Retired Army General: Hamas Has Violated ‘Every Law of Land Warfare That There Is’
As Israel began its ground invasion on the Gaza strip, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his team are negotiating hundreds of hostages held by Hamas. But in addition to this are the approximately 600 American citizens and foreign nationals who are trapped inside Israel’s target. According to Sullivan, Egypt has “prepared to allow American citizens and foreign nationals to come through the Rafah gate into Egypt,” and Israel is on board with this course of action, but Hamas is preventing their departure from Gaza due to a “series of demands.”
He added, “I can’t go through those demands in public, but that is the subject of the discussions in the negotiations that are ongoing.” Currently, there are roughly 800 individuals that Sullivan and his team are working to free from Hamas-controlled territory.
Sullivan also shared his concern of the war between Israel and Hamas “turning into a wider regional conflict.” “The president has been very straightforward on this,” he said. “If American troops are attacked by Iran and its proxies, we will respond.” Even though “every measure” is being taken to avoid regional conflict, he continued, “the risk is real.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the press that his country has entered a “second stage” of the war against Hamas, and he anticipates it to be “long and difficult.” He added, “There are moments in which a nation faces two possibilities: to do or die. We now face that test.” Since the war began, Netanyahu has only taken questions from reporters once. However, he made Israel’s objective clear: “to destroy the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and bring the hostages home.”
On Friday’s episode of “Washington Watch,” Lt. General (Ret.) William Boykin, executive vice president of Family Research Council, said that as the Middle East enters this next phase of war, “[W]e need to let [Israel] know that we are not going to abandon them.” He added that “we as a nation have to make sure that we’re doing the things here at home that don’t make a situation like this worse.” He explained his disappointment in what is happening in America and alluded to the pro-Palestine protests breaking out at college campuses. If college deans and presidents continue to not “hold them accountable,” Boykin insisted, then we are “failing to support Israel in the way we should.”
The former commander of Delta Force reflected on the 52 hostages Iran held for 444 days in 1981. They were released only minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration because, he explained, Iran knew America’s president to be “a man of strength.” He noted that we, as a nation, need to show the same type of strength against Hamas now.
“I’ll tell you what,” Boykin added, “What Hamas is doing violates every law of land warfare that there is.” He explained how the terrorists have used hospitals as cover, how they’ve mutilated bodies, and committed various other atrocities that are against the rules of just war. For Boykin, “[I]f we allow that kind of behavior … without any penalties whatsoever, you’re going to see the same thing again. [T]his is going to be over one day, and there’s got to be a reckoning.”
Like so many Christian leaders, Boykin emphasized the need for prayer. Israel is going to withstand a lot over the next several months, he insisted. “[W]e’ve got to get on our knees and ask the Lord to give them the stamina that they need to continue this fight.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.