Sheldon Kirshner

Hamas Exonerates Itself

In the face of damning evidence that Hamas committed mass murder in southern Israel on October 7, Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, recently released a 16-page report denying that it deliberately targeted and killed civilians on that darkest of days.

Our Narrative, Operation Al Aqsa Flood, released a few days ago in Arabic and English, is a classic piece of crude propaganda brimming with unadorned lies, devious half-truths, unrestrained self-pity, and unrelenting venom.

Since much of it is implausible, it should be relegated to the dustbin of history as a relic of a disgusting regime that is clinging to power as Israel proceeds with its invasion of the Gaza Strip.

As Hamas’ report circulated, one of its top political leaders, Khaled Mashaal, told a Kuwaiti podcaster that the October 7 massacre has “revived” the Palestinian rejectionist dream of destroying Israel and building a theocratic Islamic state on its ruins. In expressing his desire to “liberate” Palestine from “the river to the sea,” Mashaal did not mince words. He spoke from the heart. He told the unvarnished truth.

He should be believed, much as Adolf Hitler should have been believed when he advocated the annihilation of Jews.

Marshaal’s candid admission does not mean that all Hamas pronouncements abide by the unvarnished truth. A case in point is Our Narrative, Operation Al Aqsa Flood, which is filled with flowery phrases and impregnated with deception.

It begins with a bold and ungrammatical statement: “In light of the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and as our people continue their battle for independence, dignity and breaking-free from the longest-ever occupation during which they have drawn the finest displays of bravery and heroism in confronting the Israeli murder machine and aggression. We would like to clarify to our people and the free peoples of the world the reality of what happened on October 7, the motives behind, its general context related to the Palestinian cause, as well as a refutation to the Israeli allegations and to put the facts into perspective.”

Citing a litany of Israeli indignities and violations against the Palestinians over the decades, the report suggests that Hamas had no alternative but to launch its murderous rampage in Israel.

“What was expected from the Palestinian people after all of that? To keep waiting and to keep counting on the helpless UN! Or to take the initiative in defending the Palestinian people, lands, rights and sanctities; knowing that the defense act is a right enshrined in international laws, norms and conventions.

“Proceeding from the above, Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7 was a necessary step and a normal response to confront all Israeli conspiracies against the Palestinian people and their cause. It was a defensive act in the frame of getting rid of the Israeli occupation, reclaiming the Palestinian rights and on the way for liberation and independence like all peoples around the world did.”

Incredibly enough, Hamas distanced itself from the cold-blooded murder of Israeli civilians.

“What the Israeli occupation promoted … that the Al-Qassam Brigades on October 7 were targeting Israeli civilians are nothing but complete lies and fabrications. The source of these allegations is the Israeli official narrative, and no independent source proved any of them. It is a well-known fact that the Israeli official narrative had always sought to demonize the Palestinian resistance, while also legalizing its brutal aggression on Gaza.”

The truth lies elsewhere.

The Hamas terrorists who descended on kibbutzim and on a nearby music festival perpetrated the deadliest pogrom since the Holocaust. Aided by a ragtag band of Palestinian criminals and looters, some of whom were employees of the United Nations Relief and World Agency (UNRWA), these savages murdered men, women, children and babies, sexually assaulted and raped women, and set homes alight in an orgy of unmitigated violence.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, having watched clips of the atrocities, said, “Babies slaughtered. Bodies desecrated. Young people burned alive. Women raped. Parents executed in front of their children, children in front of their parents.”

The attacks were filmed by the terrorists, who wore GoPro cameras, and by kibbutz security cameras.

As they withdrew from Israeli territory, they kidnapped Israelis like Shiri Bibas and her infant son, Kfar, and Vivian Silver, a Canadian-born peace activist who sought coexistence and amity with Palestinians.

Hamas impudently claims that it did not intend to attack civilians. “Avoiding harm to civilians, especially children, women and elderly people is a religious and moral commitment by all the Al-Qassem fighters,” the report says. “We reiterate that the Palestinian resistance was fully disciplined and committed to the Islamic values during the operation and that the Palestinian fighters only targeted the occupation soldiers and those who carried weapons against our people.”

Tacitly admitting that the accusations against Hamas ring true, the report says, “If there was any case of targeting civilians, it happened accidentally and in the course of the confrontation with the occupation forces.”

Backtracking and attempting to smear Israel, the report adds, “The brutal killing of civilians is a systematic approach of the Israeli entity, and one of the means to humiliate the Palestinian people.” In a reference to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, it says, “The mass killing of Palestinians in Gaza is clear evidence of such an approach.”

Hamas’ audacity is astonishing, but no one should be surprised by its chutzpah. Nor should they be taken aback by its dishonesty.

Be that as it may, the ideas that Mashaal expressed should be regarded with the utmost seriousness. By his reading of the current situation, increasing numbers of Palestinians believe they should adhere to their rights to the land stretching “from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

This is a roundabout way of rejecting Israel’s very existence and opposing a two-state solution.

Mashaal acknowledged that, in the interests of Palestinian unity, Hamas would temporarily agree to the establishment of Palestinian statehood within the boundaries of the West Bank and Gaza. But Hamas would never give up its unrelenting ambition to form an Islamic Palestinian state in what is now Israel, he said.

Hewing to that formula, Bassim Naim, the former Hamas health minister, wrote in Al Jazeera, “The scenario of liberating (Palestine), returning (to it), defeating the enemy and dismantling its enterprise has become feasible, even completely feasible. October 7 was a scaled-down model of the final war of liberation and the disappearance of the Zionist occupation.”

The scenarios envisioned by Mashaal and Naim conform to hardcore Hamas ideology. Hamas is bent on destroying Israel by whatever means necessary, yet its senior officials lack the decency to admit that its bloodthirsty foot soldiers committed homicide on a massive scale on October 7.

In the meantime, Israel continues its ground and air offensive in Gaza, knowing full well that Hamas is a malignant cancer that must be excised.

About the Author
Sheldon Kirshner is a journalist in Toronto. He writes at his online journal,
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