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Hamas is a threat to the entire world



Palestinian fighters from the armed wing of Hamas take part in a military parade to mark the anniversary of the 2014 war with Israel, near the border in the central Gaza Strip, July 19, 2023.(photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
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If October 7 sounded alarm bells in Israel, almost four months later, the rest of the world should be on the alert, too.

In a meeting on Wednesday with IDF reservists from the Yiftah Brigade, The Jerusalem Post’s Yuval Barnea reported that President Isaac Herzog was presented by one of them with a poster he had found in a home in the Shejaia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip depicting the Eiffel Tower with a minaret on top. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); At the bottom was an ominous caption warning that Hamas can reach everywhere.

The message is clear: Hamas is not just a danger to Israel, but to the entire world. The same is true for Iran and its other proxies, including Hezbollah and the Houthis. October 7 was a wake-up call not just for Israel, but for all nations that cherish freedom and democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. The latest reminder of this was the drone attack on Sunday that killed three American soldiers and wounded 40 others in Jordan, which the United States attributed to the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iran-backed militias.

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FBI Director Christopher Wray warned at the end of October in testimony to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: “We assess that the actions of Hamas and its allies will serve as an inspiration the likes of which we haven’t seen since [the Islamic State] launched its so-called caliphate years ago.”

The dangers of Iran-backed proxies

Hamas – the acronym of Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyah (Islamic Resistance Movement) – made clear in its founding charter in 1988 that it is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state, and it aims to create an Islamic state in its place. As a member of Tehran’s “axis of resistance,” Hamas (or just its armed wing), it should be noted, is considered a terrorist group by the US, the EU, and the UK, among others, and is supported by Iran with funding, weapons, and training.

Since October 7, it has threatened not only Israel but also its supporters around the world. Speaking on Al-Aqsa TV, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri called for attacks against all of Israel’s allies, specifically the United States and the United Kingdom. “We need violent acts against American and British interests everywhere, as well as the interests of all the countries that support the occupation,” he said.

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In an analysis published in Foreign Policy, Colin P. Clarke, the director of research at an intelligence and security consulting firm based in New York City named The Soufan Group, observed that the scale and sophistication of the October 7 terrorist attacks led many counterterrorism analysts to revisit their assumptions about Hamas’s intent and capabilities. “And one of the biggest questions many have is whether the group, which has never launched a successful attack abroad in its 36-year existence, could transform into a global threat rather than simply remain a regional one,” he wrote.

Clarke pointed out that there had been several disrupted terrorist plots linked to Hamas. His analysis was published after seven members of the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, were arrested in Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands in December on suspicion of preparing to carry out terrorist attacks against Jewish institutions in Europe.

“Hamas seems to be hoping that its ideology, its cause, and its brand will go global in much the same way the Islamic State’s did,” he wrote. “Its propaganda is resonating with broad swaths of Western publics, especially younger generations and many university students, who have turned out in large numbers at anti-Israel demonstrations and protests. Even if just a small fraction of these individuals become radicalized, it increases the likelihood of a lone-actor attack.”

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Israeli terrorism expert Dr. Ely Karmon recently published an article for Reichman University’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) assessing Hamas’s threat in the international arena. While it seems, Karmon argues, that the Hamas military infrastructure in Gaza will ultimately be destroyed by Israel, even if it needs more time, Hamas could still launch terrorist attacks from Lebanon, Syria, Algeria, Turkey, and of course, Iran.

“The probable fall of the Hamas regime will compel all Hamas leaders to find a haven from Israel’s wrath,” Karmon argues. “No doubt, Tehran could be one of the safest places for them to take refuge. This could also be the opportunity for both Hamas and Iran to cooperate and advance their anti-Israel and anti-Western strategy through a field in which Tehran has become a master: international terrorism.”

If October 7 sounded alarm bells in Israel, almost four months later, the rest of the world should be on the alert, too.

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