Latest posts by Varda Epstein (see all)
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h/t Barry Shaw via Real JStreets.The IDF and Shin Bet Intelligence have long known that Shuja’iya has a significant Hamas and Islamic Jihad presence. These two terror organizations stockpile weapons here, launch rockets from here, and dig their smuggling tunnels beneath the ground in this heavily populated area. There was no doubt that if the IDF would launch a ground operation, Shuja’iya would be an important target.
The time came for the deed to be done, to rid Shuja’iya of its stockpiled weapons and its terrorist presence. The IDF dropped leaflets telling civilians to vacate the area for a period of several days. To make double sure the residents would leave before the IDF operation, phone calls were made in the thousands, and text messages were sent to the cellphones of the people of Shuja’iya. There was no desire on the part of the IDF to hurt civilians. Its only task is to rid the area of terrorists and the rockets they launch at Israeli civilians.
Thousands of Shuja’iya residents did make their way to safety. Still others were stopped from vacating the area by Hamas itself. Hamas prevented the evacuation of Shuja’iya civilians because Hamas knew of the IDF’s impending mission. The terrorist organization was well aware that the IDF was coming after its terrorist infrastructure and stockpiled weapons, so heavily embedded in this heavily populated city neighborhood.
Shuja’iya has been the starting point for many a rocket launched into Israel. Once the attack on Shuja’iya was well underway, Hamas requested and received a humanitarian lull in the fighting. They asked for two hours of quiet, from 1:30 PM-3:30 PM. During the pause in the fighting, Hamas quickly got the wounded out for treatment, sent out much of their stockpiled weaponry elsewhere (via ambulance, how else?), and for the pièce de résistance, brought in the foreign press to witness the “genocide” of the townspeople of Shuja’iya, the dead civilians that Hamas had barricaded in the town prior to the Israeli attack on area terrorist strongholds. Naturally, Hamas never mentioned to the press that among the dead and wounded were tens of terrorists, the real targets of the Israeli operation.
And with that little press conference accomplished, Gaza broke the ceasefire by launching rockets into Israel, less than an hour into the ceasefire they’d requested and to which Israel had agreed. These rockets, like so many before them, were intercepted by Iron Dome. IDF artillery then shot several rounds of shells into Gaza.
The bare bones of this report were confirmed by Reuters, though not the dirty part Hamas played in the murder of its own people and the way the terrorists then used the situation as a press event.
Are you keeping count? This is the third time Hamas failed to honor a ceasefire.