AMIRA HASS October 10, 2023
In a few days, Israelis experienced what Palestinians have been experiencing for decades and continue to experience: military incursions, death, cruelty, children killed, bodies piled up on the road, siege, fear, anguish for loved ones, captivity, targets of revenge, indiscriminate fatal shooting of combatants (soldiers) and non-combatants (civilians), a position of inferiority, destruction of buildings, ruined holidays or celebrations, weakness and helplessness in the face of Almighty armed men, and burning humiliation.
This is why it must be repeated once again: we told you so. Ongoing oppression and injustice erupt at unexpected times and places. Bloodshed knows no boundaries.
The world was suddenly turned upside down, and the daily nightmare of the Palestinians shattered the facade of normality that had characterized Israeli life for decades. Hamas crushed it thanks to the surprise operation it launched which demonstrated its military ingenuity and its ability to develop plans, keep them secret and use diversionary tactics.
Its agents have been creative in using various methods to breach the walls of the world’s largest prison, into which Israel has crammed two million human beings. Their armed men embarked on this campaign with the desire to sacrifice their lives, knowing full well that they had a high chance of bei ng killed. Some of them murdered hundreds of Israeli civilians in what seemed like orgies of revenge, which their commanders did not have the wisdom or considered important enough to prevent, if only for tactical reasons.
Three days later, the enormity of these acts of Palestinian rage has still not been revealed, while Israel’s intensive air assault on Gaza has already caused the deaths of more than 560 people, most of them civilians, more than 120,000 people displaced and thousands injured.
As with every Israeli war against the Gaza Strip in which Hamas is involved, particularly due to the murder of civilians, it is appropriate to ask: does this organization have a realistic action plan and political objective, or does it mainly want to rehabilitate its own position in the eyes of the inhabitants of Gaza? Was its military operation accompanied this time by a logistical plan to assist and rescue the attacked Gazan civilians? Or will this task fall once again to international aid agencies?
SENTENCED TO LIFE
The Palestinians’ jubilant reactions to Hamas’s current success should surprise no one. After all, the all-powerful enemy has been revealed in all its nakedness: an unprepared army busy protecting settlers praying in the West Bank city of Hawara and Jews seizing Palestinian springs. Disoriented soldiers and police officers who have become accustomed to thinking that fighting means waking children from their sleep with drawn bayonets or invading a refugee camp in an armored jeep. Collaborating spyware inventors and Shin Bet agents who are so satisfied with their achievements that they have neglected the human factor, that is, the aspiration for freedom shared by all human beings.
“Half the people in Sderot are in Gaza, and half the people in Gaza are in Sderot,” Gazans joked on Shabbat, after the number of Israelis taken prisoner was revealed. These are the jokes of prisoners sentenced to life, of people who only know through the stories of their refugee grandparents the landscapes of Jiyya, Burayr, Hamama, Najd, Dimra, Simsim and other destroyed villages around the current Gaza Strip, where the attacked kibbutzim and Israeli towns are located today. But what happens after this joy and this feeling of accomplishment?
The automatic conclusion of the Israelis, as on previous occasions when their normalcy has been somewhat shaken, is that if death and destruction have not achieved their goal thus far, the solution is to increase the aerial massacres of Palestinians, destruction and revenge. This is the conclusion of the government and the army, but also of many Israelis. And this is also apparently the conclusion reached by Western governments, who have rushed to express their support for Israel while ignoring the structural violence and cruelty in that country, as well as the context of the continued dispossession of the people Palestinian of his land.
Translated from French by PAJU