq mi) to accommodate refugees who were squatters. Though it is not officially recognized as a refugee camp, road signs leading to this sector of the city read “Mukhayyam al-Yarmouk”, meaning “Yarmouk camp”.

Administratively, Yarmouk is a city (madina) in the Damascus Governorate. Over time, refugees living in Yarmouk have improved and expanded their residences. Currently, the district is densely populated, with cement block homes and narrow streets. Two main roads are lined with shops and filled with service taxis and microbuses that run through the camp.

According to the BBC, although Yarmouk “is identified as a camp, there are no tents or slums in sight. It is a residential area with beauty salons and internet cafes”. Living conditions in Yarmouk appear to be better than in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria and residents of the camp are made up of many professionals, such as doctors, engineers and civil servants, as well as many who are employed as casual laborers and street vendors. 

There are four hospitals and a number of government-run secondary schools. UNRWA operates 20 elementary schools and eight preparatory schools in the camp and sponsors two women’s program centers. There are three UNRWA health care centers in Yarmouk, two of which received upgrades in 1996 with contributions from the government of Canada. 

In 1997, six schools were upgraded with contributions from the government of the United States, and a kindergarten was built with funds from the government of Australia. In 1998, the UNRWA was also able to construct a health center funded by the government of the Netherlands. 

There is another Health Center whose expertise is devoted to prevention and treatment of thalassemia. The Center was built in 2009 thanks to funds provided by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). 

During the Syrian Civil War, Yarmouk camp became the scene of intense fighting between the Western backed rebel Free Syrian Army and its Palestinian ally Liwa al-Asifa on one hand and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC) supported by Syrian Army government forces on the other. 

Subsequently the Syrian Army has besieged the camp, leading to many leaving the area and a significant deterioration in conditions for the more than 18,000 Palestinian refugees and other Syrians remaining inside the camp, whom the UN describes as living in “complete deprivation”. 

On 1 April 2015, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters entered the camp from the Hajar al-Aswad district, sparking clashes with Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis and the Free Syrian Army. ISIL initially took over much of the camp, but was later pushed back from some areas, before regaining control. 

On 2 April, it was reported that ISIL was in control of the entirety of the Yarmouk camp and was handing out bread to refugees. Later reports confirmed that Palestinian fighters along with local rebels managed to push ISIL fighters out of Yarmouk.

Acknowledgements & References: Al Jazeera; Joseph Willits @josephwillits; Shona Murray independent.ie; Wikipedia
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My answer to "Why can’t Palestinians vote in Israeli elections?"

My answer to “Why can’t Palestinians vote in Israeli elections?”


Original question and other contributors’ answers can be read on QUORA at: https://www.quora.com/Why-cant-Palestinians-vote-in-Israeli-elections

The question is basically flawed and demonstrates a lack of understanding regarding the difference between Palestinians and Israelis and the states of Palestine and Israel. Like most of the debate on this subject the question is attempting to be rhetorical, it is emotive, uninformed and leads the debate down the usual “cul-de-sac” which is typically nuanced by anti-Israeli sentiment and blind support for a Palestinian cause that is flawed and fundamentally at odds with and supported by elements totally alien to Western / Israeli interests.

Palestine, Gaza, the West Bank, Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah and so on are all subjects on which many Westerners are prepared to hold very strong opinions regarding a subject on which they are generally thoroughly misinformed (based on biased media reports or blanket “liberal” agendas) or regarding which they possess no context or actual information – based on facts – that would inform an educated view on the matter.


The Palestinians do exercise their votes locally and most recently did so to choose Hamas – a terrorist organization – as their “democratically” elected representatives. Hamas – a group – who have zero interest in democracy.

Iran & Saudi Arabia – Proxy Wars

Iran and Saudi Arabia have been and are presently fighting proxy “sphere of influence” wars across the region via terrorist / extremist groups such as Hamas / Hezbollah / Fatah / ISIS and most recently in Yemen via Zaidi Shia rebels known as Houthis / AQAP.


Hamas –  Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah Islamic Resistance Movement

Hamas (Arabic: حماس‎ Ḥamās, “enthusiasm”, an acronym of حركة المقاومة الاسلامية Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah Islamic Resistance Movement) is a Palestinian Islamic organization, with an associated military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere in the Middle East including Qatar. Hamas or its military wing is designated as a terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The organization was also banned in Jordan.

Elections in Gaza and the West Bank

In the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, Hamas won a decisive majority in the Palestinian Parliament, defeating the PLO-affiliated Fatah party. Following the elections, the Quartet (the United States, Russia, United Nations and European Union) made future foreign assistance to the PA conditional upon the future government’s commitment to non-violence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements. 

Hamas rejected those changes, which led to the Quartet suspending its foreign assistance program and Israel imposing economic sanctions on the Hamas-led administration. In March 2007, a national unity government headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas was briefly formed, but this failed to restart international financial assistance.

Internal Fighting – The Battle of Gaza 2007

Tensions over control of Palestinian security forces soon erupted in the 2007 Battle of Gaza, after which Hamas took control of Gaza, while its officials were ousted from government positions in the West Bank. Israel and Egypt then imposed an economic blockade of the Gaza Strip, on the grounds that Fatah forces were no longer providing security there. 

In 2011, Hamas and Fatah announced a reconciliation agreement that provides for creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government. Progress has stalled, until an April 2014 agreement to form a compromise unity government, with elections to be held in late 2014. In 2006, Hamas used an underground cross-border tunnel to abduct the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, holding him captive until 2011, when he was released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. 

Since then, Hamas has continued building a network of internal and cross-border tunnels, which are used to store and deploy weapons, shield militants, and facilitate cross-border attacks. Destroying the tunnels was a primary objective of Israeli forces in the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict – Operation Protective Edge.

The Palestinian National Authority

Elections in the Palestinian National Authority refers to elections held in Palestinian Autonomous areas from 1994 until its transition into the State of Palestine in 2013. Elections were scheduled to be held in 2009 per the state’s own laws,[1] but the Next Palestinian general election was disrupted amidst a conflict between Hamas and Fatah.

President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to stay on until the next election, but he is recognised only in the West Bank and not in Gaza. The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has held several elections in the Palestinian territories, including elections for a president, legislature and local councils. Until 2007, the National Council had 133 members, with 66 members elected in 16 multi-seat constituencies, 66 elected proportional to the vote for each party, and the president as ex officio member. 

In 2007, the voting system was changed by Presidential Decree to abolish the constituency seats, and also prohibiting parties from contesting the election which did not acknowledge the PLO’s right to represent the Palestinian people (specifically Hamas). An opinion poll suggested that a majority of Palestinians supported the change, while Hamas called it illegal. 

Fatah and Hamas / Gaza and the West Bank

The PNA has a multi-party system, with numerous parties. In this system Fatah was the dominant party. The first Legislative and presidential election were held in 1996; the first local elections in January–May 2005, organized by PNA president Yasser Arafat before his death. Previous (failed) legislative Council elections were held in 1923 under the British Mandate. Previous municipal elections were held in 1972 and 1976 and were organized by Israel.

The January 2005 presidential election, won by Mahmoud Abbas, preceded the Hamas victory during the legislative election in January 2006.

Sources & Acknowledgements: Wikipedia / TMG Corporate Services / BBC News  

The Palestinian Paradox in French Foreign Policy

Hamas (Arabic: حماس‎ Ḥamās, “enthusiasm”, an acronym of حركة المقاومة الاسلامية Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah Islamic Resistance Movement) is a Palestinian Islamic organization, with an associated military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere in the Middle East including Qatar. Hamas or its military wing is designated as a terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The organization was also banned in Jordan.
Fig. 1 Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
Hamas Praising & Then Condemning the January 2015 Paris Terror Attacks
The Facebook page of Al-Rasalah, a publication of the Palestinian terror group Hamas, on Friday evening the 9th January 2015 ran a picture of the three Muslim terrorists behind the two deadly terror attacks in Paris – the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the connected shooting of a policewoman in Montrouge after which the gunman took several people hostage at a kosher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes in the east of Paris.
Fig. 2Paris Attacks – January 2015

The picture of the three – Cherif Kouachi, Said Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly (not pictured in the release was Coulibaly’s absconding associate and female Hayat Boumeddiene) was accompanied by the caption:
The shahidim [martyrs] who were dispatched by God, the heroes of the raid in Paris.”
Hamas later removed praise for the attacks from all official Hamas websites, Israel Hayom reported. On Saturday the 10thJanuary 2015, the Gaza-based terror group issued a statement condemning the Paris attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket, saying that there was no “justification for killing innocents.”
Fig. 3 Hamas Publication Praises Paris Terrorists
The Radicalisation of Hayat Boumeddiene
Fig. 4 Hayat Boumeddiene from bikini to Abaya
Little is known about the personal life of Hayat Boumeddiene. But she is believed to have met Amedy while working as a cashier and was said to have waited at least four years for him while he served time for an armed robbery conviction. In 2009 she quit her job and married her lover in an unofficial religious ceremony before settling down in Bagneux, Hauts-de-Seine. The pair mixed in radical Islamic circles and have been linked to the same groups as Abu Hamza. When she was once questioned by French media on the terror attacks committed by Al Qaeda and she responded by asking what about “the innocents killed by the Americans?”
The Hamas Political “Legitimisation”
In the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, Hamas won a decisive majority in the Palestinian Parliament, defeating the PLO-affiliated Fatah party. Following the elections, the Quartet (the United States, Russia, United Nations and European Union) made future foreign assistance to the PA conditional upon the future government’s commitment to non-violence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements.
Hamas rejected those changes, which led to the Quartet suspending its foreign assistance program and Israel imposing economic sanctions on the Hamas-led administration. In March 2007, a national unity government headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas was briefly formed, but this failed to restart international financial assistance.
Fig. 5 Read The Hamas Covenant also known as Hamas Charter
Tensions over control of Palestinian security forces soon erupted in the 2007 Battle of Gaza, after which Hamas took control of Gaza, while its officials were ousted from government positions in the West Bank. Israel and Egypt then imposed an economic blockade of the Gaza Strip, on the grounds that Fatah forces were no longer providing security there.
In 2011, Hamas and Fatah announced a reconciliation agreement that provides for creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government. Progress has stalled, until an April 2014 agreement to form a compromise unity government, with elections to be held in late 2014.
In 2006, Hamas used an underground cross-border tunnel to abduct the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, holding him captive until 2011, when he was released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. Since then, Hamas has continued building a network of internal and cross-border tunnels, which are used to store and deploy weapons, shield militants, and facilitate cross-border attacks. Destroying the tunnels was a primary objective of Israeli forces in the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict – Operation Protective Edge.
Fig. 6 Palestinian Leadership Nodes (2010)
The Palestinian Diaspora
The first large-scale emigration of Palestinian Christians out of Palestine began in the mid-19th century as a response to the oppression of Christians by the Ottoman Empire.
Since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Palestinians have experienced several waves of exileand have spread into different host countriesaround the world.In addition to the more than 700,000 in 1948, hundreds of thousands were also displaced in the 1967 Six Day War. The pattern of Palestinian flight continued during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
The countries outside the Palestinian territories with significant Palestinian populations are: Jordan 3,240,000; Israel 1,650,000; Syria 630,000; Chile 500,000; Lebanon 402,582; Saudi Arabia 280,245; Egypt 270,245; United States 255,000; Honduras 250,000; Mexico 120,000; Qatar 100,00; Germany 80,000; Kuwait 80,000; El Salvador 70,000; Brazil 59,000; Iraq 57,000; Yemen 55,000; Canada 50,975; Australia 45,000; Libya 44,000; United Kingdom 20,000; Denmark 19000; Peru 15,000; Colombia 12,000; Pakistan 10,500; Netherlands 9,000; Sweden 7,000; Algeria 4,030.
The majority of the estimated 100,000 Palestinians in the European Union (EU) are in the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. Outside the EU is Norway and Switzerland.
Germany’s capital Berlin has one of the largest Palestinian communities outside of the Middle East with about 30,000-40,000 people of Palestinian origin residing in the city (~1% of the total population)
Support by France for Palestinian Nationhood and the Hamas Paradox
A mismatch between public opinion in support of the Palestinians’ cause and politicians’ compliance with Israel’s wishes has guaranteed no end to the strife, and no likelihood of conditions to create a Palestinian nation.
Increases in support for Palestinian nationhood were reported throughout 2014 from Spain, France, Germany and Britain. In Australia, polls also showed a majority of Australians supporting the Palestinian cause.
France has warned that if the international community fails to resolve the Middle East impasse, it would recognize Palestine as a state. French lawmakers are set to hold a vote on Palestine nationhood on December 2, 2014
French parliamentarians debated the December 2 vote. A similar resolution was approved by British lawmakers on October 3, by the Spanish parliament on November 18, and Sweden formally recognized the state of Palestine on October 3. A poll conducted by IFOP (French Institute of Public Opinion) showed 63 percent of the French population in favor of an independent Palestinian state.
The U.N. Security Council, in a close 8-2 vote with five abstentions, on 30th December 2014 voted down a Palestinian statehood resolution that set a deadline for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian territories by 2017.
Eight nations voted for the draft resolution — one vote short of the necessary nine to be adopted — including Jordan, which sponsored the resolution, and three permanent Security Council members: China, Russia and France. The United States voted against the resolution on the table and had been expected to exercise its permanent council member authority and veto the measure, had it passed.
Two weeks later Hamas – the “democratically” elected “government” of Gaza praised the Paris Terror attacks.
International Terrorist Designation of Hamas
Country
Designation
The military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, is listed as a terrorist organization.[427]
The military wing of Hamas, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has been listed as a terrorist entity since 2010.[428]
Under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the Government of Canada currently lists Hamas as a terrorist entity, thus establishing it as a terrorist group, since 2002.[429][430]
The EU designated Hamas as a terrorist group from 2003 to 2014. In December 2014, the General Court of the European Union annulled this decision. The court stated that the move was technical and was not a reassessment of Hamas’ classification as a terrorist group.[431][432][433][434][435][436][437]
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs states, “Hamas maintains a terrorist infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank, and acts to carry out terrorist attacks in the territories and Israel.”[438]
As of 2005, Japan had frozen the assets of 472 terrorists and terrorist organizations including those of Hamas.[439] However, in 2006 it publicly acknowledged that Hamas had won the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections democratically.[440]
Banned Hamas in 1999[441] In 2013, Jordan rejected requests to allow Hamas to return.[15]
Russia does not designate Hamas a terrorist organisation, and held direct talks with Hamas in 2006, after Hamas won the Palestine elections, stating that it did so to press Hamas to reject violence and recognise Israel.[442] An Israeli official has said that Russia will reduce its ties to Hamas.[443]
The Turkish government met with Hamas leaders in February 2006, after the organization’s victory in the Palestinian elections. In 2010, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described Hamas as “resistance fighters who are struggling to defend their land”.[444][445]
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades have been listed as a proscribed organization under the Terrorism Act since 2001, but Hamas as a whole is not listed.[446]
As of 2006, China does not designate Hamas to be a terrorist organization and acknowledges Hamas to be the legitimately elected political entity in the Gaza Strip that represents the Palestinian people. Despite U.S. and Israeli opposition, the Chinese government met with senior Hamas representative Mahmoud al-Zahar, who previously served as Palestinian foreign minister, during the June 2006 China-Arab Cooperation Forum in Beijing, an held direct bilateral talks with Hamas and the Arab World. In addition, during the same month, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry further elucidated China’s pro-Palestinian stance regarding Hamas in spite of U.S. and Israeli opposition to China’s associations and close relationship with the organization, stating, “We believe that the Palestinian government is legally elected by the people there and it should be respected.”[19][20][22][447]
Lists Hamas as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization”[448]
Banned Hamas in 2014 and branded it a terrorist organization. Egyptian authorities accuse the group of supporting al Qaeda-inspired Islamist insurgents in the Sinai peninsula.[449][450]
Banned the Muslim Brotherhood in 2014 and branded it a terrorist organization. While Hamas is not specifically listed, a non-official Saudi source stated that the decision also encompasses its branches in other countries, including Hamas.[451]

Acknowledgements
Stuart Rees, Professor Emeritus of the University of Sydney and Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation.
The Algemeiner – The fastest growing Jewish newspaper in America
Twitter Account: Jewhadi @blastedsilver #2A #IstandWithIsrael #Kurds #Peshmerga #Yezidi #OpAntiISIS