The Gaza War 2021: An Overview

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Dore Gold - What motivated Hamas to attack Israel for the fourth time since 2008 after Israel had withdrawn from the entire Gaza Strip? The Hamas war against Israel has ideological roots. The 1988 Hamas Covenant stated that "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam obliterates it." The Covenant adds, "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad." Hamas claims the war was caused by Israeli actions in Jerusalem, including plans to evict Palestinians in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. But in truth, this was a legal dispute that had been under consideration by Israeli courts for many years. A deed from 1876 gave legal title to two Jewish organizations that purchased the property. Palestinian Arabs moved into the area after 1948 when it was conquered by the Arab Legion and the Jews residing there were evicted. Thus, this was not a dispute between indigenous Arab residents and new Israeli "settlers." Since the early 20th century, the Palestinian leadership in Jerusalem has sought to use the so-called threat to the Muslim religious shrines on the Temple Mount as an instrument to rally public opinion, and Hamas did so once again in 2021 when Israel sought to end rioting and stone throwing from inside the barricaded al-Aqsa Mosque. In this latest conflict, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, affiliated with the Israeli Defense Ministry, examined the names of those killed on the Palestinian side and found that half were terrorist operatives. Hamas spokesmen had claimed that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians killed were civilians. Iran played a key role in support of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket fire at Israel from Gaza. Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, declared that Iran was the "largest backer, financially, and militarily" of Hamas, while Ramez al-Halabi, a senior leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, explained that "every weapon" his organization uses was purchased with Iranian funding. The writer, former director-general of the Israel Foreign Ministry and former ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center. This article is part of the forthcoming research report: The Gaza War 2021: The Iranian and Hamas Attack on Israel.

2021-06-24 00:00:00

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