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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hamas' new glossy magazine

From IHT:
The cover boy gracing Gaza's new glossy magazine wears military khakis and a bullet belt and carries one of the territory's hottest accessories — an assault rifle.

His face is covered with a black mask, as are many of the faces in "Qassamis," the new magazine published by Hamas to show off its Islamic fighters. The 80-page magazine also comes with sleek advertisements and a women's section.

The magazine was delivered to The Associated Press and other news organizations by a Hamas employee on Monday. It was distributed to libraries sympathetic to Hamas, apparently targeting a highbrow readership.

The magazine wants to show "the development of our fighting capabilities and show progress on the ground," he said. Hamas officials would not say how many they printed or whether there would be future editions.

Hamas also won't say how much the magazine cost to publish. It looks expensive, a stark contrast to the environment that produced it — the crumbling, impoverished Gaza Strip.

Inside, the magazine describes Hamas' military wing as an "army."

"It has more than 10,000 fighters with weapons who are a real army under military formations," the magazine claims.

The section aimed at women is illustrated with lilies and hand grenades. One photograph shows women training to use guns while wearing floor-length robes in military khaki.

A chart details Hamas attacks, including 2,252 rockets it said it has fired at Israel. The rockets have killed 12 Israelis since 2001 and have drawn military raids and crippling sanctions that have pushed the territory further into poverty.

Hamas has used the closure to whip up anger in the Arab world, painting a picture of poverty and hunger in Gaza. But that hasn't prevented the Islamists from building up a costly media machine.

Last year it launched a daily newspaper, which frequently publishes exclusive interviews with Hamas leaders. The group also runs several internet Web sites, a radio station and a satellite television station that broadcasts news and children's shows.

Hamas is less tolerant of independent media. It has harassed reporters and media outlets it sees as hostile, and a Hamas-dominated court last week ordered the closure of al-Ayyam, a paper associated with its moderate Fatah rivals, because it published a caricature of a senior Hamas official.
The PDF of the magazine is available on the Hamas website; I copied it here. The pictures in this posting come from the magazine.




It appears that they keep their masks on even when faxing!

This must have been the sports section, where Hamas claimed the top two prizes in the Terror Olympics.

I wonder what the poor Gazans think when they see this slick, expensive publication.