Despite all the atrocities occurring during the most recent Israeli onslaught in Gaza, Israel’s aim is straightforward: “quiet for quiet,” or a resumption of normalcy. Israel often keeps up its illegal development of infrastructure and settlements in the West Bank so it may incorporate into Israel whatever could be valuable while also relegating Palestinians to unviable cantons and subjecting them to oppression and brutality. For Gaza, the norm is a terrible existence under an oppressive siege that Israel imposes only to allow minimal survival. Israel has often killed more than two Palestinian youngsters weekly over the past few years.

Israeli forces fatally shot two Palestinian teens on October 8, 2022, during a military operation in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Given that it was ordinary, it is natural that there wasn’t much attention given to it.

“The institutionalized disregard for Palestinian life in the West helps explain not only why Palestinians resort to violence, but also Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip,” Middle East Analyst Mouin Rabbani reported.

“Quiet for quiet” norm:

Israel’s policy of severing the connection between the West Bank and Gaza is furthered through “quiet for quiet.” Since the US and Israel signed the Oslo Accords, proclaimed to be an indivisible geographical unity, that agenda has been relentlessly pursued, always with US assistance. The logic is shown by examining the map. Palestine’s only port of entry into the outside world is Gaza; therefore, if the two are split apart, Israel’s autonomy to Palestinians on the West Bank would effectively put them in jail between Israel and Jordan. As Israel pursues its plan to drive Palestinians out of the Jordan Valley and establish Israeli colonies there, the Imprisonment will worsen.

The Norwegian trauma surgeon Mads Gilbert, who served in Gaza’s major hospital through Israel’s most heinous atrocities and returned for the current onslaught, provided a detailed description of the usual in Gaza. He sent a report on the health care system in Gaza to UNRWA, the UN organization that makes valiant efforts to provide refugee treatment on a shoestring, in June 2014. According to Gilbert, almost 80% of Gaza households received help, and about 57% had food insecurity. Most residents of Gaza could not meet their daily caloric needs due to food insecurity and rising poverty, and more than 90% of the water there had been deemed unfit for human consumption. As Israel continues to attack Gaza’s water and sewage systems, the situation worsens for the 1.2 million people who depend on these systems for even the most necessities.

Public Response to Ceasefire:

Raji Sourani, a human rights attorney who has remained in Gaza despite years of Israeli oppression and cruelty, stated in an interview: “The most common sentence that I heard when people began to talk about ceasefire; Everybody says it’s better for all of us to die and not go back to the situation we used to have before this war. We don’t want that again. We have no dignity, no pride; we are just soft targets, and we are very cheap. Either this situation really improves or it is better to just die. I am talking about intellectuals, academics, ordinary people: Everybody is saying that.”

Similar views have been expressed frequently: it is preferable to pass away in peace than to be slowly choked by the tormentor. Dov Weissglass, the confidant of Ariel Sharon who negotiated the disengagement of the Israeli settlers from Gaza in 2005, provided a clear explanation of the intentions for the norm for Gaza.

The departure applauded in Israel and among adherents and the misguided outside, was a cleverly produced “national tragedy” that was appropriately mocked by knowledgeable Israeli observers, including the late Baruch Kimmerling, Israel’s foremost sociologist.

Hamas won the 2006 elections; the biggest mistake:

Palestinians committed a serious crime in 2006: they cast the incorrect ballot in a carefully watched democratic election, giving Hamas control of the Parliament. The media repeatedly proclaimed that Hamas was committed to destroying Israel. In actuality, Hamas officials have frequently said that their organization would accept a two-state solution that has been opposed for forty years by the US and Israel and is in line with international opinion. In contrast, aside from a few inane remarks here and there, Israel is committed to and is carrying out the destruction of Palestine.

Israel indeed endorsed the plan for achieving a two-state solution put out by President George W. Bush and approved by the Quartet—the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia—that will oversee it. Prime Minister Sharon previously inserted fourteen objections to the road map, which practically made it invalid. Although the information was known to campaigners, it was first published in Jimmy Carter’s book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. In discussions and reporting from the media, they are concealed.

Palestinians’ January 2006 crime was immediately punished. Israel increased its aggression as the US and Israel, with Europe shamefully lagging, put strict sanctions on the rebellious populace. The US and Israel promptly started planning for a military coup to topple the elected government. The Israeli attacks worsened when Hamas dared to thwart the preparations. There shouldn’t be a need to go through the terrible record again. Episodes of “mowing the grass,” to use Israel’s joyful euphemism for its recurrent drills in killing fish in a pond as part of what it calls a “war of defense,” are interspersed with the persistent siege and vicious attacks.

Israeli officials praise the “most moral army in the world,” which warns locals that their houses will be destroyed, for being kind. According to Israeli writer Amira Hass, the tactic amounts to “sadism, sanctimoniously masquerading itself as mercy”: “A recorded message requesting hundreds of thousands of people leave their already targeted houses, for another site, equally risky, 10 kilometers away.”

In reality, no area of the Gaza jail is safe from Israeli sadism, which may even be worse than the atrocities committed during Operation Cast Lead in 2008–2009. The most moral leader in the world, Barak Obama, responded to the horrifying findings as usual: by expressing deep compassion for Israelis, harsh criticism of Hamas, and pleas for moderation on all sides.

Forty years ago, Israel made the tragic choice to prioritize expansion over security, rejecting Egypt’s offer of a comprehensive peace deal in exchange for Egypt’s withdrawal from the occupied Egyptian Sinai, where Israel was launching massive construction and settlement initiatives. Since then, it has maintained that stance, reaching the same conclusion South Africa did in 1958. The impact on Israel would be far bigger if the US opted to join the rest of the globe. Relationships of power forbid anything other, as Washington repeatedly showed when it demanded that Israel give up important objectives.

Israel currently has few options because of the policies it has adopted, which have transformed it from a highly admired nation to one that is feared and despised. Israel is continuing these policies blindly with determination as it continues its steadfast march toward moral decline and eventual destruction.

Response of Amnesty International on recent attacks:

Amnesty International requested the International Criminal Court (ICC) to look into potential war crimes on October 25, 2022, in response to the “illegal strikes” carried out during Israel’s murderous assault on the Gaza Strip in August. According to a recent study from Amnesty International that looks at three individual assaults on civilians, Israeli soldiers “boasted” of the accuracy of their attacks on Gaza in August.

A four-year-old boy, a teenager who was visiting his mother’s grave, and a fine arts student who was murdered by Israeli tank fire while at home having tea with her mother were among the casualties of Israel’s allegedly “precise” assaults, according to Amnesty International. Investigations are also being conducted into an incident that claimed the lives of seven Palestinian civilians and that appears to have been caused by an unguided missile that Palestinian armed organizations most likely fired. The Israeli assault in August was only the most recent instance of indiscriminate brutality against Gaza’s “controlled, oppressed, and separated” people, which had endured years of unjustified embargo.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, Israeli troops have murdered at least 160 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip since the beginning of this year, including 51 Palestinians during Israel’s three-day assault on Gaza in August. According to the United Nations, 49 Palestinians were murdered during the three-day battle in the Gaza Strip, including 31 civilians, according to a new study from Amnesty International. On August 5, Israel conducted airstrikes against the Islamic Jihad organization in what it said were preventative measures. This started the war.

Amnesty International claimed to have pieced together the details of three distinct assaults, two carried out by Israeli forces and one most likely by Palestinian armed groups, using images of weapon fragments, satellite imaging analysis, and testimony from dozens of interviewees.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has begun investigating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is anticipated to include a focus on potential war crimes during the 2014 battle in Gaza. Although Israel is not a member of the ICC and contests its authority, the Palestinian Authority supports the investigation.

The family of Shireen Abu Akleh, an Al Jazeera journalist, filed a formal case with the ICC last month to seek justice for her passing. As the “voice of Palestine,” Abu Akleh worked for Al Jazeera for 25 years. On May 11, she was killed by an Israeli bullet to the head while covering an army operation in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The issue that remains is: Could US policy change? It’s not impossible since public opinion has changed significantly recently, especially among young people, and because it can’t be fully disregarded. For several years, there has been a solid foundation for public pressure on Washington to uphold its rules and stop providing Israel with military support. No security aid may be given to any nation whose government “engages in a pattern of serious breaches of internationally recognized human rights,” according to US law. Israel has been engaging in this persistent rhetoric for a very long time. The law’s developer, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, has mentioned that it may apply to Israel under some circumstances. Such efforts might be effectively pursued with a well-run educational, organizational, and activist campaign.

That might have a huge impact on its own and catalyze more measures to force Washington to abide by international law and standards and join “the world community.” Nothing could be more important for the sad Palestinians who have endured years of tyranny and violence.

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