Disturbing book drafted by top Hamas prisoner outlines plan for future war on Israel
"We must carefully examine the hostage's 'quality' – there is a difference between a married man and single man and between a father to children and a childless man. It's also important whether his parents are alive and there is a difference between Ashkenazim and Sephardim. …we saw that Ehud Goldwasser's wife managed to stir great empathy because of her status under Jewish law: A married woman whose husband is missing and whose fate is unknown….Goldwasser gained more media coverage at Eldad Regev's expensive, even though both of them were captured at the same time, because the media always looks for stories that can stir public emotions…"
The above quote is taken from a book titled "Resistance – A View from the Inside." The secret 200-page document was drafted by Mohammed Arman, a senior Hamas man jailed in Israel. The research work, referred to as "Hamas' war plan," was smuggled out of the Hadarim prison's most guarded wing and distributed among senior Hamas leaders, in order to prepare the ground for the "next phase" of Palestinian resistance.
In his document, Arman combined through analysis of terror activities in the Gaza Strip and West Bank with analysis of Israeli media's nature add Hamas' strengths and weaknesses in the West Bank. He demonstrated his arguments using hundreds of examples and quotes about issues ranging from the technology of tracking cell phones to words uttered by Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, and Ehud Barak, among others.
Yet Arman is no military theorist. He is very much a "field activist" who was among Hamas' most active West Bank commanders until his 2002 arrest. As such, his book is written as a practical guide for field activists. The document he produced is impressive, detailed, and mostly frightening, showing deep understanding of Israeli society's nature and its leadership.
The key points and innovations in the text include the following:
Rocket fire from the West Bank – Arman calls for existing combat methods to be exported from Gaza to the West Bank, while using collaborators among Arab Israelis. "We must acquire rockets, which will be a vital means for the next stage, in order to change the rules of play in the West Bank and mostly in areas bordering on 1948 land…even one person can acquire the needed materials for a rocket without raising suspicions and at very low cost, if we provide him with information on manufacturing methods. This is the role of resistance organizations," he wrote.
Throughout the book, Arman disparages what he views as the low endurance of Israel's home front.
"As we know, every person is scared of death, yet our enemy fears death more than anyone else…this prompts it to constantly consider abandoning the areas where rockets land," he wrote. "The occupation's political leadership can tolerate the rockets to a greater extent than civilians…many Zionists have alternate homes and passports in the countries of their origin."
Recruiting Arab Israelis – Arman devotes great attention to the role of Arab Israelis in the Palestinian struggle, with an emphasis on Jerusalem Arabs. However, he also says that the connection of Israeli Arabs to terror acts and groups should be blurred.
"The objective of the resistance within the 1948 areas and in Jerusalem is to harass the occupiers, disrupt their daily routine, and undermine their confidence," he wrote, adding that this should be done "in order to encourage migration and discourage immigration by harming the economy, scaring off wealthy individuals and cowards – without prompting international reaction that would support the occupation's acts against residents of these areas (Arab Israelis.)"
"We need those residents in the near feature, and therefore we cannot take this issue lightly and get them in trouble," he wrote. "The most effective means is popular war of road sabotage, arson, disrupting vital communications, and sowing fear among the Zionists without killing or even wounding them, with the exception of unusual cases."
The technological front – The impressive sources of information possessed by Arman include debriefings among prisoners. He notes that many terror cells were detained via the Internet.
"One activist who spoke with Gaza via a messenger program in Internet cafes was surprised when the intelligence services presented him with documentation of all the conversations he held in two months," Arman wrote. "The Internet is being monitored just like the phone, and even more thoroughly, because the intelligence services can easily gain access into any e-mail account and impersonate the other party to the conversation. Many cells were exposed that way."
Arman says that based on his inquiries, Israel's intelligence service are able to listen to any network, read any text message, and break into any computer or instant messaging program
More abduction operations – Much of the text is dedicated to analyzing abductions as a means for securing the release of Palestinian prisoners. Although Arman does not mention himself and members of his cell – who are candidates for release in the Shalit deal – he notes that resolving the prisoner issue via abductions is at the top of Hamas' agenda.
In these sections Arman harshly criticizes Israeli society, yet it appears he fails to understand its nature.
"Zionist society is a society of immigrants from all over the world who do not know each other, or even themselves," he wrote. "Every Zionist only thinks of himself…the view of the average Zionist in respect to prisoner swaps has nothing to do with morality, nationalistic feelings, or humanity, but rather, is based on fear that he too may be abducted one day. So he worries about himself first. This is the Zionist mentality."
Meanwhile, Arman stresses that Gilad Shalit is an "insufficient" bargaining chip for the Palestinians: "One abduction operation isn't enough. One soldier will not secure the objective."
Another criteria provided for abduction victims is their professional background and the knowledge they possess: "The Zionist entity is characterized by frequent government changes and is full of former generals, army chiefs, scientists, nuclear facility employees…Their value is the vital information in their head; information which the enemy closely safeguards."
In respect to abductions, Arman recommends that operations be carried out in the West Bank.
"We should know that abductions in the West Bank will draw implications and responses that are much milder than those in Gaza, as the entire West Bank is under the occupier's security responsibility… without an excuse to utilize brutal force against West Bank residents."
Arman adds that hostages should be held in "underground hideouts, far away from homes, or at a backyard where there is no security risk whatsoever…where no neighbor is suspected as being a collaborator of the occupation."
Adopting the al-Qaeda model – Throughout the document, Arman stresses the importance of independent activity by terror cells, a modus operandi utilized successfully by al-Qaeda and Global Jihad groups for years now. He calls for access to technical information and operational instructions online for activists interested in training themselves on using improvised, easy-to-acquire weapons.
"Popular, cheap, and widely available combat means must be developed…we should avoid scientific entanglements and refrain from referring to substances by their long and odd scientific names, but rather, use the names common in Palestine," he wrote.
Arman, who refers to himself as "the engineer behind the Hebrew University operation" has been sentenced to 36 life terms over his role in the university terror attack, among others. He is considered one of the five most senior Hamas prisoners whom the group wants released in the Shalit deal.
His first book, Death Engineers, which was also smuggled out of prison, was used by his Hamas successors as a mostly technical guide for carrying out murderous terror attacks. His latest book is dedicated to formulating policy ahead of embarking on a "long-term confrontation that will turn into a war of attrition."
A senior Israeli security official said Arman's book is very disturbing because it shows deep understanding of Israeli intelligence agencies' modus operandi, as well as Israeli society at large.
"Not everything in the book is accurate. In some cases he attributes to us capabilities we do not possess, while in other cases he underestimates us," the official said. "Yet as an action plan and an outline for war, the document can certainly serve as a very dangerous platform for what may happen in the West Bank in the future, should the plan he outlined by executed."