By Fra Hughes (Belfast) – May 20, 2021
Self defence, blood lust, ethnic cleansing, disproportionate response, mowing the lawn, genocide, death from the sky.
Whatever way you wish to describe the unparalleled violence unleashed on Gaza is up to you.
I describe it as shooting, or in this case bombing, Palestinians in a barrel.
Let’s have a brief resume of what’s happened.
The district of Sheikh Jarrah is in East Jerusalem. This was the proposed capital of a Palestine state. The signing of the Oslo Agreement in 1993 saw further Israeli expansion into the West Bank and areas like Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah have been systematically targeted by the illegal Jewish Settler movement which uses Israeli courts to award Zionist Jews the homes and land currently occupied by Palestinians.
If you take nothing else from this article, please remember the occupation is illegal, therefore every decision taken by the occupation army, the illegal settlers and the apartheid Israeli judiciary, that routinely sends young children, young boys and men to prison on extracted false confessions, many made under duress, under physical threat and in some cases children are handed false confessions written in Hebrew which they cannot understand and they are told these are official release forms…
The kids sign them thinking they are going home but in reality they have signed a confession which will condemn them to jail…
Add to this ‘Administrative Detention’, imprisonment without trial, and we have the flawed corrupt apartheid regimes conveyor belt to jail. All of this is illegal.
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Many human rights organisations describe Israel as an apartheid state.
This is because Zionism, a political ideology, is inherently apartheid.
Netanyahu is facing corruption charges. A former Israeli Knesset member during a a CNN interview accused him of inciting the current round of violence by continuing Israel’s expansionist, illegal land grabs in the occupied west bank and also through the attacks on people at prayer—men, women and children at the Al Aqsa mosque, towards the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Is it really conceivable that the leader of the 7th largest military force on earth would engineer the circumstances whereby a state of conflict between Israel, a heavily armed modern state would be at war with a civilian population which has no army, no air force and no navy, to protect it, just local militia composed of the fathers and sons, mothers and daughters of the local community?
Well, I guess if an Israeli Knesset member says exactly that, then it must carry some weight.
So, where are we now?
As the blood letting ends as it must. As the dead are buried and the destroyed building dust settles like a shroud on Gaza, where do we go from here?
The reality is, everything will be the same and everything has utterly changed.
Who won and who lost?
I have always struggled when I heard claims following previous attacks on Gaza that the resistance has won.
I genuinely thought it was bravado for the masses. When we see the death toll, the numbers injured and the devastating damage to civilian homes, hospitals and the infrastructure, I have to ask how have they possibly won?
The loss of life alone is unimaginable in such a small environment. 25 miles by 6 miles, that is the size of the Ards Peninsula in Ireland, having the whole population of Northern Ireland, two million people, squeezed into it.
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As of now the destruction in Gaza is of unbelievable proportion.
The targeting and killing of whole families is a war crime in itself.
The systematic destruction of all roads leading to the main hospitals in Gaza, preventing ambulances and victims from accessing acute services is another war crime.
The destruction of family homes, farms, places of worship and work are further war crimes.
The latest blitzkrieg on Gaza is just another Zionist war on civilians which will never be forgotten.
Israel claims its aims were to degrade the military capabilities of Hamas and other resistance groups in Gaza.
It cites rockets fired from Gaza as the pretext.
Under international law, as Israel illegally occupies the West Bank and controls the air, sea, and land borders around Gaza, the Palestinians have the right to resist occupation, by any means necessary, including armed resistance. Then this Samson versus Goliath battle is one of the Palestinian Samson with rocks and rockets legally resisting an illegal Goliath occupation, that uses Gun boats, tanks, artillery shells, drones and F16 , F35 jets to bomb, flatten and murder Gazans at will and without any recourse to the rules of war.
Israel will end the bloodshed when it has expended the armaments supplied to it by America, France, Britain, and the EU.
Israel has failed again in its stated objective to destroy the ability of the resistance in Gaza to challenge the occupation. It did not have the courage to commit ground troops as the cost in Israeli soldiers lives was deemed potentially to be too high.
The resistance groups retain both the ability and the will to continue to resist the illegal occupation and siege by any and all means necessary.
The attacks on Gaza are a proxy threat to other nations in the region. We will do the same ‘to you’ is the message. Indeed, Israel routinely bombs Syria, in another example of its illegal war crimes.
The resistance has won!
I know, it’s hard to believe.
Gaza is destroyed. The dead, the injured, and the dying are Testament to the unfathomable loss of life.
Israeli military leaders have stated on numerous occasions that they will bomb Gaza back into the stone age.
Gaza is destroyed yet the spirit of resistance and the spirit of the people has survived. The spirit to continue to demand equality, peace, freedom and justice for Palestinians and Palestine survives not just in Gaza but in East Jerusalem, in Sheikh Jarrah, in the West Bank, in Al Aqsa and in historic Palestine, that Zionists call Israel.
Netanyahu has united Israelis in their demand for his prosecution for corruption and united Palestinians for the first time in a generation in their defence of Al Aqsa, East Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah and Gaza. A new generation of resistance has been born. United and unified from the river to the sea.
Did the prime minister of Israel help create the conditions that made this latest attack on Gaza inescapable?
Is the shedding of blood in Gaza simply an electioneering gambit?
He or she who kills the most Palestinians gets the most votes?
History certainly bears that perspective out to be true.
What Gaza needs is financial support, rebuilding materials, medicine, hope and solidarity in equal measures.
What it will get is 50,000 plus homeless refugees, many of whom were already refugees, from the Israeli murder and bombing campaigns of 2014/2009/1967/1948.
Further degradation of civil society’s ability to respond to the damage to lives, homes, infrastructure, and the economy is the result.
Egypt is complicit in the siege. It will not help Gaza or Palestine.
The humanitarian catastrophe will continue apace.
Israel sells Gaza water, gas, oil, and electricity. It makes profit from all of these utilities. The profits of occupation.
The resistance has prevailed once again.
The price of resisting the continued illegal Zionist Israel occupation of Palestine is the continued loss of liberty and life for Palestinians.
The continued loss of life, homes, farms, workplaces, mosques, schools, hospitals, clinics, the innocence of the young, their hopes for the future and their dreams of a life free from violent occupation, imprisonment, death from the skies and a psychological trauma that has no ending .
When the bombs stop flying in the East, the people stop protesting in the West.
Will you stand with Palestine? Or simply melt away like snow on a ditch until the next murderous bombing raids occur.
Peace needs you now. Palestinians need you now. The future generations being born into captivity need you now.
What will you do to help end the madness of a rogue apartheid state and bring peace to the people of the Middle East and West Asia?
It really is in your hands.
Featured image: Palestinian woman praising Allah in the middle of the destruction wrought by Israeli bombs. File photo.
Fra Hughes is an Irish political activist, commentator, and author. His most recent books are My Walk with Palestine: an Activist's Tale and Voices from Donbass.
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