Yasser Ghalban was a field commander in the Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. Since their founding in 1992, these Brigades have been responsible for many suicide bombings and rocket attacks against both military and civilian targets in Israel.
On June 16, 2006, Ghalban was killed, along with his brother and cousin, in an ambush in the Gaza town of Khan Younis by “death squad” members of the Preventive Security Service, a rival Palestinian faction. These “death squads,” according to Hamas, were being run by Fatah in the West Bank and Gaza with the aim of assassinating Hamas leaders and activists.
A week after Ghalban’s death, Hamas released a series of videos paying tribute to the slain terrorist and advancing the notion that the liquidation of the Jews in Israel would eventually pave the way for Islam to rule the world. One video showed Ghalban himself declaiming his own particular vision of how that jihad would unfold:
“We will rule the nations, by Allah’s will, the USA will be conquered, Israel will be conquered, Rome and Britain will be conquered … The Jihad for Allah … is the way of Truth and the way for salvation and the way which will lead us to crush the Jews and expel them from our country, Palestine. Just as the Jews ran from Gaza, the Americans will run from Iraq and Afghanistan and the Russians will run from Chechnya, and the Indian will run from Kashmir, and our children will be released from Guantanamo. The prisoners will be released by Allah’s will, not by peaceful means and not by agreements, but they will be released by the sword, they will be released by the gun.”
This profile is adapted, in part, from “Voices of Palestine: Yasser Ghalban,” by Frank Crimi (November 3, 2011).