“Netanyahu is sinking in the Gaza quicksand and Gaza is proving much tougher than he could have possibly had in mind.” These were the words of Palestinian born journalist Ramzy Baroud, the managing editor of Middle East Eye, who addressed a renewal of fighting between Hamas and Israeli in conflict hit Gaza Strip.
The statement came in the midst of further airstrikes in the region, this time targeting one of Gaza’s tallest buildings, wounding 20 people. Latest reports put the current Palestinian death toll at over 2,100, since the outbreak of violence began on the 8th July. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) said it carried out a total of 16 airstrikes on Monday alone; targeting a mosque it believed to be used by Hamas as a meeting point.
Baroud, whose family hails from Gaza, described the targeting of civilians as a means for Israel to turn the Gazan community against Hamas, and force them into conceding whatever political objectives they had in mind.
“The targeting of civilians has been very much part of the military policy of Benjamin Netanyahu. The message they are trying to send is that they want to increase the price of the resistance, so as to create public pressure on Hamas and the other resistance groups,” he said.
However, he believed this would not work, as the entire Gazan population was firmly united behind the resistance; despite the immense lose of human life.
Baroud said the current round of fighting in the region was particularly interest, especially with the Hamas resistance seen as being at its weakest in years. Apart from the Israeli leadership, he singled out Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as well as the United States, as having sensed this weakness, and thus being determined to completely eliminate the resistance.
“Hamas signed a unity agreement with Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, and an analyst has told us the reason they have signed this agreement, is because they really have no other options. They were isolated, alienated, and they needed some outside political margin through which to operate,” he said.
With the resistance bring forth corth clear political demands for the first time, and with Palestinians refusing to return to the status quo of the Israeli oppression, Baroud was confident that when a ceasefire was eventually agreed, it would be based on the fair and rightful demands of the Palestinian people.
Compared to similar outbreaks of violence in 2009 and 2012 there has been a notable shift in public perception towards the Gaza issue. This change has coincided with the rise of social media as a major platform for information.
Baroud said the entire narrative of the Palestinian situation was changing, particularly amongst the youth. He suggested the longer the war carried on, the more people around the world were waking up to the true nature of the conflict.
“They are waking up to the ugly reality that Israel is not a democratic state that stands for law and order, that it is an occupying power, and that it is carrying out genocide,” he said.
He suggested the Israeli regime were struggling to find ways to condone their continued campaign in Gaza.
“Neteyahu is going back and forth to the drawing board, and he is not able to come up with anything that would allow him to go back and finish this crazy war that he has started, and tell his people that he has won,” he said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)