The commemoration of Israel’s massacre on Gaza under the euphemism Operation Pillar of Defence was held in Gaza, with Hamas calling for Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel to resist the colonialist power. The massacre, unleashed in the aftermath of an Israeli targeted assassination which killed the Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari, sparked international indignation amongst activists, contrasting with international leaders’ describing the massacre as ‘hostilities’.
Israeli propaganda still hails the committed atrocities as moral and justified, despite the civilian deaths occurring through allegedly precision strikes against ‘terrorists’. The director of Israel’s ministry of Strategic Affairs, General Yossi Kuperwasser expressed the need to monitor Gaza on a daily basis, describing Hamas as “a terrorist organisation committed to the struggle and the destruction of Israel, committed to terrorist activities”. Kuperwasser went on to express ‘concern’ about the capacity of Hamas to manufacture weapons, implying pretentious selectivity as Israel remains committed to improving and investing in its military capabilities.
Such statements reinforce the temporary lull in escalated aggression on behalf of Israel; however the illegal occupation nevertheless indulges in further oppression of Gaza through measures which, due to their perpetual nature, fail to elicit any form of international condemnation. The deployed tactics ensure Gaza’s isolation – as long as there is no escalating military operation which the international community is forced to reluctantly condemn, Israel is allowed a wider berth of options in discerning which restrictions are best applied to the resistant enclave. As long as its violations conform to practices which the international community disregards as routine, Israel may rest assured that transgression of international law will be overlooked, allowing a further deterioration of Gaza, which should in turn reflect upon the Palestinian population as a collective.
The rhetoric also serves to implement a fragmentation of Palestinian identity, mirroring the geographical separation between Gaza and the West Bank. The restrictive association of Hamas with Gaza disregards the resistance movement’s calls for the liberation of Palestine, allowing various violations in the West Bank to be viewed in isolation, in particular due to the Palestinian Authority’s compliance with Israel about matters of security concern. The diverging political views have once again become evident, following Abbas’ declaration that despite the resignation of the Palestinian negotiating team, the talks are set to continue. Hamas has repeatedly denounced the talks, advocating resistance instead of a compromise which would ensure further depletion of Palestinian right to self-determination, land and nationhood.
International alienation from Gaza’s plight is reminiscent of the manner in which international law is quoted. Emphatically stressed during moments when bloodshed can no longer be ignored, the international community and the UN conveniently relinquish their responsibility as the visibility of oppression decreases, making other human rights violations as less worthy of scrutiny and cessation. Taking into account the repercussions of the occupation and the dynamics which have allowed Israel the continuation of its colonisation project, Gaza’s resistance encompasses a wider berth than that represented by the illegal occupation and blockade – it is a resistance against international complicity which allows the perpetual transgressions reflecting the oblivion wrought by indifference.
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