This is the 9th day of the current confrontation with Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and yesterday, after all our guests had left, Zvi and I sat down to understand the gains and losses of both sides of the conflict.
I must add something of utmost importance. We are not a belligerent people. Since the last confrontation, Hamas has sent constant reminders of their presence in the form of an occasional rocket on civilians and many incendiary devices in the form of children’s party balloons which have burned crops, forestation and killed much wildlife, but we have not responded. Even during these horrific confrontations Israel has provided sustenance to the people of Gaza in the form of hundreds of truckloads of staple needs through Kerem Shalom, which was one of the first places Hamas bombed in this conflagration. We do not want to go back to Gaza, we left all the farms and towns intact, simply took all military and Israeli civilians out and rehoused them in Israel, 20 years ago and anything that followed is down to Hamas.
We know you are worried, confused by the likes of the BBC, CBC and CNN so we decided to put our thoughts on paper. Zvi is an historian and I am story-teller; Zvi is a facts man and I love to tell the human side; together I hope you will get a rounded picture of causes and results.
Who gained what:-
- Took responsibility for the emotional and emotive role of “Protector of Jerusalem” away from the Palestinian Authority and the Arab Countries. The Moslem religious sites of Jerusalem are not in danger, will not be in danger, but as a Public Relations exercise, they convinced the Moslems of the region that “when El Aqsa is in danger, we are the only ones who step forward to protected it”
- For the first time, they were able to incite young Israeli Arabs, to riot against other Israelis, revealing a deep schism in our society, sadly eliciting a similar response from Jewish youth.
- They strengthened (temporarily) their status in the Palestinian Authority and since the PLO is split into 4 different parties, if elections were held today, Hamas would win in the West Bank.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad
An Iranian Proxy, Palestinian Islamic Jihad has no political aims other than to kill Israelis where and when Iran instructs them. They gained nothing and lost a few top commanders.
- We all but eliminated the subterranean danger of tunnels under the Israeli kibbutzim along the border, by building a wall approximately 15-20 metres deep, to the level of the aquifer, making it practically impenetrable.
- We eliminated their fleet of drones (each of which carries 50 Kilos of TNT).
- We are observing the Palestinian Navy which basically consists of frogmen and some submarine-guided bombs, enabling us to prevent any surprise attacks from the sea.
- Gaza has an extensive web of Hamas built tunnels under their cities, weakening their civilian infrastructure. These tunnels are not amateurish mud tunnels, they are expensive, strong, sophisticated, cement, shored up and big enough for vehicles to travel through. According to Israeli Military sources, Israel destroyed 100 kilometres of tunnels which will take decades to rebuild – assuming they continue to receive the billions in civilian aid that never reaches the population.
- When they entered the current conflict, it is estimated that they had some 15,000 Rockets and Missiles,(mostly manufactured in Gaza) so far they launched over 4,000 but thanks to “Iron Dome” we were able to stop 95%, giving the Israelis under constant fire a level of security, although the constant booms leave children terrified.
- Some of the missiles are sophisticated and are launched in “clusters” of up to 20 at a time making it difficult to take them out; we succeeded in destroying some 20 of the launch sites, but several are still buried underground in readiness for when they decide to use them.
- We destroyed all their police stations, most of their missile factories, the vast majority of the offices of the Terrorist Organizations, including the much talked about building used by Al Jazeera and AP, manned by local Journalists (usually Hamas Supporters) who knew the secondary use of that building, HQ for Hamas Intelligence.
- We are destroying the private houses of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leadership (actually sea front mansions) so when they come out of their cowardly hidey holes under Shifaa Hospital in Gaza, they will find rubble.
- Since we can’t reach all of the missiles we targeted the people responsible for their development, and several of them were “neutralized”
- Contrary to previous conflicts, very few civilians were killed! Every time that there is an Israeli order to bomb, which is a very organized process, with International Observers inside the bunker when that decision is made, to ensure that everything humanly possible is done to prevent civilian casualties.
- We have the International support of the US, Australia, several European countries, the UAE and the “Silent” Arab World. They recognise the truth. There are demonstrations of Moslems and some well meaning people who are brainwashed by the emotive cant, but President Biden knows that we did EVERYTHING in our power to improve the lives of the Gazans and even help the hostile Hamas, but they still chose to attack. That is why the US government sent a very minor official to study the situation! The ceasefire will take place when we decide that there are no more objectives to achieve.
Now to some negative points:
- We lost 8 Israelis (both Arab and Jew) by direct hits, 2 elderly, disabled women died from injuries they incurred when they tried to rush to the shelter, and 2 Israelis who died in the riots. A few hundred are injured some in critical condition! One was a soldier the rest civilians.
- So far the estimated financial cost to Israel is more than US$600 million and the ultimate cost will double.
- As you know, the Palestinian Authority won the elections in Gaza several years ago and Hamas took their leaders, beat them and threw them off the rooftops; currently there is no alternative leadership and Mahmoud Abbas has no support in Gaza. The Arab World is unwilling to take responsibility for the 2 million people of the Gaza Strip; Israel tried but all of them refused. Several countries in the region have stated that they will not repeat the mistake of giving them billions of dollars which instead of feeding their citizens is used to build arsenals, tunnels and waste on a fine lifestyle for the leaders. Iran, Qatar and Turkey, each for a different reason, (an attempt by Iran and Turkey to reestablish their “Empires”) provide their only support in the region. Qatar, by the way, coordinated its funding with Israel, and is an Iranian-Turkish proxy in the region.
- We have no Government! 4 election processes, 4 times to the polls and we didn’t succeed in achieving a stable government! Our PM is fighting a corruption court case but is unwilling to give up his seat! We are in desperate need of electoral reform, indeed we were on the verge of establishing a viable cabinet with an across the board left/right/center base, including Arab parties, on the day the current bombardment started! Now the process is frozen and we shall see what happens when the confrontation is over.
- The media, despite knowing the real situation, presents “shallow” reports, which on several occasions represent an aggressive figment of their imagination ensuring that Israel appears to be the instigator.
That’s it. I hope you appreciate the “View from our Country” rather than the personal view from our veranda. There is so much fake news, too many accusations flying around in the ether that we both felt it essential that you be informed. Without information you cannot fight the lies. The oft repeated “the IDF is the most humane army in the world” is true but it cannot deny the suffering of the ordinary Gazans. Maybe, just maybe, if the Western World would find a way to prevent Hamas, a named terrorist organisation, from posing as the political leaders of an oppressed people crowded into a tiny piece of land, our region could have some quiet times even though peace is a long way off.
Be well, be safe and remember my motto
“If the media does not inform us we must inform the media”