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October 14, 2015

Where’s the Coverage? Hamas Official Calls for Attacking Israeli Embassies Overseas

A former senior Hamas official, Khalel Abu Hilal, called for terrorist attacks on Israeli embassies in the United States, Europe and the Middle East in an Oct. 8, 2015 speech that aired on Qatari-owned network Al-Jazeera. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization. Despite numerous recent attacks against Jews in Israel, Europe, and the U.S.—including a Molotov cocktail thrown at Jews in New York City—major new media outlets failed to note Hilal’s incitement. This is all the more surprising given that Hilal, who served as Hamas’ minister of information before becoming leader of the Palestinian Freedom Movement, has personally received attention in the past.

The former Hamas spokesman was quoted at length and profiled as part of a 5,282-word 2007 New York Times article on the rise of Hamas in the Gaza Strip (“A Life of Unrest,” July 15, 2007). That article described Hilal as a “thin, grizzled chain-smoker who sucks in tobacco smoke the way an emphysema patient sucks in oxygen, is at the center of the revolution. His journey,” The Times claimed, “is Gaza’s journey.” He also was quoted by Reuters and in turn by Times Op-Ed columnist Tom Friedman in a profile on Hamas (“Behind the Masks,” June 20, 2007).

Yet, his latest calls for attacks against Israeli embassies and kill Jews abroad, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), have received no coverage by either The New York Times or other major U.S. media.

According to MEMRI, Hilal said, “We want [Palestinians abroad] to launch a holy march on all the Zionist embassies, in all the Arab and Muslim countries, as well as in Europe and America. All these embassies must be stoned with holy stones, like Satan is stoned.” This apparently is a reference to a ritual enacted during Muslims’ annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Hilal offered specifics as to what weapons should be used to commit the attacks. “These embassies,” he exhorted, “should be attacked with Molotov cocktails.” The day after Hilal’s Oct. 9 remarks, two Israeli students studying in New York City were targeted with a Molotov cocktail thrown by unidentified assailants, in a crime currently being investigated by the New York City Police Department (“Israeli Jews Assaulted With Molotov Cocktail in New York City,” Algemeiner, Oct. 12, 2015).

The former Hamas spokesman’s incitement was general:

“Why not target every infidel Zionist, who spreads corruption and depravity throughout the Arab and Islamic land? Why not stab this plundering settler? Why not run over this Zionist in Germany, in Tunisia, in Egypt, or in Jordan? Why not throw stones and Molotov cocktails at him? Why not stab him in his heart?”

Hilal’s statements encouraging violence and murder are hardly his first. He has exclaimed previously, “We have a Legislative Council whose members are martyrdom seekers….We raise our children from kindergarten to love martyrdom.” Hamas and other Palestinian sources including Fatah frequently referred to attacks against Jews in which the perpetrator dies as “martyrdom operations.”

A former high-ranking Hamas official now heading the misnamed “Palestinian Freedom Movement” calls to attack Israelis on foreign soil. Where was the coverage?

The MEMRI clip of Hilal’s remarks can be found here.

Posted by SD at October 14, 2015 01:34 PM

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