Hundreds of Palestinians have been arbitrarily arrested by Israeli military forces in Occupied Palestine, while many more have been killed and wounded by a wave of missile attacks on densely populated residential areas of the Gaza in recent days.
According to news reports this follows a series of rockets fired by Hamas upon Israeli settler cities. Sources in Gaza report however, that the rocket attacks by the Islamic liberation movement followed a devastating explosion caused by the Israeli army at a Hamas rally.
They also point out that apart from causing mayhem at this huge rally attended by thousands of Hamas supporters, the hidden goal of the Israeli forces is to turn Palestinian public opinion against the popular movement.
The Sharon regime is facing a huge internal battle for survival. Whilst the Netanyahu camp is busy sharpening its sword in anticipation of a palace coup to regain control of the rightwing soul of the Likud party, Sharon’s renewed killing spree of Palestinians is designed to proof that the settler-ideology of Zionism is firmly on course under the General.
Having sacrificed a key pillar of the expansionist policy of the colonial-settler state by dismantling its military settlements in the Gaza, Sharon is aware that Hamas’ claim of victory would vindicate the armed struggle and bolster more support for a continuation of the Intifada.
In addition, the damage in psychological terms for his security forces which is tantamount to the trauma of a military defeat is paradoxically in sharp contrast to the myth of invincibility of a regional power. Hence the desperation of the latest bombing spree and sweeping detentions.
This military display of terrorism has all the flaws of the past which rendered Yasser Arafat ‘irrelevant’ in Israeli terms. Mahmoud Abbas who to-date has stubbornly refused to obey Israeli orders to ‘reign in terrorist groups’ –” which is no more than euphemism to snuff out the armed struggle –” is nevertheless becoming a casualty of Israel’s wild cat policies!
If he responds to Sharon’s demands he loses credibility in the street. If he ignores Sharon he faces being made ‘irrelevant’. Damned if you don’t and damned if you do!
Meanwhile Hamas’ popularity is gaining momentum. Its leadership has vowed to continue it’s people’s quest for freedom and justice. Despite facing severe setbacks in the recent past with the martyrdom of revered leaders such as Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Abdul Aziz Rantisi and others, it has displayed great wisdom in the wise and pragmatic ways it has courageously led the Palestinians.
Hamas’ exiled political leader Khalid Mishaal is aware that time is on the side of his people. In less than a decade the demographic bomb will turn Palestinians into a majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. As the freedom struggle turns more and more into a civil rights campaign within all of historic Palestine, the notion of a Jewish minority clinging onto a Jewish state will be as repulsive to the broader international community as the apartheid state of Afrikaner nationalists was.
Conversely the Sharon regime – albeit armed to the teeth –” is deeply divided over the future of Israel and severely hampered by the lack of time. Its notorious deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been quite forthcoming: “We don’t have unlimited time. More and more Palestinians are uninterested in a negotiated, two-state solution because they want to change the essence of the conflict from an Algerian paradigm to a South African one. From a struggle against occupation…….to a struggle for one man, one vote……For us this will mean the end of the Jewish state.”
Thus the current aggression sanctioned by the Israeli cabinet is yet again manifestation of the futility of repressive policies to sustain an equally repressive political system.
Sharon’s nightmare is compounded by the fact that Hamas is gearing up for next year’s Palestinian elections without suspending the armed struggle. He has of course threatened to suspend the elections unless Abu Mazen forcefully disarms Hamas and compels it to renounce calls for the destruction of Israel. There cannot be any doubt that Hamas is buoyed by the evacuation of settlements in the Gaza, which it regards as a success of the Intifada.
Khalid Mishaal knows too that the re-deployment of Israeli military in Gaza will reveal the much flaunted ‘road-map’ as nothing more than a hoax which remains as flimsy as the ‘ceasefire’. Both have collapsed.
And as further demolitions of homes, schools and other institutions continue alongside apache helicopter gunships and F16 bombers, Palestinians know that their freedom struggle has to continue.