Bombs and mortars are flying between Israel and Gaza amid furiously high tensions between the Israeli government and Palestinian protesters.
The militarized branches of Hamas and Islamic Jihad announced a rocket strike in retaliation against the Israeli government’s murder and maiming of thousands of protesters during the ongoing Palestinian March of Return.
Approximately 27 shells were launched from within Gaza in the largest attack against Israel in years.
In response, Israel has launched a counter-strike against military bases in The Gaza Strip after firing a tank into the area on Sunday, killing three.
Israel claimed that the tank fire was in response to the discovery of a bomb planted along the border.
According to Israel’s military, at least 35 targets under Hamas or Islamic Jihad control were hit in the counter-strike.
Al Jazeera spoke with a Hamas official named Ismail Radwan, who blamed Israel for the rising tensions:
“This escalation is very dangerous from the Zionist occupation and the occupation bares responsibility for this escalation and its ramifications. The occupiers should know that the crimes will be responded to with resistance.”
While it is unfortunate that Hamas and Islamic Jihad chose to take military action against Israel, it is not exactly surprising considering the unlivable conditions Palestinians are forced to endure on top of the ongoing slaughter of their people as they peacefully protest their captivity.
What is truly unfortunate, however, is the effect that the airstrikes are likely to have on the Palestinian cause.
Despite the heavy-handed violence Israel has displayed toward Palestinians, the country is frequently defended in its actions, particularly by U.S. officials.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley recently blocked a U.N. move to approve an investigation into the violence in Gaza, asserting that any other country would react the same way.
In contrast, special envoy for Middle East peace Jason Greenblatt called Gaza’s mortar attack “reprehensible.”
The ways in which the public in general reacts towards violence on the part of Palestinians is in complete contrast with the reaction towards Israeli violence and indicates the strong, pro-Israeli bias that exists both in the media as well as in global politics, and completely ignores the fundamental struggle Palestinians have endured for decades.
Pro-Israeli individuals will seek to use this flare-up as justification for the brutal oppression that the Israeli government has subjected the Palestinian people to for years as well as to demonize Palestinians in general and to discredit the Palestinian fight to return to their homeland.
While violence can never be condoned, it seems rather unjustifiable to permit such acts for one party and not for the other.
In short, if military action on the part of Gaza and Hamas is going to be condemned, then so too should any military action taken by Israel.
We cannot expect an end to this decades-long conflict if we insist on continuing to approach this situation as if one group were superior to the other.
We need to change our prejudiced approach to one of unbiased practicality rather than nationalistic, religious sentimentality, not only if we are ever to see the end of this conflict, but also if we as a country are to regain any international credibility whatsoever following our president’s misguided recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a decision which, in large part, is responsible for the escalating tensions in the region and which flies in the face of international protocol.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to cover this story.
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