Who was Ismail Abu Shanab?

Who was Ismail Abu Shanab, the person decribed as “a political leader of Hamas” in the story on his assassination by the Israelis in today’s Washington Post? I don’t have the answer. After reading every story on Shanab that I was able to find online this morning, I still don’t know. I do know, however, that the Hamas charter — a document that is easily accessible online — seems rather clearly to deny the existence of any distinction between political and military objectives.
Article 8 of the charter provides the Hamas slogan: “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.”
Article 13 addresses the question of “peaceful solutions.” It provides: “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight. ‘Allah will be prominent, but most people do not know.’
“Now and then the call goes out for the convening of an international conference to look for ways of solving the (Palestinian) question. Some accept, others reject the idea, for this or other reason, with one stipulation or more for consent to convening the conference and participating in it. Knowing the parties constituting the conference, their past and present attitudes towards Moslem problems, the Islamic Resistance Movement does not consider these conferences capable of realising the demands, restoring the rights or doing justice to the oppressed. These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitraters. When did the infidels do justice to the believers?”
Article 28 provides a window onto the thought process of Shanab and his friends. It provides: “The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion. It does not refrain from resorting to all methods, using all evil and contemptible ways to achieve its end. It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions. They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam. It is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion.”
As they say elsewhere on the Web, read the whole thing.

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