It’s Time to Demilitarize the West Bank and Gaza – Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird
(dailyalert.org, Jun. 20, 2014)
Last Thursday, three boys were on their way home to their families after school. They never made it, and they haven’t been seen since. This kidnapping was a particularly shocking act, but it is just the latest in Hamas’ campaign of terror against the Jewish State of Israel.
The next day, two rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza – adding to the 160 mortar and rocket attacks since the launch of the peace process just last summer. Most of these have exploded in an area of southern Israel no bigger than the Greater Toronto Area. It is tragic that such acts seem to have become routine enough to not be paid much notice by the wider world. We should never allow terrorist acts to become background noise.
Unfortunately, nothing we have seen from Hamas since the new government emerged gives us any hope that they will willingly, permanently cede real control, or abandon their ideological commitment to the destruction of Israel.
The Abbas government has three heady challenges. First, complete the disarmament of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups operating in Gaza, including the Iranian proxy Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Second, there must be a complete cessation of the production and smuggling of weapons and materials that enable terrorist groups to both acquire and make rockets.
Third, the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatus must assume immediate and total control of Gaza and the Rafah border crossing. There is no place for militias, private armies or alternative security forces.
It is not too early for the new Palestinian administration to show that it is serious about sustaining its commitment to peace. They can start with returning these boys to their families. (Globe and Mail-Canada)