Report: Hamas targets include not only Jews but Christians, other religions, and service organizations like Rotary, Lions Clubs, Freemasons

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While much of the attention has been directed at Jewish people being targets of the terrorist group Hamas, it isn’t their only target. 

Fox News reported that experts have identified Christians, other religious sect members, and even members of community service clubs such as the Rotary or Lions Clubs as potential targets, according to Hamas. 

“Hamas is using Gaza as an umbrella to be legitimate,” says author and Middle East expert Walid Phares. “The reality is this is a jihadist movement, and it is manifesting itself in America and Canada and in Western Europe. We have never been at this level of danger for our democratic world.” 

Phares says that the Hamas charter seeks to expand Islam as the primary religion around the world and would target so-called “non-believers,” which includes “Main Street” Americans. 

According to the terror group’s guiding philosophy, Fox wrote, the duty of every Muslim is “Jihad” and that “there is no solution to the Palestinian question except through Jihad,” while noting “the Jews will not be pleased with thee, neither the Christians” until they follow the way of Hamas. The above was detailed in “The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement," adopted in 1988. 

“Israel is just a thick skin though the rest of the international community that happens to be blocking them,” said Phares, who recently published a book called, “Iran: An Imperialistic Republic, and U.S. Policy,” which explains how Iran’s proxies, like Hamas, spread a message of hate. 

“They know our society very well,” Phares said. "They are here.” 

Contained within Article 22 of the Hamas charter is mention of community service organizations as a target for Jidah, which is referred to as the “American as apple pie” business, community, and charitable organizations found throughout the U.S. The Rotary, Lions Clubs, and Freemasonry make the list. 

The charter, Fox says, cites so-called “secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purposes of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests.” Hamas slams the humanitarian groups, accusing them of attempting to “colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption.” 

“They are part of what the Jihadists consider a sin, a national sin,” Phares said. “They will go against them; they will go against the Freemasons, and they will go against every entity that is a social organization.” 

FBI Director Christopher Wray told the House Committee on Homeland Security last week that the agency has stepped up investigations into the terrorist organization in hopes of disrupting any potential Hamas-led attacks in the U.S. and also to shut off the spigot pumping financial support into the group. 

“We’ve kept our sights on Hamas and have multiple investigations into individuals affiliated with that foreign terrorist organization,” said Wray. 

“We’ve seen a rogue’s gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies,” Wray told lawmakers. “We cannot–and do not–discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks here, on our own soil.” 

Over the years, federal law enforcement officials have brought many cases against Hamas-affiliated charities and individuals inside the US. 

In 2008, for example, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and five of its leaders were convicted on charges of giving material support to Hamas. The Richardson, Texas-based foundation was found to have directed at least $12 million to Hamas. Some of its leaders were sentenced to as much as 65 years in prison. 

Congressional testimony linked that group to Abu Marzouk, the current political leader of Hamas, who authorities said in 1992 “provided more than 10 percent of all donations to the Holy Land Foundation.” Marzouk, as is the case with many of Hamas’ leaders, is believed to be living in luxury in Qatar and is said to be worth over $3 billion. 

Wray told lawmakers the FBI wasn’t “currently tracking a specific plot” but explained the agency is “keeping a close eye on what impact recent events may have on those terrorist groups’ intentions here in the United States and how those intentions might evolve.” 

Fox News contacted the Rotary and Lions Clubs, which told the outlet they are not political and are more well-known for volunteer and charitable work globally. 

The organizations said they have over 1.4 million members and are engaged in various humanitarian efforts, from providing food programs and rebuilding communities to fighting diseases and providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. 

The Lions Club told Fox, "Lions International is a non-political, non-sectarian volunteer service organization whose members are dedicated to serving a world in need.” 

The Rotary echoed the Lions Club, saying it also “is non-political, non-religious, and exclusively focused on providing humanitarian support everywhere." 

Some observers told Fox that it says a lot about Hamas and their misguided philosophy that they consider service organizations such as the Lions and Rotary as being worthy of their scorn. 

Meanwhile, other religious sects also draw the wrath of Hamas, Christians in particular. A former IDF paratrooper said Hamas isn’t just a danger to Jews but also followers of Jesus. 

"We think that this is not a war for only Jews against Hamas,” Shadi Khaloul said. “It’s the fight of light against darkness.” 

“We, as Israelis, are fighting this fight together with Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze, Arameans like us,” Khaloul said. “We fight this together with Jews in order to defend the values of light of our actually common Judeo-Christian values that our democracies are built in.” 

Khaloul, part of the Christian Maronite Aramaic community, which believes its members are descendants of early followers of Jesus, does not identify as Arab. The sect was recognized as an official minority by the Israeli government in 2014. 

Khaloul, who lives near the Lebanese borders, worries if Hamas somehow took over Israel, his community would receive the same treatment as Israeli Jews. 

“It’s not a war between Jews and them,” he said about Hamas. “It’s a war between them and other people that are different from Hamas.” 

Khaloul said Hamas is also persecuting Christians in Gaza. 

“No one of the Christians want to live under this jihadi Islamic regime that treats them as infidels, that treats them as…maybe fifth-class citizens,” Khaloul said. 

Khaloul also slammed Hamas for taking “assistance” money designed to help needy families in Gaza and directing it to their military operations, according to the Wall St. Journal. The terrorist group can also use its own funds on terrorism since the US and Europe, along with others, support schools, hospitals, and non-violent institutions there, the Associated Press reported. 

“Gaza could be today like the Hong Kong of the Middle East if they used this money, foreign money, to build institutions and factories,” Khaloul said. “Foreign companies would come here and invest with them and build a good source of employment for the people.

“They did the opposite. They took this money to make themselves wealthy, to build weapons, tunnels, and military equipment to fight and destroy Israel, only for hatred."

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