The outgoing Hamas interior minister in Gaza delivered a fiery farewell speech in which he invited Fatah members to join in the “jihad” against Israel and described “the whistling of bullets” and “the sound of bombs and missiles exploding for the sake of Allah” as “music to our ears.”
The speech by outgoing Interior Minister Fathi Hammad was rife with violent imagery, suggesting that the militant Islamist group is unwilling to renounce violence, despite its backing for a new Palestinian unity government sworn in last week with which the Obama administration said it is willing to work.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) found the video of the speech that was broadcast on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV on June 2 and posted translated excerpts.
“This is no time to back down. This is a time to be real men, a time for determination, a time for Jihad, a time for resolution, a time to make sacrifices for the sake of Allah,” Hammad said.
“We are not moved by the beat of drums or by the clapping of hands. What moves us is the whistling of bullets, the sound of bombs and missiles exploding for the sake of Allah, and the capture of [Israeli] soldiers in order to swap them with our prisoners. That is what moves us. This is music to our ears. This is our anthem, our songs,” he said.
To this, the audience answered with chants of “Allahu Akbar, all praise be to Allah.”
He called on his Palestinian “brothers” who support Fatah, the largest faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization, to join Hamas, the hardline Islamist group designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.
“Return to your religion, to your homeland, to your Jihad. We are up to the task. It is us to whom you should turn. Do not turn to the Americans, to the Zionists, to the hypocrites, or to [your] feeble leadership, which has sold out… Turn to us, the group that wages Jihad for the sake of Allah,” Hammad said.
“This land is mentioned in the Quran 64 times. We are the people of the Quran. Anyone who lives in Palestine must be from among the people of the Quran, not the people of security cooperation [with Israel],” Hammad said in the apparent swipe at President Mahmoud Abbas.
Here is the video courtesy of MEMRI: