Hamas Official: Israeli Settlers Are a Legitimate Military Target

Member of Hamas' politburo says settlers posses more than half a million automatic weapons, as well as being regularly supported by IDF troops.

Haaretz Service
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Haaretz Service

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.

Israel police and IDF troops at the scene of the West Bank shooting on Sept. 1, 2010.Credit: Emil Salman

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.

Earlier Thursday, Palestinian sources told Haaretz that the Palestinian security forces had apprehended two Hamas-affiliated Hebron residents suspected to have been involved in the deadly shooting attack on Tuesday.

The attacks coincided with the launch of U.S.-sponsored direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in Washington. The Islamist Palestinian group Hamas has come out vocally against the talks. Claiming responsibility for Tuesday's and Wednesday's shootings, Hamas vowed to carry out further attacks.

"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.

The comments by the two Hamas strongmen came as a Qassam rocket was fired by militants from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, exploding in an open field in the western Negev. No injuries were reported.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them