Thirty-year old Ibrahim Nagib al-Ghoul, a commander in Hamas, (a terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip) for all intents and purposes self-destructed. The event that appears to be a major misfortune was attributed as a “workplace accident.” According to Palestinian media outlets, nine other members of Hamas’s al-Qassam brigades (a militant wing of Hamas) were injured in the “accident.”
The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) estimate that 10-15% of rocket launch attempts on Israel backfire. In comparison, the chances of losing a game of Russian roulette stand at a 16.67% chance of being shot. The Palestinian terrorists frequently resort to guerrilla tactics, launching their rocket attacks from populated and protected areas such as elementary schools, mosques, and United Nations buildings. In 2012, a Palestinian child was killed because of rocket backfire. Due to the fact that the Palestinian territories do not have a free press, it is difficult to precisely account for the exact number of Palestinian casualties resulting from backfire. However, Hamas notably deems the vast majority of events in which rocket backfire occurs “workplace accidents.”
Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, more than 8,000 rockets fired from Gaza have landed in Israeli civilian-occupied territory. However, due to the success of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, Israel’s casualties resulting from Palestinian rocket attacks have decreased substantially.
President Obama’s new budget proposal suggests cutting aid to Israel by 200 million dollars. Responding to President Obama’s request, Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said, “Once again the administration is proposing hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to our cooperative missile defense work with Israel, this is very disappointing and it is irresponsible to cut funding to a steadfast ally in an extremely volatile region of the world.” An Iron Dome battery costs 50 million dollars for each unit. The IDF currently has six Iron Dome batteries in service.
Living under the constant threat of attack has taken its toll mentally on the citizens of Israel. An estimated 30 percent of Israeli citizens living within striking distance from Gaza suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Hamas not only poses a threat to Israel but also to Egypt’s security and sovereignty. A court in Cairo recently banned Hamas from organizing within Egypt. An Egyptian judge confirmed with Reuters, “The court has ordered the banning of Hamas’s work and activities in Egypt.”
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