Leaders of Hamas repeatedly describe the situation in Gaza as “genocide” and compare Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to Hitler. These inflammatory charges ignore both dictionary and legal definitions of “genocide,” which international law describes as brutal acts “with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such.”
The rapid, consistent growth of Gaza population, especially during 38 years under Israeli control, shows no evidence of such genocidal intent. The strip boasted 368,000 residents when Israel took over in 1967, and 1.4 million residents when Israel pulled out in 2005. This growth reflected a high birth rate, as well as dramatic improvements in health care and life expectancy. During the Holocaust, Hitler harmed his war effort by devoting military resources to the murder of Jewish civilians, while Israelis have restricted their war efforts by devoting their military resources and tactics to spare Palestinian civilians.
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