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UN and US promotion of surveillance and abuse under the guise of humanitarian aid

Palestinians in Gaza are to encounter further imperialist interference during the already compromised reconstruction process of the enclave. Following his discourse at the UN Security Council in which Israelis were erroneously declared “civilians” on an equal level with Palestinians, UN envoy Robert Serry has now announced the plan to infiltrate Gaza, utilising “hundreds of international monitors” to supervise reconstruction.

Haaretz reported unnamed European diplomats stating that between 250 and 500 international monitors were to be sent to Gaza, while an Israeli official declared the presence of 50 UN monitors currently in Ramallah. The same officials declared the UN monitors would be deployed to ensure “that construction material and heavy mechanical equipment, which could be used for other purposes, would be used solely to rebuild Gaza and wouldn’t reach Hamas for the digging of tunnels or building bunkers.” The decision is said to have been agreed upon by Serry, Israeli General Yoav Mordechai and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

Most of the discourse about reconstruction has so far centred upon efforts to thwart armed resistance, rather than address Palestinian needs. As in other exploitative scenarios, the UN interference in Gaza will continue to hinder Palestinian expression of what defines reconstruction. Such projection will continue to serve the fabricated Israeli narrative of “defence”, as well as impose restrictions upon the right of Palestinians to utilise land according to their necessity. Strict surveillance – another key feature of Israel’s colonial demands, is to be applied at key sites.

The tunnel network destruction obscured Israel’s colonial massacre in Gaza, becoming the means through which the settler-colonial state was able to alter the initial premise serving as narrative for its aggression. Reconstruction, therefore, is to be carried out within a limited framework imposed by imperialist demands, resulting in restrictions that will ensure a constant deterioration of Palestinian rights, including the freedom to pursue armed resistance.

In other related news, US Secretary of State John Kerry has declared a $71million grant for “life-saving humanitarian assistance to help meet emergency needs in Gaza.” USAID, the imperialist entity funding surveillance and human rights abuses under the guise of humanitarian efforts, is to get a share of the allocated grant, ostensibly to provide basic services to the Palestinian population.

It is worth noting that the focus of USAID evolved according to imperialist violence worldwide. Since the 2000s, USAID programmes have focused upon “War and Rebuilding” – a direct reference to the implications of US aggression and quest for imperialist dominance in the Middle East. The ramifications faced by Palestinians in Gaza are an extension of the violence perpetrated and aided by the US; hence the recurring pattern of providing limited forms of relief in order to allow the settler-colonial state freedom to resume its perpetual cycle of violence.

With the UN and the US intent on marginalising Hamas from the reconstruction process in Gaza, resistance against imperialist dictates becomes even more relevant. Beyond the ostentatious projection of humanitarian concern, Palestinians are once again ensnared within a cycle of accelerated and premeditated deterioration. Hence the importance of unified resistance – an inevitable outcome once the duplicity framing the current discussion is implemented to the detriment of Palestinians in Gaza.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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