Six months after Oct. 7: Why Israel must continue to fight

The Hamas legacy of terror started well before Oct. 7, and continues to threaten Jews and Israel today

“We Cease ... Hamas Fires.” Credit: Courtesy.
“We Cease ... Hamas Fires.” Credit: Courtesy.

At the six-month mark, Hamas continues to violate international law. Many across America and around the world seem to forget the simple fact that the basic tenet of Hamas is to destroy Israel and murder Jews worldwide—driving its ongoing campaign of violence and bloodshed. World leaders and human-rights organizations continue to call on Israel to implement a ceasefire without making the same demand of the Hamas terrorists. Its leaders view ceasefires, and even peace agreements, as temporary pauses on its path to eliminating Israel.

The Hamas legacy of terror started well before Oct. 7 and continues to threaten Jews and Israel today:

Amit Soussana, a 40-year-old Israeli lawyer, is the first hostage to speak publicly about how a Hamas terrorist named Muhammed sexually assaulted her in captivity in an eight-hour interview with The New York Times. Amit was one of 253 Israelis forcefully seized from southern Israel on Oct. 10. Hamas terrorists viciously killed 1,139 Israelis, Americans and other nationalities. It took several months for international experts to acknowledge the barbaric acts performed by Hamas on their female victims, with more stories emerging daily.

“Every day, my guard Muhammad asked, ‘Did you get your period?’ He said, ‘Amit, Amit, take off your towel.’ He sat me on the edge of the bath. I closed my legs. I resisted. And he kept punching me. He came towards me and shoved the gun at my forehead. Then he dragged me to a child’s bedroom covered in images of the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. Then, with the gun pointed at me, he forced me to commit a sexual act on him.” After Muhammad washed up, he stated: “I’m bad, I’m bad, please don’t tell Israel.”

Amit also described the fear of “knowing that every moment, it can happen again.” During her captivity (she was held in private homes, an office and a tunnel), she explained how she was hung from a stick “like a chicken” for 45 minutes as “they were hitting me, laughing and kicking me, and called the other hostages to see me.” An Israeli gynecologist and social worker confirmed Amit’s sexual assault to the Times. She returned to Israel with fractures in her right eye socket, cheek, knee and nose, in addition to severe bruising on her knee and back.

A Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Manar Kasem, 28, admitted to raping a helpless Israeli girl: “I entered the kibbutz, went inside the nearest house and found a scared girl. She begged for help, but I laid her down, started undressing her and did what I did. The devil took over me. I raped her.” He described her as wearing a blue skirt, white shirt, sandals, pink underwear and a pink bra.

Six months after Oct. 10, Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists are still holding 134 hostages and have killed more than 250 Israeli soldiers. Released hostages fear that Israeli women and men still being held in captivity are being subjected to similar attacks.

Amit Soussana Being Taken Hostage by Hamas
A Hamas kidnapper slung Israeli Amit Soussana across his back while walking back towards the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, 2023. Source: Surveillance video via Siegal Sadetzki.

Shifa Hospital: ‘A house of terrorists’

World media and international leaders rushed to condemn Israel’s military actions at Shifa Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip. It was another kneejerk response, similar to what happened when an errant Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket struck Al-Ahli Hospital, and the world accepted the false Hamas narrative that these were merely medical facilities.

The Israeli Defense Forces recently withdrew from Shifa Hospital, a base used to “conduct and promote terrorist activity.” Mortars, explosive devices, sniper rifles, assault rifles, handguns and other military equipment were found “hidden among medical supplies, inside patient pillows and beds, in the ceilings, in the walls and on patients and visitors who were in the hospital.” Hamas terrorists “fired weapons from inside the hospital’s emergency room and maternity ward, and threw explosive devices from the burn ward.”

By international law, because Hamas used the medical facility for military activities, it is no longer considered a protected site—allowing the Israeli military to enter the hospital. During its operation, the IDF killed more than 200 terrorists and arrested more than 500, including senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders. The IDF also evacuated 350 patients and medical staff, providing them with humanitarian aid and supplies. Another 6,200 civilians sheltering at the medical center were evacuated.

While Oct. 7 was the fifth time Hamas violently shattered a ceasefire that sparked a war since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2006, another unintended tragedy killed seven aid workers associated with World Central Kitchen who were trying to help feed Gaza civilians.

Hamas maintains an unwavering dedication to destroy Israel, which demands a response—often leading to unfortunate civilian casualties. Israel quickly took responsibility for the accidental strike, launched an investigation and mourned the loss of the innocent.

Shifa Hospital
The Israel Defense Forces located an operational command center, weapons and technological assets belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization at Shifa Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip on Nov. 15, 2023. Source: IDF.

Nucleus of terror: ‘Iran is the main source of global terrorism’

Iran supports numerous terrorist groups that have directly attacked Israel since Oct. 7: Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza; Hezbollah in Lebanon; the Houthis in Yemen; and militias in Syria and Iraq. Iran and its allies, especially Hamas, are genocidal terrorist organizations dedicated to destroying the Jewish state and murdering all Jews. Israel’s National Security Council recently warned of a growing terrorist threat to Israelis traveling abroad for Passover: Iran is “the main source of global terrorism,” and the potential for attacks on Jews is “extremely high.”

Iran Global Threat
Iran and its terrorist proxies also are a threat to America and its allies. Credit: Courtesy.

Hezbollah, a terror group that is embedded in Lebanon, actively supports Hamas by continuing to launch rockets and missiles into northern Israel, reducing border communities to ghost towns. Israeli civilian Zaher Bashara was recently killed when a rocket hit an industrial factory. Hezbollah is a much more potent force than Hamas, and Israelis have been fearful for years of a cross-border attack similar to Oct. 7. Its rocket arsenal is estimated to contain about 150,000 rockets that are more precise, powerful and have a much longer range than those in Gaza. Hezbollah commands about 100,000 fighters.

Iran and its terrorist proxies also are a threat to America and its allies. Iran routinely refers to the United States as “big Satan” and Israel as “little Satan.” Yemen’s Houthis have a worse slogan: “Death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews and victory to Islam.” Since Oct. 7, the United States and the United Kingdom have been engaged in military operations to ensure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea following multiple attacks on commercial shipping vessels.

The war at home: ‘The 10/7 attacks were necessary’

Hamas supporters in the United States continue to target American Jews. The Berkeley City Council in Northern California recently met to vote for a Holocaust remembrance program. A mother recalled how her 7-year-old son was told by his classmates that “Jews are stupid.” An audience member interrupted and stated that it was “Zionists” who are stupid. Other protesters labeled Jews as “Zionist pigs,” intimidated a Holocaust survivor and implied that city council members were being bought by the Jewish community. The Berkeley mayor and a council member condemned the horrendous actions. At a recent New York rally, protesters chanted: “Down with the USA.”

University campuses continue to be a cauldron of anti-Jewish hatred. Columbia University is investigating a “Resistance 101” student event where speakers praised Hamas: “The 10/7 attacks were necessary.” Four anti-Israel Vanderbilt University students were arrested and charged with assault and vandalism. The University of California at Berkeley police released photos of suspects from a violent protest at a Jewish student event.

StandWithUs is urging universities nationwide to adopt best practices for confronting anti-Israel protests. Two Yale University professors recently visited Israel and concluded: “Contrary to conceptions prevalent on American campuses, the majority of Israeli Arabs do not seek to separate from Israel. They are in service of more integration into Israeli society.”

Points to consider:

  1. Hamas is an enemy of peace.

Iran-backed Hamas is a genocidal terrorist group that displayed its inherent inhumanity on Oct. 7. A Hamas official stated that it wants to commit a million more Oct. 7 attacks until Israel is destroyed. The Hamas Charter explicitly calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and the murder of all Jews. Hamas intentionally targets civilians—Israelis and Palestinians—and exploits Gaza’s civilian infrastructure to launch attacks. Its actions violate international humanitarian law. Hamas is a formidable obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Hamas must be destroyed to have any chance for a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement. How can Israel negotiate any agreements with an enemy that is only focused on its destruction?

  1. Hamas and its fanatical supporters do not care about facts.

From erasing thousands of years of Jewish history to distorting facts about Israeli actions and fabricating incidents to garner sympathy, Hamas and its supporters manipulate public opinion and deflect accountability for its terrorist actions. Recent research proves that Hamas falsifies its data on Palestinian deaths in Gaza. Persistent propaganda about Israeli actions against hospitals, schools and homes is proven to be false by picture and video evidence of war crimes committed by Hamas in its use of civilian infrastructure to launch attacks against Israel.

  1. Iran’s threat against Israel and America cannot be underestimated.

Iran’s record of aggression against the Jewish state looms large, extending far beyond its borders. The Islamic Republic presents a significant danger to regional stability, Israeli security and American defense through the development of its nuclear-weapons program, progress on intercontinental missiles and its unwavering support for extremist groups. Iranian leaders exploit the powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp for terrorist attacks around the world. They also provide ideological backing, financial aid and weapons to terrorist groups in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

  1. Hamas supporters are intentionally targeting American Jews.

Hamas and pro-Palestinian supporters throughout the United States indiscriminately attack Jews, deceptively trying to use Zionists as a euphemism. Under the guise of anti-Israel protests, they deliberately single out American Jews for harassment and intimidation, contributing to a climate of fear and discrimination. Activists state that they are only opposed to Zionists because they think this language is more acceptable than stating the obvious. Protesters are using hateful rhetoric and acts of violence against individuals based on their Jewish identity, and as a result, antisemitic attacks are skyrocketing. These actions fuel anti-Jewish attitudes and stereotypes, increasing the likelihood of future attacks.

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