Hey, this is Joe here. So I am following the terrible news in Israel. I can’t sleep at night knowing that over a million Israelis have to constantly run to the shelter due to the constant bombardment coming from Gaza. Tel Aviv itself is under threat – crazy!
Hamas (together with a few smaller Palestinian factions) is the main party responsible for the attacks on Israel, but I was thinking – who exactly are Hamas and why are they attacking Israel? I did some research (yes Sarah, I am capable of doing research, you may be the smarty pants in the family but I’m not as dumb as you think), and I want to share with you what I found.
Hamas is a Palestinian party that was founded in 1987, with an affiliation to the Muslim Brotherhood. Its co-founder, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, stated that the goal of Hamas was to ‘liberate’ all of Palestine, including the West Bank, Gaza and all of Israel, and to establish an Islamic state in the area. Hamas is committed to the utter destruction of Israel, its charter contains the quote “The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews [and kill them]; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: Oh Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”
Sounds pretty scary to me.
Hamas’s military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, have carried out numerous attacks against Israeli civilians; more than 1,000 Israeli men, women and children on their way to school have been killed by suicide bombing attacks. One famous case was the bombing in March 2003 of bus #37 in Haifa, carrying many teenagers and schoolchildren. 17 People were killed, 53 were wounded, police said that the bomb, strapped to the bomber’s body, was laden with metal shrapnel in order to maximize the number of injuries. In another case, in August 2001, a Hamas terrorist blew himself up in a pizza shop in downtown Jerusalem, 15 civilians were killed, including 7 children and a pregnant woman, and 130 wounded.
Wikipedia contains a list of suicide bombings undertaken by Hamas in the past two decades.
In 2005 Israel evacuated every last inch of the Gaza Strip, all Israeli citizens were forcibly removed from their homes in the Jewish communities in Gaza and turned over to the Palestinians. In 2007 Hamas took over the Gaza strip by force, kicking out the Palestinian Authority and has since been in complete control of the Gaza Strip.
Most of my friends understand Israel’s need to respond, after all, no country would tolerate bomb attacks against it citizens. A few friends however claim that the occupation is the cause of the bomb attacks on Israel. Yet it is clear that the root of the problem is Hamas’s refusal to live in peace with Israel. After all, Israel completely left Gaza, there are no Israeli troops or settlers in Gaza, yet Hamas, continues the terror against Israel.
Hamas could choose to focus on improving the lives of Gazans, creating jobs, raising the standard of living, improving education – there is a lot to do. Apparently though all this is not important for Hamas – their priority is attacking Israel, they could not care less about the lives of ordinary Gazans.
So this is the organization that Israel is currently fighting against, an organization that wants to destroy Israel and murder my friends and family in Israel, an organization that could not care less about ordinary Gazans who I believe would also like to live in peace.
I wish the IDF the greatest success in defeating Hamas and other terror organizations and I hope that peace and quiet will return to all residents of the region.