By Harris Zvi Green
People living around the world are not always fully aware of the issues pertaining to the Israel-Gaza conflict. They see television footage of the extensive damage caused to national infrastructures on both sides of the border. They hear about the tragic loss of life.
At best, media commentary refers superficially to the history of the conflict. It almost always ignores the context. Television cameras focus exclusively on photo opportunities. Their footage invariably shows specific or isolated events. The footage shown is driven by rating. Its prime purpose is to connect between one commercial break and the next. The overall picture is always distorted.
The following summary attempts to lay out the facts. I’m not seeking to present my point of view.
- In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew its military and civilian presence from the Gaza Strip and returned to the internationally recognized pre -1967 border.
- The Gaza Strip – an integral part of the proposed ‘Two-state solution’ – is governed by Hamas after it seized control of the area from the Palestinian Authority in 2007.
- Hamas has been declared a terror organization by a number of international courts, including the European Union’s General Court.
- The Court ruled that Hamas is not a sovereign state. Furthermore, it ruled that Hamas had failed to display that its political and armed wings are separate.
- Gaza is reportedly threatened with a major humanitarian crisis. Nonetheless, its rulers have successfully accumulated an arsenal of missiles with a range of up to 250 kilometers. The more sophisticated rockets in their arsenal have the range to reach any target in Israel. Theoretically, they have the range to overfly Israel and hit major population centers in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.
- Hamas has invested millions of dollars to create an infrastructure of tunnels to enable attacks on civilian neighbourhoods inside sovereign Israel. This metro of tunnels inside Gaza also serves to provide refuge for Hamas military operatives from Israeli airstrikes.
- Since achieving its “independence”, Gaza initiated a number of major military confrontations with Israel. Even during the relatively peaceful interludes between these confrontations, thousands of rockets fired from Gaza were fired on Israeli civilian targets.
- The Hamas regime is widely regarded as an Iranian proxy dedicated to promoting the Islamic Jihad.
- In order to limit the free flow of arms from Iran to Gaza, both Israel and Egypt imposed a naval blockade on Gaza. This blockade was deemed legal by the UN appointed Palmer Commission. In the words of the Commission: “Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza. The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”
- To defend itself, Israel developed the Iron Dome air defense system to intercept the barrage of missiles being fired at civilian targets.
- Israel recently completed the construction of an underground security obstacle on its sovereign territory at an enormous cost to effectively eliminate the threat of these tunnels on its civilian population.
- During the past few days, more than 2,500 missiles have been fired at civilian targets in Israel.
- Hamas continues to hold two Israeli citizens hostage and the bodies of two Israeli servicemen killed in action in 2014.
- In an attempt to provide basic services to the Gaza’s civilian population, Israel provides both power and water to Gaza.
- Thousands of trucks transport food and medical supplies to Gaza on a daily basis.
I invite readers to draw their conclusions and to engage in a constructive debate regarding the future. If you scroll down below, Lay Of The Land invites you to comment and freely express your views in the space provided. Avail yourselves of the opportunity to engage.
Clearly, the current state of affairs is untenable. It can’t continue.
About the writer:
Harris Zvi Green, born in Cape Town / South-Africa. Graduated from the University of Cape Town with a B. Com. degree and immigrated to Israel 51 years ago. He served as the Chief Financial Officer at a number of Israeli hi-tech companies. He is now retired. Married with three married children and is the proud grandfather of 13 grandchildren.
While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves. LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO)