Fathi Hamad (or Fathi Hammad) (Arabic: فتحي حماد) is a political leader of Hamas. In April 2009, he was appointed the new Interior Minister in the Gaza Strip, replacing Said Seyam who was assassinated by Israel in the 2008-09 Gaza War. Hamad became a Hamas-affiliated member of the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006, representing his home town of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza. He also leads the Hamas Public Affairs Department and is the director of Al-Aqsa TV, the Hamas-run television station.
In November 2009, Waad, a Gaza charity headed by Hamad, offered a $1.4 million bounty to any Arab citizen of Israel who abducts an Israeli soldier. While Palestinian militant groups have frequently called on Arab-Israelis to kidnap soldiers, this marked the first time money had been offered.
Despite Hamad's hostility toward Israel, his ill three-year old daughter was sent to Jordan for medical treatment through the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing. For initial medical treatment, she was first sent to Barzilai Hospital in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. Her subsequent transfer to Jordan was authorized by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the IDF Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.
A speech made by Hamad broadcast on Al Aqsa TV in February 2008 (see video ) has been used as evidence by Israel and others that Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups make use of human shields. In the speech, Hamad states:
"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 mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, 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 an interview which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on December 14, 2010 (as translated by MEMRI), Hamad stated that Hamas receives support because:
The Jews have become abhorred and loathed outcasts, because they live off corruption and the plundering of the peoples – not only the Arab and Islamic peoples, but all the peoples of the world. The world has begun to be aware of this corrupting danger, and to applaud Hamas. The entire world says: "Bravo, Hamas, for confronting these people of corruption"...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.
- "Hamas officially announces Fathi Hamad new Interior Minister". Palestinian Press. 27 April 2009.
- "Hamas-linked group offers cash reward for capture of IDF soldiers". Haaretz. Associated Press. 20 November 2009.
- "News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (April 22-27, 2010)". Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Video: Hamas uses civilians as a means to achieving military goals". Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 11 January 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- Landes, Richard (December 2009). "Goldstone's Gaza Report: Part One: A Failure of Intelligence". Middle East Review of International Affairs (Global Research in International Affairs Center (GLORIA)) 13 (4).
- Itamar Marcus, Barbara Crook and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (2009-09-16). "Eye-witnesses: Hamas used human shields in Gaza war". Palestinian Media Watch. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- Alan M. Dershowitz (16 September 2009). "UN Investigation of Israel Discredits Itself and Undercuts Human Rights". Hudson New York. Hudson Institute. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad: The Americans and the Jews Are Abhorred Worldwide; The Americans Are Led by the Jews, "Outcasts Who Live Off Corruption and Plundering", MEMRITV, December 14, 2010, Clip No. 2734.
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