Israeli grassroots movement Mothers of IDF Soldiers, together with the IDF Reservists movement, gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday to demand an end to humanitarian aid to Gaza.
“We support the Israeli government’s decision to wage war and eradicate Hamas and we are grateful and appreciative of the sacrifices our soldiers make on a daily basis to protect the State of Israel,” Mirit Hoffman, an English-language spokeswoman for Mothers of IDF Soldiers, told JNS.
“We do not support sending humanitarian aid, otherwise known as Hamas aid, to Gaza,” she added. “Since the Biden administration has been putting pressure on the Israeli government to do so, we are going to the source,” she added.
Last month, a Palestinian woman went viral for telling an Al Jazeera reporter that Hamas was diverting humanitarian aid entering Gaza into its tunnel system for distribution to terrorists. U.N. and USAID sacks have been used by Hamas to construct terror tunnels in Gaza, and fuel and humanitarian aid have been stolen from UNRWA compounds by truck drivers believed to be from the Hamas-run Health Ministry.
Nevertheless, the U.N. Security Council on Dec. 22 passed a resolution—the U.S. abstained instead of vetoing the motion—to speed and scale up humanitarian aid to the Strip.
Founded during the 2014 Israel-Hamas war (“Operation Protective Edge”), Mothers of IDF Soldiers consists of 7,000 mothers and other supporters of Israeli troops, who oppose American pressure to prioritize the safety of Palestinians in Gaza over that of Israeli forces.
The group is currently calling for the continuation of the war until Hamas is defeated and all hostages are freed, and for pressure to be applied on Egypt to permit Palestinian civilians in Gaza to pass into Sinai.
Earlier this week, Mothers of IDF Soldiers wrote a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden outlining its positions.
“The aid going into Gaza does the exact opposite of what you want it to do. It enables Hamas to keep fighting by keeping Hamas terrorists supplied,” said the letter. “The fuel going into Gaza enables Hamas terrorists to run their generators that keep air circulating in the underground tunnels, prolonging the war and place our soldiers in unnecessary jeopardy.”
Addressing reports of a potential agreement with Hamas to free the hostages in exchange for a lengthy ceasefire, an increase in aid and the release of jailed Palestinian terrorists, Hoffman said such a deal would endanger the country.
“Any deal that involves releasing Hamas murderers and those with blood on their hands puts not only our sons but the entire country at risk, and also shows weakness while giving Hamas a sense of victory,” she said.
“We are in favor of a complete victory. We do not want our soldiers to continuously go to war and we’ll oppose any deal that sabotages that,” Hoffman added.