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OpinionsJews Have a Case for Israel as Their Homeland-I

Jews Have a Case for Israel as Their Homeland-I

Date:

Analysis

by Dr. Jaipal Singh

The ever so volatile Middle East has traditionally been a dangerous place for the peace for long and it is once again in news for the same reasons. The Palestinian militant organization Hamas shocked and surprised Israel during the wee hours of the 7th October 2023 when a large number of its fighters/militants breached the Gaza-Israel security fencing and recklessly attacked civilian population and military posts in many parts of the Southern Israel. Almost simultaneously a barrage of missiles/rockets were also randomly fired by them from the Gaza Strip targeting various Israeli locations inflicting heavy and indiscriminate damages to civil and military establishments.

Normally, Israeli administration, the forces and Mossad (the Israeli Secret Service) are considered to be very alert, efficient and one of the best, but all agencies were caught unaware and off-guard remaining almost ineffective and clueless for the first few hours in this case. Consequently, the Hamas fighters merrily accomplished their heinous terror task leaving behind a trail of nearly 1,400 Israelis dead in various attacks, besides taking away with them over two hundred hostages, including women, children and elderly people. Of course, this was only a prelude to the holocaust in store for the Gaza people in the form of collateral damage as the Israelis too were prompt to recover and commence a fierce counter-offensive against the Hamas perpetrators.

 

Israel-Hamas War of 2023

Hamas is an acronym for its official name Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah (i.e the Islamic Resistance Movement), a Palestinian Sunni Islamic organization, governing the Gaza Strip of the designated Palestine territory. It was founded by Ahmed Yassin, a Palestinian imam and activist in 1987, which increasingly became involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the later half of 1990s, opposing the then Israel-PLO reconciliation efforts, including the Oslo Accords seeking renouncement of the terrorism and other acts of violence in pursuance of the two-state solution envisaged in the UN resolution. The Hamas advocating an armed resistance won the Palestine legislative election in 2006 and took control of the Gaza Strip from the Fateh in a civil war in 2007. Ever since, it is administering Gaza in a de facto autocratic mode and as one-party state. Owing to its violent and criminal acts against the Jews and humanity, several western countries including the US and UK have officially designated it as a terrorist organization, while the Arab states and their supporters and sympathizers recognize it as a political and nationalist organization.

The Hamas does not recognize the Israel as a legitimate state and talks of an Islamic Palestinian suzerainty over the complete territory of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. During the last two decades, the Hamas and Israel have been under constant conflict and fought several wars, including more serious and widespread in 2008-09, 2012 and 2014. On the last occasion in May 2021, owing to some unfortunate incidents in the Sheikh Jarrah and the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, tensions between the Hamas and Israel escalated leading to an eleven-day intense fighting and shelling from either side, in which reportedly 243 people in Gaza and 12 in Israel were killed with many others injured. The Hamas leaders and commanders have time and again reiterated, including the present war, that their Group is conscious and fully aware of the consequences of an attack on Israel and that the Palestine liberation will only come with sacrifices.

In the current war of 2023, the Hamas launched an invasion in the code named “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” on 7 October with its fighters breaching and breaking through the Gaza-Israel barrier, attacked a few Israeli military bases, Indiscriminately massacred civilians including women and children, publicly raped and humiliated women of all ages, and took many civilian and soldier hostages back to their bases. The biggest tragedy occurred at a music festival where many of these fighter-terrorists paraglided and proceeded to massacre hundreds of civilians, while the Israel was caught completely unaware and unprepared at the time. Withing few hours, over 1,400 Israeli people were killed, recording it as one of the deadliest attacks by the Palestinian militants/terrorists since the proclamation of Israel as an independent state.

The attack has been described as the biggest military setback for Israel since the 1973 Arab–Israeli War. In response, Israel has enforced Gaza blockade and began a large-scale aerial bombardment campaign over the territory before an intended ground assault, having announced its intention to destroy Hamas. The European Union and the US have also called for the elimination of Hamas. Several video clips are circulating on the social media and human right groups, journalists and medical personnel have illustrated the Hamas attackers' onslaught and inhuman deeds, which inter alia included the decapitation, rape and burning of women, children and elderly, besides the young men and soldiers, as the US Secretary of State reportedly described as “It's simply depravity in the worst imaginable way”. Of course, Israeli political leadership and military soon geared up and have launched the biggest and most lethal operation with a resolve to continue until the Hamas is completely destroyed. In a war of over one month now, the significant events are briefly indicated here.

According to reports, The Hamas attack started during early hours with about 5,000 missiles/rockets launched in various parts of Israel in a short spell. Nearly simultaneously, the Supernova Music Festival near the Re'im secular kibbutz (Hebrew: Cohesive Group/Gathering) in Southern Israel was stormed by Hamas militants, some of whom arrive as motorized paragliders, where at least 260 people were killed and unnumbered people abducted from the venue. During these attacks, about 1,400 people were reported killed and over 200, including women and children, were taken back as hostages. Within hours, Israel sounded a state of alert for war and started counter-offensive against the Hamas in Gaza by the Israeli Air Force. The top leaders of the US, and many in the Western Europe expressed shock and support to Israel in combating the terror attacks, with the US announcing its solid and unwavering moral and material support.

During the next few days, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) intensified its operation against Hamas blockading the Gaza Strip besides accelerating their evacuation and relief operation to own civilians in terror affected parts. Israel declared its intended goal to eliminate military capabilities of Hamas and end their rule over the Gaza Strip. In the meanwhile, a few sporadic attacks from the Hezbullah and other militant Groups from the neighboring countries had commensurate response from the Israel but the latter has exercised restraint so far in further escalating it. The US dispatched its USS Gerald Ford carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean with advanced fighter planes on board to tackle the situation in case of the escalation of hostilities through a possible participation of the other neighboring Arab countries in the war and also sent the first batch of the advanced weaponry for the use of the IDF in war. The world appeared to be bipolar now with the US, its NATO allies and many other democracies supporting Israel, while the Arab world and their sympathizers justifying the Hamas cause and action.

Contrary to the initial assessment and expectations of the Israel in tackling Hamas, the latter turned out to more difficult and better equipped for own survival. According to reports, the Hamas have constructed hundreds of underground tunnels in North Gaza, many under the secured buildings, and it is an onerous and uphill task to locate and nab them in their hideouts, although IDF has claimed to have liquidated several prominent Hamas commanders. Consequently, the aerial strikes and now ground attacks have continued even after one month of the war. Israel has asked Palestinian civilians to leave Northern Gaza and move to Southern Gaza for personal safety during the aerial and ground operations. Iran has repeatedly warned Israel to immediately stop action against the Hamas, threatening pre-emptive strikes if the latter fails to comply its warnings. The US has deployed yet another Naval Group of the carrier USS Eisenhower by mid-October to supplement already deployed the USS Gerald Ford as an added deterrence against any enemy misadventure in the Middle East region. In the meantime, for an explosion at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital leading to several deaths, both the warring sides are blaming each-other.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has announced that after the destruction of Hamas, they would relinquish control of the Gaza Strip following the induction of a new security. The IDF air strikes and now ground operations with effect from 27 October have continued with the total block of the Gaza Strip including the stoppage of the water, fuel, food and electricity; recently, a limited access for the humanitarian aid has been permitted but, reportedly, Gaza is facing acute shortage of potable water, food and fuel. The ongoing war has so far led to a widespread death of over 11,000 Palestinians and 1,600 Israelis. Similarly, according to the UN reports, around 1.5 million Palestinians as well as over 2 lakh Israelis have been internally displaced. The war has also triggered massive global protests (perhaps many purportedly staged too), mainly anti-Israel, highlighting various issues such as the immediate ceasefire. Prompt release of hostages, condemnation of the actions of both Hamas and Israel, and so on. The UN efforts have not succeeded and their resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire was vetoed by the US in the Security Council. On their part, Israel is sticking with their resolve to continue war till Hamas is completely eliminated. To have a clearer view of the prevailing conundrum, it would be relevant to peek into the history of Israel and Arab-Israel relations since the formation of the tiny state of Israel in 1948.  To be continued….

( Courtesy: Boloji.com)

 

(The Author is a retired from
Civil Servant and an Academician
and currently engaged as an Advisor to an illustrious Central Autonomous Body)

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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