Israel denounced for ‘just’ war to save hostages and end Hamas

The Hostages Families Forum noted the urgency of its mission: “We have to bring them all home—the living to recovery and the murdered to be buried.”

Kfir Bibas was 9 months old when he was kidnapped, along with his parents and 4-year-old brother, from southern Israel by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, 2023. (Right) Hamas leaders train Palestinian children to become terrorists and embed their terror infrastructure among civilians.
Kfir Bibas was 9 months old when he was kidnapped, along with his parents and 4-year-old brother, from southern Israel by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, 2023. (Right) Hamas leaders train Palestinian children to become terrorists and embed their terror infrastructure among civilians.

The challenges Israel faces are increasingly complex in the Gaza Strip and on the world stage. Hamas’s use of civilian neighborhoods and tent encampments to harbor fighters and missile launchers complicates the ongoing mission to rescue hostages and endangers civilians in Rafah.

Despite mounting evidence of their responsibility, including atrocities committed against Americans and Israelis on Oct. 7, supporters of the Iranian-backed Hamas terror organization deny the group’s heinous acts, even when confronted with damning footage recorded by the group itself. Revelations of the conditions of hostages and growing evidence of sexual abuse serve as stark reminders of the situation.

Hamas attack: ‘Also an American story’

On Oct. 7, American Israeli Hersh Goldberg-Polin’s life was shattered when Hamas terrorists tossed several grenades into a bomb shelter Jews were hiding in. The 23-year-old lost his left hand and part of his arm in the attack. Months later, a chilling propaganda video released by Hamas showed Hersh’s grievous injuries; it was the first glimpse his parents had since his abduction into Gaza. His mother, Rachel, expressed the heart-wrenching pain of recognizing her son: “He looks completely different. People have forgotten that the hostages are actual, real people.”

Hersh’s parents recently met with U.S. President Joe Biden and congressional leaders. His father, Jon, insisted that “this is also an American story. On Oct. 7, 45 American citizens were killed and 12 were taken hostage. Eight remain in captivity. And I think a lot of Americans don’t really know that.” The Palestinian terrorists killed 1,137 and kidnapped 252 individuals.

Israeli Women Soldier Hostages
Images from Hamas video footage showing the capture and abduction of Liri Albag, Karina Ariev, Agam Berger, Daniela Gilboa and Naama Levy from the Nahal Oz Israeli military base on Oct. 7, 2023. Credit: Courtesy of the Hostages Families Forum.

Hamas terrorists: ‘These are the girls who can get pregnant’

The families of five young Israeli women brutally captured at their military base on Oct. 7 recently released a harrowing three-minute video taken from body cameras used by Hamas terrorists. Despite the clear evidence, Hamas has denied the video’s authenticity. The terrorists massacred 15 young military observers and abducted seven to Gaza. One was murdered in captivity; another was rescued by the Israeli army.

Hamas terrorists in the video taunted the handcuffed Israeli women, some with their faces covered in blood:

  • “Here are the girls who can get pregnant.”
  • “You are so beautiful.”
  • “You dogs, we will step on you.”
  • “We will shoot you all.”

Shira Elbag, mother of kidnapped Israeli Liri Elbag, said, “You see the girls after their friends were murdered. You see the terrorists who treat them with brutality and severe violence.”

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog urged that “the world must look at this cruel atrocity. Those who care about women’s rights must speak out.” Israeli intelligence believes that most of the hostages are being held in Rafah, the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip.

The Hostages Families Forum emphasized the urgency of its mission: “Every testimony that comes from the hostages spells out the same sad truth; we have to bring them all home. There is no greater task, no victory more significant, and no chance to return hope to Israel without bringing them all home—the living to recovery and the murdered to be buried.”

Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad recently released a propaganda video of an Israeli hostage and Amazon employee. Israel calls the videos “psychological warfare.” The Israel Defense Forces recovered an additional three bodies of hostages in northern Gaza who were killed on Oct. 7, including a Mexican-French national and a Brazilian Israeli. Four bodies found days earlier were freed from a Hamas tunnel under a U.N. shelter built with German government money.

Israeli Women Soldier Hostages in Gaza
Images from Hamas video footage in the Gaza Strip showing Liri Albag, Karina Ariev, Agam Berger, Daniela Gilboa and Naama Levy, who were captured from the Nahal Oz Israeli military base on Oct. 7, 2023. Credit: Courtesy of the Hostages Families Forum.

Hamas father and son terrorists: ‘We raped her’

A father and son, both terrorists, confessed to raping Israeli women in a recently released recording and “either killing or kidnapping” Israelis in every house they found people on Oct. 7. The 18-year-old took take part under pressure from his cousin, who committed other atrocities. The father also admitted to kidnapping many civilians, including five children.

The 47-year-old father, Jamal, recounted his crime: “I took a woman from the living room to another room and had sex with her. She was screaming, she was crying, and I did what I did, I raped her.”

Jamal’s son, Abdallah: “My father raped her, then I did and then my cousin Ahmad did, and then we left. But my father killed the woman after we finished raping her. I killed two people, I raped two people, and I broke into five houses.”

The IDF is compelled to operate in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which they believe is the key to returning the remaining hostages and defeating Hamas. The International Court of Justice recently ordered Israel to halt operations in Rafah but only those that risk casualties among its civilian population.

Israel’s former defense minister and current coalition member Benny Gantz emphasized: “Israel embarked on a just and necessary campaign after a brutal terrorist organization massacred our citizens. We are obligated to continue.”

Hamas welcomed the ICJ ruling. The ICJ also ordered Israel to open the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. However, Egypt closed the crossing, causing humanitarian aid to spoil on its side of the border.

Israel blamed for civilian deaths: ‘Ammunition warehouse exploded’

The international community swiftly condemned Israel for an airstrike that killed two Hamas terrorists in Rafah after an unexpected fire reached a nearby housing complex. The Hamas-run Health Ministry claims that 45 people died. The incident prompted the U.N. Security Council to convene an emergency session.

The Israeli Air Force airstrike targeted two Hamas commanders who were meeting very close to a rocket launcher. A subsequent fire spread to a camp housing relocated Palestinians. The IDF spokesman said, “We are looking into all possibilities. The jets fired the smallest munitions they can use and could not have ignited a fire of this size, but it doesn’t make this situation any less tragic.”

Rocket Launchers in Rafah, Gaza Strip
Rocket launchers in Rafah, in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip, used to fire at Israel. Credit: Courtesy.

A preliminary IDF investigation revealed crucial evidence of what may have actually happened: secondary explosions indicating the presence of Hamas weapons. A Palestinian, in a recorded phone call, confirmed the story: “This is an ammunition warehouse. I tell you it exploded. The Jewish bombing wasn’t strong, it was a small missile because it didn’t create a large hole. And afterward a lot of secondary explosions.”

Hamas terrorists recently fired rockets into central Israel for the first time in four months. The launchers were located close to mosques.

European countries recognize Palestine: ‘A reward for terrorism’

Ireland, Norway and Spain formally recognized Palestine as a state. The Palestinian Authority stated that 75% of U.N. member countries recognize Palestine. Other countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, believe that recognition should be part of a peace process between the involved parties.

International relations experts view the recognition largely as symbolic though question the timing. Israel’s prime minister criticized the move as “a reward for terrorism.” Palestinian human-rights activist Bassem Eid warned that “this unilateral approach undermines any chance at peace by telling Hamas and the P.A. that terrorism pays. They are rewarding terrorism.”

A former Hamas leader recently commented: “We are facing a historic opportunity to defeat Israel and dismantle the Zionist project.” An adviser to the Palestinian president said: “Oct. 7 can repeat itself 100 times, and perhaps even more seriously.”

Hersh Goldberg-Polin
American Israeli Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, in a Hamas propaganda video released on April 24, the first time his parents had seen seem since he was taken hostage on Oct. 7, 2023; he was injured when Hamas terrorists tossed grenades into a bomb shelter he and others were hiding in. (Right) An image of Hersh traveling before the attack. Credit: Courtesy.

Points to consider:

  1. Iran and the terrorists it supports intentionally kill Americans.

On Oct. 7, 45 American citizens were killed and 12 were taken hostage, mostly dual citizens. The Palestinian terrorists killed 1,137 and kidnapped 252 individuals. The Iranian-backed Hamas assault was not the first time Iran and its terrorist proxies killed and kidnapped Americans. The largest state-sponsor of terrorism has a long history of killing hundreds of Americans around the world. Another example was the death of U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force in 2016. The family of the murderer received a monthly pension from the Palestinian government. This led to Congress passing the Taylor Force Act to pause American economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stopped paying terrorist stipends for murder—its “pay for slay” policy.

  1. The evidence of Hamas sex crimes is undeniable.

If the forensic evidence and detailed survivor testimony are not enough, Hamas terrorists admitted to raping Israelis and recorded their atrocities. Other rape victims cannot share their stories because they were murdered. Despite irrefutable evidence, Hamas officials and sympathetic groups, including some Americans, deny the brutality perpetrated by Hamas terrorists. The crimes of Hamas cannot be ignored, marginalized or forgotten. Attempts to bring attention to their crimes are met with opposition, with some dismissing the evidence as fabricated or exaggerated. This widespread denial creates a challenging environment for the victims to seek justice or even empathy. It also prevents efforts to hold the perpetrators accountable and prevent further abuses, including against remaining hostages.

  1. Legal actions against Israel embolden Hamas and prove that terrorism pays.

The legal warfare campaign against the Jewish state is intended to brand Israel as a pariah state unworthy of support, harming its right to self-defense and emboldening its adversaries. The recent International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court rulings are seen as an “extremely huge blow” to Israel’s diplomatic standing. Human-rights activist and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Irwin Cotler called the recent announcement of possible arrest warrants for Israeli leaders a “weaponization of international law against Israel.” These legal actions encourage terrorists by signaling that their tactics can garner worldwide sympathy and legal support. The ICJ decision also makes it more difficult for Israel to rescue the remaining hostages and increases the chances that Hamas will remain in control of Gaza.

  1. Hamas is responsible for Palestinian civilian deaths.

Palestinian terrorists intentionally target civilians, while the Israeli military intentionally makes every effort to protect civilians. Hamas terrorists do not wear military uniforms, and they build bases and store bombs in the same civilian neighborhoods where they launch rockets. The IDF supported the evacuation of nearly a million Palestinian civilians from Rafah into humanitarian zones. The recent airstrike is yet another example of Hamas placing its terrorists and rockets next to civilians. The loss of civilian lives—Palestinian or Israeli—is tragic. At the same time, the IDF directs its actions at legitimate military targets, and if mistakes are made, allegations are seriously investigated. The current charges against Israel remain unproven. Hamas started the current war with Israel on Oct. 7 and can end it at any time by releasing the remaining hostages and laying down its arms.

  1. Countries and international groups must not legitimize Hamas.

The recent recognition of Palestine as a country by Spain, Norway and Ireland absent a peace process is a major win for Hamas. Its terror chiefs can now point to a positive outcome from its unrelenting war against Israel. The move may seem harmless, but Hamas is waging a global public-relations war. The Iranian-backed terrorists are counting on countries, international courts, humanitarian groups and the news media to create a false narrative painting Israelis as evil and allowing Hamas literally to get away with murder. Israelis must prevent future brutal and barbaric attacks. Rewarding Hamas terrorists increases the likelihood of future attacks and yet more wars.

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