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Avigdor Liberman
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Innocents in Gaza? Don’t be naive

Some will say Gazans are too afraid of Hamas to voice condemnation, but it’s clear there is massive support for the terror group
Palestinians from the Gaza Strip enter Kibbutz Kfar Aza on Oct. 7, 2023, amid a massive assault by the Hamas terror group. (AP Photo/Hassan Eslaiah)
Palestinians from the Gaza Strip enter Kibbutz Kfar Aza on Oct. 7, 2023, amid a massive assault by the Hamas terror group. (AP Photo/Hassan Eslaiah)

For years good people with good intentions believed in and promoted the idea of peace between us and the Palestinians. Naive people – and yes, it is fair to call them that – who believed with all their hearts in the idea of two states thought there were normal people who dream the same dream living in Gaza. That dream shattered into pieces on October 7, 2023.

After recovering from the initial shock of the horrific massacre and with the revelation of the evidence of the atrocities committed by the Nazi terrorists, there is no shadow of a doubt that among those who took part in the attack on southern Israel, provided the intelligence on the homes of the residents, and led the mob in the second wave of looting and destruction were Gazans who worked in the kibbutz communities they invaded. They earned a living and ate in the homes of the massacred residents, some of whom were the very residents who helped Gazans and their families when they were sick, and took care of transporting them from Gaza to Israel for life-saving treatments in Israeli hospitals.

The late Vivian Silver from Kibbutz Be’eri was one of those people who worked for peace and for the people of Gaza. She established aid programs for Gazans, made sure the workers were paid fair wages, transported the sick to hospital treatment and a few days before the massacre organized a peace rally in Jerusalem where Israeli women marched alongside Palestinian women. On Black Saturday, she was murdered with terrible cruelty by people on whose behalf she had worked for years, and no condemnation or expression of shock was heard from the residents of Gaza.

Some will say Gazans are afraid of Hamas and that is why we have not heard any condemnation from them, but the scenes we witnessed every evening when our kidnapped were being transferred to the Red Cross and the testimonies of those who have returned from captivity suggest otherwise. It’s clear that Hamas has massive support in Gaza: The frenzied crowd jeering and spitting on the abductees, the testimonies of Israeli children who say they were beaten by Gazans of all ages, and the demonstrations of joy and support for terrorists throughout Gaza testify to the cruelty of a populace that educates its children to hate Israel and is raising a new generation of terrorists and supporters of terrorism whose goal is the destruction of the State of Israel and all its citizens.

The story of Roni Krivoi, who was kidnapped from the Supernova festival by the bad guys, is a case in point. Roni managed to escape from captivity and hide for a few days until Gazans caught him and returned him to his captors. This is likely the reason why the terrorists branded the legs of the kidnapped children with the motorcycle exhaust pipe in order to make it easy to identify them in case they escape.

Further evidence of the cooperation of the population can be found in the corridors of Shifa Hospital, where the hospital director and other senior doctors helped the terrorists hide hostages and turn the hospital into a haven for terrorists. But it’s not only in hospitals that you find collaborators, it’s also in private homes of Gazans, including a reported case of an UNRWA employee, where hostages were held in terrible conditions.

This reality is also reflected on social networks in the Arab world and in Gaza, where an avalanche of posts are words of praise and wall-to-wall support for Hamas and the horrible acts of October 7th.

So tell me, where are those innocent people in the Gaza Strip hiding?

About the Author
Member of Knesset Avigdor Liberman is the leader of the Yisrael Beytenu party. He served in numerous roles in previous governments, including heading the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Finance, National Infrastructure, Transportation, and Strategic Affairs, as well as serving as Deputy Prime Minister under Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu.