A month into the Israel-Hamas conflict, the number of Palestinian women and children slain so far has come under increasing scrutiny as the death toll keeps rising. The UN secretary general’s bias towards the war is striking, as the organisation is meant to serve as a platform for fair discussions on issues of global significance. The World Health Organization’s chief adopted a similar position, which is not surprising considering his prejudiced acts during the pandemic.
Contrary to organised attempts to portray the war as nothing more than ethnic cleansing and genocide against Israel, Hamas has not been subjected to the same level of scrutiny. Does this mean that it can do pretty much anything it wants because it’s a terror group? There has been no examination of what Hamas’ endgame is or was, despite pressure on Israel to respond to questions about its intelligence shortcomings and post-war plans.
It’s likely that the international media has been gently criticising Hamas in order to avoid being accused of Islamophobia—which is now a more serious offence than anti-Semitism. As a result, opinions can only be formed with partial information by the rest of the world. Here are ten more sets of questions that, amazingly, have not been asked or addressed despite Hamas representatives and others who are obviously sympathetic to them having ample opportunity to voice their opinions about Israel’s actions.
When Israel had repeatedly declared that it intended to bomb certain northern areas, why did women and children still stay inside buildings even after the war had begun? Does that not suggest that people who are weak and innocent are being used as human shields? So, is it only the Israelis’ fault that they died? Should Hamas not be held responsible for the security of the Palestinian residents of Gaza, given that it has ruled the region for fifteen years?
It is evident that Hamas has accumulated enormous supplies of food, water, fuel, and medications in order to stay undercover and carry on with their war against Israel. Why are they still holed up in their bunkers and underground tunnels while Israeli bombs are destroying Gaza? Why haven’t they been asked? Why have Hamas fighters not bravely gone out to face their “enemy” face to face instead of providing favoured shelter to oppressed women and children?
Why aren’t the Arab informants of Hamas questioned about why 1,400 people, primarily Jewish and Israeli, were killed on October 7th, which led to this revenge that could kill over ten times as many Palestinians? What did Hamas expect, if Israel is now determined to carry out a pogrom? That Israel would dissolve as a nation and scatter Jews throughout the world once more, and that it would doctrinairely cede the West Bank and all of its territory?
Of course not. As the number of civilian casualties rises, Hamas is depending on (and waiting for) international pressure to force Israel to halt its operations and blockade. Once that happens, it can exchange those 240 hostages for key Hamas members and the numerous other Palestinians who are presently detained by Israel. However, is it not appropriate to question Hamas about whether 1,400 deaths were caused by their “collective responsibility”—a term currently reserved for characterising the character of Israel’s reprisals against the Palestinians?
There are 25,000 to 50,000 cadres in the Hamas military wing, the Qassam brigade, who are all recruited from the local community. Only names of Palestinians who are not fighters are included in the daily casualty lists. Is Hamas denying the deaths of its cadres? Given that the fighters are the sons, brothers, and husbands of Gazan civilians, how can their numbers be kept secret? Numbers are not provided by the Gaza-based “health ministry” run by Hamas, but why has no one asked for them either?
It is reasonable to assume that numerous Hamas terrorists must also sustain injuries on a daily basis from bombings and the current street-by-street fighting. Why aren’t inquiries about the location of their medical care being made? Do they use the same life-saving resources as their “civilian” brethren, or do they have their own doctors and nurses? Doesn’t the fact that they are sharing hospital space put civilian Palestinians in danger because Israel would unavoidably attack those locations?
It appears that the Hamas communication systems with the overground cadres are very effective because they quickly and accurately report the number of casualties, particularly the precise number of women and children that are killed or injured in each attack. If they aren’t communicating with the physicians and “civilians” who swarm the hospitals, how is that possible? And unless they are nearby those areas—perhaps beneath—how is such contact possible?
No one can deny the existence of a labyrinth of tunnels, not even the Palestinians who lived above them, as Israel releases images of its troops fighting Hamas terrorists in a landscape of bombed-out neighbourhoods. Why aren’t Gazans questioned about their knowledge of the “spider webs” beneath their homes, not even when it’s off camera? If not, how did Hamas construct them beneath their nose without their knowledge?
Hamas has said nothing as the world seems to be growing increasingly alarmed about the suffering of Palestinian civilians. The hostages’ release from Hamas would be the most reliable means of improving their situation. Nevertheless, they still house 239 of them, which includes more than 30 kids, some of whom are very young. Why are supporters and delegates of Hamas not being urged to demand their release? Why don’t the head of the WHO and the secretary general of the UN also demand this?
There are rumours of growing public dissatisfaction with the Israeli government because, despite the passage of one month since the attack by Hamas, hostages have yet to be freed. Additionally, the media is repeating more often now the excesses of Israeli settlers in the West Bank. However, why doesn’t anyone inquire as to whether the people of Gaza approve of the Hamas ploy that resulted in this horrific reprisal? What transpires in Gaza following this conflict could be determined by their response.
As US President Joe Biden refers to them, “humanitarian pauses,” if Israel gives in to international pressure and permits them, Hamas will interpret this as a sign of surrender. It will escape being held responsible and held to account for its deeds. Additionally, terror groups with similar goals will come to understand that, provided they can assemble enough supporters to guarantee a one-sided narrative, they too can get away with carrying out opportunistic, outrageous, and deadly attacks—as well as avoiding difficult questions.