Swords of Iron War, 100 Days and Counting

It has been 100 days since the Swords of Iron War began. This story is based on an interview with an Israeli soldier. He was one of the first to enter Gaza, and recalls what Gaza was like before the destruction brought on by Hamas actions.

His first-hand account refutes propaganda and lies about Gaza and why Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other terror groups are at a constant war with Israel, now referring especially to the Swords of Iron War.

The Banality of an Open Air Prison

The claim is that Gaza Strip and Gaza City are retrograde areas, the “most densely populated in the world,” which has been under Israeli “siege” for years.

This is a gigantic lie.

The estimated population density for Gaza is 5,500 people per square km. Macau (China) has 21,300. Then there are Monaco (18,590), Singapore (7,800), Hong Kong (6,700), and Gibraltar follows with 4,870.

Gaza is dense, but “the densest urban area in the world” ? No, the true numbers above show that people will easily accept terrorist propaganda rather than do their own research.

Before this war and the destruction, Gaza City was in fact a modern, beautiful and developed city, with many comfortable and modernly equipped houses, wide boulevards, public spaces, a promenade along the Mediterranean Sea, and public parks. Gaza City appeared to look much better than any other Arab city from the Kingdom of Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, similar to the look of Tel Aviv rather than Kafr Qassem, a hill-top Arab city in Israel or Umm al-Fahm, a city located in the Haifa District of Israel.

This picture of the Gaza Strip is very far from being a “roofless prison,” or “Gaza: The world’s largest open-air prison.”

The lie that the Gaza Strip is under siege by Israel is glaring.

The siege in fact was by Hamas, not Israel.

The houses in the Strip were bursting with posh furniture, up-to-date electrical equipment and food items imported from all the Middle East countries. No poverty or hardship exists.

There are also luxury estates in Gaza City that would not embarrass any neighborhood in Beverly Hills, California, the South of France or Herzliya By the Sea, in Israel.

There is absolutely no shortage of wealth in Gaza, much of it acquired through misappropriating international aid funds.

The cliché, “If only they had a chance for a better life, they wouldn’t fight in Israel” is simply not relevant to the Gazans. Gaza’s ongoing war with Israel has nothing to do with better or worse life conditions in the Strip.

Do not feel sorry for the Gazans. A luxury home of a Hamas commander courtesy of 'X' @AvichayAdraee - Screenshot
Do not feel sorry for the Gazans. A luxury home of a Hamas commander courtesy of ‘X’ @AvichayAdraee – Screenshot

Eyes Directed at Israel

One of the most common items in a Gazan home is the map of the State of Israel, under the heading “Map of Palestine.” Meaning, the State of Israel is Palestine. That makes this chant, “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free,” crystal clear.

In General there is also no mention of Israel or the coined as adverse term “Israeli settlements.”

This map of Palestine is found in almost every home, in every school and in every public institution in Gaza. It is also propagated throughout the Palestinian Authority (PA) area.

The goal of that map is simple; erasing the State of Israel. This goal is neither hidden nor restrained, and it is found almost everywhere. It is the goal of Hamas, the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other terror groups embedded in the Strip.

The historical distortion of the map, the mandatory borders of territories that were never designated for an Arab state, is taught throughout Gaza’s education system from the age a toddler can talk. This is a topic of discussion that only emphasizes the Gazans’ distorted perception of reality to which they are exposed and are brainwashed to believe.

In fact, maybe it is time to actually change the map and move Israel’s borders to the heart of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas

Over the past 100 days, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) gathered evidence that a majority of Gaza’s residential neighborhoods and many private homes are ready-to act Hamas combat compounds where Hamas gathered weapons, dug tunnels, and established rocket launching pads. Some residential homes are readily prepared with openings in the walls and the floor for passing between buildings and reaching the complex labyrinth of tunnels.

Gazans know full well that they live in Hamas combat zones.

Swords of Iron War Warnings

Long before the IDF entered the Gaza Strip and the Swords of Iron War officially began, the Gazans received from Israel, via leaflets, direct phone calls, and loud announcements from airplanes, countless notices to evacuate or be subjected to war activities that would endanger their lives.

IDF soldiers testified that they found the printed warning announcements everywhere. The Gazans who decided to stick around the fighting zones are either Hamas terrorists or people who consciously decided to take the risk and stay in the areas where Hamas were fighting.

Terrorists Pose As Civilians

People who live outside of this war zone do not understand the clever subterfuge used by Hamas.

The Hamas terrorists dress as civilians, and rarely walk around armed. The world does not see this. Gazans know full well that the IDF will not target them when they are unarmed and dressed as civilians. The terrorists arm themselves moments before they are ready to strike and confront the IDF combat units.

One group of outsiders that sees this all the time is UNRWA, but they remain silent.

That makes the IDF’s battle so much more complex than in any other war it previously fought, or any other state army has ever faced.

At one moment a Gazan appears to be an unarmed civilian. One minute later, they are armed, a trained Hamas terrorist. A minute after that, they are again an unarmed civilian.

Anyone who judges this war zone from outside, who doesn’t understand the Hamas strategy, is manipulated by propaganda and subterfuge. This is why it is so difficult to understand why an IDF soldier shot or did not shoot someone. People from outside should put themselves in Gaza for a week or two and only then come back with factual insight.

Satellite imagery of the Gaza Strip before and after Swords of Iron War and Israeli Air Force (IAF) air strikes. Photo, courtesy IDF
Satellite imagery of the Gaza Strip before and after Swords of Iron War and Israeli Air Force (IAF) air strikes. Photo, courtesy IDF

Hamas’s Ideology Lies in Propaganda

The circle of Hamas’s enabling activities is much wider than its tens of thousands terrorists. Hamas ideology is found in almost every Gazan home, in pictures and in propaganda materials. Hamas for the Gazans is like Kim Jong Un for North Koreans or Lionel Messi, the adored professional footballer who plays for the Argentina national team, for Argentinians.

In order to maintain its strength and freedom of operations at all levels, Hamas requires the full assistance of the Gazans, the population behind whom it hides and operates; its civilians human shields.

IDF soldiers discovered Hamas rocket launchers and weapons caches within Gaza homes, schools, mosques and hospitals. Hamas strategy involves using Gaza civilians as human shields to fire rockets at Israeli civilians. There is simply no way that Gazans living near those Hamas munition compounds did not know that those places were used for terror activities.

A sensible person will find it unbelievable that the Gazan parents of a kindergarten-going toddler, where the IDF soldiers revealed a Hamas tunnel shaft did not know about it. These Gazan parents felt comfortable sending their children to a kindergarten that served as a terror hub, subjected to terrorism activities.

Hamas’s strongest weapon is their extremely successful propaganda warfare. It is their fuel. This is how Hamas managed to maintain the bold lie of being under “siege” since it established its takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Psychological Warfare Using Hostages

Now, Hamas is holding Israeli civilians hostages as bargaining chips. These people were captured during the October 7, 2023 Hamas invasion into Israel when they perpetrated the unfathomable massacre of civilians and military personnel. Now they have new agonizing psychological warfare material to use.

This is what Hamas has done for years and what they continue doing, now with photos of the hostages who are no longer alive. In their propaganda, they point fingers at Israel for bombing a hospital, even though it was one of their own rockets that hit the hospital car park lot. They also accuse Israel of killing “innocent journalists,” who turn out to be de-facto terrorist operatives.

If Israel is to defeat and eradicate Hamas in the Swords of Iron war, it needs to better explain what Hamas is doing. This includes the Hamas strategy of silently merging terrorists with civilians and the associated propaganda to gain “moral” ground and support.

See also 7th October Survivor Tells Her Hamas Survival Story.

Nurit Greenger
During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the "Accidental Reporter" felt compelled to become an activist. Being an 'out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a "one-woman Hasbarah army" for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.

Email Notification

Get notification of new stories by Nurit Greenger, in your Email.