Sirens are sounding across Israel. Bomb shelters from Beersheva to Jerusalem are open and crowded. The Iron Dome missile defense system is working overtime.
War has come to Israel.
With the launch this week of Operation Protective Edge, a military campaign notable so far for its scope and ferocity, Israel is showing it has had enough of Hamas and its pernicious ways.
As of midweek, Israel had been bombarded by more than 450 rockets. Thankfully no Israelis have been killed, and only a few have been wounded.
But the fear Israelis and their friends around the world feel now may soon be replaced by a new awareness — that Israel has decided to destroy Hamas once and for all.
Senior leaders have been targeted, with several already killed in their cars and homes. Smuggling tunnels, arms depots and other military targets have been hit. Hamas commando units attempting sea landings were caught and blown up within minutes — all caught on video, and now on YouTube.
According to Jerusalem Post reporter Khaled Abu Toameh, Hamas never saw this coming. The terror organization is “beginning to feel the heat,” he writes. And now Hamas has nowhere to turn.
The Egyptian government loathes Hamas and has little interest in helping it out of this jam, though it may help broker a truce. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank is no doubt also thrilled to see his rival crushed, though he would never say so publicly.
So despite biased coverage in the worldwide media, despite continuing rocket fire, despite rallies of anti-Zionist crazies popping up everywhere — including one in downtown San Francisco this week — this war may prove a game changer.
With Hamas out of money and sure to be defeated, the worrisome Palestinian unity government must collapse, eliminating a major obstacle to peace. If it doesn’t collapse on its own, Abbas must move swiftly to dissolve his relationship with his murderous coalition partner. With the so-called unity government out of the way, Israel should be in a better position to dictate favorable terms.
And perhaps, just perhaps, at the end of it all Hamas will fall out of favor with the people it claims to represent, the Palestinians. After all, if it only delivers humiliation, death and defeat, what good is it?
We pray for the safety of all Israelis and innocent Gazans. But we also pray for Israel’s swift and decisive victory.