By: Center for Strategic & Regional Studies
Note: Click here for the PDF file of this analysis.
In this issue:
- Al-Aqsa Storm And Its Reflections In Afghanistan
- Reactions To The “Al-Aqsa Storm” Attacks
- Muslims Worldwide Support For Palestine
- Reactions In Afghanistan
- The Responsibility Of Afghans Towards The Palestine Cause
How Did the Al-Aqsa Storm Begin?
On Saturday morning of 7 October 2023, Hamas’s attack which they named Al-Asa Storm shook the Middle East and the world. The military wing of Hamas; Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades launched an orchestrated and synchronized surprise attack by air, land, and sea and targeted the occupied territories near Gaza. They quickly infiltrated nine Israeli military bases near Gaza and killed and captured many Israeli soldiers. They raided Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip to exhibit their strength to the Israeli settlers and let them know that Palestine is no longer a safe place for them and they should leave the land to its owners.
The Israeli apartheid regime has continued its oppressive, occupying, and barbaric approach against the Palestinians. They have violated Islamic sanctities and harassed Muslims inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Now and then, extremist settlers, guarded by Israeli forces, raid Al-Aqsa mosque harass Palestinians, and disturb their worshiping events.
They have steadily expanded settlements and have occupied many Palestinian towns. They raid Palestinian neighborhoods and kill women and children. This ever-increasing Israeli suppression and violence on one hand, and the deadly silence of the international community with all of its human rights organizations led to a situation that has unfolded since October 7.
The attack was surprising as well as well-planned, quick, and crushing and it shocked and horrified the Israeli political leadership, army, and intelligence. For at least 72 hours Hamas fighters were on the top, and the Israeli military leadership was recovering from the surprise and did not have any clear publicized response. Prime Minister Netanyahu was releasing threatening and emotional statements. So many cabinet meetings took place without setting forward any clear response plan.
Since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa storm operation, Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of the right-wing government, has been in contact with the leaders of different countries, especially the United States and European countries. The biggest concern of the leadership of the occupying regime after the Hamas attack from Gaza was the fear that similar attacks would not be launched by other armed groups from the borders of Lebanon and Syria against the occupying regime.
In such difficult moments, European countries and the United States of America rushed to support the occupying regime. US President Joe Biden gave the green light to Israel that it will fully support its retaliation war against the Gaza Strip. The American president did not stop there and announced that he would send the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier to the Middle East to support the occupying regime. To assure Iran, he stated that sending the aircraft carrier does not mean direct participation in the war, but to support Israel. Iran, which received this clear message, assured America and the occupying regime that it would not attack the occupying regime until it was attacked. Although Lebanon’s Hezbollah; Iran’s close ally, carried out small operations against the occupation regime from October 8 onwards, which were neither proportionate to Hezbollah’s combat capacity nor did they push Israel to stop the bombardment of Ghaza.
Iran and its armed militia groups in the region remained neutral despite being very loud in their claim of liberation of Al-Quds. For this reason, the occupation regime’s boldness increased in its barbaric behavior and it continued to bombard the houses where women and children were with more terror, and 70% of the victims of these attacks were women and children. To cover up this historical failure, the occupation regime deliberately and with the support of the leaders of freedom and defense of the rights of women and children, targets them until it attacks the hospital where the rest of the children and women are treated and she created a bloody slaughterhouse that stamped her animalist on the bloody and brutal history of nearly a century.
Meanwhile, the position of Islamic countries; Arabic and non-Arabic; Saudi, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia & etc. is embarrassing. Not only no strong voice was raised to support the rightful rights of the Palestinian people and their rightful struggle against the occupation of this barbaric regime, but with deathly silence and soulless diplomatic statements, Israel was allowed to do everything in its power against the movement of Hamas and The people of Gaza do. Of course, the government of Qatar and Kuwait is appreciable for calling for an immediate stop to the occupation regime’s airstrikes over Gaza and the urgent sending of humanitarian aid to Gaza. The Saudi position was better this time than the previous times, but contrary to expectations, Recep Tayyip Erdogan; The President of Turkey did not take a strong position against the brutal attacks of the occupying regime against Gaza, although he called these attacks brutal and inhumane, but there was no news of the tone he used against this regime in the past. Perhaps Turkey’s economic problems and the expectation of the cooperation of America and its allies were the main reasons for this weak position, but the people of Gaza and Muslim nations will never forgive this cowardly position for a person of Erdogan’s position.
Alhamdulillah, the Islamic Ummah is a living Ummah, despite the dominance of autocratic and Western-affiliated governments, they act in the affairs of the Islamic Ummah according to the demands of faith and with an awakened conscience. This positive reaction of the Muslim nations from the very beginning of the Aqsa Storm was widely reflected through the media and social pages. They congratulated the Palestinian nation on the victory of Hamas in carrying out a surprise operation against the military centers of the occupying regime and celebrated it. Since the brutal and retaliatory attacks of the occupying regime on Gaza began, Muslims around the world took to the roads, showing their hatred and disgust for these barbaric attacks on Ghaza. They became able and powerful by praying to God and showing their unwavering support for Gaza and the rights of the Palestinian people in different ways.
Alhamdulillah, in this conflict of right and wrong, the place of the Mujahidin people of Afghanistan was not empty. From the very first moments of the Aqsa storm, the social pages of Afghans were filled with congratulatory messages for the Mujahideen of Hamas, and the slogans of death to Israel and death to America filled the virtual pages. The overwhelming majority of Afghans supported the Mujahideen of Hamas and the people of Gaza, and expressed their hatred and disgust for the blind bombing and brutal airstrikes of the occupying Barghza regime. On Friday, October 13 large public demonstrations were held in all major cities against the occupation regime’s air aggression and in support of the people of Gaza. The cities of Kabul, Jalalabad, Nimroz, and Ghor witnessed large protest gatherings of Afghan people against the occupation regime’s encroachment on the Gaza Strip. In the demonstration of Kabul, which was attended by a large number of residents of Kabul city and districts, university professors, youth, scholars, and Mujahideen, after the Friday prayer, they gathered in front of the historic Eidgah mosque of Kabul, which is a symbol of independence and freedom. The speakers spoke on behalf of different spectrums of society and declared their general and complete support for Hamas and the people of Gaza. During this gathering, the participants of the demonstration chanted the slogans Death to Israel and Death to America and burned the flag of the occupation regime.
The connection of Afghans to the holy land of Palestine and Al-Quds is a strong religious tie. During the era of the Ottoman Caliphate, thousands of Afghan pilgrims used to stop in Jerusalem on their way to and from Mecca to rest and visit the Aqsa Mosque. In 1623 AD, several Afghans built a monastery called “Al-Zawiyah Al-Afghaniyah” near “Bab Al-Ghwamaneh”, one of the gates of the Aqsa Mosque, which was built by the Ottoman governor at the time. Mahmoud Basha was included in the Quds Endowment and is still active. The Afghan Khanqah has a mosque and twelve small rooms, which were used during Hajj seasons for the service of Afghan pilgrims and otherwise for conducting zikr circles. This monastery, along with the Bukhara monastery and the Indian monastery, warmly welcomed and served the Muslims of Central and South Asia during the Hajj journey. At that time, Afghanistan was part of the territory of the Ottoman Caliphate, and Afghans could travel freely to Palestine. Since then, several Afghan families lived in the coastal city of Jaffa, but with the emergence of Zionists and the disaster of 1948, Palestinian Afghans migrated to other cities such as Nablus, Qalqilya, and Quds, which are still there. An Afghan monastery in Jerusalem called Qadiriyeh Monastery; is also mentioned attributed to Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. One of the old elders of this monastery, Haji Abdallah, the son of Rahmdil Shah Afghani, was born in Ghazni Karabagh and remained in the position of guidance of this monastery from 1938 until his death (1979). Afghani Khanqah is still active and Sheikh Abdul Karim Afghani is in charge of it, where weekly dhikr circles and annual religious programs are held.
As for the Afghans inside the country, Alhamdulillah, they have had strong sympathy with the issues of the Islamic Ummah, especially the issue of Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Afghans consider the defense of Palestine as the first and third Qibla of Islamic holy shrines as worship and a part of religion. For this reason, they have been hostile to the Zionist regime from the very beginning, and they love the Mujahideen of Palestine and the Murabatites in Aqsa.
This sympathy has a long history and goes back to the time when Mohammad Haroon Al-Mujdadi, the son of the late Mohammad Sadeq Al-Mujdadi; Afghanistan’s ambassador to Egypt participated in the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood fighters against the British forces defending Israel in the Suez Canal Wars. He was later imprisoned in Egypt for the same charge. In the middle of Mohammad Zahir Shah’s reign; the last king of Afghanistan, Afghan scholars collected financial aid from the people for fighters in Palestine, and prayers were held in mosques for their success. At the end of the royal regime, when the wave of Islamic awakening had reached the universities and scientific societies of Afghanistan, the defense of Quds and not recognizing the legitimacy of the Zionist regime was one of the constant positions of the Afghan Muslim youth movement, and along with their street demonstrations and articles and letters, the slogan of death to Israel and Long live Quds was always praised.
After the coup of 1357 AD and the brutal aggression of the Red Army on the territory of Afghanistan, thousands of zealous young people and scholars of the Islamic Ummah went to Pakistan and entered Afghanistan with Mujahideen caravans and participated in the Holy Jihad against the Red Army. Hundreds of children of Palestine included these selfless youths who went to different fronts of Afghanistan and fought manfully until dozens of them were martyred in the hot trenches of Jihad. And their pure blood combined with the blood of Afghan martyrs made the brotherly relationship between the two Palestinian and Afghan nations even stronger. In the mid-1980s, when the jihad against the Soviet Union had reached a critical stage; the famous scholar and advocate of Palestine, Dr. Abdullah Azzam, may God have mercy on him, rushed to the aid of the Afghan Mujahideen. And by establishing the Mojahedin Service School, he took a big step towards collecting and coordinating aid for the victory of the Afghan Jihad. With his academic ability, he called the Afghan Jihad a presumption for all those who can do so, and with this historical fatwa, he was able to make many people, institutions, and intellectual and political currents stand by the side of the Afghan Jihad. Thanks to the constant efforts of Ustad Azzam, vast resources from different Islamic countries poured in for the sake of Afghan Jihad inside and Afghan immigrants abroad.
In 1987, when Abdullah Azzam, may God have mercy on her, was still in the land of Hijrah, the Islamic resistance movement Hamas was founded, whose great spiritual leader was Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. And the first intifada started inside occupied Palestine. He also wished to return to his homeland after the victory of the Afghan Jihad and serve the Mubarak Intifada. But the enemies of freedom and humanity did not let him see the realization of his ideals, as on November 24, 1989, due to the explosion of a roadside mine, he drank the cup of martyrdom with two of his children, Muhammad and Ibrahim, in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Indeed, Abdullah Azzam Shahid did not succeed in joining the new intifada movement, but dozens of his skilled Mujahideen, who had gained physical strength and martial skills in the fields of battle against the Red Army, slowly, slowly migrated to the land of Hijra. They left and served the Palestinian resistance.
Despite the historical religious ties that the people of Afghanistan have with Palestine and despite the good feelings they have with the ongoing resistance of the Gaza Mujahideen against the invasion of the occupying regime, there are still empty spaces in this relationship that need to be filled. The most important of these areas are as follows:
- Poor Access to the Right News: Unfortunately, most Afghans, especially social activists and media operators, due to their lack of familiarity with the Arabic language, get news about the Middle East in general and news about the relations between the Palestinians and the occupying regime from Persian and English sources in particular. Which somehow serves the policies of this regime. The occupying regime has under its influence many media networks, especially Western media networks, with the help of its countless properties, and in this way, it wants to whiten its blackface in the world. By investing in the media, the occupying regime wants to show itself as oppressed in every encounter and battle against the Palestinians, including the recent attacks on Gaza, and portray the Palestinians and the Palestinian Liberation Mujahideen, who are fighting a just war, as oppressors. Sometimes wrong judgments due to wrong information are seen by the media and well-considered personalities of our country regarding Palestine, which should not be the case. At the very least, we should know that affiliated networks such as Afghanistan International and Man and to Network, and before them, BBC and Voice of America, are not reliable networks in this field. Instead, we can rely on Al Jazeera English TV if we do not know Arabic. In addition, the media network of the Palestinian resistance is very wide and diverse, as a result of the search, you can easily reach first-hand and reliable sources about Palestine.
- Lack of Knowledge about the Nature and History of Conflict: Unfortunately, many Afghans of the new generation still do not know that Israel was an illegitimate state planted with the cooperation of Europeans, especially England, in the heart of the Islamic world for colonial purposes. England played a treacherous role in ending the Ottoman Caliphate by igniting the First World War, and in creating this occupying regime to separate the African and Arab parts of the Islamic world from the rest of it, all of which were previously united under the political centrality of the Ottoman Caliphate. Were, it worked. It is surprising that even before the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1916, British Foreign Minister Balfour promised the world Zionist movement that they would have a government in Palestine. This is one of the most ridiculous promises in history because while announcing this, someone who does not own something promises it to someone who does not own it. At that time, Palestine was under the rule of the Ottoman Caliphate and very few Jews lived there. In the interval between the two world wars, Britain, which had brought most of Palestine under its control after the fall of the Ottoman government, in cooperation with the global Zionist movement, transferred tens of thousands of Jews from different countries of the world to Palestine, armed and trained them and encouraged and financed the war against the original inhabitants of Palestine. At the same time, under various pretexts, she collected weapons from the hands of the Palestinians and deprived them of all kinds of development and social development facilities. Despite all the British efforts to obtain Palestine for the Jews, in 1948, only 3 percent of the Palestinian land was available to them, and the rest belonged to the Palestinians.
- Lack of knowledge about the Global Zionist Movement: We must know that there is a direct relationship between the presence of the occupying regime in the heart of the Islamic land and the protection of the interests of the West in this region. The West, after the end of the old colonial era and the decolonization movement in the Islamic world, had to keep the Arab world divided and continue to plunder the rich wealth of this oil-rich region, along with installing strong leaders in the region, it had to plant an inconsistent existence there which is neither religiously nor historically compatible with the existing fabric in the region, nor is it possible to survive without the help of the West. The West had two major goals from this work, one was the continuation of political and economic dominance in the region, and the second was to destroy the chance of the rise and movement of the Islamic world again and its uprising against the West, after the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate. Therefore, the Zionist regime is an occupying government that has been forced to dominate the Palestinian land based on a conspiracy. This illegitimate organization needs the help of the West for its survival, and the West stands by it strongly because of its strategic interests. The first condition for America’s assistance to one of the Gulf countries and the Middle East countries is that it is committed to the security of the occupying regime. Therefore, America and the powerful European countries are openly and with all their strength on the side of the occupying regime and justify every crime but with a hundred regrets, Arab countries, because of their relations with America and the West and because of the fear of the occupying regime, do not take a serious step to defend Palestine and the rights of the Palestinians, nor do they openly condemn the crimes of the Zionist regime.
- From Words to Action: The Palestinian freedom movement has reached a fundamental stage and the signs of the fall of the occupying regime from within are clearly visible, the last sign of which is its storm operation, the storm of al-Aqsa by Hamas with the loss of more than 270 soldiers and officers of the Zionist regime, the capture of more than 200 and wounded. Becoming thousands of others. As a result of this surprise operation, the occupying regime destroyed the image it had presented to the world as the strongest country in the region. Because neither the so-called “invincible” army could do anything against the Mujahideen, nor did its strong intelligence manage to get any information about the attack. In response to such a successful operation, the occupying regime has decided to launch a revenge narrative to restore the lost dignity, the important goals of which are as follows:
- The brutal aerial bombardment is for reprimanding the people of Gaza for supporting the Al-Aqsa storm and armed movements against Israel.
- Increasing the casualties of the Palestinians to double or triple the casualties of the Israelis, so that they can make dough for themselves and the shaky government of Prime Minister Netanyahu does not fall apart.
- Forcing the residents of the northern areas of Gaza to migrate to the south, with the intention of permanently driving them out of Palestine, just like what they did in the 1948 war, as a result, the temporary migrations of Palestinians due to the war turned into permanent migrations out of Palestine. Transformed
- Depriving the Palestinian resistance movement and the Mujahideen of Hamas of popular support, including them in the list of terrorist movements (in the sense of the West and with its help) at the political level and their final elimination in northern Gaza, by using the most dangerous types of weapons, including banned imitation weapons. It goes without saying that in the current situation, most of the people and supporters of the occupying regime consider the ground war and entering Gaza as suicide for the demoralized army of this regime.
In such situations, it is not suitable for any Muslim, especially the justice-seeking and peace-loving people of Afghanistan, to sit indifferently and to be satisfied only with verbal affirmations and prayers. At the moment, financial assistance is the biggest need in Gaza, for the provision of food, treatment of the sick, serving the displaced, and other humanitarian needs. Afghans who are able, in addition to helping the earthquake victims in the west of the country, should provide their humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people through reliable Palestinian charitable institutions that are active in different countries of the world. And of course, we all know that Jihad in wealth is not less than Jihad in the field. The second public responsibility of Afghans is to try to understand the Palestinian issue correctly, understand the current situation, and as a result, strongly support the resistance in Gaza and condemn the crimes of the occupying regime against the people of Gaza and the whole of Palestine. Besides this, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan must permanently condemn the daily crimes of the occupying regime army against the people of Gaza, and warn the crime partners of this regime, including the United States and European countries, from entering into open enmity with the Muslim nations. Despite the world’s non-recognition of the Islamic Emirate, with the good image they have as the defeater of America in the minds of the world, such attitudes will have a positive effect in favor of the freedom of Palestine and the greater power of the Zionist regime.