Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: The Gaza Tragedy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55334127

Smoke rises after an attack of Israeli aircraft in southern Gaza City on July 9, 2014. (EPA/Mohammed Saber)

The scene repeats itself. The story is the same but the scenario changes. Hamas provokes Israel; the latter responds to the blow with a thousand of its own. Israel doesn’t find those it is searching for, so it takes out its anger on the innocent Palestinian people. It murders hundreds, injures thousands, and destroys homes which fall on the heads of their inhabitants. Israeli settlers burn a Palestinian youth alive.

But it’s only a few more days and the Israeli war will end. Hamas leaders will reappear after hiding underground throughout the war, to return to their former locations once the billions of dollars’ worth of humanitarian aid has been received. Meanwhile, the Palestinian people will patch up their wounds and await more Israeli aggression, which will be no less barbaric than the one which came before.

Both the Hamas ‘soap opera’ and the Israeli arrogance are nothing new. The illegal and morally excessive Israeli response continues. The American defense of its eternal ally is wholly unsurprising. The UN Security Council’s weakness is now very much the rule, not the exception. The hesitation of the international community the same as it has been after 50 years. The Arab nations hold meetings but provide no solutions. And the powerful always impose their “solutions,” preventing the world from doing its duty in opposing the Israeli aggression.

Human rights organizations, who give us headaches over non-issues, do not even so much as look at a Palestinian family that is given 10 minutes to leave its home before the Israeli missiles arrive. All the while, Hamas leader Khaled Mishal calls on the people of Gaza to “stand firm”—all the way from Doha.

The Iron Dome defends and fortifies Tel Aviv and other towns against Hamas rockets. The Israeli war machine continues to pound Gaza relentlessly. Hamas resists with the bodies of Gaza’s residents. Israel defends and protects its people by killing Palestinians. Dozens of the dead are civilians.

Meanwhile Benjamin Netanyahu claims Hamas uses civilians as human shields. Netanyahu identifies 1,000 targets in Gaza and it does not matter if most of them are civilian targets. Netanyahu does not regret killing children.

A wave of anger sweeps through the Arab street. Unbearable scenes! Children killed and orphaned, women forced out of their homes; the anger increases.

What did the previous wars on Gaza prove? The temporary anger and the feelings of sadness will not last long. Israelis will kill hundreds and will destroy the already weak infrastructure of Gaza.

Israeli jets will safely return to their bases, and Hamas will stop firing missiles too. The biggest loser is the Palestinian people, the decisions not in their hands. There are those who decided to fight on their behalf, and those who incited them to resist when they were safe within their community. Hamas’ funds will increase as a result of the humanitarian aid and it will claim victory. But at what cost?

Observers of the Israeli attacks on Gaza are shocked at the limited Israeli losses in comparison to the huge Palestinian losses. Hamas itself did not once announce the number of dead in the enemy’s camp. Was it worth the lives of those who were killed? Of course, no one cares.

What is much more important is for the voices to rise shouting slogans of resistance; music to the ears, whatever the catastrophic results. It was the same story with Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah in 2006. Half of Lebanon destroyed, and then eventually Hezbollah deploys its weapons for the killing of innocent Syrians.

Is Hamas to blame for its behavior? Of course it is. Did Israel overreact in its response? Of course it did, and in a barbaric manner which contravened all humanitarian laws.

Even France was embarrassed by Israel’s actions. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called on Tel Aviv to exercise restraint in its response to the rockets fired by Hamas, and to respect international law.

When did Israel ever show respect for international law? When did Hamas ever stop trading in its own people’s blood?