Will Israeli offensive achieve anything in Gaza?

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Originally Published Jul 12, 2014

Nakshab Khan

The fresh Israeli offensive in Gaza named ‘Operation Protective Shield’ has claimed at least 22 lives, including children and women, till Tuesday evening.

The ongoing military operation is the third Israeli onslaught on the impoverished strip in the last six years, the first one being Operation Caste Lead in 2009 and Operation Pillar of Defence in 2012 that led to hundreds of deaths without Israel achieving little success.

Israel always justifies its aggression on the Gaza strip by blaming Hamas militants for firing crude rockets on the Jewish nation’s southern territories.

The question arises how much Israel has secured itself by attacking its neighbours left, right and centre.

Earlier it was Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, then 2006 war in the same country in which it failed miserably and its image as a super power military of the Midle-East was shattered by small time guerilla fighters of Hizbollah milita.

But these wars imposed by Israel on its neighbours have failed to guarantee its security apart from inviting further hostility by its Arab neighbours.

And even after several devastating wars on the narrow strip of 1.8 million people, the State of Israel is yet to achieve eternal peace for itself.

Gaza is under Israeli siege by land, air and sea after Islamist militants won 2006 legislative elections in 2006. The collective punishment for the people of Gaza by Israel has failed to achieve the desired results of stopping rocket attacks.

The latest bout of violence in the Palestanian territories is the consequence of the abduction and murder of three Jewish boys in West Bank, which Israel blames Hamas for.

So does Israel think it can ensure its security by imposing wars on the people it is occupying? The answer is surely not. The Israeli military operations have only bred hatred among Arabs as the main casualty of these operations is the innocent civilians.

The discriminative policies of Israeli government in the occupied territories like the West Bank has forced experts to predict the commencement of third Intifada (Arabic for uprising) against Israeli occupation.

This is the time for the Jewish nation to sit with Palestinian leadership to initiate meaningful dialogue and put an end to discriminative policies against the Palestinian people, including cessation of all settlement activities in the occupies territories.

As Israel has plans to summon 40, 000 army reservists for operation in the Gaza strip, the bloodletting will only increase.

It seems the problem with the Israeli leadership and its right wing elements is that it they think military operations are the only solution to the problems facing their nation. And that is why Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has refused to accept the Unity government formed by Hamas and Palestanian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

It would be interesting to see how the Narendra Modi led Indian government will react to the whole conflict in the Gaza keeping in view India’s better military and intelligence relations with Israel.

Last time, the Hamas-Israel confrontation began after Israel killed Hamas’ top military commander Ahmed Jabari in an airstrike in Gaza. Israel accused Jabari of masterminding major attacks against Israelicivilians and planning kidnapping of corporal Gilad Shalit.

Shalit was released in 2011 after Israel agreed to release 1000 Palestinians. Shalit spent five years in Hamas captivity before he was released.