Nuclear-armed Israel, and its army equipped with the latest weaponry, has been defeated. It's much-vaunted and hugely expensive "Iron Dome" missile defence system failed in the face of rockets fired by the Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip. The result was that the rockets could reach all parts of 1948-occupied Palestine, as well as Israel's gas platforms in the Mediterranean Sea, and the country was at times almost under curfew.
It was a strategic defeat, which saw the myth of the invincibility of the Israel Defence Forces destroyed, despite its strength, technology, resources and unrivalled foreign support. Tanks deployed to the nominal border with Gaza went no further, even though the politicians had claimed that they would get a swift victory. The ground invasion didn't happen.
This was a defeat unlike any Israel has witnessed since it was planted in the heart of the Arab world in 1948. Its claims about achieving its goals have been contested by Israeli and other analysts alike. The fighters against whom the IDF and its allied forces of evil floundered have been living under a blockade for fifteen years and have relatively limited resources. There are no tanks, artillery, aircraft or naval gunboats in Gaza. What the resistance fighters do possess, though, is much greater: a strong belief in God first and foremost, and conviction that they have a just and legitimate cause to fight for. The struggle is to liberate their land, regardless of the sacrifices which may be necessary so that the Palestinian people can live in freedom. They could have been defeated, but the Almighty granted them victory, and this small group managed to make arrogant Netanyahu lower his head.
Israel itself has recognised its defeat. Officials and politicians, as well as military and political analysts, feared openly on TV for the future of their fragile state. At the moment, a spider's web looks stronger.
Moreover, probably for the first time since the 1936 "Arab uprising" during the British Mandate era, the people of occupied Palestine united across religious and political boundaries, and the imposed "borders" separating those in Israel, the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, and the besieged Gaza Strip. This will go down in history as a key moment, and will not be forgotten by Israel. Cracks have appeared in its domestic front and it really does face an intifada from the river to the sea.
It is clear that the Israeli plot to separate Gaza from the rest of occupied Palestine has failed, and it was all down to the resistance groups linking the coastal territory to Jerusalem in the rules of engagement. In doing so they placed the occupied city, and Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular, under Gaza's protection. Indeed, I would go further and suggest that all of occupied Palestine is now under Gaza's protection. Not for nothing were victory celebrations and the flag of Hamas seen on the streets of Jerusalem, Ramallah, Lod, Nablus and the other occupied Palestinian cities. This is an achievement that would not have been possible without the resistance victory in the Saif Al-Quds — "Sword of Jerusalem" — battle.
The Palestinians have opted for the resistance option as the fastest and most effective way to liberate their land. In doing so they appear to have abandoned the ineffective "peace process" and the deceit of the Oslo Accords which sold the Palestinian cause cheaply. The president of the "Security Coordination Authority", Mahmoud Abbas, has kept a very low profile; he's almost invisible as if what is happening in Palestine does not concern him. This is a positive sign because the mediating countries negotiated directly with the resistance groups, which had the upper hand in Palestine and were in control of the land. The ceasefire decision was in their hands. If Abbas has any dignity left at all, he will resign before his people remove him.
Even after all of this, a handful of rogue Arab Zionists are claiming that the resistance has not won and that Israel was not defeated. They insist that Israel won by killing and wounding hundreds of the resistance fighters and destroying the residential towers in Gaza, demolishing them over the heads of their inhabitants, at the cost of only a few Israeli lives.
If this is the measure of victory and defeat in the eyes of the Arab Zionists, then so be it, because they do not know the history of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle or its details. The fact that the enemy resorted to bombing residential buildings and killing civilians is a military defeat because it did not even manage to reach the resistance leaders. Its Iron Dome did not intercept their rockets, and so it gave up on trying to achieve its military goals among its so-called "bank of targets". Hence, instead of being able to destroy military sites, weapons stores, missile production factories, training bases, tunnels and senior resistance leaders officers, Israel turned to its usual dirty tactics of targeting civilians; its soldiers are only good for abusing and killing unarmed Palestinians.
Against all the normal rules of war, therefore, the army which prides itself on its "Purity of Arms" exposed its lack of honour and principles by targeting women and children in a cynical attempt to create panic and put pressure on the resistance to stop firing rockets. This underhand tactic backfired on the Israelis, as the people rallied even more behind the resistance groups. We saw the grieving mother boasting that she sacrificed her three sons for the sake of Palestine, and celebrated her martyrs. She even threatened Israel with her fourth son. The owner of one tower block destroyed by Israel was proud of this sacrifice for the sake of Jerusalem.
So do the Arab Zionists believe that the killing of women, children and the elderly, and the demolition of tower blocks over the heads of their residents, is a victory? Or do they recognise that it brings dishonour, shame and possible criminal charges to the perpetrators and those who support them?
The Arabs who have normalised relations with the Zionist state have been thrown off balance by the capabilities of the resistance so much so that a Hebrew-speaking presenter on Al-Arabiya channel, a Saudi channel broadcasting from Dubai, wondered aloud how Hamas was allowed to develop its missiles to such an extent. "What are the Arabs doing in letting this happen?" was the gist of the rant. An Arab political analyst, also a Zionist, answered her by putting the blame on Netanyahu for not eliminating Hamas early on before it had built its military wing. Now the Arab Zionists are upset and mourning the loss of their money, honour and reputation after normalising relations with a state which thinks nothing of killing women and children as a deliberate tactic, but they only have themselves to blame; their position is shameful and disgraceful.
The Saif Al-Quds battle has undermined the Arab Zionist regimes and highlighted their treachery. The so-called Abraham Accords, according to British newspaper the Independent, "are already looking like a footnote in history" and are "not worth the paper they are written on." The newspaper added that "Just a few months after a group of Arab states normalised relations with Israel, they are backing away from the country as its reputation plummets across the world over its offensive in the Gaza Strip and its treatment of Palestinians."
This is indeed a game-changer. The Sword of Jerusalem battle restored some joy to the hearts of the Arab people, spreading hope among those who have been broken by decades of the tyranny of their own regimes and defeatist media. Awareness about Palestine and the centrality of its cause has soared. They can now see clearly that Hamas is not a grubby "terrorist" organisation as pro-Israel propaganda would have them believe, but an honourable and courageous liberation movement protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque and seeking freedom for the oppressed people of Palestine.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.