“Don’t look away” has been a constant mantra since Oct. 7. The phrase is usually invoked regarding the videos and photographic evidence of Hamas barbarism on and after Oct. 7. But even after the last of those frames flashes across your television or computer screen, don’t look away.
Because now comes just-as-essential proof of Hamas’s intent. It was about noon here on the east coast when we finally got full confirmation of the list of hostages returned today, the first day of the ceasefire, and their condition. The list shows 13 Israelis, as expected. Only four of them are children (again, this is only the first batch). The monsters of Hamas are showing themselves who they are not just in wartime and in battle but as an administrating power in Gaza. Don’t look away.
And, crucially, it’s not just Hamas’s treatment of child hostages. “Overnight Thursday-Friday, Hamas urged Gazans to return to the north of the Strip, where the IDF has focused its ground offensive for the past three weeks. The truce deal, under which the Gaza-governing Hamas terror group is set to free 50 Israeli hostages over four days from Friday, bars Gazans from returning to the north of the Strip,” reports the Times of Israel. This comes after, you’ll remember, Hamas blocked many Gazans from getting out of harm’s way in the first place by ordering them to defy evacuation orders.
“Having dropped flyers warning Gazans against doing so,” the report continues, “Israeli troops were reported to be using riot dispersal measures inside the Strip on Friday in order to prevent people from moving north and complicating Israel’s declared determination to resume its war to destroy Hamas at the end of the truce.”
Certainly, some Gazans want to return on their own, with or without Hamas’s encouragement. “These are our homes, (where we left) our money, our things, our belongings,” one Gazan told CNN. But Hamas’s decision to push Gazans back into the war zone is an explicit use of human shields on a population-wide level.
Hamas and its patrons want the war to end here, with Hamas still in power, if severely weakened. But its methods for doing so are demonstrating precisely why it cannot be permitted to endure. Don’t look away—watch as Hamas marches civilians into the line of fire in a last desperate attempt to cling to power. Watch as Hamas holds on to child hostages just to make them and their families suffer. Hamas isn’t just about raw violence; it represents the disfigurement of human society. It wants man to be capable of previously unimaginable degeneracy.
A ceasefire provides no pause in the violence Hamas brings. There is no peacetime Hamas. When they are not shooting at Israelis they are arranging the deaths of any and all Palestinians they can get their hands on.
And we’re watching it in real time. Because Hamas terrorists want us to. Because they are proud of their barbarism. Because they think the world will save them from the fate they deserve rather than save the civilian Palestinian population they oppress and the Israeli children they snatch from their beds.
It’s all happening in front of us. So don’t look away.