Again Israel has lit the fuse for another possible combustible conflict in Gaza after it launched air raids last Friday. Going on for nigh on four consecutive days, the bombing campaign from the Israelis perspective has been met with “success” having killed a prominent Palestinian resistance leader.
On Monday news broke of five more Palestinians being slain by these unnecessary attacks with a father and daughter being caught in the mire. These unprovoked attacks prompted a volley of retaliatory fire in the form of home-made rockets back into Israel, defying Egyptian demands for an immediate ceasefire.
The offensive in Gaza the last few days has been reminiscent of the onslaught that took place back in 2009, which resulted in the massacre of over one thousand defenceless civilians. It has also been noted that with the recent death of a sixty-five year old Palestinian and a teenage boy on his way to school, the death toll has reached twenty-three, with the number likely to grow with no end in sight. At press time the Israelis refused to accept the responsibility for these deaths, leading some detractors to conclude that the boy may have been carrying explosives that detonated upon falling over.
Whatever the reason behind Israel’s recent atrocities, the Palestinian retort has been swift and ineffective. The rockets fired have reportedly injured six people, including an eighty-year old Israeli woman and a young girl. One cannot underestimate the psychological implications of having to live with the thought of being under constant rocket attack, hence the suspension and temporary closure of schools in Southern Israel. But one ultimately has to hold the Israel government accountable for their actions that led to such disastrous ramifications.
The two resistance groups behind the Palestinian response to Israeli aggression are the Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance. In a recently released statement they stated “We warn the leaders of the enemy of the consequences of testing our patience. Our patience is limited and shall be turned into fire and destruction upon them.” Drawing upon parallels to the previous Gaza war, the calls for peace is likely to fall on deaf hears due to the insistence of Israelis hawks who seem hell-bent on wreaking more havoc.
What is likely to burn the ears of Palestinian moderates and to help inflame extremists on the Palestinian right is the rhetoric coming from the White House. Despite Washington and the United Nations already clarifying their concerns about the recent spate of bombings, US Defence Secretary Hilary Clinton has already come out in support of Israel. She harped and chirped before finally saying “in the strongest terms the rocket fire from Gaza by terrorists into Israel.” Hilary was completely oblivious to the notion that these rockets were launched in retaliation to the provocation of the Israeli air force carrying out bombardment of the coastal strip. We all know why this is the case, mainly the Israeli lobby using their great leverage in Washington to censor any criticism of Israel.
Any escalation would only have been heightened with Benjamin Netanyahu adding his two pennies worth on the matter. He said “we are prepared to expand its activities as much as is necessary,” without over elaborating about the measures he was prepared to take, though with the attacks of the last few days one hardly needs to imagine what he meant. A spokesman stated the bombings would stop once the rocket fire was quelled.
Defying logic the Israeli government has again managed to turn reality on its head as they are the root cause of these cross border exchanges. Taking out the leader of the Popular Resistance movement Zuhair-al Qaisi is only going to stoke the flames, much like it did in November 2008, when the Israelis launched a cross-border attack killing six Hamas militants. This was used as a pretext to further sink the Palestinians into a quagmire leading to a one-sided battle.
With a “nuclear” Iran on the agenda, one has to question why the Israelis are pursuing this strategy of madness. With Hamas becoming ever more moderate, these attacks are only going to embolden the Islamic Jihad, who appear to be growing in influence and stature having aligned themselves with Iran and the Ayatollahs.