Airstrike on Gaza rockets (Image credit: Avi Ohayon/Government Press Office of Israel)
In time for the 10th anniversary of Hamas seizing power in Gaza, the IDF released a short video in mid-June recapping what the Gazan offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood has done over the last decade. Spoiler alert: The clip clearly illustrates the folly of abandoning parts of Israel to foreign rule.
After the Israeli government under then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unilaterally gave up Gaza in the 2005 Disengagement plan along with four towns in Samaria, Hamas won the 2006 "Palestinian" legislative elections in a landslide, and the falling out between Fatah and Hamas led to a coup by the latter in 2007, when it installed its brutal regime. The video clearly highlights how Hamas has greatly upgraded its military capabilities in the last 10 years, from expanding its rocket range to digging terror tunnels, and continuing its hostilities unabated by firing nearly 10,000 rockets at civilian populations despite three large-scale Israeli military operations. Tellingly, the IDF clip notes that all three operations were responsive in nature, serving merely as a reflex to Hamas aggression rather than presenting Israeli initiatives to change the existing paradigm of waiting for the next "round" of fighting through decisive military action. This highlights how the lack of a political vision has allowed an untenable situation to fester. While presenting the harsh conditions in Gaza under Hamas rule and how it did not fulfill the promises it made when it came to power, the video would almost seem to create a false dichotomy that the PA is somehow disparate in nature, and that Gaza would be significantly different under PA rule. Needless to say, this is not the case: The PA is largely responsible for repressing any new "Palestinian" legislative elections out of fear of losing even more ground to Hamas; it has been cracking down on the press, including a recent assault on websites aligned with rivals of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas; it is allowing the severe persecution of women and "honor killings"; and it is actively encouraging multitudes of terror attacks - not random rockets but rather targeted shootings, stabbings, car rammings, and more. Consequently, it would be patently false to insinuate that the PA has not created a dictatorial terror hotbed like Hamas has. The question that arises from the IDF's short video clip is whether the Israeli army is prepared to sit back for another 10 years and watch as Hamas grows ever stronger militarily, and continues to turn Israel into the culpable party responsible for the Gazan humanitarian crisis in the world's eyes? The answer, of course, is that the IDF is capable of changing that reality this very moment - if it were provided the leadership and strategic vision from Israel's political class to properly deploy and remove the threat from a region that was liberated in the 1967 Six Day War. Perhaps Israel can then amend the mistake made in 2005 when it expelled its loyal Jewish citizens.