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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

Hamas Looks beyond Jerusalem … to Rome and Beyond

Filed under: Europe and Israel, Hamas, Palestinians

Despite the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Europe, Europe is in no hurry to equate global terrorism and Palestinian terror, the latter which still is considered justified by some because Palestinians are fighting, supposedly, for the sake of independence and to be free from the “yoke of occupation.”

But a more careful examination of the roots of the Palestinian struggle reveals that it is also calculated against Europe, and is not geared towards an end to occupation, but rather to the eventual takeover Europe.

When the rocket attacks first began against Israel, a senior Hamas leader, Dr. Yunis Al-Astal, published an article in the Hamas journal, Al-Risala, where he compared Hamas’ al-Qassam rockets to the Manjaniq catapult which the Prophet Muhammad used against the Jews of Khaybar. The fall of Khaybar, he explained, opened the gates of the Byzantine Empire to Muslim conquest and was the first step towards the fall of Constantinople. Now, the fall of Israel, he said, would open the gates of Europe to Islam and lead to the fall of Rome.

Hamas MP and cleric Al-Astal proclaimed in 2008, “We will conquer Rome, and from there continue to conquer the two Americas and even Eastern Europe” (Al-Aqsa TV, April 11, 2008, MEMRI TV).

Hamas Cleric Yunis Al-Astal declares global war.

Since then, not only did Hamas not abandon this Al-Astal’s claim, but they even provided him with important platforms to preach this ideology as a Hamas minister in places such as the Legislative Council, the Palestinian parliament, as well as in important mosques and universities.

While it is true that Dr. Yunis Al-Astal is a Hamas member, and not from Fatah, there was not a word of disapproval or disagreement about these ideas from the Ramallah-based Fatah, headed by Mahmoud Abbas. There is a deep division between Fatah and Hamas, and therefore they do not hide points of disagreement between them – yet the words of a senior Hamas official about the conquest of Europe, apparently is not one of them.