OpinionIsrael at War

The globalization of Hamas terror

Recent developments indicate a significant departure from Hamas's previous policy of restricting its actions to "occupied Palestine."

Hamas supporters wave the terrorist group's flag during a rally at Birzeit University, north of Ramallah, May 19, 2022. Credit: Flash90.
Hamas supporters wave the terrorist group's flag during a rally at Birzeit University, north of Ramallah, May 19, 2022. Credit: Flash90.
Yoni Ben Menachem
Yoni Ben Menachem, a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israel Radio and Television, is a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center. He served as director general and chief editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

Historically, Hamas focused its attacks exclusively within the areas it deemed “Occupied Palestine”—Judea, Samaria, the Gaza Strip and Israel.

This approach, distinct from that of the PLO, was aimed to avoid tarnishing the movement’s image on the global stage.

However, recent developments indicate a significant departure from this policy.

Following Hamas’s horrific Oct. 7 massacre, the terror group has escalated its efforts, becoming a transnational terrorist threat.

The Mossad and Israel Security Agency disclosed on Jan. 13, 2024, the organization’s global activities since Oct. 7, spanning the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

The key figures orchestrating Hamas’s worldwide terrorist activities were Saleh al-Arouri, Azzam al-Aqraa and Samir Findi, all eliminated by Israel on Jan. 2, 2024, in Beirut.

Notably, Khalil Haraz, the deputy commander of Hamas’s military wing in Lebanon, played a role in establishing terrorist networks in Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany before his death in a November 2 airstrike. In Denmark, police arrested members of a criminal gang called “LTF – Loyal To Familia,” which has linked up with Hamas in several countries.

Collaborating with the LTF, Hamas attempted to attack the Israeli embassy in Sweden. However, intelligence from the ISA and the Mossad thwarted the plot.

Denmark and Germany subsequently conducted extensive arrests, leading to ongoing legal proceedings against the suspects.

While Hamas lacks a dedicated operational and intelligence infrastructure abroad, it can leverage support from Hezbollah, Iran and the global Muslim Brotherhood movement. Presumably, those Hamas allies can make weapons available in Europe.

The organization openly acknowledges its shift toward global attacks and is in the process of establishing operational and intelligence networks in multiple countries to target Israeli and Jewish sites.

The recent surge in antisemitism in Europe and the United States since the Gaza war has been viewed favorably by Hamas.

The movement considers the International Court of Justice hearing on South Africa’s complaint against Israel for genocide as legitimizing terrorism against Israel and Jews abroad.

In response to this evolving threat, numerous countries, particularly in Europe, have intensified intelligence cooperation with the Israeli Mossad to preempt potential terrorist attacks by Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas on their soil.

Israel, resolute in its stance, is anticipated to take proactive measures, potentially involving the Mossad’s intervention on European soil to counteract Hamas’s terrorist activities.

The global landscape is witnessing a paradigm shift as Hamas redefines its strategy, presenting new challenges for international security and necessitating collaborative efforts to address this emerging threat.

Originally published by The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates