Many enemies surround Israel today. All seeking its elimination. Remember Yasser Arafat. He was the leader of Fatah, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s most popular party in his time. Since his death, Fatah and the PLO’s powers have weakened a bit under President Abbas.
The more militant group, Hamas gained popularity and control over Gaza. Hamas accuses the PLO and Fatah of influencing the establishment of the blockade of Gaza. As much as the West feared Arafat and the PLO initially, they are moderate compared to Hamas and wished for a Palestinian State rather than the total destruction of Israel.
Hamas issued a charter in 1988 stating that they were the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. In it, they call for the establishment of an Islamic State of Palestine to include all the territories of Israel, the destruction of Israel, and the dismantling of the State of Israel. They say they respect all religions. So along as those religions do not interfere with Hamas’s efforts to destroy Israel. They believe they are The Truth and Israel is The Liar. The conflict is irreconcilable save through Jihad and the elimination of the Jew.
Hamas created another enemy in Hezbollah when opposed Abbas. Hezbollah viewed them as untrustworthy. So when Hamas asked Hezbollah for help against Israel, Hezbollah refused. Hezbollah has the same goals as Hamas. They want the destruction of Israel and believe in the concept of defensive Jihad to achieve this. But Hezbollah is a Shia group in Lebanon formed during the Syrian occupation of Lebanon and the subsequent Israeli occupation from the Syrian War of 1967 through the Oslo accords in 2000.
Hezbollah takes its lead from Iran. Remember, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria are predominately Shia. Hezbollah believes Hamas betrayed Abbas and the PLO by not supporting Abbas’s efforts for a united Palestine and then taking control over Gaza. So Hezbollah does not support Hamas now. If they did, Israel would be in deeper trouble than it is. The fact is: Had Hamas been a Shia led movement. Hezbollah would be firing missiles from the Lebanese side of the border into Israel today.
For Israel’s part, they understand that any agreement with Hamas or with Hezbollah can not be made, since the purpose of their existence is Israel’s complete destruction.
Next time, I’ll cover the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Their purpose and their strength.