Hamas official: Israeli settlers are a legitimate military target

Haaretz reports:

Israeli settlers in the West Bank are legitimate targets since they are an army in every sense of the word, a senior Hamas official told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper on Saturday, adding that Palestinians were still committed to an armed struggle against Israel.

The comment by Ezzat al-Rashk, a member of Hamas’s political office, came in the wake of recent attacks against Israeli citizens in the West Bank.

On Tuesday, four Israelis were killed when unknown assailants opened fire at a vehicle they were traveling in near the West Bank city of Hebron. The following night, two Israelis were wounded in a similar shooting attack at the Rimonim Junction near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
“Attacking settlers is a natural thing,” al-Rashk told Al-Hayat on Saturday, saying the “Zionist settlers are the occupation’s first reserve military force.”

“They are now a real army in every sense of the word, with more than 500,000 automatic weapons at their disposal, on top of the basic protection by the [Israel Defense Forces],” the Hamas official said.

Al-Rashk also referred to the ongoing attempt to relaunch talks between Israel and the PA, saying they were noting more “than a media circus through which the U.S. administration wants to market its policy.”

Another Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, the organization’s Lebanon spokesperson, told the London-based newspaper that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was willing to forfeit “99 percent of the Palestinians’ rights, saying negotiations were over before they even began.

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17 thoughts on “Hamas official: Israeli settlers are a legitimate military target

  1. David

    Hamas has a point, but then they are also lobbing Qassam rockets at people in Sderot and Ashkelon when they have also indicated that they are willing to accept the 1967 borders in a future agreement with Israel. This part makes no sense.

  2. Norman

    It makes sense if you believe that Israel will agree, which they won’t. So, what have they got to lose? Israel has set it up so that there is no way that the ’67 borders will go back to. It’s only a matter of time before Israel blows up the surrounding countries in their belief that they are the chosen ones. Sacrifice the masses for the few. Too bad that the U.S. doesn’t have a P.O.T.U.S. to cut them off @ the knees, before it’s too late.

  3. John Somebody

    So, David thinks that Hamas are lobbing Qassams at Sderot. I suppose Israelis have a right to protect their innocent children, but they can do that, by clearing off, out of stolen land. And if we believe that the Israeli state / society has a right to protect itself, then we’d have to believe that a state / society which depends on ethnic ” cleansing”, to exist, has a right to exist. Well, it doesn’t. And as they can’t have ethnic “cleansing”, without a few massacres along the way, that means it needs to practice killing people for racist reasons, in order to exist. So, it has no right to exist.
    As the terrm genocide, is a legal one, then the definition of genocide, should be looked for, in legal dictionaries. (If you’re in the UK, try looking in Stones Justice Manual, or Butterworths Criminal Law. If you’re in Israel, I suspect that your legal reference books will also refer to the International Courts). According to them, killing people for racist reasons, is an act of genocide. And as Israel has to encourage an exodus of refugees, with the occaisional massacre, in order to exist, that means it depends on genocide to exist. So zionasties have no right to exist, as a state, or a society.

  4. Colm O' Toole

    The real question that should be asked is regarding the use of violence and whether or not it is justified. Mondoweiss has been discussing this issue quite passionately and honestly. See here:




    As for the question of the settlers in particular and whether they are legitimate military targets. I think they should be compared to Hamas. Both “The Settlers” and “Hamas” are in effect soldiers without a nation. Both sides have had basic military training but both sides do not work for a nation state they operate independently and largely based on religious motivations.

    Therefore if Israel considers a bunch of Palestinian men walking around with guns to be a legitimate military target Palestinians have every right to consider Israelis walking around with guns to be a legitimate military target.

    Also of course it is true that since all Israeli’s are required to serve in the IDF for a few years after graduating from school at the least they can be required as veterans.

    But the question of violence is still the main issue. I personally think the Palestinians would be better served in aiming a “third intifada” towards non-violent resistance simply because I think it would be the best way to defeat Israel and win support. Committing violence just plays into the hands of the Israeli’s who use violence to make gains on the ground.

    However while preferring non-violence as the best way, I cannot condemn the use of violence by Hamas. I ask myself how I would react if a bunch of Israelis moved into my country (Ireland) and began building towns and walls and claiming that the land belonged to Israel. If they did that in my country I would feel obligated to fight back and that obligation would be justified in law since every country has a right to defend itself from foreign invaders.

  5. scott

    Give Hamas F16s and Abrams tanks and I imagine the Qassam rocket fire will stop. Alternatively, give them the ability to trade, issue passports and to move freely in their own land, coupled with civil, human, and property rights, and I imagine nearly all the fighting will stop.

    But, you know someone with such a nasty name as David would be blind to this. Voltaire has a colorful commentary on that “good King David.”

    “I am a little upset that David, the annointed of the Lord, the man after the heart of God, a rebel against Saul, another annointed of the Lord, goes off with 400 bandits to impose a levy on the land, goes off to rob honest Nabal; and immediately afterwards Nabal is found dead, David marries his widow without delay.” (1Kings 21:1o-11)

    “I have some scruples over his conduct with the great king Achis, lord, if I’m not mistaken, of five or six villages in the canton of Geth. David, then at the head of 600 bandits, made the rounds of his benefactor, Achis: he plundered everything, he killed everyone: Old men, women, children at their mother’s breast. And why did he massacre children at their mother’s breast? It was, said the divine Jewish author, “for fear lest the children bear witness to king Achis.” (1Kings 27:8-11)

    “The bandits rose up against him and wanted to stone him. What did this Mandarin Jew do? He consulted the Lord, and the Lord told him that he must go and attack the Amakalites, (compared by Bibi to Iran) that there the bandits will gain great booty and enrich themselves.” (1Kings 30)

    “Meanwhile, the annointed of the Lord, Saul lost a battle against the Philistines and killed himself. A Jew brought the news to David. David, who apparently had nothing to give the messenger for his good news, had him killed as a reward.” (2Kings 1:10)

    David took over the whole kingdom. He surprised the little town or village of Rabbath and had every inhabitant killed by rather extraordinary devices: they were sawed in two; they were torn to pieces by iron plows; they were burned in brick furnaces; an altogether noble and generous way to make war.” (2Kings 12)

    “After these fine expeditions there was a famine of three years in the land. I readily believe it, for with the manner in which good David made war, the ground must have been cultivated badly.”

    “The people consulted the Lord and asked him why there was a famine. The answer was really simple: it was clearly because, in a country which barely can produce wheat, when the workers have been baked in furnaces and sawed in two there are very few people left to till the soil; but the Lord answered that it was because Saul had killed some Gabaonites.”

    “What did good David do? He assembled the Gabaonites; he told them Saul was very wrong to make war on them; that Saul was in no way like himself, after God’s own heart; that it was just to punish Saul’s race; and he gave them seven of Saul’s grandchildren to hang, who were hanged because there had been a famine. (2Kings 21)”

    This doesn’t even address the betrayal of Uriah, the adultery of Bathsheba, most of us are familiar with that story. It’s funny, those with the name Hitler had the good sense to change their name. But neither your parents, nor you have exercised such reflection.

    I have a hard time taking moral judgments from anyone who’d honor someone with such a legacy as David. Perhaps you’re ignorant, but that really is a poor defense. At least now you can’t claim ignorance.

  6. Christopher Hoare

    The report in Haaretz is clearly part of the spin machine. The so-called peace talks are starting and so it’s essential for the Zionists to play up the public image of their opponents are terrorists. How better than to report an aggressive statement from someone they can paint as a senior official of Hamas?
    I’m sure they can find thousands of angry Palestinians to quote in the days that follow. The key point always left out of the Israeli and American narrative is the extent of the provocation of violence. If there were such a thing as balanced reportage, each incident of settler violence would be reported as prominently.

  7. Yosef

    I think hamas make a very valid and pertinent point here and the situation in hebron is the absolute WORST of the entire occupation of Occupied Palestine.
    After all …
    what use is a universal human right to Resist illegal armed occupation in international law by all means necessary UNLESS it is engaged and secured in PRACTICE?

  8. Youth.

    What I’d like to know is, how many Israeli casualites to Hamas incur by their rocket attacks? Just curious, but it’d be interesting to have the stats. We hear that they ‘rain down rockets’ every day — so….that must man the Israeli death toll must be in the hundreds, or thousands….right?

    Stats anyone?

  9. Brian (Christian Palestinian sympathiser)

    Scott’s first paragraph is spot on.

    However, every one of his “Biblical” references from 1 and 2 Kings is false. Check them out (very easy on the internet); two of them refer to passages that don’t even exist (there are only 22 chapters in 1 Kings) and the rest are nothing to do with the actual texts referred to.

    Yes, King David did some evil things (the Bible makes no bones about the sins of all its heroes except the sinless Jesus) and was punished by God accordingly.

    This is from 2 Samuel 12:

    5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

    7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

    11 “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ”

    13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”
    Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, [a] the son born to you will die.”

    “The sword will never depart from your house (family)” and “Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you” were fulfilled by David’s son Absalom who fought against him and took the throne. Absalom was eventually killed by David’s general Joab.

    You may not want to read all this Biblical stuff, but it’s more interesting than the falsehoods of Voltaire or Scott, and makes good sense to me.

  10. scott

    The citations aren’t mine, the whole passage is from Voltaire “Candide and Other Writings” I took a very few liberties to modernize the 1956 English without note, the book says it was edited by Haskell M Block and published by Random House. I appreciate the note about problems with the citations. I’ve found Voltaire dead on in his critiques, I can’t vouch for his citations.

  11. Eleonora

    To Youth

    I hope these numbers help to satisfy your curiousity? Unfortunately, the Israeli ITIC stopped publishing details in table form on their website – it’s open to speculations as to why but looking at the numbers one get’s an idea … now one has to sift through every article to find a clue. We should not forget, that these “staggering” numbers of civil casualties from 2000 to 2008 were given as the “reason” for flattening Gaza, killing, injuring and traumatising its civilian population in 2008/9.

    Rockets fired in 2008 without casualties:
    May: 149
    June: 87
    July: 8
    August: 3
    September: 3
    October: 1

    The IL Government confirmed that none of these rockets were fired by Hamas. Then on November 4th the IDF entered Gaza and killed 6 people under the pretext that they were building a tunnel. After that killing 68 rockets were launched in November and 52 in December.

    4th of Nov. was the first officially by Israel admitted breakage of the Hudna (cease fire) which was in place since mid 2008. But we should not forget, that throughout the Hudna – as early as the first day after entering the ceasefire – the IDF kept breaking it, not Hamas. Even Mark Regev (IL Gov spokesman) confirmed this fact in a rare moment of truth.

    Rocket/mortar launching history:

    2000, no mortars or rockets were launched
    No Israeli casualties
    Pal deaths 2000:*: 327

    2001, 245 mortars and 4 rockets
    St. Sgt. Barak Madmon, on duty in Kfar Darom, was killed.
    Pal. deaths 2001: 577

    2002, 257 mortars and 35 rockets
    No casualties
    Pal. deaths 2002: 1,068

    2003, 265 mortars and 155 rockets
    5 civilians were killed (3 Jews and 2 Moslems)
    Sgt. Michael Chizik was killed in an outpost in Gush Katif, Gaza
    Pal. deaths 2003: 664

    2004, 876 mortars and 281 rockets
    6 civilians were killed (1 chin. worker, 3 Jews and 2 Moslems)
    Pal. deaths: 2004: 881

    2005, 238 mortars and 179 rockets
    1 civilian (thai-worker) was killed
    Pal deaths 2005: 255

    2006, 22 mortars and 946 rockets
    4 civilians were killed (1 Jew and 3 Moslem),
    Pal. deaths till Juli 2006: 631

    2007, 1,263 mortars and 1,049 rockets
    2 civilians were killed (Jews)
    Pal. deaths: 343

    * Pal. deaths don’t distinguishe between Christians and Moslems

    (Source for mortars und rockets: IL Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
    (Source for pal. deaths: PCRS)

  12. Eleonora

    To Christopher

    “…, each incident of settler violence would be reported as prominently.”

    You must be joking – that would mean they have to extend the news bulletins considerably. The “holy men of Hebron” and their attrocities committed on daily base against the Palestinians of Hebron would fill alone 1/2 hour every day.

    But if the Hamas official figures so prominently … what about the book by Rabbi Shapiro and his incitement/blessing to kill all the non-Jews including Babies? Not worth the time of the news chanels? Has this entered the US mainstream or is it kept outside (as is usual the case)?

  13. John Somebody

    But don’t you just love it, when the zionasties paint themselves into a corner; appearing ever more rabid and the rest of the world finds new ways to get the news out, to the point where even the BBC can’t risk losing credibility by not running the same stories.
    Oh, alright, then, the BBC lags behind Fox, on the propagandaometer, but if enough comparatively small time lackies, like those at the BBC give up enough times, the heavy duty, lickspittle lackies will fall behind the curve, and lose more credibility even quicker. So, the whole world will benefit

  14. Youth

    Eleonora, thank you — that is precisley the kind of info we need in the mainstream. Do you have a link please?



  15. Eleonora

    To Youth

    Well, as I said, the old link (which was accessible at the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is disabled but if you have the time and interest you can sift through their new website: http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/site/html/search.asp?isSearch=yes&isT8=yes&searchText=T95&pid=113&sid=13&preview=

    The MfA (http://www.mfa.gov.il/) used to have a great table with all the victims on the Israeli side, including rank, names, age and domicile – “Fatal Terrorist Attacks in Israel Since the Declaration of Principles (September 1993)”. For some reason this disappeared too as of March 2004. I guess too many people realized how these figures didn’t match with the official propaganda.

    But you can still find the list uptated till August 2010 in the Virtual Jewish Library under http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Terrorism/victims.html. The point is that the MfA had a more official character.

    If you care to have a detailed look as to where the attacks happened you’ll see that over 90% took place in the occupied territories. If it where the Israelis the world would bestow on them the right to “self-defense”. As the attacks were committed by Palestinians in an attempt to liberate their land from the occupiers it’s naturally terrorism …

    As for the Palestinian side go to: http://www.palestinercs.org/humanitarian_Arch.aspx?cat_id=20 and see the different tables.

    Happy if these info help you,


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