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The Palestinians have been in the news thanks to Newt Gingrich calling them an “invented” people seeking Israel’s destruction. A Palestinian event a couple of days later got much less coverage—even though it bore out at least the second part of that description.
Hamas, which rules Gaza and won the Palestinian parliamentary elections resoundingly in 2006, has celebrated the 24th anniversary of its founding with a gala gathering of 350,000 in Gaza City. At it Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh proclaimed:
Resistance is the way and it is the strategic choice to liberate Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea and to remove the invaders from the blessed land of Palestine…. Hamas, together with other stubborn resistance factions, will lead the people towards uprising after uprising until all of Palestine is liberated.
The crowd, for its part, responded with chants of “We will never recognize Israel.”
To honor the event Hamas’s military wing Izzadin al-Qassam released a statement saying it had killed 1,365 Israelis, perpetrated 1,117 attacks against Israel including 87 suicide bombings, and fired 11,093 rockets at Israeli targets. As Evelyn Gordon notes,
Hamas’ boasts are almost certainly exaggerated: It claims “credit” for more than 80 percent of all Israeli casualties since 1987, whereas Israeli data shows a much more equal distribution between Hamas and its rival, Fatah, aka Israel’s “peace partner.”…
In other words, Hamas’s bloodlust is so intense that it takes “credit” even beyond its actual record of slaughter of men, women, and children. That record includes, for instance (in collaboration with Palestinian Islamic Jihad), the bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem in 2001, which killed 18, including children aged ten, eight, four, and two.
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