It is not easy to write a single article that brainstorms the all-encompassing effects of Operation Protective Edge; just as one cannot focus on merely one aspect of this conflict and ignore another. The scenes of exceptional bravery that unfolded in Gaza were countered by the Zionist terrorism that we saw unfold in the bombing of southern Gaza. The portrayal of the Palestinian resistance gave us a glimpse into the lives of those who were able to build their weapons with their own hands and create their own means of fighting back. Gaza and its factions continue to be punished for their choice of resistance methods and for refusing to abide by the Oslo Accords and similar agreements.
But a year on from the war on Gaza, it is important for us to reconsider the lessons that we have written about in our journals. These are both tragic and heroic on the one hand; on the other, there is no longer any doubt as to whether or not the Qassam brigades remain faithful to the Palestinian resistance, as they have been engaged in an abyss of difficulties and continue to make progress while maintaining the values of their resistance and its implementation.
In terms of the tragedy itself, we must consider the fact that blood was shed without the occupier having been held accountable. The destruction that occurred throughout the war is still present in Gaza, and it is used to serve as a reminder to the people there and punish them collectively while also attempting to place them under the occupier’s control.
As for the lessons of resistance that I previously mentioned, more time is needed to consider the path of resistance in Gaza and to consider its components and its developments. In order to better understand why the resistance took off in some areas and backtracked in others, one must note that the last stage of the war was not necessarily due to the creativity of the resistance but to the systematic preparation that the movement(s) underwent over the course of the last few years. This preparation occurred in a clean and secure political environment in which the resistance maintained their long-term goals and kept their eyes on the objectives.
We must also ponder the accumulation of difficulties and growing challenges that occur within a confined geographical environment, even though Gaza is always steadfast and ready for all possibilities. The reason for this is that the secret to successful resistance has very little to do with geography but lies in the will of the people to resist and the prominence of this particular case in the global arena. In fact, Gaza has now become the main base of Palestinian resistance and many people have placed their bets on the fact that the territory will be the key to Palestine’s emancipation.
We must also work to protect Gaza as a front so that it remains one of the occupier’s causes for concern and a factor that haunts their stability. Ultimately, their obsession with total liberation will remain greater than their means and their energy to achieve their settler-colonial project. Other resistance factions in Palestine must also consider the elements of the unique experience in Gaza and work together to fill in the gaps should they want to allow for prospects of change and progress in their areas. Without Gaza, the idea of liberation will continue to be nothing more than a daydream and a metaphor that is used by the tired media.
But the human factor, which is embodied by the elite fighters throughout the war, represents something tangible in the eye of every researcher who studied the tactics of resistance fighters during their extraordinary battles both in the tunnels and as a form of direct confrontation with operations. Every aspect of these operations sheds light on the motives behind executing resistance perfectly and the need to exhibit valour and bravery.
Operation Protective Edge was one segment of a long and arduous journey, but the lessons that can be learned from this journey must remain visible and in circulation, even when those who oppose the revolution try to negate our association with the resistance and their image of bravery. Those who stand in opposition to Palestinian resistance aim to portray an image of tragedy and loss. Our consolation is that those who are committed to resistance have forgone the possibility of entering into a political impasse. The resistance remains strong and while those who stand in opposition to steadfastness are also strong in their transgressions, their actual weight on the ground remains below zero.
Translated from Arabi21, 15 July, 2015
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.