Some of the names of the wars launched against Gaza include ‘Summer Rains’ 2006, ‘Hot Winter’ 2008, ‘Returning Echo’ March 2012, ‘Pillar of Defence’ October 2012, ‘Protective Edge’ 2014 and ‘Breaking Dawn’ in 2022. In the non-violent Land Day Protests by Gazans in 2018, 168 were killed by snipers and thousands injured. In the past few months alone, 200+ Palestinians have been killed by regular Israeli invasions. There were noted episodes of violence by Israeli civilians and military personnel against Gazans and their Holy Sites at Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock, referred to as ‘clashes’ in the western media throughout the 2000s, including in 2021, at which many were killed. 5,000+ Gazan men, women and children have been killed, mainly by bombs dropped by Israel on civilian homes in alleged retaliation for almost harmless rockets launched against Israel by Hamas.

Palestine, comprising the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six Day War. Despite UN Security Council Resolution 242 emphasizing disengagement, and the Oslo Accords, which contemplate an end of the occupation and a two-state solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace, with the State of Palestine being the territory captured by Israel in the Six Day War, Israel has seized Palestinians lands they have lived on which some 500,000 Israelis have settled. Terroristic violence by settlers against Palestinians is a regular feature of Palestinian life.

A state of apartheid has been recognized by Amnesty International and B’Tselem, an Israeli civil rights organization, as having been imposed by Israel on Palestine. It is against this background that the Israeli son of an Israeli woman, who is a peace activist and who is now missing, presumed to be in Hamas’s custody, remarked that the events have been “overwhelming but not surprising” because the occupation of Palestine continues. The voices of millions of Israelis and Jews around the world who support the end of the occupation and a two-state solution, and to end the current horrors, are now needed more than ever. 1,300+ Israelis and 2,200+ Palestinians have been killed so far.

The violence by Hamas in Israel has been horrific, just as the decades of violence against Gaza and the killing of Palestinian women and children has been horrific. Hamas is regarded as a ‘terrorist’ group by the West and, particularly, Israel. But Israel is also seen by many as a terrorist state. Israel was born in terrorism and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by the Irgun and Stern Gangs. Two Prime Ministers of Israel – Menachim Begin (1977-1983) and Yitzak Shamir (1983-1984; 1986-1992) were top officials of these gangs.

The siege of Gaza for 17 years, has been described as an “open air prison” by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Israel’s apartheid depravity in its treatment of Palestinians is so brazen that it has no fear of publicly announcing a blockade against the entry into Gaza of food, water, fuel and electricity to “human animals.” It has now ordered the evacuation of 1,100,000+ civilians from northern Gaza to move south. Both actions are war crimes. Hamas’s crimes are no justification for collective punishment.

The violence by Hamas on civilians must be condemned. Apart from the suffering on Israelis, it will not bring about the end of Israeli occupation and is bringing, as expected, untold retribution by Israel on innocent Palestinians. The 5,000+ killed by Israeli bombs over the past decade included women and approximately 1,000 children. If Hamas is guilty of the butchery of women, children and other civilians, why is Israel being let off the hook? It is equally guilty of the butchery of women, children and civilians. Israel is an apartheid and terrorist state and should be called out.

There is only one solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, namely, the end of Israeli occupation and the establishment of two states on the 1967 borders, living in peace and security side by side. Progressive Israeli leaders such as Yitzak Rabin, who signed the Oslo Accords and was assassinated because of it, and Ehud Barak, both former Prime Ministers, have sought peace with the Palestinians. Barak was not successful in negotiations. Instead of continuing the discussions, the Likud Party, with Benjamin Netanyahu at its head, and Prime Minister for much of the period thereafter, has rejected Oslo, paid lip service to the two-state solution, but has continued the occupation, expanded settlements on Palestinian lands, and continued the siege of Gaza. Israel has over 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, is holding over 1,000 without trial, including over 150 children.

A little-known fact is that Hamas is a creation of Israel, to establish a divide and rule policy with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), with funding starting from the late 1970s. This was reported on several occasions, including by the Wall Street Journal. The Haaretz newspaper, one of Israel most respected, reported on October 9, 2023, a statement by Netanyahu to Likud members of the Knesset (Parliament) in March 2019: “Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas. This is part of our strategy.” As stated in Hosea 8.7: “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.