We are now into the second month of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, following Operation Al-Aqsa Flood carried out by the Islamic Resistance Movement, which shook the occupation state and its allies to the core. Israel is taking its rage out at this humiliation on innocent civilians, killing more than 9,000 Palestinians, including almost 4,000 children.
This is not the work of an army with any sense of morality; the myth of the Israel Defence Forces being “the most moral army in the world” has been shattered. The IDF is more of a paramilitary police force, not having faced a real army in battle for 50 years; killing civilians is what it does, and always has done, “purposely and consciously”, according to Israeli military analyst Zeev Schiff’s summary of an Israeli chief of staff’s remarks, as quoted by Professor Ilan Pappe in Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War against the Palestinians (Hamish Hamilton, 2010).
We will probably never know the actual number of Israeli soldiers killed in the attack on Gaza.
The IDF is said to be paying a “heavy price”, but what does that mean? A spokesman for the Hamas military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, claims that there have been “fierce confrontations” with many IDF vehicles destroyed and, it is assumed, accompanying casualties. “As we promised to the enemy,” said Abu Obaida, “Gaza will be their graveyard and a nightmare for their soldiers. We give Netanyahu the good news of the end of his political future.” The situation, reported Israel’s Army Radio, has apparently prompted the Israeli General Staff to consider changing the plan to invade Gaza radically, as the situation is difficult on the ground.
“The images coming from the battle are painful,” added Benny Gantz, a minister in the “war cabinet” and himself a former chief of staff. “And our tears fall when we see our soldiers falling.”
What appears to be certain, is that the famed Israeli armoured vehicles are not standing up very well in the face of those defending Gaza. Leaked video footage shows members of the Knesset weeping when shown pictures of their soldiers who have been killed; the personal equipment alone for each soldier costs thousands of dollars. The extent of the problems afflicting Israel and its soldiers has been laid bare for all to see. This explains in part why the furious bombing campaign continues, regardless of the cost in civilian lives.
It is, said one outgoing UN official, a “text-book case of genocide”. The Israelis did not stop at bombing residential buildings and destroying them over the heads of the residents. They have targeted schools, places of worship, hospitals and convoys of people trying to move to “safer areas” in the south, as instructed by the occupation state. The Jabaliya refugee camp was basically destroyed, displacing people for the second or third time in their lives. What sort of “democracy” does this to people living under a brutal military occupation? Even universities have been destroyed. The killing continued even while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel and Jordan trying to broker a “humanitarian” break in the attack to allow essential supplies into the Gaza Strip. At least let the Palestinians be fed and watered before you kill them, seems to have been his message to the Israelis.
The Palestinians in Gaza are paying with their lives and blood for being let down by the Arab world, which is sitting by and watching the massacres take place in real time. The Arab regimes seem to blame Operation Al-Aqsa Flood for this bloodshed, as if history only began on 7 October, and 75 years of oppression and occupation had not happened. Such regimes are echoing the claims of their masters in the West.
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This is the first time that the apartheid state has suffered so many casualties since it was built upon the terrorism of the Zionist militias in the 1940s. It is also the first time that the Palestinians have been able to capture so many Israelis, including soldiers and senior army officers. The resistance groups hope to have some of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel released in exchange for the people it is holding. Many hundreds of the Palestinian prisoners are held by Israel with neither charge nor trial, hostages in all but name.
Opposition to the bombing of Gaza has been seen in massive rallies and protest marches around the world, especially in Europe and the US. The calls for a ceasefire have been ignored by the political classes who are out of touch with the people. The hypocrisy of Western governments has been exposed yet again; claims to uphold human rights and the rule of law have been demonstrated to be a sham.
From a Palestinian point of view, arguably the most important thing to come out of this is the fact that the Israel Defence Forces have been humiliated. The illusion of the invincible army is no longer believable. What’s more, whereas in the past the mainstream media has had an open field to peddle its pro-Israel narrative, the rise of social media means that the Palestinian viewpoint is getting a hearing across the world, and opinions are changing. The Palestinian issue has been returned to the front pages and the forefront of issues of concern for everyone.
Will the so-called Abraham Accords survive this? The puppet Zionist regimes in the Arab world desperately hope so, but do their people? The operation on 7 October has given their oppressed people new hope.
Of course, this is not a war between two states; it is entirely asymmetrical. Israel is equipped with the latest weapons, ammunition and technology, and the Western warmongers are queueing up to replenish its stocks as the genocidal attack continues. Gaza relies largely on the home-produced weapons of the resistance groups, and the legendary steadfastness of its predominantly civilian population. The coastal enclave may well not only change the dynamics within the Middle East, but also the world.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.