Israel is unfairly being targeted by the media for the deaths of Gazan citizens resulting from the lopsided military response Israel has launched. This despite the evidence that the recent violence stems from the Hamas kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teenagers.
It is true that the death toll has exceeded 600 civilians since Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" began in Gaza. Yet, the main question remains: Who is to be blamed for the loss of these civilian lives?
It is important in this context to mention, not only has Hamas used human shields to protect its terrorist members, they also rejected the cease-fire initiative offered by the Egyptian government. According to the Egyptian proposal, the cease-fire was supposed to start at 9:00 a.m. on July 15, 2014.
Such a plan offered an immediate cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, and resumption of negotiations immediately thereafter.
The aim of the Egyptian government was simply to protect innocent lives, prevent bloodshed, and stop the killing of civilians. Israel immediately accepted the offer.
Similarly, the U.S. and EU have welcomed it. Hamas simply refused it.
Had Hamas accepted the Egyptian cease-fire plan, almost all civilians who were killed in the clash between Hamas and Israel would not have died. In other words, Hamas could have saved all these lives if they accepted the Egyptian proposal.
The immediate acceptance of the Egyptian plan by Israel is a clear indication of sincere desire of the Israelis to protect innocent human lives and is in full harmony with what, Golda Meir said decades ago, “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children but we cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”
It is not surprising at all that Hamas refused Egypt's overtures, as the conflict escalates so do civilian death tolls. Thus, the more donations Hamas can get from their international supporters.
It is well known that much of this money goes into the pockets of Hamas leadership.
In other words, Hamas has no interest in stopping the violence which could result in stopping the killing of its Palestinian people. Hamas leaders simply preferred their personal interests over saving the lives of the Palestinian people.
Additionally, by attacking Israel, Hamas hopes to gain Arab support, after it lost on June 30th, in the revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood.
Portraying itself as the one that uses arms against Israel helps Hamas to get more public support in the Arab street as the latter has been driven by pathological anti-Semitism for decades.
After Israel accepted the cease fire offered by Egypt, Hamas refused to honor it, and instead went about the killing of Palestinians through the use of human shields, and the launch of missiles on Israel, incurring further attacks from Israel.
Hamas' rejection of the cease fire plan is a form of intentional killing for the Palestinian people. Hamas could have prevented all of these killings had they accepted the cease-fire plan to begin with or , at least, have not used civilians as human shields.
Do not blame Israel. Blame Hamas for the killing of these civilians.
Dr. Tawfik Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Islam." Read more reports from Tawfik Hamid — Click Here Now.
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