When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Israelis left their homes, greenhouses, and farms intact. Immediately, the Palestinians entered and destroyed everything. And as soon as Hamas took control by force in 2007, they spent all international monies donated to them on rockets, ammunition and building tunnels.
Hamas terrorizes Israel by firing thousands of rockets indiscriminately into southern Israeli cities and villages. They even use their own citizens as human shields and store rockets near or even inside hospitals, mosques, and schools. They fire rockets from residential areas and civilian facilities and dig tunnels from beneath homes and civilian institutions.
Despite the terror attacks, and for humanitarian considerations, Israel continues to supply electricity and water to the Palestinian people. Thousands of truckloads of supplies of meat, vegetables, canned food, milk products medical and school supplies and more from Israel have crossed into Gaza for consumption and use by the citizens.
Hamas could have decided to improve the economy and offer Palestinians a better life. Instead, it has focused only on attacking Israel and maintaining its goal of “return” to Palestine (the entire land of Israel) and the destruction of the Jewish state.
Hamas concentrated on building tunnels: Tunnels to Egypt brought consumer goods, fuel and, of course, weaponry; tunnels into Israel were to kidnap or kill Israelis and infiltrate Israeli territory. However, Egypt has closed the tunnels, and Israel has developed high-tech capabilities to detect and destroy them.
In the last eight months, Hamas has mobilized thousands of Gazan civilians on the border fences along with its own armed men; carrying grenades, guns, and other weapons. The goal is obviously to enter Israel, in order to kill and destroy as much as possible. With Israeli soldiers defending the border, all are pushed back, except for a few who are caught and arrested. Several who cut through the wire fence were shot, killed or wounded. Despite all this, every Friday, after their prayers, Hamas calls its citizens to storm the border fence by the thousands. Unfortunately, they were able to destroy Israeli border fields, trees, and livestock with fire.
If only Hamas would stop using its citizens in their fight against Israel; if only they understood that their dream of destroying Israel and taking over the land is a fantasy that will never come true. If only they would concentrate on economic recovery rather than building tunnels and amassing Iranian rockets and missiles. If only they would cooperate with Fatah and put away their arms. If only they would recognize Israel’s right to the land. Then there would be peace and quiet.
Should Israel topple Hamas and then leave? There is a real risk that either an ISIS affiliate or Islamic Jihad would take over. Both are much more militant than Hamas, and things would get worse. War with Hamas, who uses its own people as human shields, would cause many civilian casualties, including women and children. The ensuing global anti-Israel outcry would seriously hinder present Israeli diplomatic efforts for support against Iran. This would obviously be most sorrowful, especially in light of Israel’s new relations with Sunni moderate Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf nations, who oppose Iran.
For these reasons, Netanyahu agreed to the cease-fire, hoping that the Egyptians will help Israel achieve quiet at least for a bit longer.