Hamas Spokesman Calls for the “Liberation of Palestine” Through Terrorism

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Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan delivered a hate-filled sermon calling for the “liberation of Palestine” through terrorism rather than through inter-Arab and international conferences. Delivered two days after the Riyadh Summit, the sermon, which included a call to slaughter the Jews, was broadcasted on Palestinian television, controlled by Abu Mazen


Ismail Radwan delivering the Friday sermon: a call to slaughter the Jews and liberate Palestine with guns and rockets (Palestinian TV, March 30, 2007)

1. The Friday sermon of March 30, 2007, on the occasion of the birthday of Muhammad, was delivered by Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan in the Gaza mosque of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan. 1 The sermon was broadcasted live on the Palestinian national television, controlled by Abu Mazen, the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority. The sermon included a call to fight against the Jews and slaughter them, citing a hadith called “Vision of the Apocalypse” (a hadith is a collection of religious rulings, sayings, and citations attributed to Prophet Muhammad and handed down orally from generation to generation).

2. “Vision of the Apocalypse” is a hadith attributed to Muhammad, which includes what could be interpreted as a call to slaughter the Jews. In his sermon, Ismail Radwan included the following verse: “The Day of Judgment will not arrive until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jew hides behind the stones and the trees; and each stone or tree will say: Oh Muslim, Oh servant of God, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him; except for the gharqad, which is the tree of the Jews.” 2

3. Other subjects in the Friday sermon delivered by Ismail Radwan and broadcasted on Palestinian television:

a. Stressing the need for a national unity similar to that which existed in the time of Prophet Muhammad. According to Radwan, once a national unity of the political leadership has been achieved, the next objective is to achieve a unity of those “jihad warriors” who are in the same trench of “resistance” (referring to the unity of the terrorist-operative wings of the various terrorist organizations).

b. The earthworks carried out by Israel at the Mugrabim Ramp are meant to remove the Mugrabim Gate and build the Temple of Solomon. Ismail Radwan calls for jihad and “resistance” (i.e., terrorism) to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian people, while praising jihad.

c. Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque will not be liberated by conferences (hinting to the Riyadh Summit), international decisions, or negotiations, “instead, they will be liberated by the rifle, since the only language the occupation understands is force.” According to Radwan, “honor and strength will not return and Palestine will not be liberated unless it is through jihad and resistance, as told by Allah in the Quran.” 3

d. Radwan referred to Muhammad’s statements on the “victorious faction” which subdues its enemies and is not hurt by those who invade it or eliminate and arrest its people. 4

e. Radwan criticized the Islamic nation for having abandoned jihad in its conferences 5 and stopped supporting the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestine. He once again stressed that Palestine will only be liberated by means of jihad (holy war) and resistance (violence and terrorism).

4. Born in 1962, Ismail Sa’id Muhammad Radwan, of the Shati refugee camp, is a Hamas spokesman. He is also a lecturer on the Shari’a (Islamic religious law) in the Islamic University in the Gaza Strip, one of Hamas’s strongholds. In his statements following the Riyadh summit (including a speech given to the participants of a rally in Khan Yunis), he repeatedly stressed that Palestine would not be liberated by means of conferences or negotiations but only by means of weapons.

5. Even though controlled by Abu Mazen, the Palestinian national television frequently broadcasts incitement songs and programs, which more than once have religious Islamic motifs. Nevertheless, a sermon such as this, expressing overt support of the continuation of terrorism and incorporating anti-Semitic themes of Islamic character, is highly unusual in the past two years, since the termination of Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiras’s hate-filled anti-Semitic sermons. 6

6. Ismail Radwan’s sermon reflects a recent escalation in the rhetoric of Hamas spokesmen, who repeatedly stress Hamas’s continued commitment to terrorism and its determination not to recognize the State of Israel. The reason, in our assessment, is Hamas’s interest to clarify that there has been no change in the movement’s views and, possibly, to provide an answer to both internal and external criticism that the movement leaders abandoned the movement’s principles by agreeing to the national unity government and by participating in the Riyadh Summit.


1 It is the same mosque where Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiras used to deliver anti-Semitic sermons, broadcasted on Palestinian television until about two years ago (see footnote no. 6).

2 “Vision of the Apocalypse” refers to an apocalyptic war between the Muslims and the Jews . According to the hadith, every tree and every rock will call out to Muslims, giving away the hiding places of the Jews, except for the salt tree, which will protect the Jews and will not give them away (the salt tree is a shrub growing in desert areas). In other versions of the hadith, Muhammad’s words are not necessarily phrased as an apocalyptical prophecy but rather as a command given to Muslims to kill Jews, without mention of the salt tree to defend them.

3 Ismail Radwan cites a verse from the Quran: Surat al-Isra (17), verse 7. This verse was previously cited by Yasser Arafat and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah as a reference for the claim that Israel must be wiped off the map.

4 It is not clear what precisely Prophet Muhammad refers to by “victorious faction”. The term appears in one of Islam’s most well-known hadiths . According to Palestinian interpretation, “victorious faction” refers to a select few Muslims whose role is to adhere to the absolute truth and continue striking against the enemy until the victory of Allah. Those select few are based on and around Temple Mount. According to Palestinian interpretation, the “victorious faction” are the Palestinians. While under siege in the Muqata, Arafat made extensive use of citations from that hadith. It should be noted that Al-Qaeda seniors have come to use the term “victorious faction” to refer to all of Al-Qaeda’s operatives and to those who are ideologically inspired by the organization.

5 Referring to the decision of the latest summit in Riyadh (March 27-28), which mentioned “resistance” (violence and terrorism) but did not mention the Islamic term “jihad” (holy war).

6 Within this context, see Information Bulletins published by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center: “ Palestinian television, supervised by the Palestinian Authority, broadcast an anti-Semitic sermon. It was delivered by sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiras, a symbol of Palestinian incitement. The anti-Semitic sermon shows that in the PA- controlled media there still are occasional instances of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incitement. Moreover, the mosques in the PA-administered territories continue to function conspicuously as centers of anti-Israeli hate propaganda” (May 2005); “Anti-British hate propaganda on Palestinian TV: the Palestinian Authority-controlled TV station broadcast a vicious anti-British sermon delivered by sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiras, a symbol of Palestinian incitement” (May 2005).

Source: http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/hamas_e_sermon.htm

Hamas Spokesman Calls for the “Liberation of Palestine” Through Terrorism

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