In a recent interview, senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad delivered a stark message, asserting that unless Hamas is entirely eradicated, the group will continue carrying out brutal attacks similar to the October 7 incident against innocent Israelis. Hamad emphasized Hamas's determination to persist in such acts, claiming that Israel's existence on what Hamas considers its land is a security, military, and political catastrophe for Arab and Islamic nations. The threat extends beyond Gaza and the West Bank, as indicated by the notorious chant "from the river to the sea" in the Hamas charter.
Another Hamas leader, Mousa Abu Marzouk, explained in a translated interview that the extensive tunnel network constructed by Hamas—amounting to 300 miles—serves the purpose of protecting the group from airstrikes. However, Marzouk showed a blatant disregard for the well-being of Gazan civilians, stating that it is the responsibility of the United Nations to protect them. This stance becomes particularly concerning as Hamas uses civilians as human shields, preventing them from fleeing during Israeli attacks and locating their headquarters under Gaza's largest hospital, with weapons caches at mosques and other civilian sites.
Furthermore, it was highlighted that while Gazans suffer in the tunnels, top Hamas leaders, including Marzouk, enjoy luxurious lives outside of Gaza in Qatar, a significant distance of 1,100 miles from the strip. This revelation underscores a stark contrast between the living conditions of Hamas leaders and the hardships faced by the people they claim to represent.
The upper echelons of the group have amassed significant wealth through their control of Gaza's economy, shipping, and taxes. A reported 20% "tax" on all tunnel trade has transformed 1,700 senior Hamas officials into millionaires. This paints Hamas as more than a political or militant entity; it resembles an organized crime syndicate, viewing Gazans merely as assets for fueling terror against Israel. In essence, any Israeli response to the October 7 horror that doesn't eliminate the group entirely won't prevent future acts of terror or halt the exploitation of Gaza for the benefit of Hamas leaders. The stark reality is that a cease-fire is implausible until Hamas is eradicated completely. It's a fight to the finish: either Hamas is annihilated, or Israel faces the peril of destruction, even if it entails the loss of every Israeli and Palestinian life.
In conclusion, the intricate web of Hamas's control over Gaza's economy, shipping, and taxes, coupled with its exploitation of tunnel trade, paints a picture of the group as more than a political or militant force. Rather, it resembles an organized crime syndicate, with its leadership profiting at the expense of Gazans, treating them as mere pawns in the pursuit of terror against Israel.
The amassed wealth and power of Hamas's top brass create a dire situation where any Israeli response that falls short of eliminating the group entirely is insufficient. The stark reality is that a cease-fire remains elusive until Hamas is completely eradicated. It is not just a struggle against terrorism but a fight for survival. The choice is stark: either Hamas faces destruction, or Israel risks its own demise, even if it means the tragic loss of every Israeli and Palestinian life. The dynamics underscore the gravity of the situation and the need for a resolute and comprehensive approach to ensure lasting peace and security in the region.