Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Who Would've Thought? Despite Coronavirus, Jihad Against Israel Continues. by Khaled Abu Toameh

For these leaders, a peace plan presented by a US president and Israel defining itself as a Jewish state are more dangerous than a disease that is claiming the lives of tens of thousands of people worldwide. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are again paying the price of failed leaders who care more about fighting Israel than saving the lives of patients and medical teams. 

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
31 March '20..

As the world is busy pursuing the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the Iranian-backed Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) groups in the Gaza Strip have found the time to remind everyone that they remain committed to pursuing the fight against Israel.

While many international media outlets and human rights organizations, including the United Nations, are warning of a "catastrophe" in the Gaza Strip after the discovery of nine coronavirus cases there, Hamas and PIJ -- the two dominant groups that have been ruling the Gaza Strip since 2007 -- seem to care less about the safety and health of their people.

For these groups, the "struggle" against Israel is manifestly more important than the fight against the immediate threat of a pandemic.

On March 27, a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip toward the Israeli city of Sderot. The rocket, which fell in an open area, did not cause any casualties or property damage. This was the first rocket attack on Israel since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Since the beginning of this year and until early March, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have fired several rockets at Israel.

It remains unclear why the Palestinians chose to fire a rocket at an Israeli city at a time when Israel is busy trying to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It is also unclear why any Palestinian would think of launching a rocket toward an Israeli city at a time when Israel and the Palestinian Authority are working together to combat the disease.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the March 27 rocket attack on Sderot, there is no way that it could have taken place without the knowledge or approval of Hamas or PIJ. The rocket attacks against Israel appear aimed at distracting attention from the failure of Hamas and PIJ to provide their hospitals with medical equipment and medicines to curb the spread of the disease. In the past decade, the two groups have invested millions of dollars in amassing weapons and building tunnels to infiltrate Israel and kill or kidnap Jews.

There is another reason why the rocket was fired from Gaza toward Sderot in Israel: to remind Palestinians, Israelis and the rest of the world that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has zero impact on the ideology and plans of extremist Muslim groups.

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