Hamas may be the organization that Gaza citizens put in power, but that alignment is detrimental to the civilian population. Define, civilian population. When civilians align with terrorists, that places all of them at risk. When terrorists hide and fight, concealing themselves in private homes and public places, they expose all as enemies. So, as heart wrenching as it may be to see children pleading for the “opportunity to be alive,” it is adults who have jeopardized their existence.
Israel is a mature nation and being at war with terrorists and a neighboring Arab population brings responsibility. The old adage, “If you break it, it is yours” applies with some caveats.
- Israel didn’t break it.
- Arabs made it worse for themselves.
For the sake of peace, Israel must assume responsibility for its hostile neighbors. The best course is to eliminate Hamas terrorists, making them not viable while cultivating an acceptable alternative among Gaza citizens. That will take investment and time as does creating hearts and minds.
Needed will be support from other Arab communities as well as outreach and assistance from the free world. Israel should have no difficulty getting support for a peaceful way forward.
The major obstacle comes from not only local Gaza Arabs but from Arab nations that are hostile to Israel and bent on its destruction. That includes Iran and Syria, for certain. It also includes Russia and possibly China too as they have interfered with the free world attempts at combatting dictators and terrorists.
The proverbial light bulb has turned on in most free world places to the threat from terrorists and radicalism that is often associated with Islam. Some have called for jihad, and it appears that they have it.
Sustainable living in peace is the outcome for which there should be a common quest. With that in mind, the outcome between Israel and the citizens of Gaza may set a precedent.
“Israel Says That Hamas Uses Civilian Shields, Reviving Debate
By ANNE BARNARD and JODI RUDORENJULY 23, 2014
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GAZA CITY — Militant rockets can be seen launching from crowded neighborhoods, near apartment buildings, schools and hotels. Hamas fighters have set traps for Israeli soldiers in civilian homes and stored weapons in mosques and schools. Tunnels have been dug beneath private property.
With international condemnation rising over the death toll in Gaza exceeding 650 in the war’s 16th day, Israel points to its adversaries’ practice of embedding forces throughout the crowded, impoverished coastal enclave of 1.7 million people.
“Hamas uses schools, residential buildings, mosques and hospitals to fire rockets at Israeli civilians,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Canadian counterpart in a call over the weekend, according to a statement from Mr. Netanyahu’s office. “Hamas uses innocent civilians as a human shield for terrorist activity.”
Nothing is ever so clear in the complex and often brutal calculus of urban warfare. There is no evidence that Hamas and other militants force civilians to stay in areas that are under attack — the legal definition of a human shield under international law. But it is indisputable that Gaza militants operate in civilian areas, draw return fire to civilian structures, and on some level benefit in the diplomatic arena from the rising casualties. They also have at times encouraged residents not to flee their homes when alerted by Israel to a pending strike and, having prepared extensively for war, did not build civilian bomb shelters.”