Inconvenient Truths About Gaza, Hamas and Israel’s Border

Simon Wiesenthal Center
Inconvenient Truths About Gaza, Hamas and Israel’s Border

May 16, 2018

• Why is there a border fence between Israel and Gaza? 

Israel captured Gaza from the Egyptians during the 1967 Six-Day War. For decades, there were no border fences. Many Israelis shopped in Gaza and many Arabs worked in Israel proper. In 2005, then Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, unilaterally removed all military posts, as well as the thousands of Jews who had settled in the Gaza Strip, and gave Palestinians full control of the territory.

In 2006, Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas, a terrorist organization whose Charter calls for the total destruction of the Jewish State. Soon, suicide bombers and thousands of missiles targeted Israel leading to military confrontations.  In recent years, Hamas built a network of underground terror tunnels to circumvent the border fences.  Israel, like any other nation in the world, cannot be expected to tolerate an attempted invasion of its land.

• Why are the conditions in Gaza so bad? 

Hamas diverted building materials and other aid intended for civilians, and instead chose to build massive underground tunnels to launch attacks against Israel. Rather than turning Gaza into an international tourist destination on the Mediterranean and dramatically improving the economy and the life of the people, Hamas’ only interest is its radical terrorist ideology, which chooses to create severe shortages of goods and services vital to the pursuit of a normal future.

Rather than admit their culpability in allowing this unbearable situation to fester, the international community, including the United Nations, and the European Union, continue to cynically blame Israel and Israel alone.  But the simple fact is that none of those nations, faced with a similar crisis would act any differently than the Israelis.

• Don’t Palestinians have the right to peaceful protest without fearing they would be killed? 

Of course, everyone has the right to protest both individually and collectively, but what if the Million Man or Women’s March decided to violently storm the White House or Congress?  What would our police and soldiers do?  How much more critical is the situation at the Gaza border, which has a long history of terrorists blowing up restaurants, buses, and schools.   Hamas admits now that 50 out of the 60 deaths on Monday, May 14, 2018, widely condemned by leaders and the media as an Israeli “massacre” or “slaughter”, were in fact, members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups. Meanwhile, the Israeli government continues to send leaflets warning Palestinian protesters to stay a safe distance from the border.

• Don’t Palestinians just want to live in peace?

Without question, many Palestinians want peace. But under Hamas rule, their children are taught otherwise in United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools. Textbooks never mention the word Israel, maps show only Arab names for cities and sites in Israel proper. The new Hamas Charter says, “There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.”

Even UNRWA, the single largest employer in Gaza, has been co-opted by a Hamas-driven agenda. In fact, UNRWA closed schools on May 14-15, knowing full well many of the children would be put in harm’s way.

• Are women and children targeted at the border? 

There has been video evidence showing that women and youngsters are being brought into the fray to act as human shields and cannon fodder. Hamas’ hope is that the most vulnerable amongst them will be shot by the Israelis, which would lead to headlines denouncing Israel as carrying out massacres against innocents.  It is the worst form of child abuse to deliberately place children in danger, just to score a few paragraphs in the international media and social media.

• Would these events have occurred if President Trump hadn’t moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem?

Hamas needs little excuse to engage in their most profitable enterprise — terror — especially when they know anything involving President Trump would garner international headlines. Proof of this is that these marches actually began on March 30th, six weeks prior to the US Embassy move.
Hamas selected May 14th, Israel’s 70th anniversary and the inauguration of the new US Embassy to gain maximum coverage. And it worked – rioters rushed the border, Israeli soldiers defended their nation, and the media, continues to give a moral pass to Hamas while denouncing Israel, again and again.

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