Articles Israel

The Impact of Hamas on the Israeli-Fatah Peace Process (Analysis by Randy Brawley)

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Group Name: Hamas

Principal Ideology: Geopolitical Autonomy

Area of Operation: Gaza Strip

Leadership: Shura Council. Political Bureau-Khaled Meshaal. Military Wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (Independent of political bureau) – Muhammad Deif

Affiliated Groups: Muslim Brotherhood; Iran

Principal Enemy: Israel

Tactics: Terrorist (Indiscriminate rocket attacks; kidnapping; suicide)


Introduction

In the spring and summer of 2014, Israelis and Palestinians found themselves once again in open conflict, seemingly due to the kidnapping and deaths of three Israeli teenagers. How did the violence really start? On July 10, 2014, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the UN Security Council, “Today, we face the risk of an all-out escalation in Israel and Gaza, with the threat of a ground offensive still palpable — and preventable, only if Hamas stops rocket firing…”[1] As of July 11, 2014, Israel had killed more than 100 Palestinians and wounded several hundred in more than 1,100 air strikes.[2] Yet with Israel poised for a ground invasion of Gaza, Hamas continued to launch rocket attacks without causing a single Israeli fatality.[3] Why do terrorist organizations like Hamas carry on this way? The hair trigger was actually set months prior with the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, resulting in a new Fatah-Hamas alliance. The tripwire fired when three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped on June 12, 2014. Israel responded with sweeps through 1,350 West Bank sites, resulting in 330 arrests (including re-arresting previously released prisoners)[4], two Palestinian deaths, and the apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager.[5]

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Abdallah Azzam Brigades [Abdallah Azzam] (Analysis by Anja Freudenthal*)

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Group Name: Abdallah Azzam Brigades

Principal Ideology: Sunni Salafist Jihadist

Area of Operation: Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria, the Arabian Peninsula

Leadership: Saleh al-Qar’awi and Ibrahim Suleiman Hamad Al-Hablain

Affiliated Groups: Al-Qaeda

Principal enemy: Hosni Mubarak, Bashar al-Assad, Lebanese Hezbollah

Tactics: Insurgent and terror tactics in Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Sea of Oman


On May 30, 2012, the Department of State (“DOS”) designated the Abdallah Azzam Brigades (“Abdallah Azzam”) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization[1] and the group’s leaders, Saleh al-Qar’awi[2] and Ibrahim Suleiman Hamad Al-Hablain[3], also known as Abu Jabal, both Saudi nationals, as terrorists. Formed in 2009, the Abdallah Azzam Brigades, a Sunni Salafist Jihadist religious group, is affiliated with Al-Qaeda and has been reaching out to Muslims worldwide through a network of branches, located in Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria, and the Arabian Peninsula[4]. The philosophy of the organization is deeply rooted in the radical ideology of its namesake, Abdullah Azzam[5], who was a mentor to Osama bin Laden[6]. Azzam was killed by a car bomb in Pakistan in 1989[7]; however, his name continues to live on through internet websites, such as www.azzam.com and www.kawkaz.com, and Azzam Publications, all of which are operated by Jihadists or unknown sympathizers[8].

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