Nearly a hundred civilians have already been killed and more than hundred and fifty targets have been razed to the ground in the current spate of Israeli air strikes in Gaza. Those killed include few that Israel wanted to eliminate. And on the contrary, it killed more civilians including women, children and elderly who were in no way, even remotely, related to Hamas. Majority of the targets that have been hit were the homes of people and schools. Israeli air strikes have rendered hundreds homeless stirring up unprecedented existential angst among the people in Gaza.
Israel's latest air strikes, code named Operation Protective Edge, have yet again made a horrific display of Tel Aviv's clichéd dynamics — inflict collective punishment on the people of Gaza for every single rocket fired from the other side of the wall.
Repeated infliction of collective punishment on the Palestinians and growing existential angst among them are fast expanding "into a wider war with unpredictable consequences." Intensity of Palestinian despair and anguish is on the rise adding urgency to end their enslavement.
On them, when every time the sun sinks, silence descends with fading away of decibels, an eerie sense of fear prevails; myriads of frozen beams cut through their emotions bringing back their pains and memories of those, young and old, they have buried in graveyards.
Neither does sunrise bring any respite or mitigation from oppression to the subjugated population. The sun burns but not with equal clarity! The Palestinians, as if frozen in time, await twenty four into seven for the next tide of repression which come in myriad shapes including arrest, eviction, death and air strikes.
As the besieged population is turning restless and angry Gaza and West Bank are threatening to erupt into third Intifada — a necessity the Palestinians feel should now be undertaken as their final war to earn back their independence, their right to exist as free men under the sky and with dignity.
The current air strikes, as much as all the previous attacks, aren't only about "annihilation of terrorist infrastructure" or "targeting Hamas leaders."
Such use of disproportionate force against a deprived and besieged population is essentially a Zionist measure to keep the Palestinians "forever in the shadow of Israeli" domination.
Haaretz columnist Giedon Levy says that the Israeli objective is to carry on as prison the biggest prison in the world; to keep hundreds of thousands of its residents cut off forever; to keep exports blocked ad infinitum and fishing restricted. What exactly then 1.5 million people of Gaza live on? Is there anyone who can explain why the blockade, even if partial, of Gaza continues? Can anyone explain why its future is never discussed? Did we think that all this would continue and Gaza would accept it submissively? Anyone who thought so was a victim of dangerous delusions, and now we are all paying the price.
We do not approve of terrorism; we do not approve of rockets being fired on any nation; we do not approve of civilians killed in bomb blasts. But we do not equally approve of air strikes shooed upon already beleaguered population killing scores of children, women and elderly; homes destroyed, schools razed to the ground, hospitals bombed and the use of white phosphorus on children.
It is easy to raise hell out of Hamas firing rockets on Israeli cities and use it as a justification to bombard indiscriminately anything and everything that is Palestinian. But it must also be remembered that the dread that Israeli citizens are feeling now is no greater that the dread felt by hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who in recent weeks waited in terror for the soldiers to break down their doors and invade their homes in the middle of the night, to search, trash, destroy, humiliate, and then snatch a member of their household."
Levy is correct is summarising the situation. The fear Israelis are experiencing is no greater that the fear felt by Palestinian children and teens, several of whom were killed needlessly by Israeli Defence Forces fire in recent weeks. The trepidation Israelis feel is certainly less than that felt by Gaza residents, who have no Colour Red warnings, no "secure spaces," and no Iron Dome to save them, only hundreds of scary sorties by the Israel Air Force that end in destruction and the death of innocents, including the elderly, women, and children, who have already been killed during this operation, as it during all its predecessors.
Therefore, there isn't anything surprising that rockets rain forth from the other side of the walls. After all, their subjugation notwithstanding Palestinians still reserve the right to dissent and fight back the oppression. Israel is wrong if it believes that Palestinians will continue to offer their other cheek to be slapped on.
Palestinians, especially those in Gaza, have had their backs against the walls. It is time now for them to fight back for their existence. Every single Israeli military operation launched against Gaza has essentially been mass murder of the Palestinians. Israel cannot keep the Palestinians subjugated forever by mass murdering and destroying their homes. And every single act of mass murder will continue to incite equal and opposite reaction from the Palestinians.
Israel must remember that it cannot sleep in peace keeping the Palestinians delegitimised and oppressed. The browbeaten and tortured shall erupt to claim what is legitimately theirs' as well. It is time that the tyrant learns that from operation to operation through ages nothing will change except weapons of the oppressed and fortification of the will to fight back.
The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman.