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Is Gaza really an ‘unnatural’ land?

June 24, 2024 at 11:30 am

Palestinians shop at a market built among buildings, some of which are destroyed and the majority of which are heavily damaged and unusable as Palestinians are trying to survive at the Jabalia Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on June 20, 2024. [Mahmoud İssa – Anadolu Agency]

The so-called Gaza Strip has an area of just 365 square kilometres. A US military expert has described it as an “unnatural land”.

I was struck by this precise description. The steadfastness of the people of Gaza for eight months and counting has astonished the world and baffled military leaders. It is a precedent that they have never seen or heard of before, as if it were a miracle from above. According to one British military expert, “There is a hidden force in Gaza. The continuation of the war cannot be because of Hamas fighters alone.”

Aside from reading lots of analyses of the situation in the occupied and besieged Palestinian enclave, I have listened to a number of military analysts from the US and UK on television. The following is just some of what they said.

The US and European countries have provided the financed for Israel to buy arms and ammunition, enough to annihilate an area equivalent to ten times the size of Gaza. It has also been noted that the weapons are equivalent to six nuclear bombs, enough to burn the earth, making it completely uninhabitable.

The US alone has supplied seemingly endless tonnes of ammunition of all kinds, in addition to what was already in US warehouses in the Negev and what has been sent by Germany, France, the UK and Italy. The skies of Gaza have been crowded with spy planes from the US, UK, France and Germany, as well as Israel, that accurately capture every move on the ground. Nevertheless, resistance fighters have been able to appear — apparently out of nowhere — destroy Israeli army vehicles and kill its troops; plant explosives and set ambushes that have allegedly destroyed at least a third of the Israeli army’s vehicles in Gaza, resulting in thousands killed and wounded, but the spy planes barely detect any of them.

READ: 4 Palestinians killed in Israeli strike on UN training centre in Gaza

Densely populated residential areas covered around 75 per cent of Gaza. There have been air strikes with tens of thousands of missiles, bombs, artillery shells from land and sea, drones, F-15 and F-35 jets, and Apache helicopters. Every type of weapon has been deployed to excess. All of this hellish bombardment, and yet I have seen a video of Palestinian children playing with missiles that did not explode. The commentary said that there were at least 300 unexploded missiles, but one munitions expert denied this. In his opinion, there must be thousands of unexploded ordnance, because if everything fired at and dropped on Gaza had exploded, everyone would have been killed such was their huge number.

Meanwhile, the US believes that the death toll is very low in relation to the amount of arms and ammunition that it has sent to the occupation state, and so it defends Israel by saying that it must be exercising caution. This, of course, is far from the truth.

The so-called Israel Defence Forces have been targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure deliberately, with the intention to kill as many people as possible.

The US accepts what Israel says without question, but knows that the reality is simple: if all of the missiles, bombs and shells used by Israel had exploded, there would not be a single neighbourhood left intact.

Another military expert has suggested that there is a miracle unfolding before out eyes in Gaza, and that there must be fighters there who we can’t and don’t see; that there is some sort of divine protection in place. Look at how we see fighters run up to tanks to attach bombs to the armour. This is both astonishing and terrifying. They fight with strong will in the firm belief that they will succeed.

“If the fearless children were playing with unexploded bombs in our country or in any developed country,” he added, “they would call in the bomb disposal unit specialists and set up a security cordon. Tell me, who is protecting these children? It is divine intervention.”

The resistance fighters have recycled some of these unexploded missiles and used them to destroy many Israeli army vehicles. Where did they receive this unmatched training and skill?

The expert also noted that the Israeli army relies on air strikes, and yet senior officers know that air strikes alone cannot win a war. And that, far from being “precision” attacks, Israel’s air strikes are random, as it has no information about the resistance strongholds or tunnel layouts, and Israeli troops are no good at fighting inside cities. It is clear that Israel has involved itself in a war that it cannot win, which reveals a lot about the weakness of its army and intelligence. Israel will need decades to rebuild its army, especially the psychology of its soldiers, to create a fighting force with strong morale, but it can never reach the same level as the resistance fighters in Gaza.

If these military experts are astonished by what is happening in Gaza, the legendary steadfastness of its people, and the extraordinary bravery of its fighters, their astonishment is misplaced. The Palestinians have right and justice on their side; they are the rightful people defending their land, the land of their forefathers, and their just cause. They fight with a firm faith in the Almighty that does not waver in the slightest. It is He who gives them physical, moral and military strength despite their lack of numbers and adequate equipment, allowing them to defeat the occupation army with its endless supply of arms and ammunition, and its alleged invincibility.

“How many times has a small force vanquished a mighty army by the Will of Allah!” we are told in the Qur’an. “And Allah is always with the steadfast.”

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