“Oh, my beloved brother…” With these words, “Haj Alaa 125” addressed the Mujahedeen in the Islamic Resistance. The harsh features of his face hid a warm and honest man, anyone who spoke to him would tell you. Few knew his real name, Hatem Hamada, the son of [Lebanon’s] mountainous town of Qmatiye.
This forty-year-old man has always been known by his “jihadi” name, Hajj Alaa.
He was a man with a long history of fighting the Israeli enemy, at the frontlines during the [Israeli] occupation and even in direct battles. He led one of the main units of the Islamic Resistance, equipping and preparing for an expected confrontation with the strongest army in the Middle East, and seeking to enshrine a new deterrent equation.
In 2013, “Alaa’s” star shone making him one of the most prominent field leaders of the Islamic Resistance, as he fought in the battles of Tell al-Nabi Mando in the southwestern countryside of Al Qusayr as well as the Qusayr Battle on May 19. He left his mark in attack and combat tactic plans, leading the fight and directing the Saraya “Ridwan” [the Ridwan Brigade].
The battle which lasted for 19 days was “Alaa’s” first experiences in urban warfare. Those who fought along side him described him as “a first class General”, but he never cared about these titles. He preserved the spirit of the “good old days”. He grew more modest and became closer to the Mujahedeen, always echoing “O my beloved brother…”. The Islamic Resistance leadership was keen to honor the Qusayr battle leaders, and “Alaa” was always keen on serving the Resistance. According to someone who was present, the leader insisted on helping in the preparation of the food and handing it to the attendees. Photographs taken at the scene testify to this.
Qusayr was not the end of his journey in fighting the insurgents. It was just the beginning of the pursuit from one front to another. His presence in the battles assured victory for the “Ridwan” fighters while the Resistance leadership placed all of its confidence in him. As the deputy of operations, “Alaa” proved that varying geographical terrain and psychological warfare employed by the militants only served as a source of motivation for achieving one victory after another. He went after militants who escaped from Qusayr to the villages and cities in Qalmoun. He went after them in Deir Atiyah, Qarra, Jrejer, the mother of all battles, Yabroud, as well as Rnkous and many others throughout 2014.
Chasing militants – who knew his name from radio chatter – was not over. It continued to the border crossings between Syria and Lebanon. He dismantled the militants’ laboratories used for producing car bombs and improvised explosive devices.
Qalmoun left permanent scars on “Alaa’s” body. As if the land refused not to leave a memory on the body of the man who liberated it. The Syrian crisis took the leader away from his home a lot in recent years. He was always in the Qalmoun operation room. He set up a bed in that room, which became his second home.
“He did not care for the transient things”, those who knew “Alaa” said about him. “He was taciturn, smiled often, and gave advice. He was a brother that no time and place can replace”, says his friend. He adds, “He was friendly with the Mujahedeen and could never bear being wasteful.”
Hatem, the electrical engineer and a graduate from the Arab University, consistently worked within the framework of serving the party [Hizbullah]. His comrades recall his eagerness to participate in the Ashura procession every year. He slept in the warehouses, with 15 others, for several days to make sure “the acoustics and the march” succeed.
In 2015, he led operations in Zabadani, located in the western outskirts of Damascus, adding a new achievement his record. This year, his station was Aleppo. He headed to northern Syria, specifically the south west of the city. He was conducting a sweep of a bolts factory near the Pazo hill, when an explosive device went off killing “Alaa”. This explosion tried to reap the fruit of victory and kidnap “Alaa” who only wanted to leave the battlefield as a martyr.
Today Hizbullah will hold a funeral procession for Martyr and leader Hajj Adib Hatem Hamada [Hajj Alaa] and Martyr Jalal Taleb Alafee at 5:15 pm in the Rawdat al-Hawraa Zainab in Ghubairi.