In an exclusive interview on The Eric Metaxas Radio Show, ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg said Hamas used the 11-day war to conduct successful political and fundraising campaign.
“When they attack Israel, then they stop and they beg the world for money and the world gives it to them,” said Rosenberg. “The Biden administration wants to give $340 million. Qatar, which is a big fan of Hamas and hosts Hamas leaders in the Gulf nation, they’re going to give $350 million. And Egypt is going to give about $500 million. And this is just the opening bit.”
Rosenberg clarified that while the money will not directly go to Hamas, that the terror organization will siphon off funds, which Rosenberg called “a grave danger.”
By engaging in the 11-day conflict, Hamas also ran a successful political campaign, which resulted in enormous popularity in the West Bank, Rosenberg said.
“Hamas controls half of the Palestinian territory that they claim to be their future state,” said Rosenberg. “They control the Gaza Strip, but they don’t control the West Bank. The leader of the West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas, canceled the elections that were supposed to be happening right now.” This political victory over their rival, the Abbas-led Fatah party, was yet another Hamas gain.
What triggered the recent Gaza-Israel conflict?
Reflecting on the aftermath of the conflict, Rosenberg pointed to Temple Mount violence and the Sheikh Jarrah property dispute as the two main triggers that led to violent attacks in Jerusalem and rocket fire from Gaza.
“[Hamas] encouraged young men to stockpile rocks and bricks and all kinds of things inside the al-Aqsa Mosque, or what we call the Temple Mount,” Rosenberg said. “And then on one of our high holy days, they ordered the young men to throw the rocks and the bricks down onto Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall. And this would require Israeli police to come to the Temple Mount and restore order. So that gave them television images … they could say…Jews are trying to take over the holy sites of Islam.”
The second impetus for the conflict was East Jerusalem’s real estate property dispute in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Rosenberg explained that there are about six Palestinian families who have not paid rent for over 70 years. The buildings were recently sold to new owners who told the Palestinian tenants they need to pay rent or move out.
“After litigating it, the court said, ‘yes, you have to pay rent. If you pay rent, you can stay. If you don’t, you have to leave.’ They didn’t, and Israel sent in the police to evict them, as they would in New York City or LA or anywhere else.”
However, Rosenberg said that Hamas used the opportunity as a pretext to stir up dissension, which resulted in protests and violent confrontations within the Arab-Jewish community.
He said rock throwing at the Temple Mount set off a series of violent responses, including riots, more rock-throwing and ultimately rocket-fire from Gaza – with 4,300 rockets being fired at Israeli civilians.
In a recent article on ALL ISRAEL NEWS, Rosenberg wrote, “When Hamas and Islamic Jihad began firing more than 4,300 rockets at Israeli civilians, they and their terror masters in Tehran justified their attacks by claiming that Israeli Jews were engaged in 'ethnic cleansing' of Arab families from an East Jerusalem neighborhood known as Sheikh Jarrah and that such 'war crimes' must be avenged.”
Referring to the rocket attacks, Rosenberg told Metaxas, “Hamas and their partner-in-crime, Islamic Jihad, fired from civilian population centers in the Gaza Strip; from mosques, elementary schools, playgrounds, hospitals, businesses, factories. And they fired them at Israeli apartments, factories, synagogues, churches.”
The conflict resulted in the death of 13 Israelis and more than 700 wounded, Rosenberg said.
Iran supplies Hamas with missiles and missile parts, he explained, and subsequently trains the terror organization and Islamic Jihad to build their own ammunitions with available materials.
Rosenberg also defended Israel's response to the rocket attacks.
“Israel hit very hard,” he said. “And one thing important to note – because we are being attacked by Hollywood leftists and Bernie Sanders and AOC and Rashida Tlaib, and the leftwing in the media and elsewhere – they’re saying that we are deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians. Not at all.”
Rosenberg said that there were 90% fewer Palestinian casualties than seven years ago – referencing Israel’s conflict with Gaza in 2014.
“Our intelligence is better. Our missiles are more precise. We’ve been more careful and the world should be applauding. Now, we mourn every Palestinian non-combatant that dies. But remember, again, these are war crimes that Hamas is committing. They’re firing from civilian neighborhoods and population centers, and they’re firing at our civilian population centers. It’s a double war crime.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.