Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
In the more than six weeks since Operation Al-Aqsa Flood began, Israel’s objectives under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have come under increasing domestic and international scrutiny. By concentrating its efforts on a relatively small area in northern Gaza, the Israeli government and military have faced domestic accusations of failing not only to protect settlers but also to secure the freedom of the 244 Israeli prisoners and to stop Hamas’s daily bombardments. This situation calls into question Netanyahu’s promise to protect Israel and raises questions about the real and undeclared aims of the Israeli military campaign in northern Gaza.
Contrary to the initial objectives of neutralising Hamas, destroying its capabilities and freeing prisoners, the focus seems to have shifted to breaking the will of the Palestinian resistance. This shift is evident in the tactics used: the targeting of families, children and relatives of resistance members and the destruction of essential civilian infrastructure such as schools, places of worship, hospitals and utilities such as water, electricity and fuel supplies. The intention seems to be to force a surrender and turn public opinion in Gaza against Hamas. However the Palestinian resistance remains steadfast, claiming that this systematic indiscriminate killing of civilians only strengthens their resolve to resist what they describe as an unaccountable racist entity committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Israel’s approach to this conflict, backed by substantial military capabilities and international support, particularly from the United States, has been criticised for its indiscriminate nature. The widespread destruction in Gaza, which has affected both the northern and southern regions, appears to have claimed more than 12,000 civilian lives and infrastructure, including United Nations facilities. More than 103 UN staff have reportedly been killed, despite international outcry and condemnation from various levels of the UN and calls for an immediate ceasefire.
The Israeli military’s strategy appears to be a scorched earth policy, recognising that Hamas is unlikely to be defeated by simply occupying northern Gaza. This strategy is aimed at forcing the local population to migrate south – not for safety, as the UN says there is no safe area in Gaza, but to clear northern Gaza for the creation of a buffer zone. This zone is intended to provide a sense of security for the Israeli occupying settlers, who remain reluctant to return in the face of continued threats and the potential for future attacks by Hamas.
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