Sheldon Kirshner

Hamas War Crimes

Hamas stands nakedly exposed as a deliberate perpetrator of war crimes.

During its unprecedented murderous rampage through Israeli communities in southern Israel on October 7, which has so far claimed the lives of some 800 Israelis, Hamas terrorists pouring forth like wolves from the Gaza Strip not only killed soldiers, but targeted civilians in a clear and unmistakable attempt to sow widespread fear and apprehension and inflict a powerful psychological blow on Israeli citizens.

These heavily-armed killers methodically murdered civilians in their homes, on roads and at bus stops. There was no limit to their unbridled blood lust and cruelty.

And in the single most disgusting incident, which has been eternally seared into the hearts and minds of Israelis, they turned their guns on several thousand young people attending the Supernova Sukkot Music Festival near Kibbutz Re’im, which is only a few kilometers from Gaza.

According to reports, Hamas knew in advance about it and calculatingly prepared a plan to slay the attendees.

Cellphone footage of the attack, some of it was filmed by a new immigrant from Toronto named Shye Weinstein, shows that the assault began at around 6:30 a.m. as Hamas rockets whooshed by overhead and as a fairly large force of terrorists descended on the sandy grounds of the festival.

Sensing that something was appallingly amiss, the partygoers raced across open fields to take cover in nearby orchards and to reach their cars to safely drive away.

“It all happened so fast, all within an hour from the first rocket to the first gunshots,” Weinstein told the Times of Israel. “We were running for our lives after having such a good time.”

As they fled, they were apparently surrounded by Hamas gunmen, who callously opened fire on them before moving on to hunt down others who had managed to escape.

Several of the escapees were captured and taken to Gaza.

A vivid video clip shows Noa Argamani sitting on the back seat of a Hamas motorcycle, her face etched in agony, her arm stretched out in desperation. As she is driven away, her boyfriend, his arms tied behind his back, is led away to captivity.

In another disturbing clip, Shani Louk, a dual Israeli-German citizen who was abducted as well, was paraded through the streets of a town in Gaza as a trophy in the back of a pickup truck. As the vehicle passed a group of onlookers, a boy spat into it.

When the carnage had ended, 260 people lay dead in fields and in their cars, the hapless victims of a diabolical master plan drawn up by a cold-hearted Palestinian organization whose overarching objective is Israel’s destruction. That Hamas selectively targeted innocent people for slaughter speaks volumes about its values and intentions.

Hamas is not remotely interested in a two-state solution or Arab-Jewish coexistence. Its goal remains crystal clear — an authoritarian Islamic state within the boundaries of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. As far as Hamas is concerned, Jews do not have a right to statehood in their ancestral homeland.

Hamas’ repelling and obscene acts of violence against Israeli civilians can be filed under the general heading of war crimes. Yet these are not the only crimes of which Hamas is patently guilty.

Hamas has fired thousands of rockets at Israeli towns and cities in indiscriminate fashion, some of which have hit residential buildings. Hamas’ misguided leadership has no regard whatsoever for the sanctity of human lives in Israel.

It would seem that Israel’s containment policy toward Hamas has been a miserable failure. Israel issued Palestinians in Gaza thousands of work permits in a bid to dampen tensions. And Israel permitted Qatar — a wealthy Arab Gulf state that a does not even recognize its existence — to subsidize the Hamas regime to the tune of $2 billion for rebuilding and humanitarian purposes.

These efforts, while well-intentioned, have fallen by the wayside following Hamas’ spectacular invasion of Israel, an utter failure of Israeli intelligence, and the cross-border war it has touched off.

Hamas could easily have converted Gaza into a prosperous statelet at peace with Israel after Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Instead, much to the detriment of Palestinians and Israelis alike, it squandered this opportunity and opened the gates of hell.

One can only hope that Hamas will pay dearly for its arrogance and recklessness.

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