Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Amanda Prestigiacomo.
Daily Wire co-founder and editor emeritus Ben Shapiro discussed the history of the Gaza strip during a conversation with journalist Megyn Kelly on Tuesday, dispelling Hamas supporters' claims that the terror group's gruesome attacks on Israel have to do with "settlements."
Kelly, who opened her show recounting disturbing reports of Hamas terrorism against Israelis, asked Shapiro to break down the history of the Gaza Strip for listeners, since some on the far-Left have tried to justify the attacks on Israel and blame Israel for responding to Hamas, which still reportedly has Israeli and American hostages. Kelly specifically mentioned Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who said Israel's response to the attack is "collective punishment"
and "a war crime."
"Israel unilaterally pulled out of the Gaza Strip in an attempt to create some sort of security arrangement, presumably protect the Jews at the northern tip of the Gaza Strip, and allow the Palestinians some chance at electing a government,"
Shapiro said, referring to the pullout in 2005. "They then promptly elected Hamas, a State Department-designated terror group in an election that was fully legitimate as attested to by [former U.S. President] Jimmy Carter."
"So the attempt to tie this to settlements is insane,"
Shapiro said, "because again, there are no settlements inside the Gaza Strip. The areas that were attacked [in Israel] have been part of the state of Israel since 1948. This is not post-1967 settlements in the West Bank - in the so-called West Bank; Judea and Samaria."
The conservative went on to discuss the historical dynamic between Hamas and Israel, emphasizing that Hamas is in no way a "peace partner."
"Israel, by the way, has been providing electricity for free to this area,"
he said. "Israel has been providing water to this area; Israel ships in humanitarian goods to this area; Israel over the last year has provided 15,000 [work permits] - a lot of people are on work permits inside Israel."
"They wanted a sewage system in the Gaza Strip and so pipes were shipped into the Gaza Strip. Hamas promptly took those pipes and repurposed them into the body of rockets, into rocket tubes,"
the 39-year-old said. "The cement that is poured into the Gaza Strip to build infrastructure was used by Hamas to build terror tunnels. And this, this is what Hamas does. I mean, they overtly say this in their charter. Again, it's not as though they're hiding the ball. There are no secrets here."
"Hamas hides behind civilians,"
Shapiro asserted. "Hamas literally places its headquarters, its military headquarters, underneath a hospital. I mean, imagine if the United States put its Pentagon beneath a hospital, deliberately, in order to maximize civilian casualties."
Shapiro said Israel routinely warns people to get out of areas, military targets the nation is about to strike, in an attempt to minimize civilian deaths, despite Hamas' own strategic locations near civilians. "There's tape of them calling members of Hamas and saying, get everybody out of this building, and members of Hamas saying, we don't want them out of the building, we want them in the building."
"That's the whole point,"
he continued. "Why do you think that we are locating a rocket fire from inside apartment buildings and behind apartment buildings? The whole goal is to maximize Palestinian civilian casualties so that they can then blame Israel and then they can claim that some human rights violation is going on after they provoke violence in the first place."
Shapiro said Israelis want nothing more than a peace partner, but that is simply not what they have in Hamas.
"If Hamas were not the governing power in the Gaza Strip and if the Palestinians had chosen a government that actually sought to build, Israel would be - there's literally no one in Israel, no one, right, left, center, who would not wish to build up the economy of the Gaza Strip and turn it into a peaceful neighbor,"
Shapiro told Kelly. "That would be the greatest wish of the Jews in Israel. They don't have a peace partner, they never have."