‘If this is a siege, let me live in a siege’ – journalist describes luxury living in Gaza

After 100 days of fighting Hamas, Roi Yanovsky describes a beautiful Gaza City that was far from the way the area is described by the foreign press.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

After spending over three months fighting Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip, Channel 13 correspondent Roi Yanovsky posted online Monday about the luxurious conditions he witnessed in Gaza City that contrasted sharply with the way life in the coastal enclave is usually described.

“Some first impressions after 100 days of reserve duty ended officially yesterday,” he began. “Gaza is seen as a backward area, ‘the most crowded in the world’ that has been under Israeli ‘siege’ for years. There is no bigger lie than this. Gaza is a modern, beautiful and developed city – with large and well-equipped houses, wide boulevards, public spaces, a promenade by the sea, and parks. It looks much better than any Arab city from the Jordan River to the sea; it resembles Tel Aviv far more than Kafr Qassem or Umm Al Fahm.”

“And of course it’s very far from being ‘the most crowded in the world,” he continued, an allusion to how the city is regularly although incorrectly described by foreign media.

Read  Israel celebrates 76th Independence Day in the shadow of ongoing war, with hostages still in captivity

The wealthy lifestyle he saw boggled his mind.

“If this is a siege, let me live in a siege,” he wrote, repeating his reference to how the coastal enclave is usually depicted by anti-Israel journalists. “The houses are bursting with goods and food from all the countries of the Middle East, the latest furniture, advanced electrical equipment and what not. There are also magnificent mansions that would not put [wealthy Tel Aviv suburbs] Savion and Kfar Shmaryahu to shame.

“There is absolutely no shortage of wealth in Gaza,” he opined. “In general, most of the houses I was in were much bigger than the apartment where I live in Tel Aviv. The phrase ‘If only they had a chance for a good life they wouldn’t war with Israel’ is simply not relevant to Gaza.”

Yanovsky repudiated the contention of so many foreign governments, including the U.S., that civilian Gazans are innocents caught up in a war not of their making, saying that they are making an artificial dichotomy between the Palestinians there that simply does not exist.

There is a map of Israel in almost every home, school and public institution that simply calls the whole land “Palestine” in which no Jewish city exists, he wrote. It is part of Hamas’ ideology that the Gazans have imbibed “since age zero.”

Read  France bans Israeli defense companies from huge military expo

In addition, “In all the neighborhoods we were in, there are ready-made Hamas military compounds – weapons, tunnels, explosives, launch sites, all inside residential houses.”

There is no way that the residents didn’t realize what Hamas was doing, Yanovsky continued.

“I find it hard to believe that the parents in the kindergarten where there was a tunnel shaft in one of the places we were in didn’t know that. Who chooses to send their children to a kindergarten that is used as a terrorist infrastructure?” he asked.

The IDF has said that on average, every other house in Gaza is a legitimate military target due to the weaponry or terror tunnel entrances found within them.

Israel told all civilians to leave Gaza City, he reminded his readers, to prevent their being hurt or killed, and the announcements are still plastered everywhere in the area. Therefore, “Those who decided to stay in the combat zones are either Hamas members in various positions or people who consciously decided to stay in the areas used by Hamas for combat, and what happens is their own fault.”