«Israel’s» Gaza Headache
“I hope to wake up one morning and not find Gaza on the map,” former “Israeli” Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told the French President Francois Mitterrand during a meeting in the Elysee Palace. These were feelings he could no longer hide and the nightmares haunting him when he thought about the future of the Jewish “state”.
This was in the early 1990s when talk of settling the Palestinian issue dominated the arena of international diplomacy. The “Israeli” statement, conveyed by the surprised French president to his old friend Professor Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, was not a metaphor for fears as much as it was the basis of a complete strategy that governed “Israel's” negotiations with the Palestinians in Oslo.
"Israel's" strategic goals in the Oslo negotiations leaned towards getting rid of the Gaza headache as quickly as possible and transferring the responsibility over to a Palestinian Authority that is bound by full security cooperation with the “Israeli” occupation forces.
It was no coincidence that the title of the first phase of the Oslo agreement was "Gaza and Ariha [Jericho] first". At the time, there was a fundamental criticism regarding the gaps and concessions that took on the title: "Gaza and Ariha, first and foremost". This has been happening somewhat for more than a quarter of a century.
"Israel" did not abide by what it signed and there was no Palestinian state created on the territories occupied in 1967. The settlements expanded until they almost devoured the greater part of the West Bank. Al-Quds was annexed by the force of arms and not much attention was paid to any legitimate rights or international resolutions. The Palestinian Authority itself became a hostage under the bayonets of the occupation.
Popular uprisings unfolded. Confrontations took place in al-Quds and the West Bank. Gaza progressed to become “Israel’s” headache.
New situations arouse, the worst of which was the bloody Palestinian division between Fatah and Hamas or the West Bank and Gaza. A harsh siege was imposed on the impoverished enclave, making life there almost impossible.
Three devastating wars were carried out against Gaza in 2008, 2012 and 2014. Sporadic “Israeli” raids and attacks destroyed and killed. But Gaza did not succumb. No one in “Israel” is thinking of reoccupying Gaza. The price is high and intolerable. There are no biblical references advocating the occupation of a populated and armed enclave poor of natural resources.
“Israel’s" exact intentions with respect to its ongoing military operations against Gaza and its people are to reduce the prospects for the growth of the armed resistance and to sever its links to the West Bank in order to break the unity of the people and the cause. This is the closest explanation to the truth regarding the motives of the intelligence operation, the repercussions of which have caused the most severe clashes between the “Israeli” army and the resistance groups since 2014.
The failure of the operations shocked the “Israelis”. The commando force, which infiltrated into Khan Younis, fell into the ambush of the resistance. Its commander was killed and another officer was seriously wounded. It almost fell captive had it not been for the general military and intelligence mobilization directly supervised by the “Israeli” chief of staff to save it from that fate.
That incident with its ramifications and the courage shown by the Palestinians in a battle that lacked military parity was a new Gaza headache for “Israel”. The "Israelis" thought they can do whatever they wanted, launch incursions, kill and arrest, without caring about the truce that is supposed to refrain it from any provocative actions.
Such operations are not new. It cannot be envisioned that “Israel” will stop launching them in any long-term truce. It believes that it has the right to do whatever it wants in the name of its security without taking into account that there are about two million Palestinians who demand reciprocity. Calm in return for calm. Not calm from one side. That was the first message. There was a second message sent by the besieged Strip, which was targeted by “Israeli” missiles and destroyed while its residents were intimidated. The message conveyed is that it can retaliate, hurt and push 250 thousand “Israelis” to bomb shelters, paralyze and frighten the southern part of the Jewish “state” and eventually force the “Israelis” to accept Egyptian mediation for a ceasefire and a return to the course of calm, whose longevity cannot be counted upon.
While accepting the ceasefire, “Israel” declared that it would continue military operations if necessary.
What was the necessity that called for breaking the truce?
There is no single answer that goes beyond the loose phrases about “Israeli” security. As if one side has the right to violate the truce on vague grounds and to remove the other party’s similar rights. As usual, the US administration ensured that the “Israeli” war machine was protected in the UN Security Council. Hamas rockets appeared to be the only culprit, as if Palestinian victims were not terrorized and killed by “Israel’s” excessive violence. As usual, the Arab powerlessness was clearly tragic. As if the Gaza headache struck Arab rulers that wished not to find it on the map or that the entire Palestinian cause would simply disappear.
The Arab scrambling for normalization was the fundamental reason that drove the “Israeli” delegate in the UN Security Council to call other states that were talking about the disproportionate use of force ‘immoral’. That light criticism was not easy for “Israel”. As if identifying with the occupation and condemning the victims are the components of morality according to the latest “Israeli” definitions.
Despite “Israel’s” arrogance in its power, its fragility and lack of confidence in the future cannot be hidden. Suffice it to point the targeting of the Al-Aqsa TV with intensive shelling that leveled the premises and surrounding areas. This is a sign of weakness, not power. The capabilities and level of broadcast of the TV station is limited. This shows that “Israel” cannot tolerate a voice against its policies. It is unleashing policies that do not have a way to get rid of the chronic Gaza headaches other than the excessive use of force. It is a peace imposed by force, according to US President Donald Trump, in other words the "Deal of the Century". With any objective reading, Gaza is its main focus. There is no room for negotiations over the settlements in the West Bank and al-Quds as well as the refugees. The Arab initiative of a comprehensive normalization in return for a full withdrawal from the Arab territories occupied since 1967 has clinically died. The separation of Gaza from the West Bank is an essential objective of the prepared plan.
What is being planned and what the “Israelis” hope to implement is striping away Gaza’s National liberation nature and transforming it into a purely humanitarian issue that includes improving the standards of living and services such as electricity, fuel and the establishment of a water corridor between Cyprus and Gaza under the full supervision of the “Israeli” security services. In one way or another, the failed intelligence operation and the ensuing military confrontation come in the context of the "Deal of the Century". In one surreal scene, the violence, siege, starvation and the pressure to halt US shares to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) come side by side with proposed projects, deals and promises to improve the standards of living in exchange for Palestinians surrendering any legitimate rights. This kind of thinking is closer to delirium and is certainly fated to fail.
Source: Al-Akhbar, Translated by website team