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EDITORIAL: Hamas indifferent to the travails of those living in Gaza

Israel agreed on Monday to extend its four-day truce with Hamas for 48 hours. The move should lead to the release of more civilian hostages — including women and children — whom the terror group seized during its barbaric Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state.

The break will also allow more humanitarian aid to reach residents of Gaza.

But “despite the pause in fighting, Palestinians in Gaza are burning down door frames and piles of garbage to cook,” The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, “sleeping crammed into school classrooms and strangers’ homes, and scrambling onto the trucks bringing aid from Egypt in a desperate grab for supplies.”

We should all have sympathy for the victims of war. But isn’t such misery precisely what the Hamas leadership intended to inflict upon its own people in the aftermath of its deadly incursion into Israel nearly eight weeks ago? Do not forget that Hamas officials openly admit to intentionally provoking Israel — which they publicly declare must be wiped off the map — in an effort to create a state of permanent war.

It was necessary to “change the entire equation and not just have a clash,” Khalil al-Hayya, a member of Hamas’ top leadership body, told The New York Times this month about the group’s attack, which left more than 1,000 Israelis dead. “We succeeded in putting the Palestinian issue back on the table, and now no one in the region is experiencing calm.”

Mr. al-Hayya went on: “What could change the equation was a great act, and without a doubt, it was known that the reaction to this great act would be big.”

When Hamas officials plotted the evil Oct. 7 attack, did they fret over the toll that their “permanent” state of war with Israel — or the “big” reaction they sought — would take on the Palestinians in Gaza? The answer to that question is self-evident. They sought only to create more martyrs, willing and otherwise.

It is against this backdrop that congressional Democrats are now floating the idea that U.S. aid to Israel should include “conditions” to ensure that the Jewish nation follows international law in its response. This is absurd.

Never mind that Israel is already following international law by striving to limit civilian casualties. The move sends precisely the wrong message to both Israel and Hamas, empowering the latter and intimidating the former.

Of equal importance, where’s the acknowledgment from those same Democrats that Hamas breaks international law every day when it indiscriminately sends missiles toward Israeli cities and civilians without “care for who or what gets hit,” as the Journal described it?

Democrats should back off any tactic that delays American aid to Israel. And if they’re looking for bloody hands, they’re hectoring the wrong side.

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