Fathi Hamad is a political leader of the terrorist organization Hamas, which he has publicly characterized as “an enlightened, moderate Islamic movement.” In 2006 Hamad was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council, representing his hometown of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza. In April 2009 he was appointed Interior Minister of the Hamas-controlled Gaza government, replacing Said Seyam, who had been killed by Israeli forces in the Operation Cast Lead conflict. Describing his political duties as Interior Minister, Hamad explains that he and his colleagues “routinely meet and coordinate with the commanders of all the factions of the resistance in Gaza … to protect them and make it easier for them to carry out every aspect of their jihadist missions.”
Hamad also heads the Hamas Public Affairs Department and serves as director of Al-Aqsa TV, the Hamas-run television station based in Gaza. When Al-Aqsa TV was launched in 2006, Hamad said that the station’s mission was “to establish Islamic culture and an ideological, scientific and political vision that is in tandem with the spirit of Islam, and to spread information about important issues.” Soon thereafter, Hamad began to produce children’s programs that promoted terrorist activity and hatred of Jews and Israelis.
One such program, titled _Tomorrow’s Pioneers_, featured a Hamas version of Mickey Mouse, a giant black-and-white rodent named Farfour who entertained children with songs whose lyrics were replete with jihadist proclamations. For example:
“Oh Jerusalem, it is the time of death…. We will return the Islamic community to its former greatness, and liberate Jerusalem and liberate all the countries of the Muslims invaded by the murderers. You and I are laying the foundation for a world led by Islamists.”
Another Al-Aqsa TV production, Brilliant Children, conveyed a similar message. One episode featured a puppet show in which a Palestinian boy stabbed President George W. Bush to avenge the deaths of the child’s father in Iraq, his mother in Lebanon, and his siblings who had been killed by the “Zionist criminals” in the “Gaza holocaust.” When critics called for these programs to be pulled off the air, Hamad denounced them as part of the “vicious campaign” that “the Zionist enemy and the American imperialism” were waging “against our Palestinian people.”
In a February 2008 speech, Hamad praised the Hamas tactic of using children, women, and the elderly as human shields in military combat against Israel: “For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahedeen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahedeen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: ‘We desire death like you desire life.’”
In April 2010, the three-year-old daughter of one of Hamad’s four wives was granted permission by the Israeli government to travel to Jordan to receive emergency medical treatment, after having initially been treated at an Israeli hospital in the city of Ashkelon. Notwithstanding Israel’s humanitarian gesture, Hamad, in an interview he gave eight months later on Al-Aqsa TV, said:
“The Jews have become abhorred and loathed outcasts, because they live off corruption and the plundering of … all the peoples of the world. The world has begun to be aware of this corrupting danger, and to applaud Hamas…. Hamas will receive its means of survival, its arms, and its supporters from where it is least expected, because the hatred for the Jews is on the rise, and people who hate the Jews find no [other] way to fulfill their hatred of the Jews and of the Americans—the Americans too have become abhorred throughout the world, because of their corruption, for they are led by the Jews.”
In addition to his political work, Hamad also heads the Gaza charity Waad, which in November 2009 offered a $1.4 million bounty to any Arabs living in Israel who could successfully kidnap an Israeli soldier.