▶️More Hankyoreh 21 articles h21.hani.co.krHankyoreh 21 No. 1484 article, which deals with the repeated tragedy in Gaza, can also be found at the following link.
An extremely familiar tragedy unfolds. Crimes against humanity against civilians in both Israel and Palestine continue without notice. The more selective the anger, the darker the shadow of tragedy. ‘Hell is empty.’ All the devils are here with us. On October 9, 2023, the American progressive media <Democrat Now> introduced the heartbreaking story of the victim’s family as follows.
■ Two daughters and wife taken on a Hamas terrorist’s cart
“Yesterday, my wife, Doron, took her two young daughters to visit her mother-in-law who lives in Kibbutz Niroz, near the Gaza Strip. The eldest child, Raj, is 5 years old, and the younger child, Aviv, is 2 years old. I called my wife in the morning and said there were terrorists inside her house. She later saw a video posted on social media. Her wife, two daughters, and mother-in-law were being loaded into something similar to a cart, and Hamas terrorists were surrounding them. (…) Request to Hamas. Please don’t hurt my family. Please do not harm children or women. “If you want me instead of your family, I’m ready to go.” (Israeli resident Yoni Aser)
“I was at home, and suddenly I heard a loud noise and everything came crashing down on my head. The children were by my side. One was next to my feet and the other was next to me. The younger brother, Saber, was a little further away. (…) I called the children, but there was no answer. Suddenly, Saber’s cry was heard. ‘I am here,’ he cried. The rescue team heard me, stabilized me, and began removing the building debris that covered me. It took about 3 hours. All the children died. Khaled is dead, Qais is dead, Mariam is dead, and Assef has not been found yet.” (Safrin Abu Daka, Gaza resident)
The gates of ‘hell’ opened at around 6:30 am on October 7, 2023 (local time). The Palestinian armed political group Hamas fired thousands of rockets targeting Israel from the Gaza Strip, its stronghold. At the same time, about 1,000 people from armed groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad broke through the barbed wire that separated the Gaza Strip from Israel. It was the beginning of Operation ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’.
The Israeli side immediately declared, “We will pay an unprecedented price.” Soon, indiscriminate air strikes began. An order to mobilize reserve forces has been issued, and 300,000 troops are surrounding the Gaza Strip. There is a grim outlook that the deployment of ground troops into the Gaza Strip for the first time since 2014 is imminent.
The international community’s reaction did not deviate one bit from expectations. The United States and European countries fiercely criticized the Hamas raid, defining it as an “Israeli version of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.” He also said, “Israel has the right to protect itself,” implying that he would tolerate whatever actions Israel takes in the future. The United States dispatched an aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Gaza. The Israeli military did not hide the fact that it was “receiving intelligence support from the U.S. Central Command.”
“Leave while you can.” Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari gave this ‘advice’ to the residents of the Gaza Strip on October 10: The only exit from the Gaza Strip, which borders the Mediterranean Sea, Israel, and Egypt, is the Rafah border checkpoint at the southern end, which leads to Egypt. The Egyptian government suddenly closed the Rafah checkpoint for safety reasons as Israel’s air strikes on the Gaza Strip intensified. Gaza residents were trapped in their own land. Bombs fall from the sky like rain every day.
■ Israel Destroyed Schools and Attacked Children
Contrary to Israeli and Western claims, Hamas’s offensive was not ‘unexpected’. This is because Israel’s fierce offensive continued throughout 2023. According to data compiled by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the total number of Palestinians who lost their lives to Israeli troops and Jewish settlers (Jews who immigrated to Israeli-occupied Palestinian land) reached 230 as of the end of
September . This figure far exceeds the 204 victims in 2022, and is the largest since the Israeli military unilaterally withdrew its troops from the Gaza Strip in 2005. It can be seen that the conflict between both sides is reaching a boiling point in 2023.
This situation can be seen in detail in the latest edition (June 15 – September 15, 2023) of the periodic report submitted by UN Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Tor Veneslan in accordance with Security Council Resolution No. 2334 (2016). .
The Security Council resolution stipulated that “Israel must immediately and completely stop all settlement construction activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.”
The Venetian coordinator said, “The Israeli side is continuing its plan to build 6,300 housing units for settlers in the West Bank, and is also pushing ahead with its plan to build 3,580 housing units in East Jerusalem.” “The school attended by 80 Palestinian students was demolished by Israel ahead of the new semester, and 59 schools attended by approximately 6,500 Palestinian students are also facing the risk of demolition,” the report said.
The Security Council resolution also stipulated that “immediate measures must be taken to prevent all acts of violence, provocation and destruction, including acts of terrorism against civilians.” During the reporting period, 68 Palestinian residents, including 18 children, lost their lives in demolition, conflict, and military operations by Israeli security forces.
During the same period, a total of 2,830 people were injured, including 30 women and 559 children. Of these, 271 people were hit by live ammunition. Separately, two Palestinian residents were killed in an attack by Jewish settlers, and a total of 73 people, including six women and children, were injured.
During the same period, Israeli security forces conducted 1,042 search and arrest operations in the West Bank, and a total of 1,504 Palestinians, including 88 children, were arrested. Israel currently has 1,264 people in so-called administrative detention (personal detention according to executive order without indictment or trial), the largest number in the past 10 years. What was the situation like in Gaza right before Hamas’ offensive?
■ 750,000 people suddenly became refugees one day.
When the State of Israel was founded in May 1948, about 750,000 Palestinians left the land where their ancestors had lived and fled. This is why Israel’s founding anniversary is called ‘Nakba’ (Day of the Catastrophe) in Palestine. About 60% of Gaza residents are descendants of refugees at the time.
Israel and Palestine ended their long-standing conflict and signed the Oslo Peace Agreement in September 1993. The framework is the ‘two-state solution’ to establish an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Accordingly, the Palestinian autonomous government, centered around the Palestine Liberation Organization ( PLO ) led by Yasser Arafat, was established in Ramallah, the West Bank.
The road to peace was not easy. Israel withdrew its Jewish settlers and troops from the Gaza Strip only in 2005. The following year, in January 2006, elections for the Palestinian Authority were held. The result was a landslide victory for Hamas, which advocated ‘change and reform’. Of the 132 seats in the autonomous council, Hamas won 74 seats, more than half, while the ruling Fatah party, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor, only won 45 seats. It was the first case of an Islamist political force taking power through elections. Hamas, founded in 1987 as the Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood that originated in Egypt, is a political party and a poverty relief organization, and even has an armed group under its umbrella.
On February 19 of the same year, the government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniya was inaugurated. Fatah was not willing to hand over power. The United States and European Union countries, ‘horrified’ by the rise of Islamist political forces to power, cut off aid to Palestine. Israel, which had been threatening to demonstrate force and blockade, carried out Operation Summer Rain on June 27, 2006. It was the first military operation since the withdrawal of troops from the Gaza Strip and lasted for about five months until November 26 of that year. The purpose was to rescue Corporal Gilad Shalit, an Israeli tank soldier who was captured by Palestinian militants, but even Israeli media reported that “the goal was to destroy Hamas.”
Hamas formed a national government that included Fatah, but Fatah’s influence on Hamas continued. Finally, on June 13, 2007, Hamas armed agents took over the headquarters of the Fatah security forces in the northern Gaza Strip by force. President Abbas immediately dissolved the national cabinet and launched an ‘emergency cabinet.’ Two governments were established in Palestine, divided into the West Bank and Gaza. The United States and the European Union immediately resumed aid to Palestine. Israel entered a blockade of the Gaza Strip.
■ There is no water or jobs, but the blockade continues.
If you look at the ‘2022 Gaza Strip Economic, Social, and Cultural Situation Report’ published by the Palestinian Mezan Human Rights Center in March 2023, you can get a glimpse of today’s Gaza Strip, which has marked its 16th year of blockade. Gaza residents must obtain permission from Israel to leave Gaza. In 2022, the total number of Gaza workers applying to enter Israel on foot at the Eretz checkpoint is 79,602. Of these, 65.8% were disallowed. The unemployment rate in Gaza is close to 50%.
The import of raw materials, machinery, equipment, and parts used in production activities under the pretext of so-called “dual-use items” that can be diverted for military use is also strictly controlled. In 2022, 40 factories operating in the Gaza Strip applied for the import of machinery, equipment, parts, and raw materials. Not a single location was permitted. 600 entry applications from manufacturers and factory operators were also denied.
The maritime blockade continued. The Israeli Navy used firearms against Palestinian fishermen 474 times, injuring 23 people. Additionally, 64 people, including 8 children, were arbitrarily arrested, 23 fishing boats were seized, and fishing equipment was damaged 10 times.
Chronic drinking water shortages continued. As Israel’s bombing continues, 96.2% of the water coming from water sources in the Gaza Strip does not meet the World Health Organization’s drinking water standards. This means that there is no choice but to bring it in from outside.
Power shortage is also serious. The amount of electricity needed in Gaza per year is 420 MW, but the amount that can be self-procured is only 189 MW. There is a shortage of 237 MW, which is more than half of the required amount, so additional supply must be obtained through Israel and Egypt.
After the blockade, water, electricity, food, and medicine became a ‘switch’ that Israel could control and turn on and off. Blockaded Gaza has become a ‘trap’ from which there is no escape.
Israel frequently attacked blockaded Gaza. According to data from the Israeli human rights organization ‘Occupied Territories Human Rights Information Center’ (B’Tselem), 1,391 Gaza residents were killed in Operation ‘Kest Read’, which began on December 27, 2008 and lasted for 22 days. Of the dead, 759 were civilians and 318 were under the age of 18.
Afterwards, △Pillar of Defense (November 2012, 167 deaths) △Protective Edge (July 8, 2014, 2,203 deaths) △Guardian of the Wall (May 10, 2021, 232 deaths) △Breaking Large-scale military operations continued one after another, including Don (August 5, 2022, 33 people killed).
■ It is called the doctrine of unlimited violence, or the
‘Dahia Doctrine’ of state terrorism. It is an 메이저사이트‘asymmetric military strategy’ designed by Gadi Eisenkot, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Israeli Armed Forces. It is a method of using overwhelming force to destroy the civilian social infrastructure of hostile forces, preventing their combatants from using it. The name comes from the Dahia area near Beirut, which was devastated by the Israeli army during the 2006 war with Hezbollah, a Lebanese armed political group.
Gaza’s infrastructure, including the power grid and water and sewage systems, has been devastated over the past 16 years. Richard Falk, professor emeritus (international law) at Princeton University, who served as the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of Palestine (2008-2014), said, “The doctrine of unlimited violence must be called by its proper name. “It is state terrorism,” he said.
Israel once again announced a ‘total blockade of the Gaza Strip’. Food, drinking water, fuel and electricity supplies were cut off. The Gaza Strip’s only power plant ceased operation on October 11, having exhausted all its fuel. Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are barely surviving with their own generators, but based on accounts from relief organizations such as the Palestine Red Crescent (the Islamic Red Cross), it appears that fuel will run out and electricity will be cut off in a day or two.
Israel has mobilized 300,000 reserve troops to surround the Gaza Strip and is preparing to deploy ground troops. Senior Israeli officials declared, “We will end Hamas.” Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Palestine, wrote this on social media X (formerly Twitter): “2023 is not the 75th anniversary of Nakba. “The Nakba has been going on for 75 years.”