The world woke up on October 7, 2023, to the news of a terrorist invasion of Israel. The terrorists were Hamas militants who operated from Gaza. Before the night was over, more than 4,000 rockets had been fired into Israel: over 1,400 Israelis were killed and over 200 others kidnapped and taken hostage in Gaza. Hamas was also the governing authority of Gaza.
As expected of every responsible sovereign nation, Israel assembled her military power and began a war campaign against Hamas in Gaza to free the Israeli hostages. Sadly, innocent Gaza residents became collateral victims of the war and destructions. After over a month of fighting, Hamas, Gaza civilians and Israelis have died in their thousands. On November 24, a four-day-long ceasefire was brokered.
As the world welcomes the current ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization of Gaza, it is time the world returned to sanity and demanded freedom for Gaza citizens from the siege and terrorism of Hamas.
The ongoing ceasefire is a much-needed respite for Israel and the Gaza population who are caught between the Iran-backed Hamas with an agenda to destroy Israel and the Israeli military determined to see that Hamas is defeated. All these are happening at the expense of innocent lives in Gaza. Hamas hides behind the Gaza civilian population to launch thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian populations, killing at will anyone in Israel who could not make it within the minute allowed to run into the nearest bomb shelter.
In 2005 Israel uprooted about 21 Israeli communities in Gaza, destroyed the livelihood of those Israeli families, and handed Gaza over to Hamas who, instead of sustaining a prosperous economy left behind by the uprooted Israelis, immediately turned the Gaza strip into a terror enclave. They used billions of dollars meant for the Gaza people to build a network of underground tunnels never seen anywhere else. They converted everything from UNRWA schools to residential buildings into terror infrastructure and even the school curriculum was changed to teach terrorism to Gaza children.
The Hamas terror menace is not limited to Israel and Gaza, as the current hostage release showed some Thailand citizens were among those kidnapped and held hostage in Gaza tunnels by Hamas. The body of an African, Mr. Clemence Felix Mtenga of Tanzania, who was killed by Hamas, will be buried in Kilimanjaro, with the full burial support of an Israeli NGO, GENESIS 123 FOUNDATION, which contacted Bishop Daniel Ouma of Tanzania to represent Israel in the burial and to build a community humanitarian project in his memory.
The ceasefire is a welcome development and all people of goodwill must rise and denounce terrorism and hold Hamas accountable for her actions. The world must not be cowed into accepting terrorism as a means of activism; the kidnap of civilians as hostages must not be tolerated. Therefore, Hamas must be pressured to release all hostages without further delay or conditions. Humans shouldn’t be used as commodities for negotiations.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Humanity and especially Christians owe Israel solidarity to ensure she is not destroyed by her avowed enemies who openly plot to kill and destroy her. Israeli and Gaza lives also matter, and Hamas must be stopped so Israel and Gaza can enjoy peace just like other nations of the world.
*Igboko, president of I LOVE ISRAEL NETWORK, writes from Abuja.