Sheldon Kirshner

Hamas Created Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis

The current humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip can be primarily pinned on Hamas, the rejectionist Palestinian organization whose bands of amoral terrorists slaughtered 1,400 Israelis and foreigners in southern Israel on October 7.

In ferociously responding to this massacre, the worst single attack on Jews since the Holocaust and Israel’s darkest day since statehood 75 years ago, Israel launched a concerted air campaign to destroy Hamas’ military assets and leadership and tightened its already existing blockade of Gaza. Yesterday, Israel stormed into Gaza in a “limited” strike to pave the way for what could be a full-scale invasion.

Israel’s reaction to October 7 was completely understandable and unavoidable. As US President Joe Biden said recently, Israel had a “duty” and a “responsibility” to react to the cold-blooded murder of its citizens on that darkest of days.

In Hamas, Israel faces an implacable enemy wholeheartedly devoted to its destruction and contemptuous of a two-state solution. Lest it not be forgotten, there is a phrase in Hamas’ national charter which calls on Muslims to kill Jews hiding even behind rocks and trees.

Israeli air raids, though aimed directly at Hamas, have caused widespread destruction. In the process, many innocent Palestinian civilians have died, partly because there are simply no bomb shelters in Gaza for ordinary civilians.

Hamas’ leaders and its 35,000 to 40,000 foot soldiers have no such problem. They are holed up in apparently bomb-proof tunnels stocked with all the necessities of life, while ordinary Palestinians go hungry as they scrounge for food and water.

Palestinian lives matter, but to Hamas, this is not necessarily true.

Israel, in an effort to minimize Palestinian casualties, has urged them to leave northern Gaza, which is now the focus of its land offensive. Hamas, regarding the Palestinians as human shields, tried to block their flight. Nonetheless, about 700,00 managed to flee to safer places in southern Gaza. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, however, still remain in what will surely be a killing ground.

Given the plight of Palestinian civilians, a host of world leaders and international organizations have called for the immediate establishment of humanitarian corridors extending from the Rafah border crossing in Egypt to Gaza to alleviate their suffering. They have also called for an immediate ceasefire, which could only benefit to Hamas and deprive Israel of the right of self-defense. Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution to this effect.

Some trucks loaded with food, water and medicine have reached Gaza, but Israel has banned the entry of fuel, which is desperately required in hospitals, water treatment plants and bakeries. By all accounts, Gaza’s fuel supply has almost run out.

Israel’s rationale for banning fuel is justifiable. Hamas would most likely hijack fuel shipments for its own ulterior purposes. As Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus has said, Hamas would use it in the furtherance of two overlapping objectives: to ventilate its intricate network of tunnel, which were built at an enormous cost while Gaza languished in poverty, and to fire yet more rockets at Israeli towns and cities. So far, Hamas has fired some 7,000 rockets at Israel, all in indiscriminate fashion.

With pressure mounting on Israel to release fuel to Gaza, Hamas refuses to share its stocks of fuel with its fellow Palestinians. According to reports, Hamas has between 800,000 to one million litres of gasoline and diesel at its beck and call. As Conricus said, private and public facilities in Gaza should ask Hamas for fuel, but Hamas most certainly would rebuff their request.

Hamas’ cold-hearted posture is less than surprising in light of yesterday’s revelation that it uses Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest health care facility, as a base of operations from which to launch rockets at Israel and as a storage shed for weapons and munitions. Israel’s intelligence is based on intercepted audio and visuals.

In a briefing, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari accused Hamas of waging war on Israel from this hospital and other hospitals in Gaza and cynically exploiting Palestinians as human shields. “Terrorists move feely” in Shifa and other hospitals,” he charged. “Hamas’ use of hospitals is systematic.”

Hamas is also feeding its supporters and sympathizers with the lie that it does not target civilians.

Two days ago, Khaled Mashaal, a top-ranking Hamas official, had the effrontery to make this claim while celebrating the “ingenious” October 7 attack within the framework of “legitimate resistance.” He shamelessly told a Saudi interviewer that “this is an accusation fabricated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Yesterday, Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, claimed that it targets soldiers rather than non-combatants. “There was no command to kill any civilians,” he said. “I can tell you we did not have any intention or decision to kill civilians.”

When the interviewer countered that Israeli families — men, women, children and babies — had been murdered in their bedrooms, Hamad rose from his chair indignantly and said, ” I want to stop this interview.”

Clearly, he was left speechless, patently unable to defend Hamas’ atrocities or to refute the almost universally accepted accusation that Hamas terrorists committed abominable war crimes in the name of the Palestinian national movement.

Hamas’ feeble and pathetic attempts to absolve itself of Nazi-like crimes is countered by the horrific facts on the ground and a recording of a Hamas terrorist who phoned his parents to boast of his mass murder of ten Jews on a kibbutz.

“Look how many Jews I killed with my own hands!” he shouted. “Your son killed Jews!”

Tellingly enough, his parents commended his “heroic” deed.

Hamas’ absolute refusal to abide by the unvarnished truth was also glaringly evident a few days ago when it falsely accused Israel of bombing a hospital in Gaza. The massive explosion was actually caused by a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket that fell on the hospital’s parking lot, killing upwards of several hundred Palestinians. Yet Hamas’ filthy lie was immediately bought by Palestinians, Arab governments, Turkey and Muslim states.

In this connection, it should be pointed out that Hamas has been deliberately inflating Palestinian casualty figures to garner sympathy and defame Israel.

Let’s be clear. Hamas, a proxy of Iran and an ally of Hezbollah, is in the business of fabricating lies in the quest to eradicate Israel and establish a theocratic Islamic state within the borders of historic Palestine.

Israel will not allow the unthinkable to happen. The consensus in Israel is that the Israeli armed forces must do everything in their power to wipe Hamas off the face of the earth.

This, truly, is a war of no-choice imposed on Israel by Hamas.

Gaza can never, never again be a staging ground for Hamas terrorism against Israel.

Hamas must be be eradicated as a military threat and its governance of Gaza must be ended.

About the Author
Sheldon Kirshner is a journalist in Toronto. He writes at his online journal,
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