Live webcam from Gaza

Why is the Hamas not building bomb shelters?

The world is outraged. More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives in Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza. One cannot help but wonder why the Hamas leadership hasn’t attempted to conjure up a plan to minimize casualties. Are they, perhaps, too busy traveling around the world in luxury? A journalist from Arab News criticizes Hamas for not having constructed bomb shelters. This, he argues, would reduce the number of lives lost. Additionally, bomb shelters would provide Gazans with an increased sense of security. Then why are are the shelters not being built? I believe there are two answers to this questions. To begin with, Hamas wishes to see the IDF cause as many Palestinian casualties as possible. This will ensure public support for the Palestinian cause, and increased pressure on Israel. Additionally, it will keep the cash flowing steadily from sponsors (straight into the pockets of Hamas leadership, of course). 

Another reason may concern Gaza’s vast and expensive tunnels. Hamas has spent millions of dollars worth of contributions intended for building schools  on building tunnels for smuggling. A portion of the concrete could easily have been used to construct bomb shelters. Instead, Hamas elected to use up monetary aid for military action against Israel, while leaving their own people completely unprotected.

Is Hamas trying to get Palestinians killed?

I think they are:

Dead Palestinians represent a crucial propaganda victory for the nihilists of Hamas. It is perverse, but true. It is also the best possible explanation for Hamas’s behavior, because Hamas has no other plausible strategic goal here.

Hamas knows quite well that Israel is protected by the Iron Dome system. Are they attempting to gain international sympathy by sacrificing their own civilians?  

The Increasing Popularity of the Hamas

Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.  – Golda Meir

But the death and injury of Gaza civilians who are not connected to the fighting is boosting support for Hamas among the Gaza public, and the Islamists’ popularity is on the rise in the West Bank and the rest of the Arab world too.

As a parent of two young children, I find this astonishing.  Other sources discuss how Palestinian Arabs systematically teach their children to hate Jews and to admire the “heroic actions” of the Hamas. One would imagine that a parents’ first instinct were to support a political entity that advocated the safety and well-being of ones children. Instead, reports suggest that this is far from the case among many Palestinians, many of whom dance in the streets during Hamas’ rocket launches.  Although bloodshed of civilians is always tragic, people must take responsibility for their choices. The public election (as well as continued support) of a hate-driven terrorist organization is a choice. It is a choice that reflects the late Golda Meir’s words, when she stated that: “peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”


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