Since May 10th literally thousands of rockets launched by the terrorist group Hamas from the Gaza Strip have rained down on Israel. Airports have been closed. Israeli families have huddled in bomb shelters for safety. The Times of Israel is now publishing guidance for mothers and fathers on how to comfort their terror-stricken children.
The Biden administration has responded by announcing that it intends to send another $10 million in aid to the Palestinians. That is on top of the tens of millions of dollars it has already sent this year.
While announcing this additional aid, the Biden administration also advised that it had not yet committed to restocking Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which is critical to preventing wholesale slaughter in Israel by Hamas rockets. The White House has money for terrorists, but it might not agree to keep Israel supplied with the ammunition it needs to stay safe.
We heard a lot about America’s supposedly diminished standing in the world during the Trump administration. One wonders what our standing is now as we have decided to side with Hamas, a designated international terrorist organization against Israel.
The Gaza Strip is a narrow sliver of land wedged between Israel and Egypt. It is nominally under the control of the Palestinian Authority. In practice, it is ruled by Hamas. It is a terrorist state.
Hamas is explicitly dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel. It does not seek reform. It does not seek the redress of grievances. It wants all Israelis dead, and Israel wiped from the map. In addition to the use of rockets, it has in the past engaged in suicide bombings and the indiscriminate slaughter of Israeli civilians.
The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) – the group’s founding document – was issued on August 18, 1988. It reads in part.
“The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.”
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
“In the face of the Jews’ usurpation, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.”
“Peace initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement…There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad.”
“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.”
Hamas receives funding, weapons, and technical assistance from a number of sources. Chief amongst them is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG) involvement with Hamas is well documented. Multiple reports have noted that prior to his death IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani was personally involved with this Iranian effort and met regularly with Palestinian leaders.
Hamas’s inventory of rockets is massive. It includes weapons made locally in Gaza and weapons provided by the Iranians and manufactured in Iran. None of these are intended for precision strikes nor do they carry warheads designed to be used against hardened military targets. All of them are intended to be launched at cities and towns indiscriminately and to cause civilian casualties. They are weapons of terror.
More than anything else Iranian assistance has meant that the range of the rockets possessed by Hamas has been dramatically expanded. At this point, there is virtually nowhere in Israel that cannot be hit. In fact, maps published online showing impacts of Hamas rockets reveal that already almost every portion of Israeli territory has been struck.
Going into the current offensive, Hamas was estimated to have on hand as many as 6000 rockets. With Iranian assistance, Hamas has developed an extensive capability to manufacture new advanced rockets of Iranian design in the Gaza Strip, however, so there is no accurate way to determine how long the current barrage may continue. Hamas has the capacity to restock internally and perhaps indefinitely.
Israel has been for many decades our most reliable ally in the Middle East. It is a democratic nation. During the Trump Presidency, it concluded a number of historic peace agreements with Sunni Arab states. A radically transformative Israeli-Arab alliance began to emerge with the potential to transform one of the world’s most volatile regions into an area of peace and stability.
All of that is now threatened by the actions of an Iranian-sponsored terrorist group, which has chosen to put the civilian population of an entire nation under attack. Hamas could have chosen to follow suit with the many Arab governments that have chosen peaceful coexistence with Israel. Urged on by the ayatollahs in Tehran it chose another course. It chose terror.
And, Joe Biden, to his eternal shame, chose to stand with Hamas. Joe chose to stand with the terrorists.