Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.
Osama bin Laden’s teacher, Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam was born in 1941, in the village of Silat al-Hartiyeh near Jenin, he studied Islamic Law (Sharia) at Damascus University’s Sharia College and at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University. His slogan was “Jihad and the rifle alone: no negotiations, no conferences and no dialogues”). In the mid-1970’s he lectured at King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where one of his students was Osama bin Laden. He moved to Pakistan, becoming one of the top figures in the Afghani jihad against the Russians in Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia heavily funded his jihad activities at that time. In 1984 he co-founded MAK, a pre-al-Qa’eda terrorist organization, and in the late 1980’s he worked with Islamic Jihad while solidifying Hamas. He was assassinated by a car bomb in November 1989 – that event linked by rumor to his once-comradely Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Hamas was established in 1987 or 1988, and its charter proclaims that “the Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin) …the largest Islamic Movement in the modern era” (Hamas Charter, Article Two). In 1973 Gazan Sheikh Ahmed Yassin established Mujama, an Islamic dawa or social welfare charity. Israeli officials encouraged this group, hoping that it might weaken the PLO terrorists’ hold on Palestinian society. In the early 1980’s Yassin’s Mujama began to stockpile weapons in preparation for jihad activities. In 1984 Sheikh Yassin was arrested by Israel for conducting jihad activities against Israel, but was released as part of a prisoner exchange in 1985. At the outbreak of the first Arab civilian revolt or intifada in December 1987, seven Gazan Islamists gathered secretly and founded Hamas. They drew up a Charter which declared loyalty to Hassan al-Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood, to Sayyad Qutb’s definition of jihad, and to apocalyptic vison of Qur’an and Hadith (established Islamic legal teachings) calling for Israel’s subjugation and destruction.
In 1989 Yassin was re-arrested for ordering the kidnapping and murder of Israeli soldiers. In October 1997 he was released from jail through Jordanian King Hussein of Jordan’s pressure. Sheikh Yassin returned to spearheading Hamas terrorist operations until he was killed in a targeted Israeli helicopter attack in March 2004.
In a public address in Nashville on February 1, 2006, President George W. Bush declared: “I made the position of this government very clear. Hamas must renounce its desire to destroy Israel, it must recognize Israel’s right to exist and it must get rid of the armed wing of its party. In order for there to be democracy and in order for there to be two states living side by side with peace, you can’t have the party of one state intending to destroy the other state.” Were President Bush to have studied Hamas’ Charter, he would have immediately understood that Hamas is a jihadi organization no different that Osama bin Laden’s al-Qa’eda. Hamas does not ‘have’ an armed wing. It is an armed wing!
The vision and tactics of Hamas
Here is a very brief look at some points of the Hamas Charter, which reveals that it is an Islamist, anti-Jewish and anti-Western terrorist organization:
- “The Platform of The Islamic Resistance Movement (ed., Hamas): Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors . . . The Islamic Resistance Movement…join(s) its hands with those of all Jihad fighters for the purpose of liberating Palestine … Our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave…until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails” (Introduction).
- “The Islamic Resistance Movement (ed., Hamas) draws its guidelines from Islam” (Article #1).
- “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin)…the largest Islamic Movement in the modern era” (Article #2).
- “The Islamic Resistance Movement…strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine” (Article #6).
- “Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: ‘The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the gharqad, which is a Jewish tree’” (Article #7).
- “Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief (ed. this is also the slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood)” (Article #8 – The Slogan of the Hamas).
- “There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility” (Article #13).
- “In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad … We must imprint on the minds of generations of Muslims that the Palestinian problem is a religious one, to be dealt with on this premise. ‘I swear by that who holds in His Hands the Soul of Muhammad! I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill’” (Article #15).
- “The Muslim women have a no lesser role than that of men in the war of liberation; they manufacture men” (Article #17).
- “The Arab states surrounding Israel are required to open their borders to the Jihad fighters … The other Arab and Islamic states are required, at the very least, to facilitate the movement of the Jihad fighters from and to them … Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims” (Article #28).
- “Within the circle of the conflict with world Zionism, the Hamas regards itself the spearhead and the avant-garde … (M)ore steps need to be taken by the Arab and Islamic peoples and Islamic associations throughout the Arab and Islamic world in order to make possible the next round with the Jews, the merchants of war” (Article #32).
- “The current Zionist invasion had been preceded by a Crusader invasion from the West; and another one, the Tatars, from the East. And exactly as the Muslims had faced those invasions and planned their removal and defeat, they are able to face the Zionist invasion and defeat it” (Article #35).
In his State of the Union address Tuesday night (January 31, 2006), President Bush said the “leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism and work for lasting peace.” Hamas deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk rejected this call and insisted that “Hamas changes neither its skin nor its principles and it will deal with the West on this basis.”
In light of Hamas’ Charter and history (facts well known to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi), al-Sisi is guilty of flat-out lying when he justified Hamas atrocities quite recently: “The existence of a state of hatred and anger [among Palestinians] . . . has accumulated over 40 years because there was no prospect for a solution of the Palestinian question that will give Palestinians hope.” But, of course, when Egypt ruled Gaza with an iron fist between 1948 and 1967, they made no attempt to establish a Palestinian state.
Decapitation is an honored Islamist war tactic
One of Mohammed’s closest generals and most brilliant military commanders was Khalid bin al-Walid, also known as Sayf Allāh al-Maslūl (or the drawn sword of Allah). Between 629-636 AD/CE he was responsible for over one hundred military victories, including the conquests of Arabia, Persian Mesopotamia, Roman Syria, Yarmouk, Damascus and Jerusalem. During the Battle of Mu’tah, al-Walid broke nine swords in hand-to-hand combat. At the Battle of Ullais it is recorded that he oversaw the decapitation of 70,000 Persian soldiers. Hamas’ decapitation of Jewish babies, women and soldiers on Kibbutz Kfar Aza is in keeping with this ancient tradition. It should come as no surprise that jihadis take the Quran literally in their conquest of the Middle East: “When you meet the unbelievers (in battle), strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives. Afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates” (Quran; Surah 47:4). “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. Therefore, strike off their heads and strike off every one of their fingertips . . . Strike terror (into the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies” (Surah 8:12, 60).
Here we go round the mulberry bush
Part of recent Israeli history involves Hamas terror attacks on Israeli citizens, followed by IDF military responses of the jihadi group. Here is a list of 15 such military clashes since 2004:
- Keshet Ba’anan (Operation Rainbow) – May 18–23, 2004
- Yimei Tshuva (Operation Days of Repentance) – September 29 – October 16, 2004
- Gishmei Kayitz (Operation Summer Rains) – June 28–November 26, 2006
- Makat Barak (Operation Lightning Strike) – September 3–7, 2006
- Horef Ham (Operation Hot Winter) – February 28–March 3, 2008
- Oferet Yetzuka (Operation Cast Lead) – December 27, 2008 – January 18, 2009
- Amud Anan (Operation Pillar of Cloud/Defense) – November 14–21, 2012
- Tzuk Eitan (Operation Protective Edge) – July 8–August 26, 2014
- Gan Sagur (Operation Sealed Garden) – May 3–6, 2019
- Hagora Shchora (Operation Black Belt) – November 12–14, 2019
- Shomer Hachomot (Operation Guardian of the Walls) – May 6–21, 2021
- Shover Galim (Operation Breakwater) – March 31–April 4, 2022
- Alot Hashachar (Operation Breaking Dawn) – August 5 -7, 2022
- Magen Vachetz (Operation Shield and Arrow) – May 19–13, 2023
- Milchemet Harvot Barzel (Swords of Iron War) – started October 7, 2023
These mini-wars have broken out every two years on the average, and sometimes twice a year. They have all been triggered by Hamas jihadi terror attacks against civilian Israeli targets. The IDF and IAF then damage Hamas or Islamic Jihad infrastructure, occasionally entering Gaza with tanks and infantry, and then withdraw – leaving Hamas and Islamic Jihad in charge to re-arm, re-strategize and renew the attack against Israel at another soon-upcoming date.
- The majority of Israelis have been so shocked by Hamas’ latest massacre on October 7, 2023 – involving mass murder (including babies and decapitations), mass rape, mass kidnapping, mass burning of live victims, etc. – that many voices are calling for a decisive and final destruction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and all people and structures connected with their terror rule in Gaza. Some people in the world may be willing to bow their heads in honor of Israeli victims. But immediately after, the trend will be to insist that Israel is not allowed to decisively defeat its mortal enemies.
The vengeance of YHVH
The Western world has embraced a pacifist tradition, and many Christians have done so as well. King David is celebrated as a poet and a psalmist, but not as a warrior – even though David’s thankfulness to the God of Jacob for training his hands for battle is clearly written in the Psalms. But YHVH is a warrior, says Moses in Exodus 15:3. Perhaps we need to get re-acquainted with the God of the Bible:
- So YHVH said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him seven times as much” (Genesis 4:15)
- “If also after these things you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins” (Leviticus 26:18)
- “And return to our neighbors seven times as much into their lap [for] their taunts with which they have taunted You, Lord!” (Psalm 79:12)
- When Elisha became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he took a bow and arrows. Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Lay your hand on the bow.” And he laid his hand on it, then Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. And he said, “Open the window toward the east,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot!” So he shot. And he said, “The arrow of victory for YHVH, and the arrow of victory over Aram; for you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have put an end to them.” Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground,” and he struck it three times and stopped. Then the man of God became angry at him and said, “You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you put an end to it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times” (2 Kings 13:14-19)
- Then Joash the son of Jehoahaz again took from the hand of Ben-Hadad the son of Hatzael the cities which he had taken in war from the hand of his father Jehoahaz. Three times Joash defeated him and recovered the cities of Israel (2 Kings 13:25)
The God of Jacob knows how to fight, and how to destroy His enemies. The drowning of Pharaoh’s armies is not a footnote in Scripture, as Exodus 15 clearly reveals:
- Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to YHVH, saying: “I will sing to YHVH, for He is highly exalted: The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea . . . Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has thrown into the sea, and the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea. The waters cover them. They went down into the depths like a stone. Your right hand, YHVH, is majestic in power. Your right hand, YHVH, destroys the enemy. And in the greatness of Your excellence, You overthrow those who rise up against You. You send out Your burning anger, and it consumes them like chaff . . . Who is like You among the gods, YHVH? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?”
The nations who shed fast-food tears for the slain of Zion and then threaten Israel when we prepare to destroy our enemies – rightly did the God of Jacob prophesy their destruction in Jeremiah:
- Therefore, all who devour you will be devoured! And all your adversaries, every one of them, will go into captivity. And those who plunder you will become plunder, and all who plunder you I will turn into plunder. For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds, declares YHVH – because they have called you an outcast, saying: “It is Zion; no one cares for her!” This is what YHVH says: Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and have compassion on his dwellings. And the city [Jerusalem] will be rebuilt on its ruins, and the palace [of the Davidic dynasty] will stand on its rightful place (Jeremiah 30:16-18)
How should we then pray?
As tanks begin to roll, here are some bullet points to be praying about:
- Pray for ‘Shock and awe’ to be successfully carried out by the IDF to thwart the years of planning that Hamas has done – tunnels, mines, commando teams whose job is to kidnap IDF soldiers, and to even make off with their dead bodies. Davidic divine strategies as in Psalm 144:1: “Blessed be YHVH my rock, Who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle!”
- Pray for clarity of strategy, purpose and resolve for Israel’s leaders to deal a final death-blow to Hamas in Gaza – total and unconditional surrender of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and total removal from Gaza for them both
- Pray for revelation to Israel’s leaders that YHVH Himself gave Gaza to the tribe of Judah (see Joshua 15:20-47) and that this is Israel’s true biblical inheritance. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement under strong American pressure was key to leading us into this horrific situation. Here is a quote from 2005 – during the Israeli disengagement from Gaza – by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who warned Israel that disengaging from Gaza was not enough; the entire West Bank needed to be handed over to the PLO/Hamas: “Because the real point about Gaza is not to stop with Gaza. The President has been clear, we’ve been clear with the Israelis that it cannot be Gaza only” (U.S. Department of State Office of the Spokesman, Shannon, Ireland; June 17, 2005. Press briefing by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the traveling press en route to Shannon, Ireland June 17, 2005)
- Pray for the leaders of your nation to receive a revelation of God as the Captain of the armies of Israel (see 1 Samuel 17:45): “But David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a saber, but I come to you in the name of YHVH of armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’”
- Pray for minimal loss of life on all sides except for Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
- Pray for revelation and clarity to be imparted by the God of Israel to the world intelligence community who have not yet understood what jihad is all about and are fogged as to how to deal with it decisively
- Pray that God would hold back a regional war involving Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, Turkey, the Yemenite Houthis and other superpowers
- Pray for the physical rescue of the many Israelis (perhaps 165) who have been kidnapped
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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