Almost every night, our television news shows heart-rending reports on the truly appalling suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, especially the children. They blame the suffering and death on the Israeli Defence Force attacking Hamas militants and call for a cease-fire while blaming Israeli politicians for continuing this war.

But if Gaza is “the world’s largest open-air prison” as they say, why doesn’t Egypt just open their door and set all the Gazans free? After all, the Egyptians have a 12 km (7.5 mile) border with Gaza so why don’t they take down their “apartheid wall” segregating Egyptians from Gazans? More to the point, what about the Palestinian politicians who started this war on behalf of their people?

Israel tried setting the Gazans free in 2005, unilaterally evicting Israeli settlers from 21 settlements in Gaza, withdrawing military forces, and handing over control to the Palestinian Authority. The PA then organised an election and in 2006, the Palestinian people elected the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, best known by its acronym, Hamas. So what did the Gazans expect to happen? For 18 years, Hamas’ 1988 Charter had told them exactly what to expect and this is what Gazans freely voted for in 2006.

Who is Hamas?

Hamas’s 1988 Charter opens with:

In The Name Of The Most Merciful Allah… Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it1

They describe themselves as ‘one of the wings of the Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine’ (Article 2) and explain their mission in Article 6:

[Hamas] strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine [i.e. from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, from Lebanon and Syria to Egypt]

In Article 7, they claim God’s call to genocide of the Jews:

[Hamas] aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him…” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem)

In Article 13, they spell out their rejection of all peace initiatives:

There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.

Let this sink in. In 2006, the Gazans voted for Hamas with these three plainly stated goals:

(i) The obliteration of Israel and establishment of a new state called Palestine under Sharia Law 

(ii) The annihilation of every Jew as predicted by Muhammad

(iii) Jihad, i.e. holy war, with no peace negotiations of any kind

As for the election, international observers including ex-US President Jimmy Carter’s ‘Carter Center’ reported, ‘Large turnout seen as “a strong expression of Palestinians’ desire to choose their representatives through open and competitive elections”‘ and concluded:

The obvious pride and enthusiasm of Palestinians about the election process was evident throughout the voting districts… This was reinforced by the professional and impartial performance of election officials.2

This was a free and fair election and the results were 75 of 132 seats for Hamas (45% votes) and 45 seats (41% votes) for Fatah, the Palestinian party already ruling the West Bank.

Gaza’s Civil War

Given the split vote, the two parties were supposed to share power but instead, as Human Rights Watch reported in June, 2007:

In internal Palestinian fighting over the last three days, both Fatah and Hamas military forces have summarily executed captives, killed people not involved in hostilities, and engaged in gun battles with one another inside and near Palestinian hospitals.3

Both parties threw civilians off high-rise buildings and when Fatah military forces fired mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Hamas fighters inside shot back. In a hospital in Beit Hanun, Hamas executed three wounded patients who had supported Fatah. Further complicating matters, Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an offshoot of Fatah, used a jeep with press markings to fire on Israeli border guards which, as Associated Press said at the time, was “a serious violation of the laws of war and… puts journalists at risk”. Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director for Human Rights Watch, concluded:

“These attacks by both Hamas and Fatah constitute brutal assaults on the most fundamental humanitarian principles. The murder of civilians not engaged in hostilities and the willful killing of captives are war crimes, pure and simple.”4

 

This brief war ended when Hamas won and they have ruled Gaza ever since, arming themselves with rockets, mortars, and drones, and building “the Gaza Metro”, a 500 km (310 mile) network of 1,300 tunnels.5 Remember, the Gaza Strip is only 41 km (25.5 miles) long! It is also 13 km (8 miles) wide at its widest, 5 km (3 miles) at its narrowest. These tunnels are not for public transport for Gazan citizens but for their militia to wage their promised but abortive wars with Israel in 2008-2009, 2012, 2014, and 2023.

Israeli & Egyptian Response

As you would expect, the Israelis built a security fence along the Gazan border to stop Hamas from achieving their stated genocidal goals. But so did the Egyptians.

Today’s ‘useful idiots’6 try to ignore the Egyptians’ response but shouldn’t we at least be curious as to why they did? Hamas’s goal is to annihilate the Jews, not the Egyptians, so why would the Egyptians erect the fence on their border?

Hamas is ‘a wing of the Moslem Brotherhood’ and the Egyptians have their own one hundred years history with that. Founded in 1928 by an Egyptian imam, Hassan al-Banna, this Sunni Islamist religious, political, and social movement has spread throughout the Muslim world with the slogan of “Islam is the solution”, calling for a caliphate and universal Sharia law. However, its strongest base has always been in Egypt where in 1948, after a series of bombings, the Brotherhood assassinated a chief judge and the prime minister, al-Nuqrashi Pasha. In 1949, they tried to assassinate the next prime minister, ‘Abd al-Hadi. In 1952, they worked with anti-British rioters to set fire to night-clubs, theatres, hotels, and restaurants in downtown Cairo, some 750 buildings in all, trying to end Egypt’s “liberal, progressive, cosmopolitan” era.

Some future leaders of Egypt including Gamal Abdel Nasser (President 1954-1970) and Anwar Sadat (President 1970-1981) initially had close ties with the Brotherhood, sometimes supporting and sometimes persecuting them, but in 1954, some Brothers tried to assassinate President Nasser. Ten years later in 1964, he freed all imprisoned Brothers but the following year, they tried to assassinate him again. When Sadat became President in 1970, he too released many imprisoned Brothers but when he signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1979, they turned implacably against him. He was assassinated in 1981 by another Islamist group Tanzim al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad) after he had arrested Brotherhood and opposition leaders.

Egypt’s next President, Hosni Mubarak, ruled from 1981 and suppressed the Brotherhood until he was deposed during the Arab Spring in 2011. In the ensuing election in 2012, Egypt’s first free and fair elections, Egyptians elected Mohamed Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party. President Morsi set about reformatting the Judiciary and rewriting the Constitution to more fully establish Sharia Law. Reuters reported in 2014 that he also:

…gave red-carpet treatment to Hamas, angering many secular and liberal Egyptians who saw this as part of a creeping Islamist takeover7

Within a year, there were widespread uprisings sparked by the country’s lack of political progress and poor economic performance, and today’s President, then General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, took over in a military coup. The Reuters report continued:

Islamist militants based in Egypt’s Sinai region, which has a border with Gaza, have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since Mursi’s political demise. The insurgency has spread to other parts of Egypt, the most populous Arab country. Since seizing power, Egypt’s military has crippled Gaza’s economy by destroying most of the 1,200 tunnels that had been used to smuggle food, cars and weapons to the coastal enclave, which is under an Israeli blockade.8

N.B. The Egyptians destroyed 1,200 tunnels from Gaza into Egypt! They also still want the fence. CNN are now reporting:

Egypt is building a new walled buffer zone more than 2 miles wide on Gaza border.9

Those today who call for a Free Palestine need to learn why Israel and Egypt created what they like to call “the world’s largest open-air prison”: it was to stop Hamas, the government of Gaza, from continuing to bomb and assassinate their leaders and citizens to impose Sharia Law. Would our local activists want them to do that here?

The World’s Response

During the 16 years of Hamas’s rule, the international community has poured billions of dollars into the Gaza Strip’s 45 sq km (17 sq m), either directly or via the United Nations. In 2008 alone, it was US$2 billion for its 1.3 million inhabitants (cf. 2.1 million today).10 The Associated Press reported in 2021:11

— From 2014-2020, UN agencies spent nearly $4.5 billion in Gaza… More than 80% of that funding is channeled through the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, who make up three-fourths of Gaza’s population [Ed. They are still considered “refugees”, despite it being their grandparents and great-grandparents who fled Israel 73 years ago]

— Qatar has provided $1.3 billion in aid to Gaza since 2012 for construction, health services and agriculture… Qatar’s aid also goes to needy families and to help pay Hamas government salaries.

Hamas greatly benefits from others picking up the tab for schools, hospitals, and infrastructure such as water and sewage, allowing them to direct the taxes and customs they collect into military resources. In 2017, they toned down their Charter to appear less antisemitic but that was 9 years after their election and the revised Charter still claims all of the land of Israel for Allah (Articles 2, 3, 14-17) and still affirms jihad as the way forward (Article 23), as you can see for yourself.13
.

.

In December 2022, at the rally in Gaza City to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Hamas’s founding, pictured above, their leaders promised “open confrontation” with Israel and within a year, true to their word, they delivered it.

 

Today’s War

On 7 October, 2023, thousands of Hamas militants broke through the Israeli fence and killed 1,139 men, women, and children, 859 of whom were civilians, 71 foreign nationals, and 260 young revelers at a music festival. Hamas militants gleefully filmed themselves torturing, raping, and mutilating women before kidnapping another 248 men, women, children, and babies

In response, Israel declared war on Hamas which has since led to the deaths, according to UN figures, of an estimated 30,228 Palestinians,14. The UN figures, however, ignore the distinction between civilians and the 12,000 combatants, as estimated by Israel, which means 18,000 Palestinian civilians. Israel has also lost another 550 combatants.

Knowing that God loves every one of us, how then does He see this war?

He sees that we start wars, that we have to suffer the consequences of our actions and decisions, including elections, and on Judgement Day He will hold every one of us accountable.

Consider the consequences of the elections in 1930s Germany. In 1932, 37% of German voters elected Adolf Hitler who also wanted to annihilate the Jews and by 1945, he had killed 6 million Jewish civilians. However, in the war that he started, World War II, the Germans lost 5.5 million combatants and 2.2 million civilians.

In 1930s Japan, the people cheered on their god-emperor Hirohito’s expanding his empire into Korea, China and South East Asia, and the bombing of Pearl Harbour but then lost 2.3 million combatants and 800,000 civilians.

Tragically, today’s Western media and the useful idiots who march in the streets cheering on the Palestinians are obscuring the message they most need to hear:

When we start wars, it’s not just our enemies and their families who die; when they respond, our loved ones die too.

 


Egyptian border wall: The Live Blog of Sunday January 14 2024By https://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%AE%D8%AF%D9%85:%D9%88%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A –
Gaza Rally: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16738445
By Kobi Gideon / Government Press Office of Israel, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=138950791

 


 

  1. https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp, 16 Feb, 2024
  2. https://www.cartercenter.org/news/documents/doc2284.html, 16 Feb, 2024
  3. https://www.hrw.org/news/2007/06/12/gaza-armed-palestinian-groups-commit-grave-crimes, 17 Feb, 2024
  4. Ibid
  5. https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a46041927/hamas-tunnels-explained
  6. N.B. Defined as anyone ‘propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause’s goals, and who is cynically being used by the cause’s leaders’
  7. https://web.archive.org/web/20141025194409/http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/04/us-egypt-hamas-idUSBREA230F520140304
  8. Ibid.
  9. https://edition.cnn.com/2024/02/16/middleeast/egypt-wall-buffer-zone-gaza-border-intl-hnk/index.html, 17 Feb, 2024
  10. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1422981/gaza-total-population
  11. https://apnews.com/article/business-middle-east-israel-foreign-aid-gaza-strip-611b2b90c3a211f21185d59f4fae6a90
  12. Ibid.
  13. https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/hamas-2017-document-full
  14. https://www.ochaopt.org, 4 mar, 2024