The racially-fraught unrest in Ferguson, coupled with the prospect of an expanded US military campaign in Iraq and Syria, has shoved Israel’s conflict with Hamas onto the American media’s back-burner. That doesn’t mean that the hostilities have concluded. Not by long shot [see update]. The IDF tweeted on Sunday that terrorists in Gaza had fired more than 135 rockets over a 24-hour span, with the bombardment continuing into today — killing at least one Israeli civilian, and wounding “several others.” Five civilians in Israel have now been murdered by Hamas in this war, which is now 50 days old, including a four-year-old boy slain in a mortar attack last week. Dozens of IDF soldiers have also died. Israel goes to extraordinary lengths to minimize and avoid civilian casualties (click through for a friendly reminder about Hamas-provided statistics); Hamas deliberately targets civilians. The terrorists who launched the barrage of rockets intercepted by Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ defense shield in the video below fervently hoped that each one would rain down on innocent people. Hamas and its supporters celebrate death. Before you watch the clip, here’s some context from Newsweek about the video, which was uploaded to YouTube today:
A new video posted today on a pro-Israel, anti-Hamas YouTube channel called ‘Sin’ purports to show the Iron Dome, Israel’s short-range missile defense system, simultaneously intercepting 15 separate Qassam rockets. The video depicts men and women entering bomb shelters in an unidentified Israeli city…all the while, sirens blare.
Each small puff of white smoke represents an intercepted rocket blown out of the sky. Iron Dome can’t catch every single weapon fired at Israeli civilians, a sad fact to which several grieving families can attest, but it’s a remarkable system that protects many innocent lives. On the other side of the border, Gazans are at the mercy of a band of genocidal, wildly anti-Semitic radicals — whom they elected, I should add. Hamas fires rockets from heavily-populated civilian neighborhoods, digs tunnels to terrorize and slaughter Israelis, operates out of hospitals and schools, intimidates journalists who stray from approved propaganda narratives, and urges its civilians to act as human shields. As the morally depraved United Nations relentlessly blames Israel for supposedly indiscriminate destruction in Gaza, Israel pushes back with hard evidence:
There is zero moral equivalency between Israel and its terrorist enemies. I’ll leave you with news of an alleged anti-Semitic beating in New York City in which the perps sped off in vehicles flying Palestinian flags.
UPDATE – An apparent breakthrough (emphasis mine):
Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday reached a long-term cease-fire after seven weeks of fighting, according to officials on both sides, halting the longest, bloodiest battle either side has experienced in years — but without resolving many of the bigger issues underlying the conflict. “Israel has once again accepted an Egyptian proposal for a complete cease-fire,” a senior Israeli official said on the condition of anonymity. “This cease-fire is unlimited in time.” Shouts of “God is great” rang out from mosque loudspeakers across Gaza City, as people fired gunshots into the air to celebrate. “We declare the victory of the Palestinian resistance, the victory of Gaza,” Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the militant Hamas movement that dominates Gaza and led the Palestinian militants’ operation, announced at a news conference at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
…People familiar with the agreement said it would ease but not lift Israeli restrictions on travel and trade, largely reviving the terms of a 2012 cease-fire agreement that ended an eight-day air war. It also will allow construction materials and humanitarian aid to enter Gaza in large quantities for a major rebuilding effort, with a monitoring mechanism to ensure that concrete and cement would go only to civilian purposes. “We’re not interested in allowing Hamas to rebuild its military machine,” the senior Israeli official said. Other issues — including Hamas’s demand for a Gaza seaport and airport, Israel’s demand for Gaza’s demilitarization, and the return of Israeli soldiers’ remains believed to be in Hamas’s hands — were to be addressed after a month if the truce holds, people familiar with the agreement said.
Having been thoroughly routed while accomplishing absolutely nothing — aside from guaranteeing the deaths of thousands of Gazans — Hamas has decided to declare “victory.” Do note that their faux-triumphal news conference was held at a hospital, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. This nearly two-month war was started by Hamas (followed by weeks of lies and denials from apologists), and appears to be ending with a ceasefire agreement the broad outlines of which have been in the offing for many weeks. Hamas’ insistence upon further bloodshed was utterly senseless and purposeless. They achieved nothing. We are hopeful that Israelis (and Palestinian innocents) will finally experience an extended peace, but bear in mind that Hamas has rejected, broken and violated roughly a dozen truces since this conflict started. Let’s wait and see. Parting thought: Hamas explicitly doesn’t want peace, so why agree to this deal? Maybe its leadership was finally too spooked to carry on these days. This is what panic and paranoia looks like.
UPDATE II – And…scene:
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry 1 person has been killed and 45 injured by celebratory gunfire in #Gaza
— Ian Lee (@ianjameslee) August 26, 2014