Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The fictional separation of Hamas' political and military wings

The easiest way to identify a terrorist's version of the "useful idiot" is to find someone who believes that a terrorist organization actually separates the activities of its "political" and "military" "wings". The notion that Sinn Fein actually operated separately from the terrorist infrastructure of the Irish Republican Army is a fiction that the UK fed itself to allow it to accept entering negotiations with IRA terrorists. Similarly, the concept of Hamas' separate political and military wings is the happy horsesh*t that the EU (and to some degree the US) waddles in to allow it to be surprised when Hamas commits terrorist acts.

As Matthew Levitt shows, there is no such separation.

The Hamas political bureau, headquartered in Damascus under the leadership of Khalid Mishal and Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, has long raised funds to arm militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to declassified U.S. intelligence. The bureau has smuggled weapons overland into the West Bank from Jordan, by sea in waterproof barrels dropped off the Gaza shore by ships launched from Syria and Lebanon and underground through the Rafah tunnels. In recent months, Iran has been funding these operations.

According to Israeli authorities, Izzidin Sheikh Khalil, a senior Hamas operative, ran the Rafah weapons smuggling operations out of Damascus until he was killed in an explosion there in 2004. (Israel is presumed to have been behind the assassination but has never claimed responsibility.)

Perhaps most disturbingly overt is the funding Hamas continues to receive through its charitable and social welfare wing. Despite being designated a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, Hamas, in the face of international sanctions, has successfully transferred funds into the West Bank and Gaza Strip through its charity committees and social service organizations. Mixing funds across its political, charitable and militant wings, Hamas supports its Executive Force militia and Izzidin al-Qassam Brigade terror cells under a veil of political and humanitarian legitimacy.

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