Jerusalem, Jan. 22 – Hamas is working to merge with the terrorist Islamic Jihad organization, according to Hamas’ co-founder Mahmoud Zahar.
He said the merger would allow the two groups to run in Palestinian elections, expected to be held in May, the Iranian Fars News Agency reported.
A merger of the two could mean the death of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, as both groups are committed to Israel’s destruction and replacing it with an Islamic Palestinian state. Zahar called the merger “a political and religious must,” the report stated.
Both groups are armed and funded by Iran, maintain their headquarters in Damascus and have close ties with the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon. Islamic Jihad has taken responsibility for hundreds of terrorist attacks in Israel that have killed and wounded over a thousand Israelis. The group’s tactics include suicide bombings, car bombings and shooting attacks and Islamic Jihad has recruited both children and women to be suicide bombers.
Although Hamas rules Gaza and imposed a “lull” in its own attacks on Israeli civilian targets, it is suspected that of the 653 rockets and mortars fired from Gaza against Israel in 2011 a large number were carried out by Islamic Jihad.
Meanwhile, in Israel Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a criminal investigation of a Palestinian religious leader who was shown on Palestinian television calling for Palestinians to rise up and kill Jews.
The Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein, was shown on a recording taken from Palestinian Television telling a crown “there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” The Mufti quoted from a hadith, an Islamic saying attributed to the prophet Mohammed. An Israel Radio report said the same hadith is quoted in at least 100 Palestinian mosques every Friday in sermons.
Interviewed Sunday by Israel Radio, the Mufti said he never personally called for killing Jews, but was just quoting holy books that could not be changed.
“I think it is a very serious incident,” Israeli legislator and former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said in an Israel Radio interview. “This is how you incite suicide bombers,” he said.