This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Blockading Gaza

"It is no coincidence that the military wing of Hamas decided that this week it would hold its largest military drill ever. Almost all of Gaza's residents have seen or at least heard these maneuvers, involving all of the Hamas armed forced as well as the militants of various other Palestinian factions."
"Rockets were fired into the Mediterranean and mortars and guns were fired in the air. Though the gunfire came from light arms, it was so intense that it set off Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system. …"
"The Israeli security establishment estimates that Hamas now has some 30,000 troops serving in its various security forces, including the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and the Nuhba units, trained to operate in Hamas' network of tunnels."
"These forces can’t really threaten Israel, but they can interfere with day-to-day life in the country. Hamas has few options left."
The “working assumption” in the Israeli security establishment, Eldar writes, “Is that faced with an internal crisis, Hamas is exploiting the plight of Gaza residents to enter into conflict with Israel."
Shlomi Eldar, Columnist, Al Monitor
"Israel enforces a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip that is meant to prevent Iran, Hezbollah and other terror parties from smuggling weapons into the coastal enclave controlled by Hamas. At the same time, Israel has kept its border crossings with Gaza for the movement of goods and individuals."
"Israel permits Palestinians to enter and leave the Gaza Strip through the Erez border crossing. Last month, the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister entered the Gaza Strip through the Erez border crossing, only to have his convoy targeted by a roadside bomb once inside Hamas-controlled Gaza. Israel also allows foreigners to enter the Gaza Strip through the same border crossing. They include journalists, diplomats, and hundreds of foreigners working for various international aid agencies, including the United Nations."
"All this while the Rafah border crossing with Egypt remains closed. Since the beginning of this year, the Egyptians opened the border crossing intermittently only for two or three days each time. Egypt also continues to bar foreigners from entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah terminal. Even Arabs who want to help the people of the Gaza Strip are forced to enter through the Erez border crossing because the Egyptians do not give them permission to use the Rafah terminal."
"Take, for example, the Qatari envoy to the Gaza Strip, Ambassador Mohammed Al Emadi. Each time he leaves and enters the Gaza Strip, he uses the Erez border crossing with Israel. The Egyptians will not allow him or any other Arab seeking to help the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to enter through the Rafah terminal."
"In 2017, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was open altogether for less than 30 days; by contrast, the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip was open for more than 280 days during the same year. Given this reality, the question is: Why aren't the Palestinian protests directed against Egypt? The answer is obvious."
"The Palestinians know that messing with the Egyptian army will cost them a heavy price. If Israel used snipers to stop the March 30 protesters from crossing the border, the Egyptian response would undoubtedly have been much tougher. The Egyptians would have used artillery and warplanes against the Palestinian demonstrators. The Palestinians are well aware that the Egyptian army would raze the entire Gaza Strip if the Palestinians breached the border and undermined Egypt's national security.
Besides, the "March of Return" is intended as part of the Palestinian national struggle against the "Zionist entity" -- Israel -- and has nothing to do with the closure of any border."
Bassam Tawil, Muslim based in the Middle East, essays published by Gatestone Institute
A picture taken on March 30, 2018 shows Palestinians taking part in a demonstration commemorating Land Day near the border with Israel east of Gaza City. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
When Hamas decided to take over the Gaza Strip which had been vacated by Israel which had pulled out its military presence and the scattered and small Jewish settlements established there, violent chaos between Palestinian factions ensued which Hamas put a stop to. The Hamas leadership decided to make Gaza its seat of local power, and a struggle ensued between Hamas fighters and those of Fatah, linked to the Palestinian Authority, that ended in vicious atrocities and Hamas taking the Strip.

Hamas has never made any secret of its full intentions to destroy the State of Israel. Its charter states that goal and it is unequivocal. Out of Gaza time and again came murderous assaults against Israeli civilians targeting them in restaurants, at shopping malls, at bus stops, anywhere that large crowds of people would normally assemble. The death toll was horrendous, but avoidable, and once Israel erected a wall between itself and Gaza and eventually the West Bank, those suicide missions fizzled.

The threat of violence, however never has, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups continued with their mission of threats, intimidation and violence against border communities like Sderot in Israel. Assaults on civilians, sophisticated, hidden tunnels emerging from Gaza into Israel leading to violence and ongoing threats necessitated on three occasions that the Israel Defence Forces enter Gaza to confront Hamas, to force it to stop its thousands of tocket assaults. Having built up its offensive inventory once again, and maladroitly administered Gaza in the process, Hamas found itself in trouble.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar (C) shouts slogans and flashes the victory gesture as he takes part in a tent city protest near the Gaza border on March 30, 2018 to commemorate Land Day. (AFP PHOTO / Mohammed ABED)

Funding received from the international community to aid Gazan life was filtered away by Hamas as the governing body to pay for armaments and the costly tunnels it keeps building for further attacks. The Palestinian Authority cut off salaries for Gaza civil employees, cut electricity, cut potable water and Gazan civilians have been left in frustration and anger, with Hamas skilfully turning their rage against Israel as the 'aggressor', the 'occupier' of Palestinian land, and away from itself and its adversarial position with the Fatah.

Whether using Palestinian Gazans as living shields every time Hamas provokes Israel into a defensive military response, or using them in the latest instance as targets for Israeli determination to keep their border intact and free of infiltration by Palestinians among whom are always members of Hamas intent on mayhem and murder, the Hamas leadership along with other fanatical Palestinian groups orchestrated a living 'fence' to keep moving toward the border as a protest, ostensibly peaceful but anything but.

"From the standpoint of the Israeli soldiers, they did what had to be done. I think that all of our troops deserve a commendation, and there won't be any enquiry", responded Israel's Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman in response to the UN secretary-general and the EU's foreign policy chief urging an 'investigation' into the IDF's purportedly 'disproportionate' response to the provocation the terrorist groups planned. Cleverly, the week before the protest and mass marches, Hamas put Israel off-kilter with its display of a barrage of armaments in action, leaving it to second-guess the purpose.

Now, we see Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the irascible caliph of Turkey, characterizing Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu as human rights abusers and terrorists, appealing to the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel, yet again, and launch a damning prior-conclusion enquiry. Not an eyebrow twitched as Turkish troops marched into Syria to assault peaceful Kurdish-majority towns, killing thousands of innocent people, with promises to continue launching more attacks against more towns, killing more Kurds.

"The most moral army in the world will not be lectured to on morality from someone who for years has been bombing civilians indiscriminately. Apparently, this is how they mark April 1 in Ankara", responded Benjamin Netanyahu. Amusing it would be, if not so atrociously serious.
Israeli soldiers fire teargas canisters at Palestinians during a demonstration near the Gaza Strip border, March 30, 2018.
Israeli soldiers fire teargas canisters at Palestinians during a demonstration near the Gaza Strip border, March 30, 2018.    Hatem Moussa/AP

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