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November 19, 2019

Attack on Gaza

Editorial

 
November 19, 2019

Israel has attacked Gaza again. In the last two weeks, Israeli planes have continued to bomb the Gaza strip, where the death toll has almost hit three dozen. The dead have included a family of eight and at least three minors. More than 70 others have been wounded, including 30 children and 13 women. Israel continues to claim that the airstrikes were in response to rockets launched from Gaza by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, but once again, it is abundantly clear that the real targets of these attacks are civilians. Despite a temporary ceasefire last week, Israel continued to bomb recklessly in the Gaza, now claiming that it was targeting Hamas. Two days of intense fighting started when Israel bombed the house of the top commander of Islamic Jihad, which killed his wife. There was little doubt that it would trigger retaliatory action on the part of the militant group, which Israeli used as excuse for further attacks on the Gaza Strip.

With no injuries reported on the Israeli side, this trend has become a norm. Israel continues to claim ‘attacks from Gaza’ as an excuse for attacking its civilian population. The civilian-militant distinction itself remains one of its major ways of maintaining the legitimacy of its attacks on Palestinian territories – despite the fact that its own bombs make no distinction between the two categories. In reality, Palestine remains an occupied territory, and continued to be recognised as such by the UN and other humanitarian bodies. Attacks on Palestine are a part of a long and continuing history of war crimes the Israeli state has committed without any international response. The attacks are a way of Israel’s new hardline Defence Minister Naftali Bennett to signal his assent to the office – often an excuse for intensifying military action against Palestinians.

It is clear that Israel will not stop and attacks on Palestine will continue in the coming weeks and months. The hope of international intervention has become less probable in the last few years, with the US more firmly backing any Israeli actions, no matter how brutal. The fact that Israel’s own political future remains at a standstill will continue to mean that the attacks on Palestine will get more severe. The UN has continued to ask for restraint on both sides, with the fear that the situation could lead to another war. The Israeli decision to target Hamas, without evidence of its involvement in any rockets fired across the border, is a clear attempt to push for such an outcome. The world will need to step in to check Israeli militarism, but this is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

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