Gaza Resisted, Endured and Won


Palestinian boys carry HAMAS banners during a "victory" parade in Gaza City in 2009.
Palestinian boys carry Hamas flags during a “victory” parade in Gaza City in 2009.

Israel’s war aim was to “to destroy Hamas civil and military command structures and their hard core fighting brigades,” but the Israeli armed forces have failed to achieve eve ten percent of their objective, which in military terms means defeat


Special to Caravan

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Israelis waged war against Hezbollah in 2006 and suffered a shameful defeat. Now they have launched the most barbaric assault on Hamas of Gaza, who are besieged and isolated, yet are determined “to resist, endure and win”, as declared by their parliament, which embodies the will of the people. The name Gaza, itself means, ‘the insurmountable”. The courage and determination of Hamas to fight against such odds is a landmark achievement of the contemporary times.

In fact this is the war of survival for Israel, as was the war of 2006, they fought and lost. Each defeat thus has led them closer to their ultimate destruction. Noam Chomsky rightly comments: “Israel by now has little recourse, after having adopted policies that turned it from a country that was greatly admired to one that is feared and despised, policies it is pursuing with blind determination today in its march toward moral deterioration and possible ultimate destruction.”

This ‘self-destruct barbarity’ by Israel was aimed at defeating the “coalition of the nations – Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, threatening Israel.” Israel first struck Hezbollah in 2006 and failed. Then decided to break the coalition through intrigue and conspiracies. Led by United States, Sectarian hatred was fomented by demonizing Iran, which accentuated Shia and Sunni differences. Resultantly, Saudi Arabia and the GCC intervened in Bahrain in 2009 to quell the Shia uprising. Shia and Sunni countries now are face to face in Syria, and the country itself stands devastated.

The enemy has placed Hamas in a very precarious situation. Their coalition partners stand divided and would not help the Sunni Hamas any more. Secular Egypt will not help, because of the Ikhwan-Hamas politico-religious affinities. Many countries in the region want Hamas destroyed, much as Israel desires, because the emergence of ‘political Islam’  is considered detrimental to their interests. For the same reason “Pakistan and Turkey also fall in the line of fire.” The “present political turmoil in Pakistan is the beginning of the movement through revolution and regime change,”

Israelis have besieged Hamas; have also isolated and made them friendless, but could not break their will to resist and endure the severest punishment at their hands. Hamas possess the indomitable will like the Afghans, whose “shadow armies led by committed believers, have defeated the mightiest of the mighty” — M.J. Akbar. Israel-Hamas conflict is an asymmetric war. The Israelis have one of the finest armed forces of the world and have mobilized a force of over six infantry divisions supported by their naval and air forces, yet have found themselves unable to match the Hamas soldiers.

Thus having failed to achieve the war aim, they have resorted to the depraved and cowardly Dahlya Doctrine, which is the most inhuman act of punishing the innocent men, women and children, by destroying more than 110 mosques, 83 schools, 27 hospitals, 3300 residential buildings, several IDP camps, funeral processions and water and power supply networks. In fact Dahlya Doctrine has created the conditions of a holocaust, yet it could not break the will of the Gazans to fight.

Hamas is facing the brunt of Israeli military might with only Al Aqsa and Al Qasim brigades each with a strength of about 7000-8000 well trained and hardened soldiers, supported by another 10-12 thousand para military forces. They also have a Special Operation Force Group which has carried out several operations across the borders. They have no heavy weapons in support, no Airforce or Navy. But do have some shoulder-fired anti-air, anti-tank missiles and an array of short and medium range free flight, ground to ground rockets and have used them with effect. Hamas claims to have killed over 150 Israeli soldiers and wounded over 400.

The Hamas have fired many free-flight-rockets into Israel territory, but only a few, out of these, have been intercepted by Israeli patriot missiles, which form the “Iron Dome” National Air Defense Shield for Israel. The Iron Dome Shield, thus has proved ineffective and vulnerable against Hamas rocket attacks, forcing the Israeli infantry to neutralize Hamas missile-firing-sites on ground, but failed, something similar to what had happened in 2006, when Hezbollah defeated the Israeli army, trying to neutralize their missile sites.

Despite such losses, Hamas is determined to fight the war to its bitter end, because, a ceasefire would mean living under perpetual siege by Israel, who have usurped their land and want Hamas to be eliminated while Hamas stands friendless and isolated. The war is going to be a grim fight between the two opposing and unequal forces, yet the one with stronger will would prevail. Divine Justice favors Hamas, while Israel is being condemned by the world at large.

Uri Avnery, the noted Israeli scholar and activist, writes: “Let’s admit that our present enemy is fighting with great courage and inventiveness. That, almost miraculously, their civilian and military command structures are still functioning well. That the civilian population is supporting them, in spite of immense suffering. That after four weeks of fighting against one of the strongest armies of the world, they are still standing upright.”

Israel war aim was to “to destroy Hamas civil and military command structures and their hard core fighting brigades,” but the Israeli armed forces have failed to achieve eve ten percent of their objective, which in military terms means defeat. Hamas has won, because the ideology of the resistance movement cannot be defeated.

The Israeli forces have started pulling out and soon they will beat a full retreat. The Gazans would be free, but shattered from within, but life must continue to flow. Paul Mason wrote: “There are only two economic routes for life to flow back to Gaza and given the bitterness of this conflict, the route from Israel will not be the main one. Egypt holds the key to Gaza’s economic integration to the rest of the global economy. Open the Rafah crossing and the need for the tunnels disappears. To the world this forlorn, impoverished and totally battered society has become a byword for impossibility and despair. But nobody has told Gazans. I found them full of hope.”

Egypt has been a party to the Gazans’ suffering. Providence has offered them the opportunity to redeem their honor. Missing the opportunity may prove to be a greater tragedy for Egypt itself, and we may witness emergence of another ISIS from the soil of Gaza.

Post Script

Lady Sayeeda Warsi, the British Cabinet Minister has resigned because, as she said in her resignation note, “Government approach and language, during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible. I can no longer support this policy, so that, I am able to live with myself.” Our compliments Lady Sayeeda, for shaking the conscience of the Muslim world, in particular.


All opinions and views expressed in columns and blogs and comments by readers are those of individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Caravan

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