By Allison Moldoff
The recent article, “Life in Palestine after the onslaught” (10/9/15) is an article with skewed factual basis. It is incredibly disappointing that the editors of the Simmons Voice would choose to publish a piece with barely any factual evidence in it.
During Operation Protective Edge, the article claims that Israelis felt safe to go out and pursue normal lives, yet this is exactly the opposite of how most Israeli civilians felt. Is it normal for Israeli children to play at indoor playground-bomb shelters? This is what the children of Sderot had to do during Operation Protective Edge, according to “Race to the Bomb Shelter”(7/8/14) in The Jewish Press.
In July, an Israeli citizen in central Tel Aviv named Michael was interviewed by The Jewish Press about his experience reacting to the sirens when rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. Michael stated, “to think that this is our family’s trauma from just one siren, when there are kids in Sderot and the surrounding area that have grown up with this their whole lives . . . what kind of normal country would allow her citizens to live in such terror without doing anything about it? Is there any precedent for such a thing in world history?” If this is what the Voice believes is a normal Israeli life, then you know absolutely nothing about Israel.
The Voice writer also claims that “four young boys of the same family were deliberately targeted and murdered,” yet she fails to mention the names of these boys as well as who targeted them. She also disregards the fact that before Operation Protective Edge started, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas, who claimed full responsibility for these brutal attacks, according to “Hamas claims responsibility for three Israeli teens kidnapping and murder” (8/21/14) in Haaretz.
Additionally, the article claims that human rights organizations have documented evidence of widespread violations of the laws of war committed by the Israeli military during “Operation Protective Edge, including attacks on medical facilities,” yet does not mention that those medical facilities housed thousands of bombs and weapons for Hamas terrorists to use against innocent Israeli civilians. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) takes any such accusations extremely seriously, and has even created its own task force to assess these claims, according to “IDF conducts fact-finding assessment following Operation Protective Edge” (9/12/14) on IDFblog.com.
The truth is that after Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in August of 2005, Palestinians have continued to attack Israel with rocket fire. According to IDF, since 2001, more than 12,800 rockets and mortars, in an average of three attacks every single day, have landed in Israel.
The truth is that during Operation Protective Edge 3,360 rockets were fired by Hamas in Gaza targeting Israeli civilians, according to August statistics from IDF. Of these, 2,303 of these rockets hit Israel, while 475 of them hit Gaza, ruining the lives and homes of many innocent Palestinian civilians. Although Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense system stops some of the attacks, most rockets are capable of reaching Israel’s biggest cities. More than half a million Israelis have less than 60 seconds to find shelter after a rocket is launched from Gaza into Israel. Many have only 15 seconds.
Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, the IDF has uncovered dozens of terror tunnels in Gaza. Hamas uses these tunnels as weapons caches, bunkers, command centers and a concealed transportation artery for terrorists and weapons, including rocket launchers. According to IDF, some of these tunnels lead directly from Gaza to Israeli communities near the border, enabling terrorists to infiltrate, kidnap and attack Israeli civilians. The residents of southern Israel live in constant fear knowing that, at any time, a terrorist could emerge from a tunnel near their house and abduct or murder their neighbors or children. The threat that these tunnels pose to Israel’s civilian population would not be tolerated by any other nation.
Allison Moldoff is a Hillel member and a Campus Fellow for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.