Israel is the devil and the merciless foe of the Palestinian Arabs. Except for when a Palestinian leader or one of his or her family members needs emergency medical care.
Israel on Sunday provided such treatment to Amal Haniyeh, granddaughter of Gaza-based Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, of all people.
The one-year-old girl had reportedly deteriorated to critical condition after contracting an acute infection of her digestive tract. Seemingly without hesitation, Haniyeh sent the girl to Israel, and the Jewish state, equally without hesitation, opened its arms to help the child.
Nor was little Amal the first member of the Haniyeh family to receive medical care from Israel. In the summer of 2012, Haniyeh's brother-in-law was rushed across the border to receive urgent heart treatment at a hospital near Tel Aviv.
Now, this is nothing new on the Israeli side of the equation. Hundreds of Palestinians from Gaza enter Israel every month for medical treatment, some of it life-saving.
But for Haniyeh himself to send his own flesh and blood into what he and other Hamas leaders describe as the lion's den certainly must send the wrong kind of message.
Speaking at a conference on education last year, Haniyeh labeled Israel "a cancerous tumor that must be removed and uprooted," and urged Palestinian school teachers to "raise a generation that will fight and liberate the Palestinians from the occupation."
And, no, his definition of "occupation" is not confined to the pre-1967 armistice lines.
"The armed...struggle [is] the path and the strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and for the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel]... We won't relinquish one inch of the land of Palestine," Haniyeh stated in December 2011 on the occasion of Hamas' 24th anniversary.
Two months later in Tehran, Haniyeh insisted that Hamas would "never recognize Israel," regardless of any peace agreement reached between Israel and other Palestinian leaders.
One must wonder, if Hamas' long-term strategic goals are met, where then will Haniyeh send his family when they become ill?
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