Hamas released a new animated music video last night, threatening Israelis with missile attacks and warning them against invading the Gaza Strip in response.
The propaganda video, entitled “Zionist, You Will Die in Gaza” and sung in heavily Arabic-accented Hebrew, warns that Hamas has prepared missiles for the “Zionist enemy, wherever he lives” over animated rocket attacks on Israeli houses. The video urges missile strikes against the Kirya—Israel’s central Tel Aviv defense headquarters—and features graphics of a simulated rocket attack on the Knesset. It further threatens a violent revolt on the West Bank and the massacre of Israeli settlers. Warning that Hamas will not rest until it “contains Zionism,” the video shows missiles pounding Israeli cities, to be replaced by a series of Palestinian flags.
The song warns Israelis that entering the Gaza Strip would mean coming to their deaths, threatening to eat Israeli soldiers “without salt” or take them into captivity. The song returns to the refrain, “I shall water him [the Zionist] with cups of death, what a bitter drink!” The cartoon graphics include an ultra-Orthodox Jew having his head blown off and stuck on a pike, as well as another being shot in the head through crosshairs.
Tensions have flared up again on Israel’s southern border in recent days. On Monday, a rocket from the Gaza Strip fell in an open area south of Ashkelon, provoking Israeli air sorties against Hamas targets in the strip. Former head of the army’s Southern Command, Yoav Galant, warned on Army Radio that Hamas might be “drawn into an escalation in the spring or the summer.” Hamas confirmed today that it had rejected a proposed prisoner exchange to secure the release of three Israeli civilians held hostage after crossing into the Gaza Strip in recent years, as well as the bodies of soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul killed in combat during the 2014 summer war.
This is not Hamas’s first attempt to intimidate the Israeli public through music videos. Yediot Aharonot’s Palestinian affairs correspondent, Elior Levy, proclaimed the new song “undoubtedly the strongest hit by the Hamas production house since ‘Attack, Carry Out Terror Strikes!’” That catchy tune was arguably Israel’s summer anthem during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, and spawned numerous satirical covers. It was followed by another propaganda song in 2015, based on the music of Israeli pop artist Eyal Golan.