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Genocidal Hamas is making peace impossible

In Europe
June 09, 2024

Whilst there was great joy in Israel this weekend at the rescue of four hostages after months in captivity, the whereabouts of a further 116 Jews kidnapped on October 7 remains shrouded in darkness.

We do not know how many are alive. Nor do we know their condition. Given the way Hamas terrorists raped and tortured Jews when they invaded Israel, it does not bear thinking what is happening to these men, women and children still held against their will.

Hamas do not see Jewish people as fully human. Like other violent anti-Semites of the past, this gives them permission to treat the people of Israel with an animalistic brutality that is painfully hard to comprehend.

This is why one Hamas terrorist excitedly called his family during the pogrom of October 7 to share his news: “Hello Dad, I’m talking to you from Mefalsim [kibbutz in Israel]. Open WhatsApp and see. I killed ten Jews with my own hands. Your son killed Jews! I’m talking to you from a Jewish woman’s phone. I killed her and her husband, their blood on my hands… Hold your head high with pride, Dad.”

This mass murderer is one of thousands of Hamas fighters who share a racist and psychopathic mentality.

Another terrorist, Amar Abu-Awsha, said during his interrogation after capture that: “Our mission was only to kill. We weren’t supposed to capture, just kill. To kill whoever we see and then return. Killing without distinguishing between men, women, and children…Kill anyone you see.”

At the heart of this dark vision is Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar who has been planning the attacks for a decade. He is a genocidal ideologue who believes that the Palestinians will eventually annihilate Israel and that everything and anything is justified in the name of Palestinian liberation.

Yet the horrible truth is that Sinwar cares nothing for Palestinian lives either. Any amount of sacrifice is acceptable in order to achieve his goals.

Those demonstrating on Britain’s streets and on university campuses should ask themselves why Hamas has not used its hundreds of miles of tunnels under Gaza over the last eight months to protect its people from Israeli bombs. The answer is simple: he does not care if Palestinian men, women and children die.

Indeed, Sinwar welcomes this. He wants his own people to be killed. He can see that many in the West are in the spell of his narrative: that Israel is the oppressor and deserves condemnation. The deaths of Palestinians are an easy price for him to pay to achieve this outcome.

It is remarkable how many people in the West have chosen to ignore these brutal dynamics.

They do not ask themselves why Hamas terrorists continue to hide in schools, hospitals and UN facilities. They do not seem to notice that

Hamas has done nothing to protect its own people.

And as they raise their Palestinian flags and spread toxic anti-Semitic hate on social media, they utterly fail to recognise that Hamas as the government of Gaza both enjoyed widespread popular support and has a history of summarily executing opponents, subjugating women and hunting down gay people.

The obvious but often overlooked truth is that the pressure to end the war should be focused firmly on Hamas. By returning the hostages and giving up their terrorist armoury they could end the war tomorrow and bring long-term respite to innocent Palestinian civilians.

But talking to experts over the last few days it has become clear to me that Sinwar is in no rush for a ceasefire. He does not care if more buildings in Gaza are destroyed. He is quite content for more Palestinians to die.

Sinwar is somewhere in the tunnels of Gaza, surrounded by Jewish hostages being used as human shields, watching as the world condemns Israel and fails to see that Hamas began this war and could quickly end it.

The UK Government, EU leaders and President Biden must urgently adjust their focus, both publicly and diplomatically. They must understand that Yahya Sinwar is in no hurry to agree ceasefire terms and end the war.

They must ramp up the pressure on Hamas in the strongest terms via leaders in Qatar and Egypt who have a direct link to Sinwar. They must shut down this genocidal monster’s options and provide no rewards for the terrorist massacres of October 7.

Only then will this war end and people on both sides begin to heal.

Danny Cohen was the director of BBC Television from 2013 – 2015

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