The malevolence of the Palestinians who govern Gaza and the like-minded people who cheer them on, whether furtively or openly, is unique. They know that when they place Israelis within the gun sights of their weapons, they are aiming the delivery of death and increased hardship at their own people as well. Indeed, they count on the certainty of those double gunsights.
Like every other freedom-loving nation on earth, Israel will try to protect its citizens from harm and will retaliate when its enemies manage to perpetrate harm upon its citizens.
Thus, last week, was a particularly bloody week for the Palestinians in Gaza. Israel acted to retaliate for Hamas terror. It also reacted to prevent further terror. Some 30 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them gun-toting militants – but alas, five civilians too – were killed by the Israel Defence Forces.
In the week that ended last Saturday, Gazan terrorists fired some 130 Qassams and 80 mortar shells at Israeli towns and communities and at IDF forces. Last Tuesday, a 20 year-old Ecuadorian farmer was killed by a Palestinian sniper from Gaza while volunteering near Kibbutz Ein-Hashlosha.
The question begs to be asked – but it is not very often asked, one must lament, by the accusatory minds of the western correspondents – why? Why do the Palestinians continue to launch rockets and mortars at Israel? Israel has no presence in Gaza. Israel no longer rules Gaza.
The answer of course is partly because of the sense of military mission among the Palestinians who clamour for the blood of the “occupier,” but it’s also to evoke the Israeli retaliatory response that the planners of terror know will be rich in the lachrymose images of victimhood and “oppression.” Ever the victims – in their own eyes and, it must be said, in the eyes of most of the world – Palestinian leaders have long painted and continue to paint the details of their collective, national portrait in the crimson hues of their own people’s blood.
United Nations officials last weekend urged Israel to prevent the creation of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Hamas, typically cynically, claimed that five people died in Gaza hospitals because of reduction in fuel supplies by Israel. But the claim was as spurious as it was false. Even with the cuts in fuel, Israel still supplied some 75 per cent of Gaza’s fuel needs and Egypt an additional 5 per cent.
As the Israeli foreign ministry pointed out, “the diversion of fuel from domestic power generators to other uses is wholly a Hamas decision – apparently taken due to media and propaganda considerations. Noteworthy is the fact that while the Gaza population remains in the dark, the fuel generating power to the Hamas rocket manufacturing industry continues to flow unabated.”
Israel is damned by the world when it retaliates even with non-military methods and damned by the terrorists when it does not.
But the more profoundly damned in this surreal, Catch-22 of Israel’s conflict, are the people of Gaza, who, in the eyes of their own leaders, count primarily as statistical brushstrokes in the dark, manipulated masterpiece of Palestinian sorrow and suffering.