The recent military operation of Israel on the Gaza strip is most lethal but not for the first time. This is the third major offensive Israeli defence forces have launched on Gaza in last six years. After the ‘disengagement’ of Israeli troops and jewish settlers from Gaza in 2005, operation ‘Cast Lead’ in 2008 and operation “Pillar of the defence’ in 2012 claimed the lives of more than 1500 palestinians.
The recent ‘operation Protective edge’ by the bloodthirsty Israel has crossed all the limits of aggression, oppression and occupation. The deadly military campaign that is now on for more than a month has marked horrific tales of death and destruction . A 22 year old six months pregnant woman was hit by a shrapnel. Her stomach was sliced open and the fetus was decapitated. Among the innumerable traumatic war stories, this shows there was nowhere to hide in Gaza, not even a mother’s womb.
Having killed more than 1900 Palestinians including some 450 children and slaughtered many still unborn, destroyed 10,000 residential homes, displaced more than 475,000 people, demolished roads and infrastructure, bombed mosques, universities, UN schools and shelters, medical centers and hospitals,targeted ambulances and paramedics, Israel still claims to be the victim and sufferer at the hands of Hamas, the major political faction in Gaza. It claims this is its right to self defence.
Is oppression, siege, occupation, destruction, colonization, torture and murder the right to self defence? An occupying army of some 749,500 soldiers equipped with the deadliest weapons of the modern time and a nation ranked sixth in the arms producing list assures the world that its military campaign against the occupied, besieged, deprived and defenceless people of the Gaza land is for nothing but self defence.
Ironically, Israel rejects the same ‘safe defence’ argument put by Hamas. As a matter of fact, Israel is an occupying force in Gaza and Hamas is the resistance force. All the land crossings, air and sea routes into Gaza have been blocked by Israel. The only leftover border crossing-the Rafah-has been closed by the US and Israeli stooge government in Egypt. This siege has now been in force for nearly eight years. The siege that has turned Gaza into the world’s largest concentration camp is illegal, against any international humanitarian law and by all means a crime.
Israeli secret intelligence agency Mossad has chased,assaulted and murdered Hamas’s leadership for past many years.Its target is to demolish and demonize Hamas. For Israel, Hamas is a terrorist, Islamist militant group that uses civilian population of Palestine as human shield or ‘telegenically dead civilians for its cause’ in the words of Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister. Yet in past, and in present too, it has carried rounds of negotiations and signed ceasefire agreements with Hamas. This proves nothing less than Israel itself considers Hamas a legitimate and the most significant political force that truly represents the masses of this densely populated Palestinian enclave .
It is overridingly important that Israel and not Hamas has violated the ceasefires in the past. The Egypt brokered truce that ended the operation Cast Lead in 2008 was overturned by Israel when it shelled a residential area of Deir al Balah in central Gaza to hit a mainstream Hamas leader. Israel also never implemented the 2012 ceasefire whose essential condition was to lift the blockade and refrain from targeting the civilians in the border areas.
In present months and weeks, Hamas has vowed multiple times to adhere to any solution that is based on the lines of 1967 settlement. Hamas has no global agenda and its military ambitions are concentrated on this one point: fight against occupation and let the occupier feel the pain they inflict on the occupied. Khaled Meshal, the chief of the political bureau of Hamas, has echoed several times in his various television interviews that on the basis of mutual respect and independence, Hamas is ready to accept and implement any peace accord.
The Israel’s murderous series of violence for past many years in Gaza is not because it feels some existential threat from Hamas. On the backdrop of this war insanity is the psyche of hate and revenge. It is just because it wants to maintain an environment of fear in the region and prolong the occupation.
This is high time for every weak and strong nation in the world to stand up and stop this carnage, to reign in the Israeli military machine, to contain this war madness. For weak nations, it is important in order to put an end to the exploitation of weaker ones at the hands of those who have the military might. For strong nations, it is important because this perpetual state terrorism will give rise to such radical ideologies which could not be bombed and which will put the stability of the whole world at stake.