JERUSALEM, Israel – On Saturday, Israeli warplanes launched strikes against terror targets inside the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip after terrorists fired two missiles that landed off the coast of southern Israel.
The Israel Defense Forces said it struck rocket manufacturing sites and Hamas military targets in Gaza. Hamas fired heavy machine guns and – for the first time – anti-aircraft missiles at the Israeli warplanes.
The strikes mark only the second incident between Hamas and Israel since a ceasefire ended a war last May.
For 11 days in May, Hamas fired more than 3,000 rockets into Israel. Israel’s Iron Dome shot down about 90% of those rockets while the IDF responded with surgical strikes against the terror group’s military infrastructure inside Gaza.
Jonathan Schanzer, from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, writes in his new book “Gaza Conflict 2021” that much of the media covering the war got it wrong.
“You know, a lot of people talk about fake news. I'm not sure that applies here. I'm not even sure that the word bias applies here. The problem was, it was almost as if the West and the Middle Eastern media – and I would actually say that includes Israeli media as well as Arabic media – it seemed like they were covering two different wars entirely,” he told CBN News.
The majority of those reports stated the war began over disturbances on the Temple Mount and a real estate dispute in a Jerusalem neighborhood.
“That was all over the Western press, but yet, people just decided to ignore the fact that Palestinian elections were canceled, and that Hamas was angry and looking to make a splash. And that's exactly what they did by launching the war,” said Schanzer. “People forget – you know, they talk about how angry they are at Israel when it responds to these rockets, which by the way, I mean, these are provocations by Hamas. Israel's responses are almost entirely defensive in nature. But also people forget that Hamas almost single-handedly destroyed the peace process in the 1990s. So, if the concern is peace, the idea that you would blame Israel for a war with Hamas is rather ridiculous.”
Schanzer says much of the media also failed to recognize Hamas’s covenant to destroy Israel, fueled by their violent beliefs and main funding source: Iran.
“I mean, people sort of guess or think that somehow Hamas builds up this arsenal organically. That is not what happens. They get it from specific sources and it usually tracks back to the Islamic Republic into Tehran,” he explained.
Given the mainstream media support for creating a Palestinian state, many news outlets fail to recognize that Hamas is a tyrannical organization dominating the people of Gaza.
“They have no freedom. And meanwhile, Hamas continues to divert all of the building materials and other resources that come in for the benefit of the people of Gaza. They divert that toward the war machine … So they say that they're fighting on behalf of the Palestinian cause, but meanwhile, leave two million people in utter misery, subjecting them to the whims of the Hamas leadership who periodically decide to fight Israel with almost certain knowledge, they're going to lose the war, but they wage it for public relations gains.”
Schanzer says recent terror attacks inside Israel inspired by Hamas signal an attempt to push Israel into another military conflict, a war Schanzer believes might not be too far away.
“When you talk to Israeli officials, they'll tell you that Gaza is still on a knife's edge … Hamas always has the ability to take things from to calm to war in a very rapid fashion. That is the concern. Hamas knows exactly what buttons to push, whether it's attacks against civilians, whether it's rockets on Jerusalem or rockets on Israel's very populated Mediterranean coast, the center waistline of Israel. These are things that Hamas knows that if they want to spark a war, they can. So the question is how much longer will calm hold?”