JERUSALEM, Israel - The Hamas terror group in Gaza is attempting to salvage its public image after one of its leading members was caught on camera telling Palestinians to “attack every Jew on planet earth.”
In a statement on their website, Hamas said: “These remarks do not reflect the official stances of Hamas and its policy...our struggle is only against the Israeli occupation which occupies our land and desecrates our holy places."
On Friday, the Middle East Media Research Institute released footage of Hamas official Fathi Hamad urging Palestinians to murder Jews everywhere.
Israel will continue to protect its citizens from any attempted terrorist attacks. pic.twitter.com/dp5FQhOoZq
— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) July 16, 2019
"If you don't lift the siege, we will explode in the faces of our enemies, Allah willing," said Hamad according to MEMRI. "And the explosion won't just be in Gaza – it will also be in the West Bank and abroad, Allah willing. Our brothers abroad are still preparing. They are warming up."
"Oh, you seven million Palestinians abroad, enough warming up! There are Jews everywhere! We must attack every Jew on planet Earth – we must slaughter and kill them, with Allah's help. Enough warming up!" added Hamad.
The racist and anti-Semitic threats were condemned by Palestinian Liberation Organization Secretary-General Saeb Erekat.
“The just values of the Palestinian cause include love for freedom, justice and equality. The repugnant statement of Hamas leader Mr. Fathi Hamad about Jews doesn’t represent any of them,” Erekat tweeted on Monday. “Religion shouldn’t be used for political purposes.”
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov also condemned Hamas on Twitter.
“A dangerous, repugnant and inciteful statement! It must to be clearly condemned by ALL. There can be no complacency with such rhetoric. Ever! “ Mladenov tweeted.
Although Hamas says Hamad’s words do not represent their values, their charter published in 1988 calls for the murder of Jews and contains numerous anti-Semitic references.
The charter quotes a saying by Mohammed in the Hadiths:
“The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslim, O servant of God, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.' Only the Gharkad tree would not do that, because it is one of the trees of the Jews.”
The charter also compared Jews to Nazis and calls for Muslims to wage jihad against them.
Hamas changed its charter in 2017 to soften its image. It removed much of its explicitly anti-Semitic language.
Israel Prime Minister said at the time that Hamas “is attempting to fool the world but it will not succeed.”