IDF activity in Gaza
IDF activity in GazaIDF spokesman

Channel 13 Journalist Roi Yanovsky, was discharged after 100 days of reserve duty, from the beginning of the war, and published a situation report on X, on his first-hand experience in the Gaza Strip.

First, he points out that while Gaza is considered to be a very backward city, the situation is completely different. "Gaza is seen as a failing area, the 'most crowded in the world' which 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 areas, a promenade on the beachfront, and parks. It looks much better than any other Arab city, from the river to the sea. It is much more similar to Tel Aviv than to Kfar Qasim or Umm el-Fahm. Of course, it is very far from being 'the most crowded in the world.'"

"If it is considered a besieged city, let me live in a siege - the houses are bursting with products and food from all countries in the Middle East, the latest furniture, advanced electrical appliances, and much more. There are also magnificent mansions that would put Savyon or Kfar Shmariyahu to shame. There is absolutely no shortage of wealth in Gaza. Most of the houses I stayed in were much bigger than the apartment I live in, in Tel Aviv. The phrase 'if only they had a chance for a good life they wouldn't fight Israel' is simply not relevant to Gaza," he added.

For those who think that the citizens of Gaza are different than Hamas, Yanovsky clarifies otherwise. "The most common thing in homes in the Gaza Strip is a map of the Land of Israel - under the heading 'Map of Palestine'. There is no mention of Israel or Israeli communities in general. And it exists in almost every home, in every school, and every public institution. The goal of erasing the State of Israel is neither hidden nor suppressed, it exists almost everywhere. The historical distortion of this map that is taught from age zero (mandatory borders of territories that were never designated for an Arab state at all) is a topic for another discussion that only emphasizes the distorted perception of reality by the residents of Gaza."

"There are ready-made Hamas combat compounds – weapons, tunnels, explosives, launch compounds – all inside residential houses, some of which are also prepared with openings in the walls to pass between buildings. The residents of the Gaza Strip who live in the combat zones know this. They have received countless notices to evacuate, even long before the IDF entered Gaza. The IDF announcements are still found everywhere. Those who decided to stay in the combat zones are either Hamas operatives or people who consciously decided to stay in the areas used by Hamas for combat, each for their own reason," he emphasizes.

Another fact he points out is that "Hamas members hardly ever walk around armed. They are not stupid or cowards. They know they will not be shot if they go in a 'civilian' disguise. They prepare their ammunition ahead of time at the entrances to buildings and arm themselves only moments before they attack. That's why fighting is much more complex than in any other area, and whoever tries to judge from the outside why soldiers shot X or didn't shoot Y, should go into Gaza for a week or two and come back with their own insights."

"The circle that enables Hamas activity is much larger than the tens of thousands of terrorists. Hamas ideology is found in almost every house, in pictures, and propaganda materials. Hamas in Gaza is like Messi in Argentina. Strengthening Hamas at this level requires the active assistance of the local population. There is no way that the residents of the areas where we located rockets and weapons, they did not know that the place was used as a launch pad, where they try to massacre Israelis every day. I find it hard to believe that the parents in the kindergarten where there was a tunnel shaft did not know this. Who chooses to send their children to a kindergarten that is used as a terrorist infrastructure?", he wonders.

Finally, he emphasizes that "Hamas' most powerful weapon is lies and propaganda. This is its fuel. This is how they supported the lie of the "siege" for so many years. This is what is being done now with the photos of the innocent victims and the killing of the 'journalists' who turned out to be terrorist operatives. Gaza is the only place in the world that reports 500 dead half an hour after an explosion. Even in earthquakes and severe disasters, it takes the rescue forces a few days to identify and estimate the number of dead. But the Palestinian Ministry of Health already knows what the damage is a minute after the explosion. It's ridiculous and pathetic that world media cites the numbers as the words of a living God. I would attribute the same level of credibility to this week's reports of 'hunger' in Rafah."