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Netanyahu begged the Palestinian resistance for a final image of victory; he didn’t get it

June 1, 2021 at 2:38 pm

An Israeli protester wears a mask of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a T-shirt with a slogan reading in Hebrew: “the ceremony is over”, during a demonstration to support the opposition for the formation of a government, on May 31, 2021, in Tel Aviv [JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still facing corruption charges and has failed yet again to form a stable government. He is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister and regards himself as an emperor in politics, the economy, healthcare, public relations and military affairs. He has also bragged about his ability to deter the Palestinian resistance for years.

Netanyahu deceived his partner in the current government coalition, Defence Minister Benny Gantz, the head of Blue and White party. There was supposed to be a rotating premiership agreement in place. Instead, Netanyahu went to the polls again.

Deception comes easy for Netanyahu; he has been deceiving the people of Israel for years into believing that he is their saviour. Moreover, he has convinced some Arab states and other countries around the world that this is the case, but he has been unable to convince the Palestinians.

Netanyahu's corruption scandal - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Netanyahu’s corruption scandal – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The Likud party leader has long been an advocate of ethnic cleansing. He has used government agencies as well as illegal Jewish settlers to uproot Palestinians from their homes, steal their land and expand illegal settlements in acts of de facto annexation. Moreover, he provokes Muslim worshippers in Al Aqsa Mosque with a view to a Jewish takeover of the sanctuary, the demolition of the mosques therein and the building of a temple. He must have thought that the forced expulsion of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in the heart of occupied Jerusalem and harassing worshippers in Islam’s third holiest site would be bargaining chips to save his empire.

Likewise, when the resistance groups in Gaza warned him to stop his violations in occupied Jerusalem, he probably thought that they were begging him, just as Al-Aqsa’s legal custodian, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, begs the occupation state to end its violations against religious sites. So he ignored the Hamas warning, just as he ignores Jordan, in the belief that the apartheid system that his country imposes on the Palestinians can separate those in the West Bank and Jerusalem from those in the besieged Gaza Strip and the diaspora.

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Netanyahu got his calculations all wrong. Palestinians across the occupied territories — including the land occupied in 1948 — as well as the refugee camps in neighbouring countries and the wider diaspora united in their opposition and resistance to the actions of his occupation government. He was shocked when he saw the Palestinians in Gaza stand up to help the Palestinians in Jerusalem. He was ruined when he saw the Palestinian citizens of Israel stand up in support of the Palestinians in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. He was stunned when the warning became very real with rockets from Gaza landing in his cities and closing his main civilian airport. That’s when he became desperate for closure with a final image of victory upon which he could end his latest military offensive.

This failing Israeli prime minister thought that his brutal and very deliberate bombing of Palestinian civilians — killing children and women in the process — and the wilful destruction of homes, tower blocks, infrastructure, factories and media offices would stop the Palestinian resistance. He thought that the Palestinian fighters were similar to his mercenaries who go to Israel from around the globe to enlist in the “Israel Defence Forces” and fight to maintain the occupation of Palestine. He forgot that the Palestinian fighters, like their fathers and grandfathers before them, were born in Palestine and fight for their own land and legitimate rights; for their homes, their mosques and their faith. Unlike the mercenary IDF recruits, the Palestinians have a genuine attachment to the land of occupied Palestine.

After he had exhausted the military plans prepared by his failed chief of staff and found that he could only destroy civilian facilities and kill women and children, Netanyahu started to beg for a ceasefire. He still bluffed and blustered, of course, after he recognised that he could not beat the Palestinian resistance, and claimed that he had not told mediators, including US President Joe Biden, that he needed time to fulfil his objectives. The Palestinian resistance knew very well that he was defeated because it was dictating events.

Once he had recognised his failure, Netanyahu sent messages to the resistance through the Egyptian and Qatari mediators. The pretence was that the offensive would be ended unilaterally, by him and his government, but he was lying. The Palestinian resistance refused to accept a unilateral ceasefire and threatened to escalate its defence of Gaza and Jerusalem if it did not get a mutual and conditional ceasefire that would be respected by the Israeli aggressors.

READ: End of Netanyahu era could be in the cards in Israeli political drama

That’s when he begged for a final image of victory; something that he could show the Israeli people and their supporters overseas. A source within the Palestinian resistance told me that Netanyahu begged to be allowed to bring the offensive to a close-by destroying three high-rise buildings in Gaza. This was rejected. That was why Abu Obeida, the spokesman of the military wing of Hamas, Al Qassam Brigades, warned that if any Palestinian building was targeted post-mediation its fighters would hit every inch of Israel.

Death toll in Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip keeps rising...- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Death toll in Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip keeps rising…- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Furthermore, the Palestinian resistance groups demanded through the mediators that Netanyahu should order his army to call the residents of the three buildings in question, who had been told to evacuate, to go back to their apartments because the evacuation orders were false or a mistake. That is exactly what happened, but it was not the end of the story.

Netanyahu and his defeated team also begged the Palestinian resistance to stop celebrating its victory, mainly to stop the top Hamas official in Gaza, Yahya Al-Sinwar, from sending a defiant message to Israel. The Egyptian mediators told the Palestinians that such celebrations were used by Netanyahu’s critics to attack him in the media.

Israel and its officials have never experienced such a situation before. When the prime minister of Israel begs the Palestinian resistance to give him a final victory image and is refused, it means that the time for the Palestinians to get their legitimate rights has come. Liberation looks to be on its way.

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