Hamas chief’s threats expose terror group’s irrelevance during Ramadan

Looking back, it was nothing more than bluster that kept Hamas in the news during the past month.

By Pesach Benson, World Israel News

Hamas has been trying to position itself as the defender of Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque this past Ramadan. And Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas in Gaza, wanted to make sure nobody forgot.

That was the purpose of his hour-long speech in Gaza on Saturday night. Sinwar thundered against alleged Israeli plots to partition the Temple Mount as a precursor to building a Jewish Temple in place of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

He vowed to fire a barrage of “1,111 rockets” if Israeli security personnel set foot in the mosque again.

Sinwar insisted that if Israelis enter Al Aqsa, Hamas will launch “a regional, religious war” that would lead to the targeting of “thousands of synagogues all across the world.”

For Palestinian audiences, it was an impressive performance. But for Israelis, Sinwar’s over-the-top thunder betrayed Hamas’s bigger problem.

Yes, this past Ramadan was bloody. But as Brigadier-General Ran Kochav, the IDF spokesperson, pointed out to Israel’s Reshet Bet radio on Sunday, none of the terror attacks that occurred since just before Ramadan until now were carried out by Hamas.

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How’s that for being relevant?

The violence for which Hamas was cheerleading during the past month left it sidelined.

Consider the following:

March 21: Wassim Assayed — who murdered Moldovan national Ivan Tarnowski in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem — identified with Islamic State.

March 22: Muhammad Abu Al-Kiyan — who murdered Rabbi Moshe Kravitsky, Laura Yitzhak, Doris Yahbas and Menachem Yechezkel during a rampage in Beersheba — identified with Islamic State.

March 27: Cousins Ibrahim and Ayman Aghbaria — who murdered Border Police officers Yazan Falah and Shirel Aboukrat in a Hadera shooting spree — identified with Islamic State.

March 29: Dia’a Hamarshi — who murdered Yaakov Shalom, Avishai Yehezkel, police officer Amir Khoury, and Ukrainian nationals Victor Sorokopot and Dimitri Mitrik in B’nei Brak — was affiliated with Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

April 7: Ra’ad Hazem — who murdered Tomer Morad, Eytam Magini and Barak Lufan in a bar on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street — didn’t have any known affiliations, though Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed the terrorist was once a member.

April 29: Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei — who murdered Vyacheslav Golev at the entrance to Ariel — did not have any known associations, though Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Hamas was quick to praise all six attacks and the indiscriminate murder of all 16 people because, after all, Hamas embraces death and this terror is a “natural consequence” of the Israeli “occupation” of land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

Yes, Hamas is eager to change the status quo on the Temple Mount. But while Hamas wants to gain a foothold on the site, it must be careful not to let Jordanian attempts to change the holy site’s status quo leave the terror group sidelined.

It’s a good thing some of the Palestinians rioting on the Temple Mount bothered to wave some Hamas flags. Beyond Hamas’s statements and provocative sound bites, the terror organization actually accomplished no tangible “successes” this past month.

It’s clear from Sinwar’s performance that, looking back, nothing more than bluster kept Hamas in the news over Ramadan.