Hamas is writing the new terror playbook – opinion

Israel is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to global terrorism. In the 1990s, after the Oslo Accords, when Palestinians resorted to suicide bombings, the world largely ignored them, blamed Israel, and failed to see these attacks as an ominous portent. Just a few years later, the deadliest act of suicide terror in history occurred on 9/11 and such acts then continued around the globe.

What we are witnessing now, with Hamas firing rockets from Gaza and staging cross-border raids, is the playbook of terror being written. The militants attack Israeli civilians, then retreat back into Gaza, safe in the knowledge that they can rely on sympathetic international voices to condemn any Israeli response as disproportionate.

The Palestinian factions cynically inflate casualty figures, playing to global opinion molded by their slanted narrative. Meanwhile, an emboldened Hamas has no incentive to negotiate the release of Israeli hostages when the world signals it will restrain Israel from military action in Gaza.

This mirrors the recent horrors in Russia, where ISIS terrorists crossed borders to murder civilians before melting away – the hallmark of the new, unconstrained terrorist threat. There are no front lines to be secured when any civic space is a potential killing ground.

Hamas’s terrorism tactics inspire others
The cavalier global response to Hamas’s atrocities is arming terror’s future sponsors with a simple message: Attack soft civilian targets, then shelter among civilians as a propaganda shield. It’s only a matter of time before the tactics tried and tested against Israelis go global, reaching even American shores, given our current porous borders.

If the world wishes to combat terrorism, it should be empowering Israel’s defensive resolves, not pressuring it to capitulate after its citizens are victimized. Harsh security measures targeting terror’s leadership cadres have proven to be one of the few credible deterrents that these nihilistic actors understand. If the world were smart, then its leaders would back Israel. It would allow them to go into Rafah, finish the job, clean out Hamas, get the hostages back, and build a better future for the people of Gaza.

By turning antagonistic toward Israel, which is painfully serving as terrorism’s test case, the world is incubating the viral contagion of indiscriminate violence against its own cities and streets.

Supporting Israel’s rightful campaign of self-defense is a policy investment in wider regional security and human sanctity. The choice is binary: Enable Israel to finish the job against Hamas and help uproot terror’s weed – or eventually reap the whirlwind at home.

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