As I write this post, on Monday, October 23, just over two weeks have passed since the Hamas massacre of innocent civilians in Israel on October 7. The lights are still off in Gaza as is almost all power. Food and drinking water are scarce. Many Palestinians have moved to the southern part of Gaza as ordered, some staying with relatives, some with friends, some in shelters but most unaccounted for. As of this past weekend over 4,000 Palestinians in Gaza had been killed, the vast majority (3,400) civilians including over 1,400 children and almost 1,000 women.
Another 15,000 people had been injured, over half women and children. Some 42 percent of all the housing units in Gaza had been destroyed along with hospitals, mosques, schools and hospitals. According to eyewitness accounts, northern Gaza is nearing total annihilation. If you are keeping score, this compares to 1,400 Israelis killed and another 4,500 wounded by the Hamas soldiers in their surprise attack on Israel. At what point do you say, enough is enough. The score is even, the debt settled.
But at least 250 hostages remain captured and held by Hamas with their fate unknown. And Israel’s goal of destroying Hamas once and for all has not even really started. Israel has announced that this is just the beginning. Many thousand Israeli soldiers are assembled on the Gazan northern border prepared to attack at any moment and kill whoever is left in northern Gaza.
The question the world is asking is how does this horror movie end. Are we supposed to believe that all the innocent people have left northern Gaza, and the only people who remain are Hamas terrorists, that anything that moves is fair game? And for that matter, what is keeping the Hamas terrorists from moving to the southern part of Gaza? And how do you win guerilla warfare when the majority support the guerillas? How many more young Israeli lives will be lost in the hand-to-hand and sniper combat?
I suggested in my last blog post that the carefully planned attack was designed as a trap to get Israel to do such terrible things to the people living in Gaza that it would cause outrage on the world stage and cause the country to lose international support. Whether this was by design or not, it seems to be starting to happen; and if the invasion results in an even more severe humanitarian catastrophe as is likely to be the case, it will happen. So where does that leave Israel and where does it leave the United States?
So far, I give Biden and Blinken pretty high marks for sticking with our ally and also pushing hard for humanitarian relief. Food, water, and medical supplies are slowly starting to move into Gaza via Egypt, but how far will they go compared to the enormous need? And the question is still out there: How will this horror movie end?