On Sunday evening, the IDF struck a Hamas target in the Gaza Strip after a rocket was fired at Israel from a Hamas cave. Although this event, upon reading on first glance, seems like an attack by Israel, it was actually an act of defense. Hamas and the terrorists in the Gaza Strip have continued to have rockets pointed and shot at Israel since Hamas took control in 2007. As a result, Gaza has created situations where Israel must defend its citizens that are constantly in fear of rocket fire, and conflicts have arisen — most famous the 2014 Gaza-Israel conflict that led to Operation Protective Edge. In all of these conflicts and raids against Gaza, Israel is simply defending themselves by deflecting attacks from Hamas and begging for rocket fire to stop. Israel’s success in conflicts with Gaza have led the public to believe Israel is the aggressor. Yet, Israel is simply never the aggressor in these conflicts.
Since Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005, Gaza has been in shambles and has been mostly under the corrupt control of Hamas. Hamas, a terrorist group who has a clear aim to destroy Israel, has constantly attacked Israel not only verbally through leadership, but constant rocket fire at populated areas, from cities like Tel Aviv to Ashdod. This constant rocket fire must be stopped, and it happened again Sunday night, where a rocket that was fired from Gaza was aimed at Israel and exploded within the Gaza Strip. The IDF let out a statement saying the rocket fire was a threat to Israeli citizens and sovereignty.
This attack by Gaza continues to add to the territories pattern of initiating attack when there’s peace between Israel and Gaza. Gaza has been the initial attacker in all Gaza-Israel conflicts, and it has always been due to rocketfire, so this rocket that was fired Sunday is concerning. Hamas’s rocket fire to Israel is what propelled the war between Israel and Gaza in 2014 along with the 2008 Gaza War – both causing civilian casualties in the thousands. The attack by Gaza forced the Israeli Defense Force, as an act of defense, to respond and destroy a Hamas watch tower in the south of the Gaza Strip, with one of their tanks. This exchange of fire comes during a time of relative peace and calm between the Israelis and Hamas, and it’s unfortunate that Hamas had to refuel the conflict once again.
Once again, Israel will gain headlines from the recent altercations that Israel has attacked Gaza and its innocent people. From an objective perspective, it seems that Israel is the aggressor in this saga, as a rocket landed in Gaza, and Israel destroyed a Hamas tower. In the end, nothing on Israeli soil was touched. Yet it was in fact Hamas that shot that rocket that easily could’ve landed in Israel — where it was aimed — killing Israeli civilians. Israel was forced, in order to show strength and disappointment with Hamas’s attack, to destroy one of Hamas’s watchtowers as a reaction. Just because Israel won from this altercation, the public will misconceive Israel as being the ones that attacked Gaza and looked to exploit them.
In conclusion, Israel will once again, like in past Gaza Wars, be labeled the guilty in a conflict when they are in fact the victims. Gaza continues and will continue to attack Israel unreasonably, during times of peace, in order to push Israel to react. Israel’s reaction, which must be offensive to push back the attacks and defend Israeli citizens, will always be criticized by the public, as they continue to show strength over Gaza.