The Drama in Gaza: Hamas, the PA, and Israel

My son, a Lone Soldier, serves the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) along the dangerous border between southern Israel and the Gaza Strip.  His job is to guard neighborhoods where terrorists emerge from tunnels originating inside Gaza and ending in civilians' kitchens or living rooms inside Israel.  His unit arrests those attempting to cross the Gaza-Israel border illegally.  Tensions are running high as the American Embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem draws near.  The annual six weeks of taunting, rioting, and threatening Israelis with armed attacks during the "March of Return," preceding Israeli Independence Day, also called the nakba (catastrophe) by Palestinians, is a time of serious defensive action by the IDF.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, Alhurra, an American satellite TV channel in Arabic, ran an interview with an Israeli trying to stop the madness.  He reported, "We have contacted the owners of more than 20 bus companies in the Gaza Strip who received money from Hamas to drive the Palestinians to violent demonstrations," warning that there would be repercussions for transporting terrorists to incite violence.  Shortly thereafter, The Jerusalem Post reported that at least 17 Palestinian civilians were killed and more than 1,400 were injured during the last three weeks of riots.  It must be pointed out that Israel is not provoking these riots, nor is she paying protesters to be injured or killed, so there is no moral equivalency between numbers of injured or dead between one side and the other.

Five recommendations on how to curb the war that Iran's proxies provoke:

Plug the Smuggling Routes and Tunnels from Terrorist Penetration

Recently, a terror tunnel with bunkers built under civilian homes from Jabalia inside Gaza into southern Israel near the Nahal Oz community was discovered and destroyed.  "Violent riots that have been taking place in the area of the security fence are an attempt to mask the terror attacks intended to take place above and below ground."  ISIS in Egypt was paid to smuggle explosives and rockets through the Sinai to Gaza in order to "keep the smuggling routes open."

As International 'Pay for Slay' Continues; Iran, Syria, and Russia Must Be Sanctioned

American Taylor Force was brutally stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist while visiting Israel with his Vanderbilt University MBA class.  Force's murder qualified  the terrorist's family for $3,500 monthly from the P.A.  The Taylor Force Act, now U.S. law, seeks to halt American financial aid to the P.A. as long as "martyr payments" are received by terrorist families.  Unfortunately, money continues to flow to the P.A., and Hamas via Iran, the largest sponsor of terror in the world.  Iran was granted a $150-billion gift from the Obama administration, and much of it is used for terrorism.  While that money cannot be retrieved, Iran must not receive a penny more from our international coalitions, and the U.S. must not only stop subsidizing Russia, China, and Syria, but also sanction them.

The 2018 P.A. budget included 7.47% for salaries to terrorist prisoners, released terrorists, wounded terrorists, and martyr families resulting in a total of $355 million awarded to promote terrorism (total budget: $4.76 billion).  A noteworthy change in the P.A. budget is the removal of the middleman – resulting in direct P.A. payment to terrorists, therefore legally defining the P.A. as a terrorist organization by Israeli law.

Syrian Bashar Assad was given $15 million by Tehran to pay thousands of civilians to be bused into Gaza and provoke war with Israel.  With the promise of $3,000 for those killed and $500 for the critically wounded, "pay for slay" continues to incentivize terror.  The blame for the humanitarian atrocities in Gaza is shared by Iran, the P.A., and Hamas.  Do Palestinians really believe in their cause if they have to be paid and bused in?  It seems they are hungry for money, not a Palestinian state.

The Use of Chemical Weapons and Civilians as Human Shields Must Be Prosecuted

Gaza, a strip of land 25 miles long and about five miles wide, has almost two million people packed inside an overcrowded space of unkept land.  Keeping civilians safe is difficult since Hamas terrorists are embedded within the civilian population.  Terrorists play by their own murderous, barbaric rules – kidnapping Israeli children and using Palestinian children as props and human shields for the purpose of deterring enemy attack.  Assad's repugnant, despicable practices of using chemical weapons on his people is another inhuman weapon of war that must be stopped.

The Geneva conventions state: "The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations ... in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations."

Hamas forced a seven-year-old girl to the Israeli security fence without regard for her human rights.  "Hamas controls its territory and has an obligation to keep its citizens out of harm's way and should have therefore prevented people from approaching the border fence.  It does look as though Hamas was attempting to benefit from putting civilians on the front lines," according to Col. (ret.) Liron A. Libman, previously head of the IDF International Law Department.

The Beauty of the Wall...It Works

After 60 years of war, between Israel and Gaza, the border security wall was constructed, covering the entire Strip and significantly improving security in southern Israel.  Israel's wall has cut down illegal immigration from 17,000 in 2011 to 43 in 2013.  Israeli security upgraded the "buffer zone along with new high technology observation posts and new terms of engagement for soldiers," according to Major General Doron Almog.

Stand Our Ground and Follow Through in Syria

The U.S. military must maintain leverage and block Iran and Russia from their desired monopoly in the Levant.  History confirms that if we cut and run, as Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama did from Iraq, a dangerous vacuum is filled with Islamists (ISIS in Iraq).

Peace and a Palestinian state have never been the terrorists' objective.  Their goal is and will continue to be to drive the Jews into the sea.  But those Palestinians who are not terrorists, who have worked and lived in Israel, don't yearn to live in a corrupt Palestinian state without freedom or human rights.  They have learned that accountability and hard work creates a good life and seem to be satisfied living side-by-side with the Jews in the Jewish state.

But until terrorists move away from their seventh-century ideology and into modernity, freedom-loving Americans must remain as a force in the Levant to ensure the safety of civilians in Syria and Israel, and to guard against a greater war between Israel and Iran's ruthless dictator and his terrorist proxies.

Valerie Greenfeld is the author of Backyard Jihad: How Parents Can Detect the Invisible Threat of Radicalization.  She can be reached at www.backyardjihad.com.

My son, a Lone Soldier, serves the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) along the dangerous border between southern Israel and the Gaza Strip.  His job is to guard neighborhoods where terrorists emerge from tunnels originating inside Gaza and ending in civilians' kitchens or living rooms inside Israel.  His unit arrests those attempting to cross the Gaza-Israel border illegally.  Tensions are running high as the American Embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem draws near.  The annual six weeks of taunting, rioting, and threatening Israelis with armed attacks during the "March of Return," preceding Israeli Independence Day, also called the nakba (catastrophe) by Palestinians, is a time of serious defensive action by the IDF.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, Alhurra, an American satellite TV channel in Arabic, ran an interview with an Israeli trying to stop the madness.  He reported, "We have contacted the owners of more than 20 bus companies in the Gaza Strip who received money from Hamas to drive the Palestinians to violent demonstrations," warning that there would be repercussions for transporting terrorists to incite violence.  Shortly thereafter, The Jerusalem Post reported that at least 17 Palestinian civilians were killed and more than 1,400 were injured during the last three weeks of riots.  It must be pointed out that Israel is not provoking these riots, nor is she paying protesters to be injured or killed, so there is no moral equivalency between numbers of injured or dead between one side and the other.

Five recommendations on how to curb the war that Iran's proxies provoke:

Plug the Smuggling Routes and Tunnels from Terrorist Penetration

Recently, a terror tunnel with bunkers built under civilian homes from Jabalia inside Gaza into southern Israel near the Nahal Oz community was discovered and destroyed.  "Violent riots that have been taking place in the area of the security fence are an attempt to mask the terror attacks intended to take place above and below ground."  ISIS in Egypt was paid to smuggle explosives and rockets through the Sinai to Gaza in order to "keep the smuggling routes open."

As International 'Pay for Slay' Continues; Iran, Syria, and Russia Must Be Sanctioned

American Taylor Force was brutally stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist while visiting Israel with his Vanderbilt University MBA class.  Force's murder qualified  the terrorist's family for $3,500 monthly from the P.A.  The Taylor Force Act, now U.S. law, seeks to halt American financial aid to the P.A. as long as "martyr payments" are received by terrorist families.  Unfortunately, money continues to flow to the P.A., and Hamas via Iran, the largest sponsor of terror in the world.  Iran was granted a $150-billion gift from the Obama administration, and much of it is used for terrorism.  While that money cannot be retrieved, Iran must not receive a penny more from our international coalitions, and the U.S. must not only stop subsidizing Russia, China, and Syria, but also sanction them.

The 2018 P.A. budget included 7.47% for salaries to terrorist prisoners, released terrorists, wounded terrorists, and martyr families resulting in a total of $355 million awarded to promote terrorism (total budget: $4.76 billion).  A noteworthy change in the P.A. budget is the removal of the middleman – resulting in direct P.A. payment to terrorists, therefore legally defining the P.A. as a terrorist organization by Israeli law.

Syrian Bashar Assad was given $15 million by Tehran to pay thousands of civilians to be bused into Gaza and provoke war with Israel.  With the promise of $3,000 for those killed and $500 for the critically wounded, "pay for slay" continues to incentivize terror.  The blame for the humanitarian atrocities in Gaza is shared by Iran, the P.A., and Hamas.  Do Palestinians really believe in their cause if they have to be paid and bused in?  It seems they are hungry for money, not a Palestinian state.

The Use of Chemical Weapons and Civilians as Human Shields Must Be Prosecuted

Gaza, a strip of land 25 miles long and about five miles wide, has almost two million people packed inside an overcrowded space of unkept land.  Keeping civilians safe is difficult since Hamas terrorists are embedded within the civilian population.  Terrorists play by their own murderous, barbaric rules – kidnapping Israeli children and using Palestinian children as props and human shields for the purpose of deterring enemy attack.  Assad's repugnant, despicable practices of using chemical weapons on his people is another inhuman weapon of war that must be stopped.

The Geneva conventions state: "The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations ... in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations."

Hamas forced a seven-year-old girl to the Israeli security fence without regard for her human rights.  "Hamas controls its territory and has an obligation to keep its citizens out of harm's way and should have therefore prevented people from approaching the border fence.  It does look as though Hamas was attempting to benefit from putting civilians on the front lines," according to Col. (ret.) Liron A. Libman, previously head of the IDF International Law Department.

The Beauty of the Wall...It Works

After 60 years of war, between Israel and Gaza, the border security wall was constructed, covering the entire Strip and significantly improving security in southern Israel.  Israel's wall has cut down illegal immigration from 17,000 in 2011 to 43 in 2013.  Israeli security upgraded the "buffer zone along with new high technology observation posts and new terms of engagement for soldiers," according to Major General Doron Almog.

Stand Our Ground and Follow Through in Syria

The U.S. military must maintain leverage and block Iran and Russia from their desired monopoly in the Levant.  History confirms that if we cut and run, as Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama did from Iraq, a dangerous vacuum is filled with Islamists (ISIS in Iraq).

Peace and a Palestinian state have never been the terrorists' objective.  Their goal is and will continue to be to drive the Jews into the sea.  But those Palestinians who are not terrorists, who have worked and lived in Israel, don't yearn to live in a corrupt Palestinian state without freedom or human rights.  They have learned that accountability and hard work creates a good life and seem to be satisfied living side-by-side with the Jews in the Jewish state.

But until terrorists move away from their seventh-century ideology and into modernity, freedom-loving Americans must remain as a force in the Levant to ensure the safety of civilians in Syria and Israel, and to guard against a greater war between Israel and Iran's ruthless dictator and his terrorist proxies.

Valerie Greenfeld is the author of Backyard Jihad: How Parents Can Detect the Invisible Threat of Radicalization.  She can be reached at www.backyardjihad.com.