Hamas fighters battle on inspired by GodReuters has outdone itself in lionizing Hamas terrorists. Anti-religion when that religion happens to be Judaism or Christianity, Reuters is all of a sudden quite objective when reporting on the Islamic beliefs of destroying the Jewish dhimmis.
By Nidal al-Mughrabi
GAZA (Reuters) - Abu Mohammed picked up his rifle, said farewell to his wife and six children and went out to face the Israeli tanks, helicopter gunships and missile-firing airborne drones.
"Being unable to defeat Israel is no reason to surrender," the Hamas fighter said with a smile as he headed to the Gaza Strip's front line last Saturday, ignoring pleas from his family to stay.
"My children and wife are very dear to me," he said. "But reward in Heaven and the homeland are dearer."
The 38-year-old furniture salesman says he is not afraid to die for the cause of destroying Israel and forging a Palestinian state on all Israel's territory, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
To Israel and its allies, Abu Mohammed and his comrades are Jew-hating terrorists. But Abu Mohammed sees himself on a mission from God to rescue his people from 60 years of misery as refugees since the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948.
Though that conviction may, in some, mingle with bravado and self-interest, it does make Hamas an enemy to be reckoned with, for all that Israel's hi-tech army easily outguns their rifles, home-made rockets and, if they choose, their suicide bomb belts.
Abu Mohammed survived, though he broke a bone in his hand diving for cover. The rocket fire resumed and Hamas and its fellow Islamist allies vowed to battle on, despite losing close to 60 fighters. Estimates vary but there may be 20,000 or more Abu Mohammeds left to continue the war in Gaza alone.
Islam forbids suicide, but rewards "martyrdom" with glory in this world and paradise in the next. For the 1.5 million Palestinians in the slums and refugee camps of the Gaza Strip, the question of why one of their compatriots would sacrifice his or her life to kill Israelis needs little soul-searching.
"An Islamist fighter has two motives: a religious motive -- God's reward; and a social motive -- appreciation from the people he is defending," explained Fadel Abu Heen, a prominent Gaza psychiatrist.
And religion was the stronger motivation for Islamist fighters. "That is what makes them braver and more aggressive fighters than others," he said.
Older than most of his fellow combatants, Abu Mohammed said his family had fled to Gaza from a village nearby in 1948.
"We have the right to all of Palestine," he said in his three-room, one-storey house in Gaza City.
"If we are dead before we can liberate our land, then we did not give up. We have to set an example to our children that weakness is not an excuse for not putting up a fight."
Hamas leaders have offered a long-term truce with Israel in return for a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem -- terms Israel is unwilling to accept, preferring to negotiate with Hamas's secular enemies in the Fatah faction, which dominates the larger West Bank.
The headline didn't even have scare quotes, as Reuters is reporting an established fact - that Hamas is inspired by God.