Editor’s note: Below is the latest profile of Frontpage’s new series, “Voices of Palestine,” which will illuminate the core beliefs, in their own words, of leading figures in the Palestinian death cult. Click the following to view the profiles of Ahmad Bahr, Mahmoud al-Zahar, Ibrahim Mudayris, Yasser Ghalban, Haj Amin al-Husseini, Wafa al-Bis, Mahmoud Abbas, Ahlam Tamimi, Yassir Arafat (Part I and Part II), Abdallah Jarbu, Sheik Ismail Aal Radhwan and Abdel Aziz Rantisi.
Yunis Al-Astal, born in 1956 in the Gaza city of Khan Yunis, began his career preaching the glorification of exterminating Jews as an imam in the Palestinian Islamic terror group Hamas.
While Al-Astal’s incendiary rants were delivered in the mosques of Gaza, they were vile enough to gain him international notoriety, leading to his being banned in 2006 from entering the United Kingdom for “seeking to foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence.”
When Hamas gained control of Gaza in the elections of 2006, Al-Astal made the transition from preacher of hate to political firebrand as an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
During his time as a Hamas legislator, Al-Astal was part of the 2009 effort by Hamas to prevent the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) from including curriculum on the Holocaust in the preparatory schools it runs in Gaza.
According to Al-Astal, teaching Palestinian children about the Nazi genocide of Jews would be “marketing a lie” and the introduction of the subject tantamount to a “war crime.”
It should be noted, however, that Al-Astal's disbelief in the historical veracity of the Holocaust didn’t mean he wasn’t a proponent of the necessity and inevitably of such an event in the future. In a 2008 newspaper column he wrote: “Suffering by fire is the Jews’ destiny in this world and the next. Therefore we are sure that the Holocaust is still to come upon the Jews.”
While suffering by fire may be the Jews’ destiny, it hasn’t precluded Al-Astal from championing other forms of violence on Jews, in particular suicide bombings as practiced by the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. Al-Astal was identified by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation as being a member of the Brigades.
During the Al-Aqsa Intifada (2000-2004), the Al-Qassam Brigades killed over 1,000 Israelis and wounded nearly 4,000 others, with 553 victims coming from the group’s 61 “martyrdom operations.”
Many may view suicide bombings as nothing but a moral, ethical and religious abhorrence, but for Hamas they remain justifiable and celebratory acts. That barbaric viewpoint has been chillingly expressed by a number of Hamas leaders over the years, and few have done it with more zeal than Al-Astal.
In a 2007 interview on Hamas-controlled Al Aqsa TV, Al-Astal put his genocidal oratorical talents on display when he gave an impassioned thumbs up to the glory of exploding oneself in order to kill innocent people:
The most exalted form of jihad is fighting for the sake of Allah, which means sacrificing one’s soul by fighting the enemies head-on, even if it leads to martyrdom. Martyrdom means life next to Allah.
Each and every boy and man, and each and every girl and woman, is a potential martyrdom-seeker. The enemy should know that we are prepared to wear explosive belts, and to throw ourselves in the midst of the enemy, in order to make them taste the evil consequences of their deeds. They should know that they have no other choice – either they leave or they will die, even if it takes a long time.
Females, in particular, who choose life as a suicide bomber receive additional benefits. According to Al-Astal, being a human explosive affords women an opportunity to exercise freedoms unavailable to most contemporary Muslim women:
When jihad becomes an individual duty, the husband’s permission or consent is not required …Jihad is a duty, and so is wearing a veil, but the duty of jihad is ten times greater than the duty of wearing a veil.
In fact, Al-Astal was quick to point out that Muslim women have a special calling to serve as martyrs, one that has deep Islamic roots:
In many cases, women participated in combat, especially if the Islamic army was weakening, and you could see that the enemy was about to gain the upper hand…Safiyya, the aunt of the Prophet Muhammad, used a pole to kill a Jew in the Battle of the Trench…History has recorded, in shining letters, the fact that Al-Khansaa sacrificed her four children at the battle of Al-Qadisiyya. She inflamed their emotions and she herself incited them to fight until they attained their martyrdom, and then she thanked Allah for honoring her with the killing of them all.
So, given the sacrificial role they have played in Islam throughout the ages, it came as no surprise to Al-Astal that today’s generation of Muslim women have successfully picked up the martyrdom banner:
In the second Al-Aqsa Intifada, female martyrdom-seekers emerged. These are young women, in the prime of their life, at a time when girls like these think only about jewelry and preparing for marriage. Nevertheless, they went to their martyrdom, advancing head-on with a great fighting spirit. This intifada of ours has recorded more than 15 exemplary cases of girls who were martyred for the sake of Allah. But not before making the Jews – the brothers of apes and pigs – taste the bitterness of death.
Death for Jews is not only bitter, but pre-ordained, according to Al-Astal, as he made clear in an interview on Al-Aqsa TV on May 11, 2011:
The [Jews] are brought in droves to Palestine so that the Palestinians – and the Islamic nation behind them – will have the honor of annihilating the evil of this gang. All the predators, all the birds of prey, all the dangerous reptiles and insects, and all the lethal bacteria are far less dangerous than the Jews.
In just a few years, all the Zionists and the settlers will realize that their arrival in Palestine was for the purpose of the great massacre, by means of which Allah wants to relieve humanity of their evil.
Of course, exterminating the Jews is just the first step in Allah’s grand plan, as Al-Astal explained:
When Palestine is liberated and its people return to it, and the entire region, with the grace of Allah, will have turned into the United States of Islam, the land of Palestine will become the capital of the Islamic Caliphate, and all these countries will turn into states within the Caliphate. When this happens, any Palestinian will be able to live anywhere, because the land of Islam is the property of all Muslims.
Having purified the entire region for Islam, the final step would be the creation of a worldwide Islamic Caliphate, the details of which Al-Astal had given years earlier in an interview on April 11, 2008, on the occasion of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Jordan and Israel.
Allah has chosen you for Himself and for His religion so that you will serve as the engine pulling this nation to the phase of succession, security and consolidation of power, and even to conquests through da’wa and military conquests of the capitals of the entire world.
Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad. Today, Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam – this capital of theirs will be an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe.
Perhaps recognizing that he would not live long enough to see the fruition of that Islamic dream, Al-Astal then passed on the jihadist torch to a new generation:
I believe that our children, or our grandchildren, will inherit our jihad and our sacrifices, and, Allah willing, the commanders of the conquest will come from among them.
Today, we instill these good tidings in their souls – and by means of the mosques and the Koran books, and the history of our Prophets, his companions, and the great leaders, we prepare them for the mission of saving humanity from the hellfire at whose brink they stand.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, thanks to Yunis Al-Astal, that Islamic mission to conquer and "save" humanity won’t lack willing volunteers.
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