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Indians protest against Hamas terror as Israel agrees to cease-fire

Hindus protesting against Hamas

In the light of the present security crisis in Israel, where Israel just agreed to a cease-fire after facing a barrage of almost 500 rockets and mortars being fired into the southern part of the country, a group of Indians decided to demonstrate in support of Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism. “Today’s demonstration in New Delhi was organized on behalf of three organizations: The Safadi Center, the World Hindu Struggle Committee and the Hindu Struggle Committee (India),” Shipan Kumer Basu, who heads the World Hindu Struggle Committee, reported.

“On behalf of the World Hindu Struggle committee, I protest against the cowardly attacks by Hamas,” Basu proclaimed. “The Hindus of Bangladesh always support Israel. Arun Upadhava, President of the Hindu Struggle Committee (India), and I stand in solidarity with Mendi Safadi, who heads the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights and the rest of the Israeli people. Many local people also partook in the demonstration.”

“I stand from New Delhi in a demonstration in support of IDF soldiers and the land of Israel in its struggle against Palestinian terrorism,” Safadi stated in an exclusive interview. “The people who stand here are pro-Israel. Many Hindus came in order to express their support and to encourage the State of Israel at this critical hour. These have been difficult times for us. We hope that now we have a mission to eradicate the terrorism.”

In recent days, a Druze IDF officer was killed during an exchange of fire in Gaza. A Palestinian man in Ashkelon was murdered when a rocket struck the apartment building where he was working. Eight other people were injured in that attack including two women in critical condition. And a rocket hit a bus, resulting in one person being critically injured. Israel has faced a barrage of constant non-stop rocket fire throughout the southern part of the country for the last couple of days, until the cease-fire was implemented last night. The Barzalai Medical Center reported that they have treated 93 patients following the latest rocket barrage on Israel.

As a result of the security situation, the IDF responded by striking 160 targets within Gaza. According to Al Jazeera, at least 5 Palestinians were killed during the IDF strikes on Gaza and 7 other Palestinians including a senior level Hamas member died during an exchange of fire with IDF forces in Gaza. One of the targets was Al Aqsa TV, a media outlet associated with Hamas.

The residents of Southern Israel are suffering greatly from this situation. According to IDF Radio, Yigal Suissa, a resident of Sderot who was injured in the leg, proclaimed, “They do not need to harm us physically. All of us are hurting mentally.” Another resident, whose home was struck in a rocket attack, reported, “Our home is a battle scene now. When you come out alive and healthy from an incident like this, the home is already less important.”

Nevertheless, even though the carnage in Israel recently was significantly worse than the violence leading up to Operation Protective Edge, Israel decided to accept a cease-fire, a move which the residents of Southern Israel protested against. According to Channel 2 News, they blocked off the Kerem Shalom Crossing due to their displeasure with the cease-fire. Meanwhile, following the implementation of the cease-fire, a Palestinian terrorist threw a grenade along the Gaza border. But Netanyahu has defended his cease-fire, claiming that it is in the best interests of the country and he stressed that Hamas essentially begged for it. He added that he loves the residents of the South but he cannot share with them all of his considerations.

Even though the move was controversial among the residents of Southern Israel, a Palestinian source explained why the cease-fire was the correct decision: “Everyone is seeking a cease-fire and I am sure that Hamas is trying to show off it is the one paid the heaviest price and is the one who is to impose the cease-fire in order to assert its authority. What happens afterwards is crucial for Hamas and their armed existence in Gaza. The Egyptian Army might get involved. The risks are rising for that to happen. They want a cease-fire for they cannot deal with a situation where the Egyptian army becomes involved in this.”

He added that everyone is focusing on the sad ghastly images coming out of Gaza and that this does not make Israel look good internationally. However, he noted that members of the community of nations do not have to deal with the barrage of violence that Israel deals with daily. According to the Palestinian source, “Only the PA wants this. The PA are sacrificing their own people. They are not gaining anything by these splits between them. They are only losing. They are losing the popularity. The people are losing. Everyone is losing on both sides. The only losers are civilians. They are losing just because they are what they are.”

“We are sick and tired of war,” he proclaimed. “This got to stop once and for all. It is sickening. It is a different age. It is not the age of the First Intifada. The people have to wake up in order to enable peace. Give it a break. Every human has the right to live. No human has the right to kill, be hostile and be aggressive. I don’t see a reason to lash out at each other all of these decades. Every parent should be worried about their children’s future.” He believes that only Egypt can solve Gaza’s problems and that another war would not accomplish anything for Israel, and Netanyahu knows this.

Israeli scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar concurred with the Palestinian source: “Israel doesn’t want a war. Israel doesn’t need a war. Israel is looking for ways on how to live alongside Hamas rather than fighting it, hoping that a day will come and Hamas in one way or another, will accept our existence and to leave us alone. This is the Israeli hope and this is why Israel will do anything that it can do to stabilize the situation in Gaza by allowing Qatar, a terror supporting country, to bring money in order to fund a terror organization. Israel will bend over backwards even at the price of supporting terror by Hamas and Qatar in order to gain strategically and to achieve peaceful coexistence for a while. The government hopes recently that Hamas does not want a confrontation and will also join some kind of agreement, which will enable a better livelihood on both sides of the border.”

Former Israel Consul General Yitzchak Ben Gad agreed, noting that Israelis who want to take action against Hamas are not considering the long-term consequences: “The people of Gaza suffer. They suffer from economic depression. They only have light in their homes for a few hours a day. Gaza within a few years will be a place where people cannot live. We don’t want to go in and take this responsibility upon us. Hamas won in free elections. People are suffering today under the dictatorship of this organization. Israel got nothing to do with it. Israel is willing to help the people of Gaza. We send them trucks heavy with loads. But we are not going to be kind and nice to these people and then get missiles on our heads.”

It is precisely for this reason that Kedar does not agree with the decision taken by the Israeli government. “The Israeli government and the army as well do not understand that living with Israel side by side is actually against the raison d’etre of Hamas,” Kedar explained. “Hamas is a terror organization, who is fully committed to the jihad until the full eradication of the State of Israel. For Hamas, the occupation is what happened in 1948, not what happened in 1967. It means the State of Israel should not exist at all. Therefore, accepting Israel and making any agreement with Israel is totally against the most basic credo of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all of the other terror organizations in Gaza. This is why we came to this position where Israel lost its deterrence, which should have been the basis of any conversation with and about Hamas in Gaza. I support a limited operation, with a very narrow operation on the ground in order not to expose our soldiers to the giant dangers involved in urban warfare, which is very expensive and costly in terms of soldiers’ lives. The government had a very thorough discussion about what should be done and can be done, which is not always the same.”

“The time has come for them to pay the price for the provocation and the damage,” Ben Gad declared. “Hundreds of thousands of people live in Sderot, Ofakim, Ashkelon, etc. Therefore, if you continue with your provocation, you will pay a heavy price for that. What happened was a strong message to the Hamas that the price will be so heavy and painful that it is not worth it to start it again with us. The Hamas has its own ideology. Bibi cannot change overnight their philosophy. Israel has to make it clear to Hamas, think whatever you want but if you start shooting missiles and burning our fields, you will pay a heavy peace. We are not asking you to recognize Israel. Israel does not exist because of you but despite you.”

 

Author

Rachel Avraham
Rachel Avraham

Rachel Avraham is the President of the Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi Center for Human Rights in Middle East (under formation) and is a political analyst at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights. She is also a fellow at the Haym Salomon Center, a news and public policy group. For over 6 years, she has been an Israel-based journalist, specializing in radical Islam, abuses of human rights and minority rights, counter-terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Syria, Iran, Kurdistan and other issues of importance. Avraham is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media," a ground-breaking book endorsed by Former Israel Consul General Yitzchak Ben Gad and Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara that discusses how the media exploits the life stories of Palestinian female terrorists in order to justify wanton acts of violence. Avraham has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University. She received her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.

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