In the wake of the murders of five members of the Fogel family, including a toddler and an infant, Hamas announced:
Palestinian National Movement Hamas official Ezzat Al-Rashak said that the movement is not responsible for the murder of the five family members from the Itamar settlement.
Al-Rashak confirmed that harming children is not part of Hamas' policy, nor is it the policy of the resistance factions.
He also confirmed that the possibility that the incident was carried out by settlers for criminal motives should not be ruled out.
This is not the first time that Hamas has denied its practice of targeting children. Following the 2004 terrorist attack against Russian schoolchildren, a Hamas official similarly denied that the terror group targets children. As CAMERA noted at the time, the Associated Press reported:
The Palestinian militant group Hamas contends its policy is not to target children, although it justifies attacks on civilians to avenge Israeli army attacks on ordinary citizens.
"We are freedom fighters, not gangs," a senior Hamas official in Gaza told the AP. "Women and children are not a target for Hamas. They have never been a target and they will never be our main target despite the daily killing of our women and children by Israel in cold blood."
Abu Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank, said the group was "shocked by what we see on television" about the Russian school standoff.
"We would never agree to such a thing," he said. "We never did such a thing and never would. When there is an explosion and children are killed, we are sorry for this because this was a mistake, not on purpose."
Back in 2004, CAMERA's Lee Green compiled the following list of attacks in which Hamas and other "resistance factions" (ie, terror groups) clearly targeted children. The children were not accidental victims, but were intentionally shot or bombed. For example:
March 5, 2003 Palestinian terrorists chose to bomb Bus 37 in Haifa shortly after school let out. The bus is on a school route and 9 schoolchildren were among the 17 killed in that attack. Dozens of children were wounded.
Dec. 3, 2003 Palestinian terrorists planned to blow up schoolchildren at the Ort Alon High School in Yokneam, the sister city of St. Louis. Thankfully, due to Israeli intelligence sources and the security fence, the Israelis were able to catch the bombers before they reached the school.
May 2, 2004 Terrorists ambushed the car of Tali Hatuel, who was 9 months pregnant, and shot her and her four young daughters, aged 2, 7, 9 and 11. It was daylight and the terrorists obviously knew they were killing four small children because they shot them all at point blank range.
Suicide terrorists see exactly who they are going to kill before they detonate themselves. If they didn't want to kill children, they could walk out of their chosen restaurants, buses and teen discos, and choose a different target when they saw that many children were present.
June 1, 2001 a Palestinian terrorist chose to detonate himself among a long line of teenagers , their youth clearly visible to him, at the Dolphinarium disco in Tel Aviv. 11 teenagers under the age of 18 were among the dead.
Mar 2, 2002 Outside of a Jerusalem synagogue, a terrorist detonated a bomb next to a group of mainly women standing outside with their young children, several in baby carriages . The victims: Shlomo Nehmad (40), his wife Gafnit (32), and their daughters Shiraz (7) and Liran (3); Avraham Eliahu Nehmad, (7), Shaul Nehmad (15); Lidor Ilan (12) and his sister Oriah (18 months); Tzofia Ya'arit Eliyahu (23) and her son Ya'akov Avraham (seven months); and Avi Hazan, (37). The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade took responsibility for the attack.
Aug 19, 2003 Twenty-three people were killed, including seven children when a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated himself on a No. 2 Egged bus in Jerusalem's Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood. The bus was filled with children. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The child victims: Shmuel Taubenfeld, 3 months, of New Square, New York; Shmuel Zargari, 11 months; Tehilla Nathanson, 3; Issachar Reinitz, 9; Avraham Bar-Or, 12; Binyamin Bergman, 15; Elisheva Meshulami, 16.
Nov. 20, 2000 terrorists attacked a bus carrying children from Kfar Darom to school in Gush Katif. Five children were injured, many of whom had limbs blown off.
Mar 26, 2001 a Palestinian sniper took aim at 10 month old Shalhevet Pass, who was sitting in her stroller. She was fatally shot in the head. This was hardly an "accident." She was the target, even though her father was standing right beside her.
Nov. 10, 2002 Revital Ohayon, 34, and her two sons, Matan, 5, and Noam, 4, were shot to death by an Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade terrorist who broke into their home at Kibbutz Metzer.
May 9, 2001 Yossi Ish-Ran, 14, and Kobi Mandell, 14 , both of Tekoa, were savagely beaten to death with stones in a cave about 200 meters from the small community south of Jerusalem where they lived.
Unfortunately, since 2004, many more names have joined this horrific list.
Apr 2, 2009 - Shlomo Nativ, 13, was killed by an axe-wielding terrorist in his community of Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion.
Mar 6, 2008 - Eight students of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem were killed when a terrorist armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle infiltrated the yeshiva and opened fire in the library where about 80 people were gathered, mostly teenagers. Eleven others were wounded, three critically. Among the victims were Segev Peniel Avihail, 15, of Neve Daniel; Neria Cohen, 15, of Jerusalem; Yonatan Yitzhak Eldar, 16, of Shilo; Yohai Lifshitz, 17, of Jerusalem; and Avraham David Moses, 16, of Efrat.
March 30, 2006 - Shaked Lasker, 16, of Kedumim was killed when a suicide bomber hitchhiker disguised as an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva student detonated his explosive device in a private vehicle near the entrance to Kedumim.
Oct. 16, 2005 - Oz Ben-Meir, 15, of Maon were killed and three were wounded when Palestinians opened fire at the Gush Etzion junction south of Jerusalem. Another teenager was shot and seriously wounded near Eli, in Samaria. The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for both attacks.
Additional Palestinian Denials
There were plenty more influential Palestinians suffering from denial following the murder of the Fogel family, and they weren't only from Hamas. For instance, writing in his regular column, in the Palestinian Authority-controlled newspaper Al Hayat Al-Jadida, Adli Sadek stated:
It bears repeating that the murder of children, if carried out by Palestinian hands, must not be part of the national struggle, which has generally sought . . . to engage with the soldiers of the occupation and not hurt Israeli children. (Quoted in Ha'aretz)
Ha'aretz also reported:
Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, however, was one of a number of senior PA officials who continued to imply that the Fogels were not murdered for nationalist reasons. "People and an infant were butchered in a way no Palestinian has ever done. . . raising questions about Israel's rush to accuse the Palestinians," he said. (ibid)
Denials like these, completely disconnected from reality and the historical record, give a shot of adrenaline to the anti-Israel conspiracy types, lurking in talkback threads, and absurdly blaming the Mossad for the massacre of a Jewish family. Take, for example, "ausjustice," who posts his vitriol on the Los Angeles Times at 12:29 AM today:
My latest information is that the settler family murders were carried out under the direction of a Shin Bet unit and authorised from the highest level. It was considered acceptable to "sacrifice" the family for the purposes of raising Israeli anger against Palestinians, attracting international sympathy for Israel, strengthening pressure on the PA and justifying the continued un-official policy of settlement expansion.
Israeli support for the hardline right wing policies has been fading and opposition against extremist settlers increasing in recent months threatening the government of BN and increasing international calls for a resolution of borders with an increasing number of countries recognising a Palestinian state outside the '67 borders.
There is no doubt who is to gain from these murders. A few will question the high probability this attack originated from their own government departments. It has been common practice for Mossad to arrange "false fleg" operations dating back to terrorist bombings of British and American interests prior to 1948, their bombing Synagogues in Iraq to hasten the flow of migrants to the new state, while laying blame on Arabs.
Undoubtedly a few Palestinians have already been ear marked to accept the blame and will confess under torture.
The incitement originating from Hamas and Palestinian Authority officials echoes through the cesspools of the American talkbacks, laying the groundwork for yet another attack against innocent civilians.