Perverse Hamas priorities: Build tunnels, deny rapes, spread conspiracy theories

Terrorists are using strategic propaganda to masquerade as “freedom fighters” seeking to kill Jews and destroy Israel.

A member of the Al-Quds brigades, the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, inside a tunnel in Beit Hanun in the Gaza Strip, on May 18, 2022. Photo by Attia Muhammed/Flash90.
A member of the Al-Quds brigades, the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, inside a tunnel in Beit Hanun in the Gaza Strip, on May 18, 2022. Photo by Attia Muhammed/Flash90.

Billions of dollars of humanitarian aid have poured into Gaza since Israel withdrew from the territory in 2005. Massive amounts of this money have been used by Hamas to build a vast tunnel network, manufacture rockets, and incite Palestinians to hate Jews and Israelis. Gaza could have used those funds to create a thriving economy with modern buildings and state-of-the-art hospitals and schools. Instead, Hamas terrorists used international donations to launch the Oct. 7 attacks against Israel and intentionally place all citizens of Gaza in harm’s way, rather than protect them. In the past three months, Hamas leaders have continued to target Israelis, deny the atrocities they committed and spread conspiracy theories.

Hamas is being portrayed by its supporters as waging a legitimate and legal resistance campaign against Zionists—often used as a code word for Jews. Hamas terrorists are using strategic propaganda to masquerade as “freedom fighters” seeking to kill Jews and destroy Israel. Hamas supporters, who seem to be growing exponentially in America, deliberately deny facts, distort news and fabricate evidence.

Conspiracy Theories and Denial Tap Into Age-Old Hatred

Denial of the Hamas atrocities shares similarities with Holocaust denial and other anti-Jewish conspiracy theories. Hamas recently released “Our Narrative,” a propaganda document that defends their terrorist attacks and falsifies reality. Some of its outrageous lies include:

“Avoiding harm to civilians, especially children, women and elderly people is a religious and moral commitment by all Hamas fighters. Hamas is committed to avoiding harm to civilians.”

“Hamas dealt in a positive and kind manner with all civilians who have been held in Gaza.”

“The suggestion that the Palestinian fighters committed rape against Israeli women was fully denied, including by Hamas.”

The most egregious hatred in the current war: flat-out denial of the Oct. 7 attacks, especially the rape of Israeli girls and women. The use of GoPro videos and smartphone cameras by Hamas terrorists led The Washington Post to classify the attack as one of “the most well-documented in history.” The denials are spreading as Jews prepare to observe the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death and concentration camp on Jan. 27.

A similar false reality was claimed by the Palestinian Authority. An Israeli first responder on Oct. 7 reported seeing a pregnant Israeli woman dead with her belly cut open. Yet, a P.A. government newspaper recently published a grotesque claim that Jewish rabbinic law allows Jews to “cut open the stomachs of pregnant women to kill the fetuses.”

Now, these deniers are leveraging lies to attack Israelis and American Jews. There are false reports that Israelis knew about the Hamas assault in advance (similar to conspiracy theories about 9/11 in the United States) but allowed it to happen, or even that Israelis carried out a false flag operation so that Israel could attack Gaza. At an Oakland City Council meeting, a city employee, Christina Gutierrez, argued that “Israel murdered their own people on Oct. 7.” Also, the disinformation of Israel kidnapping its own citizens is used as a justification for tearing down posters of hostages—136 who are still being held captive in Gaza.

Several anti-Jewish conspiracy theories are being spewed on social media that are repackaged versions of centuries-old antisemitic tropes. A British political cartoonist recently shared an illustration tapping into the blood libel, organ harvesting and control theories. Israel’s prime minister is shown eating the remains of Palestinian children with the American president and British prime minister serving him; the cartoon is titled, “Kosher.” When the cartoonist was called out for his anti-Jewish bigotry, he defended himself by absurdly stating that Israel’s prime minister isn’t Jewish.

Arabic Propaganda

Wikipedia’s Arabic language site reads like it was written by Hamas. It whitewashes terrorist organizations as “resistance factions” that launched a “military operation.” The site refers to Israeli border communities, cities in central Israel and even Jerusalem as settlements. Reports of rape are dismissed: “Israeli propaganda tried to promote allegations that Hamas fighters raped Israeli women shortly after their invasion of the settlements, without providing evidence to support these allegations, which were quickly denied.” Body-camera footage from Hamas terrorists provides proof of the rapes and murders.

The current Wikipedia Arabic logo incorporates the Palestinian flag. Showing further bias, a banner appears at the top of every page declaring solidarity with the Palestinians. The Hebrew Wikipedia page does not include the Israeli flag nor provide support for Israelis.

Subway Systems, Tunnels
The Hamas tunnel labyrinth is longer than the London Underground and New York City subway systems. The United Nations claims that it was unaware of its existence, even though it was provided with evidence of tunnels under U.N. facilities. Credit: Courtesy.

Fourth-Longest ‘Subway’ System: An Underground Terror Network

International news organizations revealed an extensive and sophisticated Hamas labyrinth beneath Gaza. The tunnels are estimated to be between 350 and 450 miles in length, with 5,700 shafts. The London Underground and New York subway systems are about 250 miles each. The Hamas terrorist tunnel network is essentially an underground city. It is large enough to drive cars through it. The tunnels, equipped with electrical and plumbing systems, have command centers, bedrooms, bathrooms and elevators. The Israeli military recently found a tunnel where more than 20 hostages were held, including drawings by released 5-year-old hostage Emilia Aloni. The estimated cost to build the tunnels is more than $1 billion.

Billions of dollars in foreign aid have flowed directly to the Hamas terror network, especially from Iran. Hamas also operates its own illicit businesses and collects millions every month in taxes. Other funding sources for Gaza include billion-dollar investments: direct assistance from countries to build civilian infrastructure; and a U.N. agency dedicated solely to aiding Palestinian refugees and their descendants. Despite its large presence in Gaza and being presented with evidence of tunnels under its facilities, the United Nations claimed that it was unaware that there were any tunnels at all.

Points to consider:

  1. #1 Hamas goal: Genocide of the Jews

Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, a multibillionaire living in Qatar, recently made clear once again that the goal of Hamas is to eliminate the Jewish state:

  • “We reject the two-state solution because it requires recognizing the Zionist entity. Israel is my enemy.”
  • “The position of Hamas is for Palestine ‘From the River to the Sea.’ This is a slogan chanted by the public and students in America and European capital cities.”
  • “I believe that Oct. 7 enhanced our conviction to turn the idea of liberating Palestine from the river to the sea into a realistic idea that has already begun.”

Another Hamas political leader previously stated that “Israel is a catastrophe to the Arab and Islamic nation” and that Hamas will repeat attacks because “everything we do is justified.”

  1. Denialism is another tool that antisemites use to spread hate.

Holocaust denial is a form of denialism that seeks to distort or deny the historical reality of the Holocaust. These lies not only disrespect the memory of victims but contribute to the perpetuation of harmful anti-Jewish stereotypes and prejudices. Now we are witnessing increased denialism related to Oct. 7. Jews are being demonized and attacked around the world. Education, awareness and open dialogue must be used to counter the volcano of misinformation.

  1. Israel continues to be victimized by double standards.

Despite widespread survivor testimonies and Hamas-filmed videos of its attacks, Israeli reports of rape and mutilation are subjected to skepticism and doubts not wielded against other countries. Journalists and activists are quick to believe Hamas reports, such as the hospital bombing hoax that was caused by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket that fell short in Gaza and exploded. Israel was immediately blamed for causing hundreds of deaths without any proof. Yet when Israelis present evidence of atrocities, the international media, United Nations and charities challenge the accuracy of the hard evidence.

  1. Hamas supporters don’t care about improving the lives of Palestinians.

Hamas supporters in America deny, deceive and distort facts because they care more about destroying the Jewish state than the truth. They routinely advance the Hamas narrative that Israelis and Jews are evil and must be defeated “by any means necessary.” Chants for violence, “globalize the intifada” and calls for Israel’s destruction “from the river to the sea” are commonly heard at supposedly pro-Palestinian rallies spreading across the country. They do not advocate for Hamas to spend its funds on building infrastructure to develop the economy and create jobs. They do not demand that Hamas separate its fighters from civilians. Their sole focus is on winning the war against Israel.

  1. Hamas built tunnels instead of towers.

As The New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman recently noted, the United Arab Emirates built up and Hamas built down: Dubai is known for its architecturally stunning high-rises and Hamas for its terror tunnels. Hamas intentionally chose to “use more than 6,000 tons of concrete and 1,800 tons of metal” to build its tunnels, preferring to fight Israel over caring for its citizens. The Times referred to the Hamas underground as a “subterranean fortress” that includes a tunnel “three football fields long hidden beneath a hospital and a spiral staircase under the house of a senior Hamas commander leading to a tunnel seven stories deep.” Imagine what Gaza would look like today if Hamas used its billions of dollars of international aid to build rather than destroy.

Read more here

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.
About & contact The Publisher
The Focus Project is a consensus initiative of major American Jewish organizations that provides crucial news, talking points and background content about issues affecting Israel and the Jewish people, including antisemitism, anti-Zionism and relevant events in the Middle East. Click here to receive weekly Talking Points from The Focus Project.
Releases published on the JNS Wire are communicated and paid for by third parties. Jewish News Syndicate, and any of its distribution partners, take zero responsibility for the accuracy of any content published in any press release. All the statements, opinions, figures in text or multimedia including photos or videos included in each release are presented solely by the sponsoring organization, and in no way reflect the views or recommendation of Jewish News Syndicate or any of its partners. If you believe any of the content in a release published on JNS Wire is offensive or abusive, please report a release.
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