With its Iron Dome technology, Israel has largely succeeded in defending itself against what had been a constant terror of Hamas rockets. With Israel’s $1.1-billion investment in a sophisticated and nearly completed “underground wall” of concrete and sensors, the enormous effort Hamas has expended in building tunnels under the Gaza fence, paid for with funds pilfered from international aid allotments, has been squandered.
What Israel is now facing is a different and far more sinister security challenge. Hamas exists for the sole purpose of doing violence to Israel and to Israelis. By its various bloodcurdling pronouncements and exhortations, Hamas had made it clear that what it failed to accomplish with its rockets and tunnels, it is now prepared to attempt with the corpses of young, desperate and deluded young Gazans, piled in heaps along the Gaza security fence. [...]
That is the predicament Israel is facing. If Hamas persists in luring Palestinians to martyrdom at the Gaza fence, the IDF’s rules of engagement – first shoot to warn, then shoot to wound, then shoot to kill – become morally untenable. An abomination.
It is not right, or fair, but this is the dilemma, and it is Israel’s dilemma to resolve.
See also, at MEMRI, Hamas Political Bureau Member Salah Al-Bardawil claiming that of the 62 people killed in clashes along the Gaza border on May 14, 50 were from Hamas.
For some more background on Hamas, Jeffrey Herf has just re-published his 2014 piece on the radical Islamist ideology that drives their hatred of Israel, and of Jews:
Hamas published a “Covenant” of 36 articles on August 18, 1988, that details its aims and ideology precisely. Its philosophy is rooted in the totalitarianism and radical anti-Semitism that has undergirded Islamism since its rise in the 1930s and 1940s. Far from moderating its core ideology, Hamas’ seizure of power in 2007 gave it the opportunity to make policy based on its guiding goal—namely, the destruction the state of Israel. But even though the Covenant is the declaration of intent of a group now governing millions of people, it goes unnoticed by reporters, editors, and pundits who race to comment on Hamas’ war with Israel....
The authors of this charter make their allegiance to Islamism clear from the outset, distinguishing themselves from other, secular anti-Zionist groups. They cite Hassan al-Banna, the iconic founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who said, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” Furthermore, the Covenant claims that the destruction of Israel is a religious obligation, that is, for Muslims; it is a “response to Allah’s command.”...
Hamas, like all varieties of Islamist politics, dispensed with the PLO’s dubious assertion that anti-Zionism was not identical to hatred of the Jews as Jews. On the contrary, the writers declare, “our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious”—the ultimate goal, not merely a tactic. To Hamas, this cause is both great and serious because it is explicitly religious. The Covenant is a Manichean document; it divides politics into true or false, just or unjust, alternatives. It promises to remake the world in the name of Islam, which, it regrets, has been wrongly driven from public life. This is its slogan: “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, and the Koran is its constitution: Jihad is the path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.” This celebration of martyrdom and death had been a key theme in Hassan al-Banna’s writings and subsequently became a commonplace for Islamists.
Not only is it fighting the Jews themselves. Hamas is devoted to destroying their nation, Israel....
Like any other movement, Hamas has core beliefs, chillingly on display in its Covenant, yet they are far too frequently ignored. A misplaced reticence and a condescending desire not to offend have only made it easier for Hamas to grow stronger and more dangerous. Now is a good time for anyone with an interest in understanding Hamas to read its founding document and see its debt to Nazism and European fascism presented in its own words. Only then will an observer know why Hamas started this and previous wars and why peace demands that its odious ideology be examined and delegitimated.