Even since 7 October, Israeli occupation leaders have mounted local and international defamation campaigns against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which has been under a strict Israeli and Egyptian siege backed by the international community for 17 years.
From the beginning, the occupation state’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared two major objectives for an attack against the besieged coastal enclave: destroying the Palestinian Resistance Movement, Hamas, which won Palestine’s “free and fair” democratic legislative election in 2006 and has been ruling Gaza since mid-2007; and to free Israeli prisoners held by the Hamas military wing.
Achieving these two goals, claimed Netanyahu, would end the threats and bring stability to the Israeli settlers in the settlements around the Gaza Strip. He also pledged to end the launching of Palestinian rockets towards Israel and the settlements.
Backed by Western leaders and amidst almost total silence from the international community, the Israeli occupation state launched a brutal war against the Palestinians in Gaza. It began with 20 days of air strikes, which killed and wounded hundreds of innocent civilians every day. War crimes have been committed with impunity, while Western leaders repeated unfounded Israeli lies about Gaza and Hamas in order to justify the state’s ongoing massacre of Palestinian civilians.
Mosques, churches, schools, hospitals, shops, residential buildings and civil infrastructure have been destroyed and seriously damaged. Israel’s claim was that it was only targeting Hamas rocket launchers and fighters. The evidence proved otherwise. Then the ground invasion started, supposedly to destroy resistance tunnels and rocket factories. Several of Israel’s allies advised it not to carry out the ground invasion because it would not achieve its goals. The apartheid state’s leaders in the war cabinet, though, insisted that they could not be achieved without a military invasion.
The Palestinian resistance fighters have made unprecedented efforts to defend their people and their land.
They have stood up to an army equipped with the latest military and technological weapons and ammunition. Their courage has been exemplary. The so-called “most moral army in the world”, meanwhile, has displayed utter contempt for ethics and morality by killing innocent civilians, including women, children and babies, bombing residential blocks and wiping out whole families.
According to EuroMed, the Israeli attacks on Gaza have left “100,000 Palestinian martyrs and wounded during the 100 days of genocide.” Among those killed are almost 300 paramedics, 41 civil defence workers and 113 journalists.Video and other images are available across social media which demonstrate the death and destruction in graphic detail. Nevertheless, despite everything that has been done against the Palestinian people, Israel has not released all of the Israeli prisoners, eliminated Hamas or stopped the rockets from Gaza.
“We are continuing the war until the end, until total victory, until we achieve all of our goals,” boasted Netanyahu on the eve of Day 100. “Eliminating Hamas, returning all of our hostages and ensuring that Gaza will never again constitute a threat to Israel… Nobody will stop us, not The Hague, not the axis of evil and not anybody else.”
His arrogance did not stop Israeli military analysts saying in Haaretz that, “Almost 100 days into the war with Hamas… It’s clear that Israel is still a long way from achieving its declared goals in the campaign.”
All that the Israeli occupation regime has achieved is to commit genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza. What else does this number of massacres, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, including cultural and heritage sites; the targeting of journalists and their families; and the blocking of food, water and fuel, as well as medicines, all add up to, if not genocide? International rights groups have confirmed this, as have UN officials; and South Africa has taken Israel to the International Court of Justice on a charge of genocide.
Israel, of course, denies the charge. But Israeli writer Gideon Levy said: “Let us assume that Israel’s position at The Hague is right and just and Israel committed no genocide or anything close to it. So what is this? What do you call the mass killing, which continues even as these lines are being written, without discrimination, without restraint, on a scale that is difficult to imagine?”
After 100 days of additional war crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza, Israel has not succeeded in freeing all of the Israeli prisoners held by Hamas, nor has it eliminated the resistance movement or stopped the launch of rockets. Moreover, there are no imminent signs that these goals are likely to be achieved.
Today, it is not the EU’s Foreign Affairs chief Josep Borrell or US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying that eliminating Hamas is not likely, but Israeli analysts and officials. Israel has committed many massacres in its 75 years of occupying Palestinian land, in what has been described before as a “slow-motion genocide”. What it has done in Gaza has speeded the process up. It’s clear for all to see, but some to their eternal shame choose not to.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.