Hamas Representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan Justifies Suicide Bombings in Buses: Israeli Soldiers Ride Those BusesThe following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan, which aired on Al-Kawthar TV on August 6, 2007.
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"The Occupation Soldiers Also Have a Security Motive in Using Public Transport: They Shield Themselves Behind 'Civilians' Within the Zionist Entity"
Interviewer: "Islamic law has forbidden aggression during jihad - by forbidding the killing of women, children, the elderly, clerics who devote themselves to the worship of God, and other noncombatant civilians who do not serve in the enemy's army. Do you consider all the Jews in Palestine to be combatants who have plundered the land? We've witnessed martyrdom operations that targeted buses and restaurants."
Osama Hamdan: "First of all, let me clarify something very important. What is the ruling regarding those who live in Palestine, in the so-called Israel, and who are aggressors and plunderers of the land? The way we see it, they all came to Palestine from abroad, whether before the declaration of the Zionist entity or after it. If you were to conduct statistics within the Zionist entity, you would find that all these people have their origins in other countries - they came from Europe, Eastern Europe, from America, South America, or other places."
Interviewer: "In other words, there were no Palestinian Jews?"
Osama Hamdan: "No, there were no Palestinian Jews. When the British Mandate began in 1917, there was only one settlement on Palestinian land, which included several dozen Jews, who were living there in violation of the law at the time. I would like to mention that under the Ottoman state - regardless of the many reservations we have about it - there was a law that prohibited the Jews from staying in Palestine for over a month.
"Their passports and personal documents were taken away from them, and they were given an Ottoman permit at the border, which allowed them to stay for a month on Palestinian land. The only group that can be called Jewish was the one in Nablus. They still live there to this day. The Palestinians regard them as part of the makeup of Palestinian society, and they number no more than several hundred. As for those who immigrated from various countries - they are not Jews.
"Anyone who comes to live in a war zone is a combatant, regardless of whether he wears a uniform. That's one thing. Secondly, neither Hamas nor the Palestinian resistance force intentionally killed civilians. You mentioned the buses. What's an easier target - a bus, which is protected by various security measures, or a school [or] a theater, or a stadium, for example? These civilian targets - in which the killing of women and children is intentional - were not targeted by the resistance.
"Why were buses targeted? Because they are the means of transport used by the soldiers as well. The Zionist soldiers, who go from their homes to their bases and back, use public transportation, because it is free or almost free. In my opinion, the occupation soldiers also have a security motive in using public transport: They shield themselves behind the so-called 'civilians' within the Zionist entity.
"Therefore, the way I see it, they need to stop using public transportation, or else society should prevent them from using it, because it is the soldiers who are targeted. Just to prove it, in the dozens of operations that were carried out, the Zionists never announced, for example, that 20 children were killed, or that 50 women were killed. On the contrary, if you were to examine who was killed in martyrdom operations that targeted buses, you would find that 70% were occupation soldiers, and they may even have been in uniform at the time of the operation." [...]
"The Final Goal of the Resistance is to Wipe This Entity Off the Face of the Earth"
"We are making the preparations for a confrontation. This is not because we need to be prepared for an Israeli act of aggression - after all, aggression is intrinsic to this entity - but because the final goal of the resistance is to wipe this entity off the face of the Earth. This goal necessitates the development of the capabilities of the resistance, until this entity is wiped out."
Interviewer: "Do you think that Mahmoud Abbas, who has found himself in the crisis of the confrontation with Hamas, plays the role of a policeman, who is thwarting the Intifada, the resistance, and the jihad against the Zionist occupation in the Palestinian lands?"
Osama Hamdan: "He plays a role that is even worse than that. Mahmoud Abbas is doing this out of ideological conviction. He has been calling for a settlement ever since 1973. It was Mahmoud Abbas who created the Oslo Accords, and who was brought in by the Americans to serve as prime minister in order to confront Arafat. In my opinion, he plays this role willingly and out of conviction, which is worse than if he were doing it out of commitment to the occupation."