Hamas's media arm, "Al Aqsa," has released a feature-length drama to mark one years since last summer's war.
The 55-minute, slickly-produced film is entitled "Ambushes of Death," and intersperses testimonies from terrorists who took part in fighting against the IDF with dramatizations of their battles during Operation Protective Edge.
The film portrays the war as a "victory" for Hamas, despite it not having achieved its stated goals of ending Israel's blockade of Gaza, and despite the massive damage wrought to its military infrastructure and loses inflicted to its fighting force. The 50-day war ended with a ceasefire on August 26, which has largely held despite intermittent rocket fire from Gazan terrorist factions.
In the movie, actors playing Hamas terrorists can be seen reenacting various missions, including fighting at close quarters, burrowing through tunnels into Israel and laying ambushes for Israeli soldiers. At one point, the film depicts a terrorist crawling undetected to an Israel tank to lay an explosive charge.
The terrorists are portrayed as heroes, committed to their cause and willing to die. In illustrating their members' thirst for "martyrdom," the Hamas propaganda film also dramatized the death in combat of several terrorists, and the entire production is interspersed with recitals from the Quran.
In contrast, Israeli soldiers – played by Hebrew-speaking Arab actors – are portrayed as cowardly, incompetent and lazy, hiding behind a tank and at points randomly firing at civilian areas in Islamist-controlled Gaza. The film also shows edited footage from Israeli TV of IDF soldiers giving real-life testimonies about the tough conditions they faced against an enemy heavily embedded into the civilian infrastructure of Gaza.
That portrayal is far from the reality of last summer's conflict, which in fact saw IDF soldiers fighting house-to-house against Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists who regularly hid behind the civilian population of Gaza – often openly boasting of their effective use of human shields. Documents seized by the Israeli army during the fighting revealed how the use of human shields was an essential part of Hamas's strategic doctrine, both to hamper Israeli military operations and use subsequent civilian deaths to gain sympathy through the international media.
The movie ends with a familiar message often featured in other Hamas propaganda, calling on Jewish Israelis to leave the country voluntarily or be violently ethnically-cleansed, and promising to conquer Jerusalem.
The film's release comes amid ongoing, unconfirmed reports that Hamas and Israel are close to reaching a long-term ceasefire, one which could potentially stretch for as long as 5 or even 10 years.