The contrast between Israel and the Palestinians was on full display following the death of an Israeli policeman who succumbed to his wounds after a Palestinian terrorist shot him at point-blank range during violent border riots. As Israel mourned the death of the young man, Palestinians celebrated and mocked.

On Monday, Israeli police staff sergeant Barel Hadaria Shmueli, 21, died of his wounds sustained during violent Gaza riots on 21st August.

In the days following the shooting, Israelis joined together to pray for Shmueli. Thousands gathered in Tel Aviv outside Soroka hospital to pray together with mass vigils outside the hospital most nights.

There was a real sense of Israel coming together behind their wounded soldier. A boon to Israeli society is that they care so much for every single victim of terrorism.

On the other side of the fence, Palestinians praised the terrorist who snuck up on Shmueli and shot him before running away. It was a cowardly act of terrorism.

Palestinian media went as far as protecting the identity of the terrorist, blurring him out of video footage in order to stop Israel from knowing who carried out the attack. Music was added to elevate his ‘heroic’ actions.

In fact, one media group even claimed the terrorist was a “brave, completely unarmed and defenceless protester”, despite then saying he “dared to shoot the Israeli” and showing pictures of the gunman carrying out his attack.

Admittedly, this could be someone who doesn’t fully understand the words being used. But most likely it is part of the Palestinian narrative of taking words and applying them differently when talking about Palestinians in order to fool those who don’t know better.

We often hear from Palestinian media that Palestinian terrorists who try to stab Israelis are ‘unarmed’. Palestinian leaders spout phrases such as, ‘people’s popular resistance’ instead of saying terror attacks and suicide bombings. They say ‘peaceful struggle’ to refer to the same. Even the outlandish claim that “The State of Palestine is the only democracy in the region”, despite them not being an official state nor holding elections for the past 14 years. We think you get the picture.

Unfortunately, the lies and propaganda of Palestinian leaders and the media is nothing new and their latest method for Gaza terrorists to attack Israel is through the claimed ‘peaceful border protests’ which are really violent terrorist riots where Hamas and other terror groups use civilian protesters as human shields for actual terrorists to blend into crowds in plain clothes and carry out attacks, including shootings, bombings and attempts to cut through security barriers.

Their objective is to kill Israelis, whether that be Israeli soldiers defending the border or breaching the fence and killing civilians inside Israel. At the start of the riots in 2018, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar made it clear when he said, “We will take down the border (with Israel) and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies.”

Many parts of Western media still say these are civilian protests born out of frustration due to the ‘occupation’. The reality is they are a planned strategy of terror groups.

Hamas has disseminated maps from the various protests points in Gaza to the nearest Israeli towns and villages. Their intention is not to kindly greet their neighbours, their intention is to kill Jews. And Israeli soldiers continue to stop that from happening.

Barel Shmueli was one such soldier who gave his life defending the borders of Israel. Initial findings from the military’s investigation into the violence along the Gaza border found that soldiers stationed on the border did not immediately open fire at the masses that suddenly attacked the fence, out of concern that they might hit civilians who were in the area, a military official said.

Shmueli was more concerned with protecting Palestinians than Hamas terrorists were. The cowards hid behind those civilians and Shmueli’s life was cut short by the hatred of Israel that fuels this conflict.

This hatred is not limited to a small section of Palestinian society but appears much wider as demonstrated by the celebrations of the death of the Israeli.

Sweets were handed out on Gaza’s streets as is tradition amongst Palestinians whenever an Israeli is killed in a terror attack or a tragedy strikes Israel.

Additionally, hundreds of Arabic Twitter accounts, many with Palestinian flags in their profiles, celebrated and mocked the death of the Israeli.

This shouldn’t be any surprise though as the Palestinian territories, including Gaza, are among the most anti-Semitic places on earth. Over 90% of Gazans hold anti-Semitic views. Anti-Semitism is a hatred of the Jewish people and that includes hatred of the Jewish state of Israel. This is fuelled by hate-filled ideologies of terror groups like Hamas as well as religious extremism that exists within the territories. And it is the same hatred that has sought the destruction of Jews throughout millennia.

Despite the hatred of many Palestinians, Israel is not deterred. Though they have suffered a tragic loss, the Jewish people are defiant in the face of hatred and united against the terrorism that threatens their borders.

On Monday, thousands of mourners turned out for the funeral of Barel Hadaria Shmueli who was laid to rest at the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv.

Along with national mourning, Israeli politicians from both sides of the political divide gave their condolences.

While the Palestinian celebrations of an Israeli soldier’s death are a shameful demonstration of the hatred against the Jewish people that continues to fuel this conflict. The unity of Israelis to stand behind their soldiers is something of which Israel should be proud.

Israeli forces continue to valiantly defend their land from the anti-Semitic hatred of their enemies and they have earned the praise of their people.

Barel Shmueli gave his life to defend the homeland God gave the Jewish people as an eternal inheritance. While we mourn every Israeli soldier killed in action, we also honour them for their service to the righteous cause of protecting Israel.

Because of the sacrifices of these brave Israeli men and women the nation of Israel continues to live and prosper. Hatred will never win.

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