Analysis Guest article

Guest article: Gaza under attack as Netanyahu tries to avert corruption prosecution

Yousef Al-Helou

Yousef Al-Helou is a Palestinian journalist and political analyst from Gaza, based in London. He is a United Nations fellow and alumnus and served as a Reuters journalist fellow at the University of Oxford. He writes:

Over the years it has become clear that Gaza is the key to Israeli politicians boosting their popularity in order to stay in power. All of a sudden any Israeli PM can wage unprovoked attack on besieged Gaza.

That can be an assassination of Palestinian resistance commanders, waging aerial strikes for the purpose of causing fear, terrorising over 2 million living in the tiny coastal enclave, in addition to launching tank shelling, naval bombardment, conducting a blitz targeting sites close to and even in the middle of residential areas under the pretext of thwarting Palestinian resistance activities or in response to the firing of retaliatory home-made projectiles fired from Gaza in previous military escalations in response to Israeli attacks.

After each Israeli air offensive in Gaza houses are destroyed, families maimed, innocent civilians murdered and those who are affected and experienced the oppression try to gather together the shattered pieces of their life. Suffering in Gaza has become normality and part of daily life. For nearly 20 years and counting, Gazans have been trapped in the world’s largest open air prison, subjected to the cruelest military occupation practices in our modern history.

Another fact is that Israel is using Gaza as a testing ground for the American advanced weapons and to test its Iron Dome System -designed to shoot down Palestinian projectiles.

Netanyahu, the most extreme right wing official in the history of Israel, aims to unite Israelis behind him and avert court trials due to corruption scandals – by shedding Palestinian blood, dehumanising Palestinians, crushing their morale and trying to break their will.

On the other hand Palestinians understand his dirty plans and support the resistance because of the simple fact that most of the bombs, missiles and shells fired by young Israeli soldiers target civilians – as happened two days ago when entire families were wiped out by Israeli air raids targeted their homes while they were asleep, including five children and four women.

The Israeli government calls that ‘collateral damage’ or ‘incidental’, accusing resistance commanders of using their own families as human shields to put the blame onto the victims.

Netanyahu’s dirty work also aims to divide Palestinian resistance groups by continuing to target one faction and warning the others not to take part in retaliation. He aims to single out Gaza and prevent any response or reaction in the occupied West Bank. He and his like thrive on Palestinian suffering.

But what he does not want to understand is that Palestinians will never vanish. They will never raise the white flag and will continue to demand their right to self-determination and freedom.

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