Hamas hostages and mass slaughter mean Israelis must pursue and destroy

Israeli troops set off to confront the 12th SS Panzers, also known as Hamas (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)


Wassem Mahmoud is dead. He was killed in action at the age of twenty in Rafa in Gaza on June 24th. Wassem is Arabic for “blessed” or “handsome” and Mahmoud means “praiseworthy” and is an informal cognate of Mohammed. He shared his name with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian hardliner who seeks the extermination of Israel, and with Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority. 

Wassem, an Arab, was the 311th Israeli soldier killed in action in Gaza since the October 7th genocidal attack by Hamas.

Perhaps the most significant part of Wassem’s life is that he had been wounded on October 7th, had recovered and then sought a return to action alongside his fellow Israelis. His period on frontline duty had already ended when he was killed, but again, he had sought an extension rather than abandon his fellow soldiers, and in that final deed of comradeship, forfeited his life.

You may probably look in vain for any account of this gallant young man’s sense of duty to his homeland, for which, as a Druse and a loyal citizen of Israel, he gave his life, because Hamas insisted that the war must go on.

As the US Secretary of State, the poor, sleepless Antony Blinken recently outlined in words inscribed in acid, Israel had accepted a complex deal in May, while Hamas waited for a further two weeks before rejecting it, even withdrawing from positions it had already agreed on.

This was not seeking peace but conducting war through negotiation, North Vietnam-style. Indeed, Iran and Hamas are not interested in “peace” or a two-state solution, only in victory and the extermination of Israel.

This is what Hamas planned from the outset: its seizure of hostages and the mass-slaughter of civilians placed an unconditional obligation upon the Israeli government to pursue and destroy it. And since Hamas had already shaped a vast protective parapet around its underground bunker-network composed of Gazan civilians, the only way for the Israeli Defence Forces to attack their genocidal enemy was through that parapet. The IDF has done this militarily unprecedented task with a militarily unprecedented scruple.

To be sure, Hamas men are not cowards. Nor were the 12th SS (Hitler Youth) Panzer Division in Normandy, who eighty years ago last week captured and murdered two dozen Canadian soldiers who had landed to free the hostage that was France.

The SS men had already left a trail of dead French civilians on their way to the invasion front, with hundreds more recreational murders to follow as they retreated. Like Hamas terrorists who are not afraid of martyrdom and perpetual glory in the holy cause of Jew-killing, the 12th SS Panzer Division belonged to a death cult and were more than happy to die for the Reich. Its members were recruited almost entirely from the Hitler Youth, and in death they presumably would enter some ghastly Judenrein Valhalla. 

Hamas and the 12th SS Panzers are both expressions of the abysmal side of human nature: two genocidal, nihilistic death cults, one ultimately led by Adolf Hitler, the other led by Yahya Sinwar, the four syllables of each name meshing like sets of cogs in a pair of reciprocating murder-machines. 

Most of the 12th SS Panzers were aged seven when Hitler came to power in 1933: and eleven years was quite enough to turn those youngsters into the conscienceless killer-ants of 1944.

Sinwar has had even longer to do the same to the male youth of Gaza, using brainwashing, Sharia Law and murder to manufacture a neo-Nazi death cult. On October 7th, 2023, just like an Einsatzkommando in Ukraine eighty years earlier, Hamas terrorists fell on a blameless unarmed community of Jews, and massacred all they could, dragging off scores of hostages for the second phase of their war.

The terrorists of this Islamic Einsatzkommando were confident that they could kill or capture very large numbers of Jews, and possibly rape a few also, before being themselves killed, and sent to that paradise where even more women awaited them. So, how good can life get?

Nonetheless. the Spanish, Norwegian and Irish governments chose to “recognise Palestine” midway through this existential crisis. Conferring any political or moral legitimacy on the two dreadful regimes, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, that govern the wretched peoples of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, was teenage moral posturing turned into policy. Quite predictably, Hamas has hailed this initiative as “approval.”  

But there is no such thing as “Palestine,” nor anything that resembles a state. The Palestinian Authority is an authoritarian and criminal kleptocracy. On June 24 falls the fourth anniversary of the beating to death by PA security forces of Nizar Banat, an unrelenting critic of the Palestinian leader Abbas, and consequently, a dead one.

Next January, Abbas can celebrate his twenty years in power, during which the Palestinian people have been allowed just once to choose their leader, in 2009, and never since. The Irish, Norwegian and Spanish Ambassadors will no doubt present him with a 20th birthday cake, of baked humbug, iced with unprincipled sanctimony.

One wonders: are the last sinister molecules of the attitudes behind the Norwegian Nazi stooge Quisling, behind Franco’s volunteer army serving on the Eastern front from 1941 onwards, and behind the condolences of Ireland’s de Valera upon Hitler’s death in 1945, sub-consciously vibrating still within their respective chancelleries? Whatever the deeper motivation, this needless intervention by the three countries was no less than civilisational treason.

On October 7th, Hamas provided the blueprint for its solution – The Final Final One. Israelis know this, which is why over 300 of their soldiers have since been killed in action. Many more will follow.

Meanwhile, for Islamists, there remains only one long-term outcome, with Iranian tanks clanking over the Allenby Bridge into Jerusalem, Sunni scientists in Gaza opening their Zyklon B factory, and from the North, Hezbollah’s Shia death-squads pouring into Northern Israel. 

To be followed, of course, not by peace, but by that long-awaited Sunni-Shia civil war, where else, but in liberated Palestine.

Kevin Myers is an Irish journalist, author and broadcaster. He has reported on the wars in Northern Ireland, where he worked throughout the 1970s, Beirut and Bosnia.