The tragedy on Gaza Beach has filled us all with horror. Hamas and its ilk use this tragedy as an excuse to continue their Qassam rocket attacks on the people of Sderot almost unabated. Conclusions as to who was responsible for the unfortunate killing of seven members of the Ghalia family are controversial. Israel carried out an investigation into this tragic incident and stated that a shell unaccounted for by the Israeli Army caused the explosion. According to their investigation findings, they have apportioned the blame on the Palestinians for leaving an unexploded shell in the vicinity. Investigations of this nature, carried out by involved parties are suspect to be biased and inaccurate. The Hamas leadership decided to abandon the cease-fire (which was fragile to non-existent anyway) and sent a volley of Qassam rockets into Sderot. Following these incidents, Israel has adopted a more aggressive stance towards the Hamas leadership and has carried out retaliatory action resulting in further loss of life on the Palestinian side. Unfortunately, seven Palestinian civilians were killed and dozens wounded in the IAF strike on a Katyusha-launching cell in Gaza City. Two of those killed were civilians, another three were medical personnel, as well as two Islamic Jihad terrorists.
The ongoing retaliation violence continues. While it is true, that Israel does not intend to carry out violence against innocent Palestinian civilians, the same is not true of Hamas that controls the Palestinian Authority. When they attack Israelis, they must expect a reaction and if innocent Palestinians happen to be in the field where launching of Qassam rockets occur, it is an unfortunate reality that these innocent people will be harmed as well. This does not make the Israeli Army “humane” as claimed by P. M. Ehud Olmert. Armies are not humane by nature! If they were humane then they would not be able to wage wars or serve their countries. There will always be abuses of human rights by the army in carrying out their duty. The U.S. Army has not been over humane in Iraq or in Afghanistan.
The endless cycle of violence continues and there is no sign on the Palestinian side of any desire to come to terms with Israel’s existence or to cease their terror activity. The sickening comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa remains a tactic used by the Hamas leadership and their allies ad nauseam. The shadow of the cynical “anti-racist” Durban Conference of 2001 remains a standard by which to judge Israel.
While Israel carries on with her duty to defend her citizens against terrorist attacks, the terror apologists will continue to accuse Israel of carrying out genocide against the Palestinians who are engaged in a legitimate struggle against the occupation. All means at their disposal to achieve that end, according to these apologists, is legitimate and this includes the use of the suicide bomber. The futility and results of their cruel tactics is well known and yet the fantasies of these perpetrators, which colour their aims, motivate them on this path of blood and hate.
There are journalists who write about “trying times for the Palestinians”. They overlook the fact that much of the Palestinian suffering was brought upon the Palestinians by their leadership in the past and present. The past Arafat leadership with its corruption and inability to come to terms with Israel by negotiation and the present Hamas leadership elected by default must bear the blame for much of the violence and Israel’s retaliation to it. All these apologists express their support for the Palestinian cause of achieving independence. They do not condemn the terror tactics used against Israel or at best, they overlook the terror that Palestinian terrorists had committed against innocent Israelis. They fail to realize (or do not wish to come to terms with) the fact that all the restrictions that the Palestinians suffer is because of the terror activity against Israel. Had there been no restrictions, road barriers or security fence, Israel’s citizens of all creeds would be subjected to further suicide bombings and bloodshed on a daily basis. What has this to do with genocide, apartheid fence or call it what you will? If anything, the attempt at genocide comes from the Palestinian Hamas leadership. It is not the struggle against the occupation but a desire to destroy Israel. Hamas and company have been uncompromising in their attitude towards Israel. This is an indisputable fact!
Most of us are against the occupation and we support a Palestinian state living alongside Israel in dignity. Both Palestinians and Israelis could achieve so much by embarking on joint projects for the good of both peoples. Why is the Palestinian leadership so intransigent in coming to terms with Israel’s existence? Why do they not wish to negotiate a fair and just settlement with Israel so that both peoples can exist together in peace, dignity and respect? Unfortunately, these questions will remain rhetorical questions for many years to come. So many lives on both sides have been lost because of this intransigent hate and lack of trust. There are no optimistic signs of any change in the Hamas Palestinian attitude towards Israel!
There does not seem to be any way out of this total stalemate of violence between Israel and the Palestinians while the problem remains an existential one with both sides unable to realize the importance of becoming partners in peace rather than rivals in hate rhetoric and violence.