On Oct. 13, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that they had entered the outskirts of the Gaza Strip. As a Palestinian refugee myself, Israel’s forthcoming liberation of the Gaza Strip is long overdue.
Hamas perpetrated a massacre when they violated Israel on Oct. 7, and in a spree of bloodcurdling violence, they tortured and raped children, women and the elderly, murdering over 1,300 and taking an estimated 150 hostages to Gaza for continuing abuse.
As a Palestinian, I find the actions of the terrorist group beyond abhorrent. During its brutal invasion, Hamas killed, injured and abducted scores of Muslim Israelis, including Bedouins.
Hamas, the regime that just committed shocking genocide and used rape as a weapon of war, seized military control of the Gaza Strip from the weak forces of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and local warlords in 2007. Under their regime, LGBTQ+ Palestinians are executed and public music is prohibited. Even as Hamas misgoverns the Strip as a terrorist haven, it is a much-maligned Israel that, until this week, has provided large portions of the energy, food and medical supplies that keep it functioning.
Israel never wanted control of Gaza, and between Israel’s independence and 1967, it was controlled by Egypt, which never attempted to create a Palestinian state on its territory. Israel gained control of this territory during the 1967 Six-Day War but unilaterally departed under Ariel Sharon in the disengagement of 2005, withdrawing over 5,000 settlers.
The beginning of the experiment in Gazan self-government was not auspicious; as soon as the Israelis departed, Palestinian looters stripped and destroyed the greenhouses and other productive enterprises left behind as a goodwill gesture. For the past 18 years, there has not been a single Israeli settler or soldier in Gaza.
Since that time, Hamas has engaged in a series of escalating provocations in short and sharp conflicts, largely featuring rocket attacks rained down on Israeli cities and, in a heartbreaking national trauma, the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006, who remained a hostage to Hamas forces for five years.
In hindsight, this incident was an eerie premonition of the capture and enslavement of innocents that Hamas just carried out on a massive scale. Now, on top of sexual abuse and torture, it is feared that the hostages will be used for the same purposes as Hamas has long used the Gazan people: as human shields to protect Hamas military and political assets.
Take it from a Palestinian perspective, the unforgivable brutality Hamas just displayed against Israelis is what our population has experienced from these cold-blooded murderers and thugs for the past 16 years since they took control of Gaza in 2007.
In the days and weeks ahead, innocent Palestinian blood will be on the hands of Hamas as they pay a terrible price for their villainy, as Israel does everything in its power to bring its people home. Don’t fall for the tricks of antisemites perpetrating lies about who is responsible for this war; believe your own eyes and common sense: the raping, torture and murder that Hamas has committed is inexcusable, full stop.
Gaza’s liberation is long overdue; please, Israel, deliver our people from the wicked power of Hamas.