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Tuesday, December 3, 2002
Hamas' "Popular Army": Struggle with Israel is part of struggle with the West.

Hamas' "Popular Army": Struggle with Israel is part of struggle with the
IDF Spokesperson 1 December 2002

The "Popular Army" was founded by Hamas in mid 2002 and dozens of youths
have been recruited to it in order to integrate them to the fighting ranks
of the Hamas leading up to a possible IDF operation in Gaza. Hamas'
spiritual leader Sheik Yassin has said that the organization follows the
Jihad way, and is part of Islamic organization's legitimate struggle against
the West. Another of the spiritual founders, Sheikh Yussuf Kradawi, further
endorsed this outlook.

A Hamas placard : the hand of Hamas stabbing a knife through the flags
of the United States, Israel and the USSR and in the background
it is written : "Islam is the Answer".

On November 29, 2002, the Hamas held a huge rally in the Sabra neighborhood
in Gaza. Throngs of Palestinians joined in to mark the day that the Prophet
Muhammad conquered Mecca. Mahmud A-Zahar, one of the senior Hamas leaders,
spoke at the rally and said:

- "The era in which Jihad warriors have had their weapons confiscated, have
been arrested and sent to prison is long gone. The circumstances have
changed, and especially so in light of the establishment of the Hamas' new
"Popular Army".

- "The Hamas will never lay down its weapons. It will continue on the path
of Jihad, and struggle. The Hamas will not listen to the disturbing voices
of those who call for an end to the Intifada".

- "The path of struggle has become the path of the entire Palestinian
population and can therefore not be silenced".

The Hamas website described how, at the end of the rally, dozens of armed
masked fighters of the "Iz Al Din Al Qassam Brigades" (the military wing of
the Hamas) and the "Popular Army" (the new branch of Hamas) took part in a
military style march.

Salah Shehadeh (late head of the Hamas' military wing) established the
Hamas' "Popular Army" in mid 2002. Shehadeh was killed in an IDF operation
in July 2002. Dozens of young Palestinians were drafted to this new
organization, where they were given military training for when they would
later join the fighting ranks of the Hamas. This was done in preparation for
the possible upcoming IDF operation in Gaza. The "Popular Army" operatives
were given small arms, machine guns, hand grenades, anti tank missile
launchers, mortar bombs, Qassam rockets and different kinds of explosives,
some of which weighed up to 200kg and were intended for use against Israeli

The establishment of the "Popular Army" is part of the Hamas organization's
interest in becoming the leading movement in Palestinian politics. In the
Hamas' view, the conflict between the Hamas and the Fatah movement over the
control of the Palestinian public has already been determined in Hamas'
favor. It is a conclusion that can easily be reached by looking at the
Palestinian population's ever growing adherence to the way of "the struggle"
and the "Jihad" against Israel.

Hamas' spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin

Hamas' spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, publically expressed this view
in the Australian Islamic newspaper "Nida Al-Islam" July issue 2002, when he

"We believe that Allah alone can bring victory. We are working to expand the
Islamic foundation in Palestine, to spread the adherence to Islam as a way
of life, a way of belief, of fate and religious law. Victory will always
belong to the believing Muslims, even if they are but a believing minority.
The Islamic movements have already gained an impressive victory over the
secular movements, which have been significantly weakened. With the
increasing power of the Islamic movement, we have forced the secular
movements into second place."

Yassin goes on to say that he does not see the Jihad as only a means to the
"liberation of Palestine" but also as part of the "Islamic movement's
legitimate struggle against the West". Yassin endorses posing a threat to
Western interests in Arab and Muslim countries, thereby realizing "the
people's right to self defense (Jihad)". This, he claims, is necessary in
the face of what he calls "the United States' support for imperialism and
their crusade against Islam".

Hamas is a terrorist organization that receives political and financial
support from Islamic organizations in both Europe and America. Hamas' views
were clearly expressed in a letter by Sheikh Yassin to Muslims worldwide.
Following are excerpts from the letter:

- Muslims must prepare themselves for a long battle because this century is
the century of Islam, its ability and its victory.

- The Jihad is a religious must, its purpose being to impose the Islamic
faith on the whole world and to liberate it from the rule of America and its

- In this battle, the choice is between triumph and being killed in a Jihad


Sheikh Yussuf Kardawi, considered to be one of the Hamas' most influential
spiritual leaders also supports Hamas' outlook. Sheikh Kardawi, aside from
being an authority on Islamic law (he provided religious authority for
suicide bombings, including making it legal for women), heads various social
and financial organizations that raise funds for Hamas (predominantly the
Iatlif Alhir organization).

Sheikh Yussuf Kardawi

In the beginning of April 2002, Sheikh Kardawi published an Islamic edict in
response to a question that he was asked by one of the surfers on
www.islamonline.net about the future of the struggle between Islam and the
West. Kardawi claims that Islam will be victorious, will dominate the world,
and that one of the signs of the upcoming victory would be the conquest of
Rome (Italy's capital city). As Sheikh Kardawi sees it, Islam will spread
through Europe until it is powerful enough to conquer the whole continent.
Following are translated excerpts of the Islamic edict cited by Sheikh

Question to the Sheikh: "Dear Sir, the Muslim's condition is not a secret to
anyone. With each day that passes there is more bloodshed, more Muslims'
honor is wounded, and more muslims are being deprived of their lands. Will
there be an end to this discrimination? Is there light that can cast away
this darkness? We ask you sir to tell us what signs we can look for to see
that Islam is indeed winning, so that we will not die of despair and be
taken hostage by apathy".

Answer from the Sheikh: "Many preachers speak of the end of time
(redemption), of the internal conflicts, battles and times (that lead to
redemption). These things in general imply that heresy is on its way to
successfully pushing Islam into retreat, that evil will win and good will be
defeated. They imply that those who adhere to the wrongs of the infidels
shall overcome the believers (until redemption). This means that there is no
hope for change and no desire for reforms and that we are going from a bad
situation to a worse one, each new day being progressively worse than the
last until the hour comes (redemption).

But those who think that Islam will not triumph are wrong and completely
misunderstand the Islamic scriptures. They ignore the many crystal clear
signs of salvation which prove that the future belongs to Islam, and that
the religion of Allah will win over all other religions, even if the
religions that worship more than one g-d rise up in struggle against it.

Therefore one must spread word of these signs, to spread hope which will
fuel the will of man. In this way, we will destroy the despair that kills
the soul.

The signs of salvation are many, and praise be to Allah, some of them are
written in the Koran and the Sunna of the prophet. The signs of salvation in
the Koran are as follows: Thus said Allah: 'He is the one who sends the
prophet to lead the right way and the true religion, so that this religion
will win over all religions, even against the will of those who believe in
several G-ds (Chapter Altawba, verse 33). This verse is repeated twice in
the Koran; one more time in the Chapter of Altawba and again in the chapter
of 'Alsaf'. In the chapter of Al Fatah it is written (close translation):
This is Allah's promise. The promise that Islam will vanquish all other
religions. Allah's promise is the truth, and he will never break his
promise, the promise of a victorious Islam and its rule over monotheistic
religions as well as other man made religions.

To demonstrate signs of salvation in the Sunna [Book of Islamic traditions
relating the life of the prophet Muhammad according to Islam], Kardawi cites
Islamic traditions which quote the prophet Muhammad as saying that one of
the signs of salvation will be the conquest of Constantinopal and after
that, the conquest of Rome. At this point Kardawi continues and writes: "The
city of Herkel (Constantinopal) was conquered in 1453 by the 23yr old
Ottaman Muhammad Ibn Morad, known to us as Muhammad the conqueror. Now we
need only await the conquest of Italy, and in this we hope and believe.
These signs mean that Islam will once again return to Europe as a conqueror
and that it will triumph after having been expelled from it twice. It was
expelled the first time from Andalusia (Spain) and the second from the East
of Europe after trying to conquer Athens (Greece). I believe that this time
we will succeed to conquer Europe not by the sword (combat), but by the
spread of Islamic ideology. The conquest of Rome is but a step in the
expansion of Islam, which will include the entire world, the East and the
West. This is based on the ways of the prophet and the signs of salvation.

- The strengthening and awakening of Islam will bring faith back to the
Islamic nations, and desire to live in the future of Islam. On the other
hand, it will cause the enemies both from within and without of Islam to
become fearful. The Islamic Caliphs are worthy of leading the nation to
victory because Allah has determined that the Islamic Empire will be lead by
those on the straight path.

- The warriors of Jihad defeated communism in Afghanistan using only their
primitive weapons against the cruelest most infidel country in history. The
communist countries have fallen one by one, beginning with the USSR, Eastern
Europe and Albania. [a similar fate] will be the destiny of other


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