Who is Hamas Logo

learn about Hamas's organization

Lexicon of the Hamas Organization

The Arab League

Published

on

The Arab Leauge. Credit: Fadlullah Wilmot’s FB page.

 

The Arab Leauge. Credit: Fadlullah Wilmot’s FB page.

The Arab League, officially known as the League of Arab States, is a regional organization in the Arab world, encompassing North Africa, West Asia, and parts of East Africa. Established on March 22, 1945, in Cairo, it began with six members – Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (later Jordan), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria – with Yemen joining shortly after. Today, it comprises 22 member states, including the State of Palestine, recognized by the league in 1976.

History and Formation

The genesis of the Arab League traces back to the pan-Arab movement, which emerged in response to Ottoman rule and the imposition of Turkic language and culture on Arab subjects. This sentiment was further fueled during World War I, with promises from the British of an independent Arab state in exchange for support against the Ottomans. However, the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, a secret Anglo-French accord, betrayed this promise, leading to further discontent. The League’s formation was driven by these historical contexts and the need for a unified Arab voice, particularly in supporting Palestinians against the newly declared state of Israel in 1948.

Membership

The Arab League flag. Credit: ‘שמעון בן ארי’ FB page.

The Arab League flag. Credit: ‘שמעון בן ארי’ FB page.

Initially, the League’s membership was limited to independent Arab states, with others joining as they gained independence. The current membership includes countries across the Middle East and North Africa, each holding equal voting rights in the League’s Council, the highest decision-making body. The Council’s decisions are binding only on states that voted for them.

Politics and Military Involvement

Politically, the Arab League has often found itself in a complex web of inter-state rivalries and regional conflicts. Its political stances have been predominantly shaped by the individual ambitions of member states and their respective relationships with global powers. One significant political aspect of the League has been its consistent opposition to Israel and support for the Palestinian cause. This has included efforts like the boycott of Israeli goods and companies, although the effectiveness and enforcement of this boycott have varied over time.

The Arab League’s military involvement has been limited, as it lacks a standing military force. However, it has played roles in organizing military efforts among member states, notably during the early Arab Israeli conflicts. The Arab League Military Committee, based in Damascus, was responsible for coordinating these efforts. The League has also been involved in peacekeeping initiatives in various regional conflicts.

Religions and Cultures

The Arab League represents a diverse tapestry of cultures and religions. While the majority religion across member states is Islam, there are significant Christian populations in some countries. The League’s cultural efforts, through institutions like the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), focus on preserving Arab cultural heritage, promoting literacy, and fostering cultural exchanges.

Role in the Israeli-Arab Conflict

The Arab League has played a significant role in the Israeli-Arab conflict, often positioning itself in opposition to Israel and in support of Palestinian rights. This involvement dates back to the League’s formation, with member states actively participating in military conflicts against Israel, such as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The League’s stance has been marked by key resolutions and declarations, reflecting a collective Arab position on the conflict. However, internal divisions and differing national interests among member states have sometimes led to inconsistent policies and approaches.

Recent Developments

In recent years, the Arab League has faced challenges in maintaining a unified stance on various regional issues, including the Israeli-Arab conflict. The changing geopolitical landscape, evolving international alliances, and internal political dynamics within member states have impacted the League’s effectiveness and coherence as a regional bloc.

Continue Reading

Lexicon of the Hamas Organization

Qasem Soleimani

Published

on

Qasem Soleimani. Credit: Bloomberg FB page.

 

Qasem Soleimani. Credit: Bloomberg FB page.

Qasem Soleimani, born on March 11, 1957, in Qanat-e Malek, Kerman Province, Iran, was a prominent figure in the Middle Eastern geopolitical landscape, particularly in the context of the Israel-Iran conflict. His career in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and his leadership of the Quds Force marked him as a key player in shaping Iran’s foreign military and political strategies.

Early Life

Soleimani’s early life was marked by hardship. He left school at 13 to work on construction sites, helping to repay his father’s debts. Influenced by the sermons of Hojjat Kamyab, a protégé of Ali Khamenei, he began engaging in revolutionary activities​​.

Military Career

Joining the IRGC in 1979 following the Iranian Revolution, Soleimani quickly advanced, playing a significant role in suppressing a Kurdish uprising and serving in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). His strategic and brave actions during the war earned him rapid promotions​​.

Command of Quds Force

Soleimani assumed command of the IRGC’s Quds Force between 1997 and 1998. Under his leadership, the Quds Force evolved into an elite unit for covert and expeditionary warfare, extending Iran’s geopolitical influence across the Middle East​​​​.

Role in the Israel-Iran Conflict

An Iranian child next to Sulimani’s cut out. Credit: Israel Defence forces FB page.

An Iranian child next to Sulimani’s cut out. Credit: Israel Defence forces FB page.

Soleimani’s strategic military interventions were pivotal in shaping the Israel-Iran conflict. He was instrumental in the creation and maintenance of Hamas’ tunnel warfare network in the Gaza Strip. This strategy effectively brought Iran’s influence to Israel’s borders, altering regional dynamics​​.

Arming and Training Iran’s Proxies

Under Soleimani’s command, the Quds Force played a crucial role in supporting and arming Iran’s proxies, like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. These groups received substantial funding, training, and weapons from Iran, enabling them to conduct operations against Israel. In Syria, instead of using a terrorist proxy, Iran directly entrenched itself, influencing the political and military actions of the Assad regime. This involvement allowed Iran, alongside Hezbollah, to establish military bases near Israel’s northern border​​​​.

Assassination

Anniversary of Sulimany’s assassination. Credit: Anadolu Agency FB page.

Anniversary of Sulimany’s assassination. Credit: Anadolu Agency FB page.

Soleimani was assassinated on January 3, 2020, by a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad International Airport. This act escalated tensions between the U.S. and Iran, sparking debate over its legality and repercussions. Iran termed the attack as state terrorism, leading to heightened hostilities, including Iran’s missile attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq​​​​.

In conclusion, Qasem Soleimani’s life and career were deeply intertwined with the military and political developments in the Middle East. His actions and strategies significantly influenced Iran’s foreign policy and its conflict with Israel. His assassination marked a pivotal moment in ongoing tensions between Iran and the United States, with far-reaching implications for regional stability and the Israel-Iran conflict dynamics.

Legacy on the Arab Israeli Conflict

Qasem Soleimani’s legacy in the Arab Israeli conflict is marked by his strategic and tactical contributions to Iran’s proxy groups in the region. His efforts in arming, training, and guiding organizations like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad significantly intensified the conflict’s dynamics. By empowering these groups, Soleimani helped solidify Iran’s role as a key player in the conflict, projecting its influence directly to Israel’s borders. His actions fostered an environment of heightened tension and frequent confrontations, leaving a lasting impact on the security and political landscape of the Middle East. His death, while altering the immediate strategic calculations, has not diminished the long-standing influence of the strategies he implemented in the region.

Continue Reading

Lexicon of the Hamas Organization

Al Shifa Hospital

Published

on

Shifa Hospital. Credit: ‘Washington Post’ FB page.

 

Shifa Hospital. Credit: ‘Washington Post’ FB page.

Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, has played a significant role in the region’s history, particularly during various conflicts involving Israel and Palestinian factions. This article provides an overview of the hospital’s background, its role in conflicts and the controversies surrounding it.

Background and History

Al-Shifa Hospital, originally a British Army barracks, was transformed into a hospital in 1946. During the 1948 Arab Israeli War, it became one of Gaza’s primary medical facilities. Following the war, the Egyptian administration expanded the hospital, adding various departments. Post the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel occupied Gaza, the entire Egyptian hospital staff was taken prisoner, and subsequently, the hospital underwent significant renovations and expansions under Israeli administration. This included the addition of a large basement in the 1990s, which later became a point of controversy regarding its use​​.

Use During the 2007 Fatah-Hamas Conflict

During the Fatah-Hamas conflict in June 2007, Al-Shifa Hospital became a site of violence between the two factions. The conflict led to the deaths of members of both groups within the hospital premises. Hamas also reportedly dismissed hundreds of Fatah-affiliated medical staff and used the hospital as a strategic location. This period was marked by fear and violence within the hospital, severely affecting its operation and medical staff​​.

Role in the Wars with Israel

Al-Shifa Hospital has been central during various wars between Israel and Gaza. For instance, during the 2008-2009 Gaza War, the hospital was overwhelmed with casualties due to Israeli airstrikes. Allegations surfaced that Hamas used the hospital as a military base, a claim that was difficult to verify due to restricted access to Gaza by journalists. These allegations have been a recurrent theme in subsequent conflicts, contributing to the complexity surrounding the hospital’s role in the region​​​​.

Al-Shifa Hospital in the 2023 Israel-Hamas War

Hamas Tunnels under Al-Shifa Hospital. Credit: Ohad Hemo’s FB page.

Hamas Tunnels under Al-Shifa Hospital. Credit: Ohad Hemo’s FB page.

The 2023 Israel-Hamas war brought Al-Shifa Hospital back into the spotlight. Israel and the U.S. accused Hamas of using the hospital as a command center, for storing weapons, and holding Israeli hostages.  

Legal and Ethical Implications

The use of Al-Shifa Hospital in armed conflict raises significant legal and ethical questions. Under international law, hospitals enjoy protected status, which is jeopardized if the facility is used for military purposes. The allegations and counter-allegations regarding the hospital’s use in the 2023 conflict illustrate the challenges in maintaining this protected status in a war zone. The international community’s response and the calls for investigation highlight the complexities of warfare in densely populated urban areas like Gaza​​.

Conclusion

Al-Shifa Hospital’s history is deeply intertwined with the broader geopolitical and humanitarian issues in the Gaza Strip. Its role in various conflicts, especially the recent 2023 Israel-Hamas war, underscores the challenges of operating a major medical facility in a conflict zone. The hospital not only provides essential medical services to the population of Gaza but also represents the difficulties faced in preserving humanitarian spaces in times of war.

Continue Reading

Lexicon of the Hamas Organization

Saleh al-Arouri

Published

on

Saleh al-Arouri. Credit: ‘Eadio 786’ FB page

 

Saleh al-Arouri.  Credit: ‘Eadio 786’ FB page

Saleh al-Arouri is a prominent Palestinian figure known for his deep involvement with Hamas. His association with Hamas has placed Saleh al-Arouri in the spotlight of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Early Life and Involvement with Hamas

The early life of Saleh al-Arouri is marked by his gradual involvement with Hamas. This organization, known for its political and militant activities against the State of Israel, became a platform for Saleh al-Arouri to rise as a significant leader. His roles within the group have been diverse, encompassing both political strategy and militant operations.

Leadership and Strategy

Saleh al-Arouri and Ayatollah Khamenei - Iran’s former leader. Credit: Hillel Fuld’s FB page.

Saleh al-Arouri and Ayatollah Khamenei – Iran’s former leader. Credit: Hillel Fuld’s FB page.

As a leader in Hamas, Saleh al-Arouri has been involved in planning and directing various activities in the West Bank. His leadership style and strategic decisions have significantly influenced the group’s operations in this region. Saleh al-Arouri’s approach often mirrored the overarching goals and tactics of Hamas, particularly in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Assassination of Saleh al-Arouri

Saleh al-Arouri, was assassinated on January 2, 2024, in a strike on an office in the Dahieh neighborhood of Beirut, Lebanon. This strike, widely believed to be carried out by Israel, also resulted in the deaths of six other individuals, including high-ranking Hamas militants. His assassination occurred just a day before the fourth anniversary of the assassination of senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.

Continue Reading

Trending

Skip to content
Skip to content