Hamas revealed statistics on Saturday that contradicted predictions by supporters of the “Disengagement” program in 2005 that the withdrawal from Gaza would led to peace. Hamas also says it was behind the 2008 Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva massacre in Jerusalem.
Abu Obadiah, spokesman for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization, confirmed predictions by nationalists that the expulsion of 9,000 Jews from Gush Katif and the withdrawal of the IDF from the area would be followed by an escalation in missile attacks.
He admitted for the first time that Hamas was responsible for the massacre of young men, most of them teenagers, at the yeshiva. The attack was carried out by a Jerusalem Arab.
Obadiah also said Hamas was responsible for the murder of seven other Jews in attacks in the Hevron area and Samaria. He warned Israel that Hamas will continue to attack Israelis, who he said have to choose between “death and leaving Palestinian lands.” He also called on Israeli Bedouins, many of whom have been involved in terrorist attacks and arms smuggling, to help carry out attacks against Israelis.
His statistics on the number of missiles, rockets and mortar shells fired at southern Israel since the expulsion in 2005 thoroughly contradicted claims by the Sharon government and supporters of the “Disengagement” program that the withdrawal would led to peace. Sixty-nine percent of nearly 11,000 mortar and missile attacks were executed after the expulsion, according to his figures.
He also said that of the 1,808 Hamas terrorists killed since the founding of the terrorist group 23 years ago, 1,053 died after 2006, when Hamas won the first and only Palestinian Authority legislative elections.
The escalation of missile attacks on southern Israel after 2005, which brought the metropolitan Tel Aviv area within the range of attacks, surprised political leaders who had banked on the expulsion as the road to peace.
“I did not imagine that we would leave Gaza and they would fire Kassams from there,” President Shimon Peres commented in July 2008.