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What about the innocent civilians?

– A tearful explanation

It must be stated clearly: The Muslim residents of Gaza who elected Hamas in 2006 knew they were voting for the terrorist organization that had been responsible for dozens of attacks across Israel. School children in buses, diners in restaurants, synagogue worshippers, babies in nurseries, shoppers in supermarkets, all of them civilians, were innocent victims of the Hamas goal of exterminating Israel. It was stated unambiguously in the Hamas charter of 1988.

Drawings by Emilia Aloni, 5, Gaza hostage who was released November 24, 2023.

The civilians are complicit: Everyone in Gaza knew about the tunnel-construction industry. Civilians were widely involved and contributed: In digging, supplying cement, electricity, plumbing, phone lines, paint and food. The civilians passed by the rocket launchers in their neighborhoods, knew about the weapons depots in bedrooms, classrooms, hospital rooms and mosques.

Aren’t there innocent civilians among them? Yes, there are persecuted Christians and there are the babies. They are a human tragedy.

As in 2006, Hamas would be re-elected today. The most recent reliable poll of Gazans revealed that 72 percent approve of the October 7 attack (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, December 13, 2023).

Of the more than three thousand Gazans who invaded Israel on October 7, half were civilians who enabled and participated in the slaughter and the pillaging of the Jewish villages.

Many of them had worked in the Jewish communities as farmers, cooks, cleaners, painters and had reported details about the Jewish residents’ schedules and activities to Hamas. Even today, civilian lookouts report the presence of Israeli soldiers.

According to international human rights law, the casualties in Gaza in recent months can be wholly blamed on the ceasefire broken by Hamas on October 7. The deliberate slaughter of children, adults and the elderly, babies baked in ovens, the dozens of victims whose heads were hacked off, the women who were gang-raped, whose sexual organs were rent by knives and nails, whose breasts were sliced off and kicked around by Gazan savages, the families who were bound together with wire, limbs and eyes severed, then burnt alive, they were all victims of intentional, not accidental, acts of extreme brutality.

The evidence is overwhelming: Eyewitnesses who survived miraculously, but were powerless to halt it; videos made by murderers themselves and broadcast live via social media, revealing their enthusiasm and bloodlust; medical reports by forensic pathologists, doctors and archaeologists who examined the corpse remains, bits of flesh and ashes; comprehensive instructions found in the pockets of captured terrorists, explaining how to kill the Jews and showing the plans of villages and towns, including kindergartens and synagogues.

And yet, the Palestinians and their defenders worldwide deny it happened, even while they justify it.

The Christian role

Some people look at current events with banal indifference, saying Israel will yet experience Holocaust-scale losses. That is wrong. Millions of Europe’s Jews perished in the Holocaust, paralleling the decimation of Jews by the Romans in the first century. It is wicked to label the events of October 7 deserved punishment. Such vulgarity must be resisted firmly.

When Israel is restored, it is a time of comforting. The Eternal is a loving Father, tied to His People by eternal Covenant. He watches over His people faithfully. I believe in the biblical admonition: “Comfort, comfort My people. Speak comfortingly to Jerusalem” (Isai. 40:1-2). This theme is repeated throughout Scripture, with Israel being assured of being consoled as a mother comforts her child, and the nations being urged to rejoice with Israel’s rebirth as a nation (66:7-10). Friends who love Israel can help by comforting the Jewish people actively.