What’s Really Going on in the Israel-Hamas Clash?

It’s been a deadly week in Israel. Numbers vary, but sources have reported that the terrorist group Hamas has launched hundreds, if not more than 1,000 rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip, though a few hundred failed to ever reach Israeli land. Israel has responded with volleys of airstrikes of its own. Between the two sides, dozens have died, and hundreds have been injured.

This situation has escalated into the most intense battle between Israel and Hamas in years, and it could threaten to reach all-out-war status if things continue to escalate. But the major difference between the sides is their targets. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have targeted terrorist operatives and locations; Hamas has targeted Israeli civilians. 

Unfortunately this is rarely communicated in national news. The only thing most people hear is that the IDF has killed Palestinians and leveled buildings. They are set up to look like conquerors rather than defenders. But what other nation has to justify defending its own land from rocket strikes and violence on the streets? And what other nation faces international pressure for returning fire against an enemy whose main goal is to eradicate that nation’s people from the face of the earth?

We don’t wish to see any innocent civilians killed, regardless of their loyalties. But Israel historically takes every precaution to protect civilians, and we saw at least one instance of that this week. Reuters reported that Israel’s airstrikes destroyed a 13-story residential building in Gaza. But it also reported that the IDF warned the civilians to evacuate in advance since its real target was the Hamas offices inside, and no casualties were reported, a fact that doesn’t make any headlines. We pray that the violence would end, that no more innocent lives would be lost, and that one day Israel won’t have to fight to justify its existence as the nation for God’s Chosen People.