The vicious war between the Occupier State of Israel and the Palestinian resistance is growing graver by the day with no sign of let-up nor any political will for a cease-fire or pullback from the death and destruction that has already killed thousands of Palestinians and Israelis.
Since the war began on Oct. 7, with an unprecedented barrage of missiles and incursions into illegal Israeli settlements by Hamas, Israel issued a declaration of war and responded with relentless destruction on Gaza.
The bombardment killed young and old, men, women and children. Media reports also said deadly violence by Israeli settlers increased on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Among the slain were also humanitarian workers and journalists, as images on social media are showing the world in real-time some of the human costs of war.
The vicious war between the Occupier State of Israel and the Palestinian resistance is growing graver by the day with no sign of let-up nor any
CNN. The network reported that to date, 1,400 Israeli’s have been killed.
“Many Palestinians used to think that if there was social media in 1948, the world would (not) have allowed the Nakba to happen,” said Nour Odeh, Palestinian political analyst, on X the platform formerly known as Twitter. “They would not have allowed the systemic ethnic cleansing and mass murder of Palestinians. This proves they were dead wrong. Nakba is now live,” she wrote, referring to the forced displacement of nearly one million Palestinians off of their lands in 1948.
One week into the war, Israel gave 24 hours for 1.1 million Palestinians to evacuate Gaza City and north of the Gaza Strip, ahead of an expected ground offensive on the besieged enclave. The Oct. 13 ultimatum came after Israel warned the UN to move the people deeper south into the narrow coastal territory that is home to about 2.3 million people.
The UN and rights organizations demanded Israel rescind the stance saying its “impossible” for such a move to happen without dreadful humanitarian consequences. Some observers said the move would be a death trap of slaughter. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokesperson Jens Laerke underscored the impossibility by asking, “in the middle of a war zone where people are already at the end of the rope, how is that going to happen?”
The UN launched an appeal for $294 million for 77 humanitarian partners to address the most urgent needs of 1.26 million people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
“This is a response to an escalation that has put civilians in a situation in which they should never be,” said Mr. Laerke. “The most urgent priority is now to de-escalate,” he added.
Atrocities and a humanitarian crisis
However, de-escalating is not an option for the Zionist State’s bloodthirst for revenge. Atrocities and apparent crimes against humanity are occurring, say rights advocates. Human Rights Watch verified videos taken in Lebanon and Gaza on October 10 and 11 alleging multiple airbursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus over the Gaza City port and two rural locations along the Israel-Lebanon border. The chemical over densely populated areas magnifies a risk to civilians that international humanitarian law prohibits.
“Any time that white phosphorus is used in crowded civilian areas, it poses a high risk of excruciating burns and lifelong suffering,” said Lama Fakih, Middle East and North Africa director at HRW. “White phosphorous is unlawfully indiscriminate when airburst in populated urban areas, where it can burn down houses and cause egregious harm to civilians.”
Israel gave its forces a “prefer damage over precision” order to carry out in Gaza, the 120 square-mile enclave where Israel has held a blockade of imports, services, and limited the movement of Palestinians since 2007. The B’Tselem human rights organization said hundreds of homes lie in ruins, including residential towers reduced to rubble and houses that collapsed on top of the inhabitants. The UN said over 463,000 people have been internally displaced. That number is expected to increase.
Nothing has been off limits from airstrikes, not roads and public buildings, nor schools and medical clinics. Hospitals are only partially functioning—some damaged by bombing—and all severely lack medical equipment and fuel for electric generators. This is the state of affairs in Gaza, but for Palestinians, it is an extended evil to life under an imposed blockade.
Above all, the Palestinians exist under an apartheid system, deprived of justice, and a full and complete freedom. Justice is the joy of freedom, and observers say, the illegal actions of the occupier toward the occupied will never be resolved without addressing justice, self-determination. and solving the core issue of usurped land.
“You must have land,” said the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, in Oct. 14 remarks to the National Black Leadership Summit IX, speaking on the plight of Black people in America, however relating it to the plight of Palestinians living under Israeli subjugation.
“You got to have your own,” he said. “It must be ours,” added Minister Farrakhan. “That’s why the Palestinians are in such bad shape. They’ll never be free under that system. Never,” said the Minister. “Anytime somebody can cut off your water, cut off your electricity, cut off your food, you’re not free,” he added.
Israel has disconnected Gaza from the power grid. Water is in short supply and almost all the water extracted in Gaza requires purification to drink, which requires electricity. Israel has also cruelly cut back on the water it sells to Gaza, and part of the water network has been bombed. Justice advocates say there is no justification for these actions, which constitute war crimes, openly directed by top Israeli officials.
Intentionally harming civilians, their property, and civilian infrastructure is always prohibited, said B’Tselem. “One crime does not justify another, nor does one kind of injustice justify another,” the group said.
For Phyllis Bennis, the director of the New Internationalist Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, accountability must be had on both sides. “The action of Hamas to break out of Gaza, which was really an open-air prison … you can’t get out, can’t get away from the bombing that is coming … already underway, that was expected by many,” said Ms. Bennis. “It’s been talked about for a long time, some version of an explosive act of resistance,” she explained.
However, Ms. Bennis noted parts of the resistance that included attacks on civilians, whether on people in their houses who were killed, or on the music festival where hundreds were killed, “all of these things are violations of international law, and in my view, morally unacceptable and must be condemned,” she said.
The right of armed resistance for a population under military occupation is real, Ms. Bennis noted, but targeting civilians, there is no such right, even for people carrying out a just and legitimate struggle. “I think we have to recognize both things. Resistance is legitimate. It does not include attacks on civilians. And there should be accountability on all sides,” she said.
Ms. Bennis, who is Jewish and a longtime advocate for Palestinian rights, told The Final Call what Israel is now doing, and threatening to do even more also violates a host of international laws. Such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring, “We are going to ignore any concern about accuracy and go for destruction.” This directly violates international law. “That must be condemned,” Ms. Bennis said.
Media ‘boogeyman’ narrative
Ever since news broke that the Zionist Occupier State of Israel came under an unprecedented kind of attack from the Palestinian resistance, western media was saturated with empathy and compassion for the death of Israelis. But lukewarm to no acknowledgment of the Palestinian suffering while deliberately characterizing Hamas and the Palestinian resistance fighters as “terrorists” with detailed comparisons to “ISIS” was used for an intended effect.
But images of Israeli fear of Palestinian resistance fighters making their way into the illegal settlements must be placed in context, observers argue.
Israeli violation has been the reality of life for the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and the occupied territories prior to Oct. 7. Escalating Israeli raids and lack of accountability by the world community driven by a U.S. diplomatic cover and strong-armed global influence gave license to Israeli violations.
The historical context driving the resistance is obscured as Western media employ “soft war” empathy for the colonial settlers. Their careful narrative omits the interconnection of what happens in the spirit of oppressed people living under unbridled oppression. Eventually, as history proves, they will rise to break the chains.
Context is everything and words mean something as the saying goes that, “One man’s terrorist, is another man’s freedom fighter,” because justice for the oppressed is different from justice for the oppressor. The sentiment: “If I am starving, you are in danger” should have forewarned the Israeli occupier and their Western benefactor, the U.S.
Like during slavery in America, Nat Turner, a Virginia slave and preacher organized a resistance that traveled from plantation to plantation slaying the slave masters—not sparing anyone—and freeing slaves along the way. To slave-makers perhaps Nat Turner was a terrorist as critics now characterize the Palestinian resistance which includes Hamas.
“The way they are reporting it is horrendous,” said Wafic Faour, a Palestinian refugee and organizer with Vermonters for Palestine. “Number one, they are making it Israel against the organization called Hamas,” he said. “This is the biggest wrong. It’s Israel against the Palestinians … particularly, the Palestinian resistance movement,” said Mr. Faour.
As always, they dehumanize “their” enemy to make them as the Israeli Defense Minister called them, human “animals.”
“This is nothing new, they call them rapists. … slaughtering children … killing innocent people,” said Mr. Faour. He said the dehumanizing of Palestinians comes from the same U.S. playbook of dehumanizing the Native Indigenous people—Indians—as savages, or former enslaved Blacks disparagingly to justify being “hunted every day” by the police.
Gauging Western world leaders’ reaction to “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” with its massive shelling and military incursion of resistance fighters entering illegal Israeli settlements, they are labeled “monsters,” and Israel can do no wrong. However, considering decades of Israeli oppression, subjugation, and occupation of Palestinians and their lands, the question is where was the moral compass and global compassion for the Palestinians?
U.S. culpability as an enabler continues
Washington the enabler is as much culpable for the crisis, critics argue. It blocks accountability at the UN and it provides an unquestioned $3.8 billion—20 percent of Israel’s military budget—every year. U.S. and state flags on public buildings and grounds have been flying at half-mast across the U.S. and earlier in October, The White House illuminated in blue and white, the colors of the Israeli flag.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden, Secretaries of State and Defense, Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin, both of whom traveled to Israel and the region, reiterated unwavering support for Israel. But neither the president nor the secretaries made mention of the impending ground offensive or the accusations that Israel used white phosphorus on the Palestinian civilian population. None mentioned any limits to the support, except for Mr. Biden saying, “stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination.”
The United States enhanced its military posture in the region to strengthen deterrence, Mr. Biden announced. The Department of Defense has moved the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean and bolstered its fighter jets presence with another carrier USS Eisenhower and accompanying ships on the way. With the one-sided pronouncements in support of Israel, Mr. Biden threatened other nations who may support the Palestinian resistance.
“To any country, any organization, anyone thinking of taking advantage of this situation, I have one word: Don’t,” said President Biden
The potential for wider conflict
The war on Gaza has slipped dangerously into spreading in the Middle East region. After days of killing and counter-killing and destruction inflicted on the lands that have been the center of bloody disputes for nearly eight decades, events are growing from bad to worse.
Analysts and Mideast watchers fear the conflict will be a lengthy war. Included in the fear of spreading is the chest bumping of Washington and Tel Aviv against Iran whom they accuse, absent any evidence, of being in on the planning with the Palestinian resistance. Iran denies the accusations.
In light of America’s bully talk and moving its ships and troops in the Mediterranean, things can move dangerously toward wider war.
“What will the aircraft carrier of the U.S. do near Israel? Why do they come? What will boats around and aircraft on it do? They will hit Gaza and around, and take steps for serious massacres there,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Türkiye said in a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Ankara, reported MSNBC.
Mr. Erdogan has previously said that Türkiye was ready to mediate between Israeli and Palestinian forces to ensure calm.
Furthermore, at Final Call presstime rockets were shot back and forth between Israel and Hezbollah along the borders of Lebanon. Hezbollah Deputy Chief Naim Qassem told a pro-Palestinian demonstration on Oct. 13, that the group would not be influenced by calls for them to stay out of the fray, saying the party was “fully ready” to contribute to the fighting.
“The behind-the-scenes calls with us by great powers, Arab countries, envoys of the United Nations, directly and indirectly telling us not to interfere will have no effect,” he told supporters gathered in a southern Beirut suburb. “Hezbollah knows its duties perfectly well. We are prepared and ready, fully ready,” Mr. Qassem said.