Has Hamas begun to grasp the reality that they cannot defeat Israel and will never return to lands they condemn Israel for occupying? Or have they taken a real step in their push towards Jerusalem as capital of a future Palestinian state?
A new project launched by Hamas gives Gazans a taste of Jerusalem on an imaginary train ride from the coastal enclave to the Holy City.
Brainchild of the Gaza-based terror group, the train takes riders for a 500-meter pass above the outskirts of the Gaza Strip. The final stop is the Temple Mount, where riders can visit a model of the Dome of the Rock Mosque.
There is a market where Gazans can get a feel for the tastes, smells and sounds of the Old City of Jerusalem. There are also models of the ancient walls and the Damascus Gate of the Old City, which leads into the Muslim Quarter.
“We wanted to give our children the joy of going up to visit Jerusalem, capital of Palestine,” one rider said. “This is our chance to visit the Holy City because we are not allowed to enter due to the occupation,” added another.
Some of the riders are clearly hoping the imaginary train ride will one day take them up to the real Jerusalem, which is just 99 kilometers away, as a huge sign announces along the way.
Is the “Return Train” a genius marketing strategy to help bring Hamas one step closer to capturing the city of Jerusalem as their capital? Or is this a trip through an imaginary world that gives Gazans a measure of contentment because they understand the road to Jerusalem as their capital has become a distant dream?