The destruction of Israel is only the first step in Hamas’s bid to “subjugate” the world and establish an Islamic caliphate, a terror expert has claimed.
The fundamentalist group launched a heinous attack on Israel on October 7, launching simultaneous attacks on multiple civilian targets – including a music festival only a few miles from the border with Gaza.
The attack spurred the immediate reaction of Israel, whose Israeli Defense Forces have mounted an ongoing air raids campaign on the strip within hours of Hamas attacking.
Dr Jonathan Schanzer from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies warned the incursion could be the initial move in a larger strategy to “conquer Israel” and then expand its takeover to the rest of the world.
He said: “From there, it would like to see the world subjugated to an Islamic caliphate.
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“In other words, a governing structure in the world that is led by Muslims… [since] it believes in Muslim supremacy as a general principle.
“Hamas believes that the conquest of Israel is the first step that is needed along the way. This actually… [is] the sort of thing that we saw from al-Qaeda, from ISIS and others.”
Dr Schanzer likened the fundamentalist group to a “death cult”, noting the concept of martyrdom is key and members appear not to value life.
He continued: “It embraces this idea of martyrdom to the point that the fighters simply don’t care whether they live or die as they battle Israel.
“It’s one of the things that has made Hamas dangerous, even as it has in the past lacked the sophistication necessary to do real damage to Israel.”
Hamas gained political legitimacy in the mid-2000s after securing territorial control of the Gaza Strip in the elections.
Israel however has shown it is committed to eradicating the terror group from Gaza – with Dr. Schanzer suggesting that their hunt for militants could expand beyond regional borders.
Speaking to Fox News, he added: “I think we have seen in Israel’s history that it is not afraid to seek retribution in an extraterritorial way.
“In other words, it’s quite possible that we could see Hamas leaders assassinated in multiple other jurisdictions long after the guns fall silent in Gaza.”
Meanwhile, Joe Biden headed to Israel on Wednesday for a seven-hour visit to Tel Aviv, during which he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Biden urged Israel to show restraint, citing the US’s response to the 9/11 attacks as an example Netanyahu should not follow.
He said: “Don’t be consumed by that rage. After 9/11, while we sought justice and got justice, we made mistakes.”
Israel has had tanks lining up the border with the Strip of Gaza for over two weeks, and while details of its plans for the territory have remained vague, the overall consensus is an incursion remains possible.