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On March 30, 2018, a new chapter of Hamas terrorism against Israel was opened. On that Friday, 30,000 Palestinian men, women, and children marched to the border fence that separates Israel from their homes in Gaza. Hamas billed the protest as a “peaceful demonstration”, declaring that the purpose of this march was to show support for the Palestinians’ so-called “right of return”. The crowd was a far cry from the 100,000 Gazans that Hamas had promised, but the threat that the crowd could still overwhelm the border fence and rush the Israeli soldiers guarding it was real enough.
Not surprisingly, what Hamas promoted as a “peaceful” march turned into a riot of hate and violence. That included throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, rolling burning tires toward the Israeli soldiers on the other side of the fence, hand grenades, and gunfire. The “peaceful” demonstrators quickly turned into a bloodthirsty mob that jeered and chanted endlessly, “Kill the Jews!”. And this was only the first of a long series of marches, every single Friday after that, continuing each week, well into the summer.
Kites of Fire What followed was even more terrifying. Hamas began using a new – primitive but effective – weapon against the Jewish state. First kites and then balloons, attached by long strings to flaming rags, were released and, carried by the prevailing Mediterranean winds, sailed eastward to the fields and forests of southern Israel, where they set fire to the crops and wildlife sanctuaries that Israel had nurtured and protected for decades. To date, Palestinian terrorists have set more than 1,000 fires and scorched more than 9,000 acres. Nearly 15 square miles have been ravaged by the flames, thousands of animals have been burned to death, and priceless ecology has been destroyed. In a new low in depravity, Hamas tethered a rare falcon to a flaming rag, and released it at the border. The bird was later found in Israel caught in a tree and burned to death.
Even as mediators tried to organize a ceasefire and stop the launching of these weapons from hell, Hamas fighters promised that this war of flames will continue until all of Palestine – from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River – is theirs and the Jews are gone.
On July 20th, when Israeli newspapers reported that a Gaza-style incendiary balloon was found in a Jerusalem courtyard, it became clear that not only was the war of fire balloons far from over, it was spreading.
Hamas Steals from Its Own People There seems to be no end to the lengths that Hamas is willing to stretch its lack of humanity or concern for the land. It uses the people of Gaza as human shields and cannon fodder. It deprives them of electricity, clean water, sewage treatment, and the basics of human life. It poisons the land with its neglect.
For years, Hamas has been receiving massive funding from the international community to help it rebuild its infrastructure and the homes that were destroyed in the two punishing wars it provoked with Israel. Millions of dollars, and an estimated 95% of the hundreds of truckloads of construction materials and massive shipments of humanitarian foods, water, and medicine driven into Gaza from Israel, has been stolen for Hamas projects (such as building terrorist tunnels, paying terrorists salaries, feeding the fighters, etc.). Instead of helping the people of Gaza recover and making their lives better, as Hamas promised it would before it took over Gaza in 2007, its leaders continue to ignore their needs, even as they feather their own nests.
In Gaza, where the unemployment rate, approaching 50%, is the highest in the world, Hamas only takes care of its own. The people of Gaza have electricity only two or three hours a day and the waste management system has been allowed to collapse. There is no fresh, potable water. Food is scarce. The people are poor and hungry.
So when the steaming heat of summer beats down on Gaza, they go to the sea to cool off. But the waters they swim in are so highly contaminated with animal waste and the raw sewage that flows directly from the pipes into the waters of the Mediterranean, that swimming can be sickening and even lethal. At least one five–year-old child has died from swimming in sea and ingesting the toxic water. The danger of diseases such as typhoid and cholera becoming epidemic among the people of Gaza is real and getting more serious every day.
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