A Tale of Two Gazas

ShowImage.ashxThere are two Gazas. One is at street level, where Palestinian civilians serve as Hamas’s human shields in the face of Israel’s narrowly targeted response to the more than 1500 rockets that have rained down on its citizens in recent days. The other is the subterranean Gaza, consisting of a labyrinth of elaborate tunnels where Hamas military commanders hide in relative comfort and which they use as their bases for rocket launchings and incursions into Israel. Hamas’s political chief Khaled Mashaal is too cowardly even to live in these bunkers. He is living luxuriously in Qatar while proclaiming recently that Hamas will not accept a simple ceasefire and that “It’s normal that you see those cycles of violence.”

Hamas launched an incursion into Israel through its tunnel network with the evident intent to abduct or massacre Israeli civilians in a kibbutz, after rejecting a ceasefire proposed by Egypt and accepted by Israel.  That had been the third time in the previous two weeks that Hamas used its tunnels to infiltrate Israel for the purpose of carrying out attacks.  After Hamas subsequently ended a brief humanitarian ceasefire, arranged by the UN, with renewed rocket fire and infiltration into Israel through Hamas’s tunnels, Israel finally responded to Hamas’s ground invasion with one of its own.

“We know that Hamas terrorists are operating underground, and that’s where we will meet them,” the IDF said in a statement, as Israel’s ground operation to find and destroy the tunnels got underway.  The IDF said it has already found 13 tunnels across Gaza, with 34 access points. But it is suffering mounting casualties in the process – at least seventeen soldiers killed so far including from the IDF Golani Brigades which lost 13 soldiers on July 20th in combat with Hamas in the Gaza Strip district of Shejayia, a center for reportedly manufacturing and storing Hamas rockets. Four of the Israeli fatalities resulted from attacks by Hamas operatives emerging from their tunnels on the Israeli side of the border.

According to DEBKAfile, the tunnels are Hamas’s main strategic asset which Hamas will fight to the death to preserve: “Around 16,000 men, around 15 percent of Hamas’ fighting strength, were assigned to the tunnel project in the last five years and substantial funds. The IDF will not be permitted to demolish this flagship project without a savage fight.”

Hamas commanders believe they can fight on for several weeks at least to defend their tunnels, the civilian population be damned. Khaled Mashaal has reportedly continued to spurn calls for a ceasefire coming not only from Egypt but also from the Arab League.

Yet, predictably, much of the so-called international community has lashed out at Israel for defending its own citizens. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who decided to visit the Middle East to explore ways to de-escalate the conflict, criticized Israel’s launch of its ground operation.  Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told an emergency session of the UN Security Council last Friday afternoon that while “we condemn the indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel” that ended the brief UN-brokered humanitarian ceasefire, “we are alarmed by Israel’s heavy response.” He mentioned the killing of Palestinian children in this context.

Palestinian UN Ambassador Mansour used his speech to the Security Council to exploit the tragic loss of life of these children. He recited the names and ages of Palestinian children who lost their lives because of what he called Israel’s “murderous rampage,” “savage aggression,” “state terrorism” and every other pejorative that he could muster. But Israel did not put those children in harm’s way. Hamas’s cowardly leaders did, while operating in their secure underground bunkers built beneath the homes, schools, mosques and hospitals that they have used as their weapons storage facilities and portals to their tunnels. Indeed, if Hamas had not summarily rejected the ceasefire proposed by Egypt and accepted by Israel early last week, Palestinian children could be playing safely outside rather than cruelly sacrificed by Hamas’s leaders as “martyrs” for their jihad.

Mansour charged that Israel’s military operation was designed to bring about the “collapse” of the Palestinian “unity” government between Hamas and Fatah.  In truth, it is Hamas that is bringing about the collapse of the Palestinian “unity” government all by itself.  A mere one week after Hamas signed the reconciliation pact with Fatah, Khaled Mashaal made crystal clear what every clear thinking person already knew. Hamas had no intention of abiding by Palestinian Authority President Abbas’s commitment against the use of violence. “Our path is resistance and the rifle, and our choice is jihad,” he declared. “Jihad is our path.”

Palestinian civilians including children, living in street level Gaza, are Mashaal’s jihad cannon fodder.

As Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor described Hamas’s exploitation of civilians to the Security Council: “From the safety of their luxury hotels in Qatar, Hamas leaders like Khaled Mashaal order room service with one hand and order Hamas to use Palestinians as human shields with the other.”

Commenting on the discovery of rockets stored in a Gaza school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Ambassador Prosor said that “Hamas is using UN facilities to commit a double war crime by targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians.”

Palestinian propagandists are doing their utmost to train the “international community’s” eyes on the civilian casualties occurring in street level Gaza. They are succeeding. As this article is being written, the United Nations Security Council is meeting in an emergency session requested by the Palestinians. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that “Israel must exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians.” Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to be criticizing Israel for civilian casualties in remarks captured by a live microphone.  Meanwhile, in subterranean Gaza, the Hamas jihadists are criminally sacrificing those civilians to save their tunnels built with concrete that could have been used to build real schools and hospitals to educate and care for their people.

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  • Hank Rearden

    Israel’s position at the UN should be shock and disgust that the UN did not stop the Hamas shelling that has been occurring. It should lay the name of every civilian killed at the UN’s door. Why didn’t the UN stop Hamas from making war on Israel? That has to be the mantra. Where was the UN during the Hamas shelling? Why does Israel have to be the one to restore order?

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    • Johnny Paleswine

      The IDF should be allowed to do either of the following:

      1) Treat the Arab Muslims in the same manner according to the Hadith on the treatment of captive prisoners of war

      OCCUPATION of a captured territory is a Western concept.

      male prisoners: killed if are a danger or a threat

      female prisoners: for sexual relations with or without her agreement

      2) Treat the Arab Muslims in the same manner the natives of the Americas were treated by the British, Spanish and Portuguese.

      PM NetanYahu should contact PM Cameron and say the following ( in a somewhat Peter Lawford accent); Now see here old boy, we intend to do to them what you did to the natives of Massachusetts and Africa. I assume you remember?

      • Jill

        That’s ridiculous. While I disagree with prisoners getting certain luxuries, you’re recommending murder, enslavement, torture and rape. Disgusting.
        War is complicated enough. If someone gets killed in the line of fire, that’s a tragedy but that’s war. Your proposal is inappropriate.

  • Mark Robert Jones

    Great article! as far as I’m concerned let the toothless UN scream and yell. Finish the job once and for all. Hamas and their allies in Gaza must be rendered impotent.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Khaled Mashaal, you are a COWARD.

    Your Arab men, women and CHILDREN pawns die for you while you feast in Qatar.

    • Johnny Paleswine

      I know you will love this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FixSd3DVcjY

      Castro falling sad to say he survived

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        The architect was sent to a sugarcane prison.

    • carpe diem 36

      no shame, so save your word. they are all coward they only want to save their own skin, and their stupid people will follow instead of rebelling, but this is the nature of the Arabs. let them suffer.

  • Terry

    The un has serially ignored the rockets fired at Israel over many years, all aimed at civilians. Now it reaps what it has helped to sow. Restraint? I don’t think so!!

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    • Allah is Dead

      UN is a sponsor of terror. It has done nothing to stop any genocide or war. It simply a boys club where warmongers can go and get paid to start world conflicts. The USA would be better off not being part of it.

      • Americana

        I disagree w/this comment in its entirety. The United Nations has done some notable things to stop certain genocides and decrease wars. The fact the U.N. doesn’t jump in **quickly enough** to prevent certain movements from gaining momentum (as with the Lord’s Resistance Army and others of its ilk) has more to do w/the fact it is not designed to militarily face irregular armies and militias. The U.N. is regular armies and regular warfare strategies. If we wish to allow the U.N. greater leeway in the forms United Nations management of regional conflicts go, we must arrive at a new rules of engagement for U.N. forces. We must also not be as timid about voting for the U.N. to take action. The sooner the U.N. is deployed, the sooner there is a neutral party observing and intervening.

  • Keith

    Israel should demand that the Arabs/Muslims provide a peacekeeping and police force to patrol and keep Gaza and the West Bank secure and to ensure that the genuine rule of law is kept in those areas. The commander and countries supplying the peacekeeping force would then be held responsible for any terrorist attacks against Israel. Maybe once the Palestinians have to live peacefully they may be willing to negotiate and get on with living and improving the economy of their own state rather than trying to kill their neighbours.
    I can dream!

    • Paul Waliser

      Israel can only trust its own security forces to keep Israel safe. No UN, No USA, and most certainly, no Arabs.

    • carpe diem 36

      if the Palestinians were not what they are the could have had a very beautiful country with no one dead or killing, just have a country that is blesses with good weather, good beaches and a very good neighbor, Israel to provide them with tourists and import-export business like no other. but being the murderers they are their children will never know what a good life they could have had with a different set of leaders. This is too much to bear, what could have been and what is.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Nuclear Bunker Busters.

  • CowboyUp

    The IDF should risk as few of their soldiers as possible to clear the tunnels. They could pump LP or NG into the tunnels and air vents, then detonate them. If that doesn’t collapse them, follow it up with a few tanker trucks of a flammable liquid to pull the O2 out of them and their bunkers (like we did in WW2). When that cools they can string line charges down the roofs of the tunnels. The IDF shouldn’t fight hamas’ terms, and not allow them their “savage fight.” If hamas was dumb enough to bottle themselves up, make them die uselessly in their holes.

    I don’t suppose the UN had anything to say about hamas using human shields, launching rockets from residential areas, or using the UNWRA school as an ammo magazine. But then they didn’t fault, much less punish hezzbolla for using UN positions as shields to fire on the IDF in Lebanon, either, but condemned the IDF for shooting back.

  • dgala

    Every time anyone chides Israel for its self-defense posture, they should let loose with a barrage of fire “generally aimed” just like Hamas/PA does with their rockets. I wish Israel has never gone in with a ground offensive. Bombs, missiles and artillery work just as well without risking lives of IDF.

    • meanpeoplesuck

      500 Palestinians have been incinerated with high tech weapons the US taxpayer has paid for.. 20 Israelis have died- that’s 25 to 1. Self defense? Who are you kidding?

      • iluvisrael

        that’s because Israel invests in defense like the iron dome and shelters for its citizens and the moslems have weapons caches purposely in and under hospitals, schools, etc. Their use of human shields is well documented. You are either stupid if you don’t know that by now, or a lying pos if you do.

        • Americana

          The Palestinians aren’t allowed to buy and install advanced weapons-protection systems like Iron Dome. I’m sure if they could buy them, they would. Let’s not be too ridiculous in our partisanship.

          • iluvisrael

            The arabs invest in offense (gotta have a steady supply of bombs and rockets to kill and terrorize the Jews) and not defense. Otherwise they’d have bomb shelters like Israelis do. I stand by my comments.

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            Jackassicana, Yet your Pal-e-SWINIANS are “allowed” to buy rockets, missiles, ammo to shoot at Israel.

            Hamass has Priorities – weapons over people – safety for Hamass elites over safety for civilians and children.

            How I wish you were a Human Shield for Hamass.

      • Ray Tort

        Israel uses Iron Dome and bomb shelters for defense.
        Muslims use civilian bodies for defense while its cowardly terrorists
        hide underground.

      • eslesl

        Have you called the leader of hamas in Qatar to discuss your concerns? Nobody (except hamas) wants to see the ‘palestinian’ civilians killed, especially Israel, but they have no choice when they are fighting for their own lives against hamas and other ‘palestinian leaders’ before hamas, Why did Jordan and Lebanon expel Yasser Arafat and his ‘palestinian’ people? Why don’t Egypt and the rest of the middle eastern countries (except iran) care about the gazans?

  • Paul Waliser

    No more senseless Two State Peace Plan. It would be suicidal, period. Who wants 30 Gazas in Judea and Samaria. Let Egypt rule Gaza, while Israel demographically can absorb Judea and Samaria’s Arabs who want to integrate in Israeli society. Those that do not can be deported to Jordan or Egypt’s new province of Philadelphi (Gaza Strip).

    No other plan makes sense to Israel’s long term survival.

    • Allah is Dead

      why not a 3 state plan? why don’t the christians get their own country?

  • DrBukk

    If there was an Olympic rock-throwing competition, the Palestinians could take pride in something beyond men competing to have 50 or more children.

  • meanpeoplesuck

    Sounds like the USofA. Chimpy W McHitler and his puppetmaster Cheney sat protected in the White House and sent 150,000 of our children to Eye-rak to kill Ay-rabs and take their oil.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      STILL whining about Cheney? LOL!

      It’s 2014 jackass. Cry yourself to sleep.

  • Gee

    The Arabs are willing to fight to last of their neighbors’ children.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    There are two Gazas. One is at street level, where Palestinian civilians serve as Hamas’s human shields in the face of Israel’s narrowly targeted response to the more than 1500 rockets that have rained down on its citizens in recent days.

    Maybe so-called Palestinian civilians to you and other clueless infidels like you, but that’s because you neocons believe that terrorists comprise radicals and extremists and radicals and extremists always comprise just a tiny portion of the overall population wherever they exist. Thus, to you guys all Muslims not caught in the act of trying to slaughter innocent civilian infidels in cold blood are all civilians

    However, it’s not just a few radicals and extremists that are the problem. The problem instead consist of ALL MUSLIMS in the world waging jihad (holy war) against ALL INFIDELS in the world to ultimately make Islam and Islamic totalitarian society supreme throughout the world. Just because most Muslims aren’t violent, doesn’t mean that they are civilians because they are not. Figure that out and the sooner we can begin formulating ways to combat this plague.

    Otherwise, you will continue misleading your readers and the public will never figure it out until it’s too late.

    • Magicmaninthesky Nothanks

      Islam is the problem. Always has been, always will be. Until we destroy it in its entirety.

      • Paul Waliser

        Christians already have most of the free world. If you are referring to the Middle East, Maronite Catholic Lebanon was a great place to live at one time until impoverished Muslim Arabs moved in for work eventually outnumbering the Christians there. Lebanon could be the Christian sanctuary in the ME. Although Christians have more religious freedoms in Israel than anywhere else in the ME.

  • Tim

    Israel ought to demolish the tunnels, bulldoze every Hamas-owned structure in the Gaza strip, and resume building Jewish settlements on the newly freed real estate.