Sunday, May 26th | 21 Iyyar 5779

October 22, 2014 7:22 am

Israel Needs its Head Examined

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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The Israel Defense Forces Artillery Corps fires shells at Gaza on July 18, 2014, after Israeli forces began a ground invasion into northern Gaza amid Operation Protective Edge. Following the operation, Hamas continues to control Gaza and openly considers any truce with Israel as a time to re-arm for the next conflict. Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90.

On Monday, a decision was taken by the Israeli military to remove IDF guards from half of the communities surrounding Gaza. The army says that this will not affect security in the area, because of nearby bases on the ready to take action when necessary.

Members of these communities are nevertheless extremely concerned. Less than two months ago, Hamas mortars and rockets forced them into bomb shelters for weeks on end.

Furthermore, the tunnels that Hamas has been constructing over the years with the express purpose of kidnapping and killing Israelis not only turned out to be far more extensive than the defense establishment had realized. But many shafts were discovered right under the homes of residents in the south.

The goal that the Israeli government set for Operation Protective Edge this summer was the destruction of these tunnels and other terrorist infrastructure. Whether or not the IDF fully accomplished this by the time that the final cease-fire went into effect at the end of August, the border crossings into Gaza were opened at the end of the war for the transport of concrete and other building materials into the Hamas enclave. (Contrary to popular belief, they were never closed for the entry of humanitarian goods and services.)

Even before the international donors conference in Egypt earlier this month, at which billions of dollars were raised for the “rehabilitation” of Gaza, Hamas got to work. This is not to say that it assumed the task of making the place inhabitable for its impoverished population, however. No, the first thing it did was to play along with the charade that the Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah, with which it recently signed a unity agreement, would take charge of governing the strip.

The second thing it did was to begin repairing tunnels that had been severely damaged by Israeli air and ground forces, and to resume digging new ones, to replace those that were completely wiped out. This inevitable development was reported Sunday in the Hamas-affiliated journal, Al-Risala. According to the report, which was accompanied by a photograph of a refurbished tunnel, it won’t be long before the underground war machine is back in business.

Though such boasting is clearly Hamas’ way of saving face over a perceived defeat in the war, there is no question that the tunnel “city” is being rebuilt. The Israeli defense establishment knows it. And so do the residents of the south, who spend their days wondering when a terrorist is going to emerge from a shaft in their back yards, armed with weapons smuggled through Egypt, in spite of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s efforts to prevent the phenomenon.

In other words, it is just a matter of time before Hamas, with tacit cooperation from PA President Mahmoud Abbas, is able to continue slaughtering innocent Israelis. Everybody acknowledges this. The only difference of opinion exists in relation to whether Israeli capitulation to all Palestinian preconditions for a “peace” treaty (namely, those which guarantee the demise of the Jewish state) will put a stop to the bloodshed.

Hamas members would be the first to laugh at the latter. But they, like their Sunni ISIS counterparts, are perfectly happy to have Western apologists make excuses for their barbarism. They also enjoy it when members of the Israeli Knesset champion their cause. There is nothing quite as satisfying for Islamic radicals, after all, as witnessing democracies implode in order to uphold the very liberal values that the establishment of a global caliphate will make obsolete.

On Sunday, Balad MK Hanin Zoabi — famous outside of the country for her participation in the Turkish-led “Free Gaza” flotilla in 2010, and for her openly siding with Hamas during Operation Protective Edge — likened Israel to ISIS. Yes, she said, an Israel Air Force pilot is “no less a terrorist than those who take knives and cut off heads.”

This position was defended by fellow Balad MK Bassel Ghattas on Monday, in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio. Ghattas told the IDF-run station that, “…unlike the IDF, [ISIS] did not commit crimes against humanity.”

However disgusting it is that the Supreme Court allows such a treasonous party to participate in the very political system it is trying to destroy, and no matter how distasteful it is that even Army Radio gives its members a platform for bashing the IDF, the practice of providing medical services for Hamas is utterly incomprehensible.

Yet this is just what Israel has been doing.

Not only were dozens of terrorists from Gaza brought in to Israeli hospitals during the war and treated alongside soldiers and civilians they had targeted, but the practice of letting Hamas leaders and their families enter Israel to receive top-notch care has been going on forever.

In fact, earlier this month, the daughter of former Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh was admitted to a Tel Aviv hospital for emergency surgery, after undergoing a botched procedure in Gaza.

Nor was this the first time Haniyeh’s family took advantage of Israeli medical advancements — you know, the ones they call on the world to boycott. His granddaughter was hospitalized in Israel in November and his mother-in-law in June.

Yes, all Israel needs is to ensure that more terrorists and their relatives survive and thrive to carry out their mission of murdering Jews. Perhaps it is the Israeli leadership that needs to take advantage of the country’s health care: by having its head examined.

Ruthie Blum is the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring.'” This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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