Palestine: Gaza Burns and Crumbles

Its a David and Goliath struggle.

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To comment on the plight of Palestine and its people, from the comparative luxury of my living room in Australia, hardly provides a narrative that is either credible, experienced, or understood of their misery at the hands of Israel. One can only imagine it, and not very well.

There is much support from the Israeli Likud party to continue this conflict regardless of the human cost.

The intense hatred between these people is palpable and you could be forgiven for thinking the only solution to the crisis is the annihilation of one side! Of course that is unthinkable, yet no-one seems able to fix the problem. Goodness knows many have tried and what the future holds. Perhaps Armageddon, after all this is the epicentre of religious beliefs.

In comparatively modern times it was in 1948 when the British ceased its Palestinian Mandate, packed its bags and left to the cries of ‘bring the boys back home’ from the UK. when Israel moved in and created the Jewish state now known as the State of Israel. Of course those with biblical thinking will say it goes back way before this time. And I am not writing a thesis here.

It might be opportune to mention that during WW II  about 6,000 Palestinian Arabs and 30,000 Palestinian Jews joined the British forces fighting against the axis. Others in the region were of the idea the axis forces would succeed.

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Can it be that since this time, till now and probably beyond, war has been waged without any peace settlement? Simple answer is yes. With no end in sight to settlement. Both do not recognise the other as existing in this disputed land.

One can only wonder at the stupidity of the human race if this is an example of how we are. God or no damned god.

May 15th. saw members of the Arab League – Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Transjordan, the Holy War Army and the Arab Liberation Army, marched their forces into what had the previous day ceased to be the British Mandate for Palestine. The League of Arab States sent a cablegram to the Secretary-General of the United Nations saying,

On the occasion of the intervention of Arab States in Palestine to restore law and order and to prevent disturbances prevailing in Palestine from spreading into their territories and to check further bloodshed

Between 1949 and 1953, there were 99 complaints made by Israel about the infiltration of armed groups or individuals and 30 complaints of armed Jordanian units crossing into Israeli territory. Several hundred Israeli civilians were killed by infiltrators, and some were raped and mutilated.

Infiltration by Palestinian fedayeen began from Egypt, resulting in many minor skirmishes, raids and counter-raids, causing hundreds of casualties on both sides, including many civilians. One thousand three hundred Israelis killed or wounded in paramilitary attacks. By September The All-Palestine Government assembled in the Egyptian-controlled Gaza Strip and was recognized by all members of the Arab League except Jordan.

Israel launched numerous reprisal raids in response to attacks and between 1949 and 1956, two hundred and eighty six [286] Israeli civilians were killed. During the same period, excluding the Suez War, 258 Israeli soldiers were also killed. Between 2,700 and 5,000 Arab infiltrators were killed. It is unclear whether these Arabs were really infiltrators or were simply unauthorized crossers, as many Palestinians were crossing into Israel for economic reasons.

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1951, the State of Israel was confronted by a wave of Palestinian infiltrations (fedayeen). This resulted in 118 Israelis, including 48 civilians, being killed by such infiltrators. According to Israeli army records, an average of 36 infiltrators were killed each month during 1951. Arabs were also being attacked by the Israelis, and the overall situation deteriorated.

Israel began Retribution Operations as punishment and prevention measures.

During 1956 the Suez Crisis erupted. Israel invaded Egypt‘s Sinai Peninsula with covert assent from France and Britain. The European nations had economic and trading interests in the Suez Canal, while Israel wanted to reopen the canal for Israeli shipping and end Egyptian-supported fedayeen incursions and attacks. Israel completely withdrew six months later when Egypt assured Israel unimpeded navigation and safety.

So far it looks reasonable that Israel has the right of defending its territory. However, lets not forget in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Israel captured and incorporated more Mandate territory than suggested in the 1947 Partition Plan; Jordan captured the region today known as the West Bank, while at the Gaza Strip the All-Palestine Government was announced in September 1948. Consequently, it was however relocated to Cairo and eventually dissolved in 1959 by Egyptian President Nasser, officially making Gaza under Egyptian military administration.

In the course of the Six Day War in June 1967, Israel captured the rest of former Mandate Palestine from Jordan and Egypt, and began a policy of Israeli settlements. From 1987 to 1993, the First Palestinian Intifada against Israel took place, ending with the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. In 2000, the Second or Al-Aqsa Intifada began, and Israel built a barrier. Following Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2004, it withdrew all settlers and most of its military presence from the Gaza strip, but maintained control of the air space and coast.

OK Fast forward…..

Following the January 2006 election of the Hamas government, Fatah resistance took the form of street battles that resulted in a victory for Hamas. Hamas took over the ministries of the (Fatah) Palestinian Authority and Gaza became a Hamas enclave outside PA control.

As of July 2009, approximately 305,000 Israelis lived in 121 settlements in the West Bank. The 2.4 million West Bank Palestinians (according to Palestinian evaluations) live primarily in four blocs centred in Hebron,Ramallah, Nablus, and Jericho.

So much history. So much happened prior to this date [1948] and you begin to get bogged down in religious fervour and fantasy.

I cannot understand the motives other than the land belongs to them [Israel] and there is no room for another. Hence the imbalance militarily and the total lack of compassion. Do we therefore conclude that Israel is practising genocide on Palestinians?

Comments/Critique welcomed. There is much to understand.

Related….

US Secretary of state, John Kerry snubbed.

 

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