Since 2005 Gaza has been under Palestinian self rule: no longer “occupied” since in 2005 Israel removed all 8,100 of its settlers and also its soldiers in the hope of peace. Gaza is still under the rule of Hamas - the democratically elected terrorist organisation whose repeatedly stated goal is not to build a Palestinian state, but rather to destroy the Jewish one and replace it with an Islamic caliphate spreading from the Middle East to the world.
“Regarding the Jews, our business with them is only through bombs and guns ... the prophet [Muhammad] promised that we will fight you, with Allah's help, until the tree and stone say: "Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him," said Nizar Rayan, Hamas religious and military leader on Hamas Al-Aqsa TV, January 1, 2009.
I don’t think from the calm of Australia we can understand what it is like to live with neighbours like these. Unless we think back to Bali, 2002 and remember the bloody murder of 202 innocents by an Islamic fundamentalist terror organisation with the same global aims as Hamas. Imagine a recurrence of that attack as not only a constant spoken threat but also a daily reality.
For the last eight years the southern part of Israel has had more than 22,000 rockets and mortar shells fired into its cities and villages. This is an average of about eight a day. To protect against them, every building in the Israeli cities along the border with Gaza - every kindergarten and school and supermarket and bank - has a thick concrete slab on its roof. Every few metres is a bomb shelter.
As horrific as it is to spend ¾ of one’s life in or running to bomb shelters - as horrific as it is to hear stories of poverty-stricken Israeli mothers who have to choose which of their eight children to leave out of the shelter if an attack comes at night and there isn’t time in the 15-second window to wake every one and hustle them down - it is even more horrific to me as a woman and a mother to see that Gazan families have no shelters built for them by their Hamas government.
I am outraged that the male Hamas leadership, which blusters that “Hamas will continue the resistance until the last drop of blood,” (Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, calling for a resumption of suicide attacks on Gaza radio, December 27, 2008) shelters itself underground but leaves its women and children above and unprotected to absorb the consequences of its years of murderous and relentless attacks on the Israeli women and children across the border.
I see videos of Hamas’ indoctrination of Palestinian children encouraging them to murder and commit suicide; dead children paraded through streets; and the cheering and celebration when teenaged suicide bombers achieve their vile aims and blow Israeli innocents apart and I ask where is the international condemnation of this systematic child abuse? The world condemns Israel for defending its children and stands silent as Hamas straps suicide belts onto its children and uses them as human shields.
For Hamas the blood of its own children is as effective a tool for them as the blood of Israeli children. The blood of Israeli children serves its physical war to annihilate the Jewish people and the blood of Palestinian children serves its propaganda war against Israel and the West. The cynicism of this equation disgusts me almost as much as the sight of the blood.
As a woman and a mother I weep for the thousands of children traumatised and mutilated and killed on both sides of the border.
I rage at an international community which assesses moral right and wrong by the number of casualties and forgets and ignores the fact that Hamas pursues war and destruction.
“Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours.” (Hamas Charter, Article 13).
Hamas desires no peace and has brought nothing but terror, not only to the people of Israel but also to its own people. Out of the mouths of (Palestinian) babes: “I say Hamas is the cause, in the first place, of all wars, it's Hamas.” Palestinian girl whose siblings were killed in the early days of this war, Fatah TV, December 29, 2008.
If there is a solution to this horrific conflict it lies in the defeat of extremist Islamic terror personified by Hamas. It also requires an end to the policy of rejection of all peace offers and methods that have condemned Palestinians to 60 years of suffering. By fighting Hamas and negotiating with Fatah, Israel is attempting to achieve both. The moderate Palestinian leadership must commit to genuine dialogue.
Discuss in our Forums
See what other readers are saying about this article!
Click here to read & post comments.
40 posts so far.