In an interview with Vanity Fair published two days ago, the IDF confirmed that, as rumoured in the summer, Hamas had planned to carry out a mass terror attack by entering Israel though their tunnel networks and killing or kidnapping as many Israelis as they could. Israel had no choice but for the IDF to immediately destroy all the tunnels that they could.
In the same interview, Hamas’ leader Khaled Mishal claimed that Hamas only target soldiers and those living on ‘occupied territory’. He claimed the tunnels, which mostly ended up under or near civilian communities and kibbutzim, were actually just “defensive” tunnels, and that rockets are aimed at military targets, but “The accuracy of such rockets is limited. So, they sometimes miss their targets.” He said that Hamas’ leaders had no advance knowledge of Hamas members’ horrific kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teenagers, Gilad, Eyal and Naftali, in June, but called the attack a “legitimate operation”.
Meanwhile, earlier this week Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital revealed that they had provided medical treatment to the daughter of another Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, after suffering complications from treatment in a Gaza hospital. Which is actually normal routine for Israel.
Yesterday my sister received an email from her university in London, informing students that a student had been “charged with intending to commit acts of terrorism”, and offering counselling and support to those who need it. This is not surprising and shocking, London universities are getting a reputation for producing terrorists that were most likely incited by some antisemitic terrorist guest speakers enjoying their ‘freedom of speech’. The more shocking thing is that the university emailed students about it and used the T word – because isn’t it kind of un-PC and Islamophobic to acknowledge terrorism?
And now we come to what happened yesterday evening in Jerusalem. A Hamas member carried out a terror attack by driving his car into a group of people waiting at a train station. He saw the people, Israelis, Jews. He saw the pram with a baby in it, and to him that three month old baby girl, pure and innocent and beautiful, was a legitimate target. So he drove his car into them, killing the baby Chaya Zissel Braun, and injuring eight others. Hamas spokesman Hossam Badran said on official Hamas television: “This is a natural response to the crimes of the occupation and invasion of our land.”
This is who the ‘moderate’ Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has a unity government with. There is no difference between Hamas leaders or their ‘political wing’ or their ‘military wing’. They are all terrorists. And whoever makes excuses for them or actively supports them or funds them – you have blood on your hands.
Many Palestinian children tragically died during the war in the summer, but our soldiers died whilst doing everything they could to avoid harming innocent Palestinians. Casualties of war cannot compare with Hamas’ countless terror attacks over the years. It cannot compare with the kidnap and murder of three teenage boys, or deliberately targetting and murdering a baby.
There is a serious problem in this world. Excusing it and apologising for it and trying to understand it will only make it worse. Israel is not the problem, and settlements are not the problem. We know what the problem is, it’s on our doorstep, and Israel invests time and money and energy and lives into defending and protecting us against it. It is hard to know or count the number of potential terror attacks that are prevented here because of the intelligence, bravery, and dedication of our soldiers. These incidents are so frequent, yet they don’t get much media attention here, or any at all internationally. But sometimes terrorists succeed. And it is how we react to it that tells us if the terrorist won the battle, or if terrorism is winning the war. It often looks like the latter is true. But not in Israel. We won’t, we can’t let it.