Israel has finally plucked up the courage (again – I have my doubts this closure will last) to close down the Kerem Shalom crossing point into Gaza after frequent violence at the border.
And what was Hamas’ reaction? I’m sure you could have all written the script yourselves. They threatened even more violence! I’m sure that is going to persuade the Israelis to open up the crossing immediately. Not. They also had the chutzpah to accuse Israel of crimes against humanity. Let me just remind you: this is Hamas, the arch-terrorist group in our area, accusing Israel, the beacon of democracy and humanitarianism, of crimes against humanity:
The Hamas terror organization called Israel’s decision to close the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza a “crime against humanity” on Monday, hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the move to respond to cross border violence.
“Netanyahu’s approval of additional measures to intensify the siege and prevent the entry of materials and goods to Gaza is a new crime against humanity,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.
Barhoum also accused the international community of being silent on “the crime of the suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip,” and called on it to take “immediate action” to end the blockade of the Strip.
Kerem Shalom, the only cargo crossing between Gaza and Israel, has been subject to a strict blockade by Israel for the past 11 years that is meant to prevent terrorist groups from bringing weapons into the Strip. Egypt also tightly controls the nearby Rafah border crossing into the Sinai.
The Islamic Jihad terror group said the step was a “new declaration of war” and vowed to respond.
“Once again, the government of Zionist terror announces a war on the Palestinian people by intensifying its oppressive siege that has multiplied the suffering of the Palestinian people for more than 11 years,” it said in a statement.
“We are coordinating with the factions and forces to evaluate all developments, including the occupation’s most recent measures, which we are dealing with as a new declaration of war on the Palestinian people,” Islamic Jihad added.
Earlier, Netanyahu said Israel will be undertaking measures to pressure Hamas, including closing Kerem Shalom, the main commercial passageway between Israel and the coastal enclave.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said he had instructed the military “to take a number of steps” to respond to “Hamas provocations” on the border.
Over the past three months, weekly clashes have taken place on the Gaza border, with Israel accusing Hamas of using the demonstrations as cover to carry out attacks and attempt to breach the security fence. The “March of Return” protests have also seen Palestinians fly airborne incendiary devices toward Israeli territory, sparking hundreds of fires in southern Israel and causing millions of shekels in estimated damages.
Immediately after Netanyahu spoke, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed that Kerem Shalom would be closed to all commercial goods into and out of the Gaza Strip.
But of course Israel is too good for its own good, and the siege is not really a siege at all:
The army said humanitarian aid, notably food and medicine, would still be allowed into Gaza, but would require special permission from the military liaison to the Palestinians, Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon.
Do you know any other country at war which provides food and medicine to its enemy’s civilians at danger to its own existence, and bearing the cost itself?
And let us just take a moment to recall how the Palestinians themselves burned down the Kerem Shalom crossing!
And despite Defence Minister Liberman’s threat to close down the crossing, Israel of course did no such thing. We set about repairing the crossing and resumed aid delivery. (Yes, we fulfill the definition of insanity by repeating the same actions expecting a different reaction every time).
For which we were “thanked” by yet more violence.
So tell me again why on earth Israel should provide even one bean to Gaza.
The Palestinians – Hamas, Islamic Jihad and those who voted for them, those who pay them to stay in power (I’m looking at you UNRWA and the EU), have the utmost chutzpah in protesting the closure of this crossing.
Israel has not received a word of sympathy, let alone help, in combatting the incendiary kites and balloons, launched and encouraged by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are burning the south of Israel at an alarming rate. All Israel gets is condemnations at the UN and calls for restraint from the rest of the world if a Palestinian fingernail is bent out of shape.
Just read these Facebook posts from the border communities with Gaza to see the horrific damage caused by this terrorist arson:
The search for shelter and food when your home has been burnt down.
Where are the cries and rage of the environmentalists of the world now? What is this deafening silence I hear? Why aren’t there protests objecting to the environmental destruction of this ecosystem here in the Negev? This isn’t an earthquake or tornado that are acts of God. This isn’t even “Global Warming” that will take years to control and needs powerful political lobbies and massive change of human behavior and habits. This is terrorists with primitive kites and balloons who need to be stopped.
If Israel does it, by shooting at them, we will be condemned… so where is the answer of the international community to this senseless, purposeful destruction of the environment and land that the Palestinians claim to love, claim is theirs and yet are primitively, ruthlessly devastating?
Photo credit: Ruth Eitan from Sapir College
Watch this video and weep at the horrific devastation caused by 100 days of arson:
Ynet also has a devastating photo essay of the damage caused by the Palestinian arson to the south of Israel:
I say let Gaza stew in its own juice. They deserve nothing from us. Let the world condemn us. Let them take a long walk off a short pier.
And it’s about time, way beyond time in fact, that Israel sues Hamas and/or the Palestinian Authority for punitive damages for the destruction they have caused with their arson, in addition to demanding a condemnation at the UN. Failing that, Israel should demand compensation from the terrorists enablers at the UN and the EU.
(But sadly, as repeatedly in the past, I wait for the crossing to be reopened, or to stay open, in 3…2..1. Because our leaders do not have the courage of their convictions).