By Harsh Thakor
The ruling Hamas militant group in the Gaza Strip on October 6th unleashed an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel at daybreak Saturday, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of Hamas fighters penetrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land and sea and catching the country off-guard on a major holiday.
A literal bolt out of the blue, like a tiger coming out of an ambush, comprising one of the most spectacular actions in the history of Hamas. A mortal blow or tremors were created in the Israeli camp.
No strange coincidence that the Hamas operation was launched exactly 50 years after the advent of the Yon Kippur War of 1973, thus resurrecting history.
Action was reflection or manifestation of merciless oppression subjected on Palestinian population, by the bloodthirsty state of Israel.
Latest Death toll, wounded and displaced
- The death toll in Israel has risen to 1,200 – “the overwhelming majority of them civilians”. More than 2,700 people are wounded.
- At least 950 people have been killed and thousands wounded in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched its air strikes on Saturday, the Palestinian Health Ministry says.
- More than 260,000 people are displaced in Gaza, with more than 175,000 taking shelter in 88 UN schools.
Hamas which is considered a terrorist organization by most Western countries, fired 5000 homemade rockets into Israeli cities and towns; simultaneously its fighters launched first-of-its-character ground assault in Israeli history; killing over around 1000 Israelis; capturing about many Israeli soldiers and armed Israeli settlers; and taking over control of Erez crossing between Gaza Strip and Israel after killing many Israelis there.
Their homemade rockets flew over a distance of 75 kilometres and struck various targets in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv. It is important to recall that after 6 years of captivity, HAMAS released one single Israeli soldier in exchange of 1035 Palestinian prisoners in 2014.
The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza reported injuries among “many citizens” without giving numbers and loudspeakers on mosques broadcast prayers of mourning for killed militants.
The Israeli military confirmed Saturday that Hamas militants are holding Israeli civilians and soldiers hostage in Gaza. The military did not declare how many hostages were seized. The attack began with an early-dawn rocket attack that lasted for nearly half an hour.
Thousands of rockets were launched from inside Gaza, some travelling far as Tel Aviv, causing widespread damage. Next came an invasion from Hamas militants who had infiltrated Israel in at least seven locations. In the kibbutz of Nahal Oz, just 2.5 miles from the Gaza Strip, terrified residents who were huddled indoors said they could hear constant gunfire echoing off the buildings as firefights continued even hours after the initial attack.
In an operation of incredible intensity, Hamas gunmen stormed into as many as 22 locations outside the Gaza Strip, including towns and other communities as far as 15 miles from the Gaza border.
Ismail Haniyeh, the exiled leader of Hamas, said that Palestinian fighters were “engaged in these historic moments in a heroic operation” to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
At least 1000 Israelis have been killed, over 2000 wounded. Dozens of Israeli soldiers and civilians are missing and Hamas is claiming that they have been held as hostages..
Among the strikes that Israel has already undertaken , was the bombing of the tall Palestine Tower in Gaza City, which houses media institutions, offices, as well as apartments.
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— One10Tv (@One10Tv) October 11, 2023
Provocation of Israel
The merciless destruction of civilians, whether by Hamas rockets or Israeli airstrikes are are criminal offences in the eyes of international law.
Equally unpardonable are the actions of Israel that provoked this current war, be it decades of military occupation with no sign of withdrawal, apartheid policies, recurrent massacres, and converting Gaza into an open-air prison on earth.
To analyse Hamas’s actions “unprovoked,” as the White House assessed in a statement, is to bury one’s head in the mud , ignoring decades of settlement building, land confiscation, child arrests, home demolitions, as well as recent of settler and military violence against Palestinians. Just one day before advent of this current conflict the Israeli military patronised an extremist Israeli program in the West Bank village of Huwara, causing the death of a 16-year-old Palestinian child.
In short more than condemning Hamas’s attack launched on Shabbat and Simchat Torah, we must condemn Israel for its decades of merciless human rights violations that have been the breeding ground of counter-violence.
Sadly, world opinion and international media is completely inclined towards support to Israel, with very few understanding the offensive in light of the merciless oppression unleashed by the Zionists on the Palestinian population. No nation is condemning the role of Israel in enticing such a reprisal.
International democrats must be wary for a massive retaliatory operation to break the backbone of any Palestinian resurgence and elevate the hegemony of Zionism. International opinion must be built up to check it.
Positive China has called for an immediate ceasefire after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his country was “ at war” following the unexprected attack by Hamas militants.
The armed offensives launched by the Hamas express the desire of the Palestinian people to put an end to the 75-year US-supported Israeli war of aggression against Palestine, the occupation of Palestinian territories, including the continuing siege of Gaza, and attacks against communities in the West Bank including East Jerusalem (territories recognized as part of the Palestinian state).
The Palestinian people are determined to retaliate , raged by the worsening crimes committed by Israel including the killing of Palestinians and their children in the streets, torture of Palestinian prisoners, the tightening siege of Gaza, raids on people’s homes, preventing refugees from returning, attacks on mosques and so on.
The armed conflict has tilted in complete favour of Israel. Wars of aggression launched by Israel against Gaza over the past 15 years led to 6,400 deaths on the Palestinian side, with Israel suffering just above 300.
The Hamas is one of the leading political organization spearheading the struggle of the Palestinian people. Whosoever categorises the armed resistance of the Palestinian people as “terrorism” are in the same camp of the US imperialists and all their cohorts. To establish its hegemony and control of oil in the Middle East, the US imperialists collude with the Zionists in Israel to suppress the wish of the Palestinian people for freedom and self-determination.
🚨Gaza following Israeli airstrikes
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— عساف (@Sa91af) October 11, 2023
Background of recent attacks of Israel
From September 22nd to 29th the State of Israel has carried out numerous attacks, especially in the Gaza Strip as well as the occupied West Bank. In this area a young man has been killed in Jenin and two other young men were killed in Tulkarem.
Another Palestinian youth has also succumbed from injuries sustained in the explosion in Gaza on 13th of September. These murders capped the six that already occurred in the previous days.
Since the night of Friday 22nd of September, at least five drone bombings and missile attacks have been reported against the Gaza Strip. These attacks are principally to dislodge Hamas’s defensive and surveillance positions.
The attacks against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip are made frequently, not only to try to extinguish the Palestinian resistance, but also to demoralise Palestinian people by making them suffer to the last straw..
Recently the State of Israel mercilessly attacked Palestinian fishermen and prevented Palestinian workers from going to work to Israel. After the heroic struggle of the people in the Strip, were forced to reopen the borders and permit Palestinian workers to return to their jobs.
Palestinian resistance has shimmered braving all odds. Earlier this month, there were joint military exercises of several organizations of the Palestinian National Resistance Movement in the Gaza Strip. While the Israeli offensive is escalating in the Gaza Strip, several relevant Palestinian organizations have met in Beirut to knit more cohesive coordination.
Earlier deputy Secretary-General of the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Jamil Mezher, confirmed in an interview with Al Mayadeen on Sunday that for the Palestinian factions it was imperative to elevate resistance in the West Bank.
Mezher asserted that consolidating battlefront unity is important to protect resistance fighters against the occupation, pointing out that the settlement path has only reversed fortunes of their people.”
He said that the resistance fighters need insulation from Israeli aggression and the policy of assasinations noting that the Israeli enemy believes that through undertaking raids and arrests in the West Bank, it can subvert the resistance.”
He expressed optimism declaring all attempts by the Israeli enemy in the West Bank fail, as hundreds of young people are integrating with the resistance forces, performing operations that confuse the Israeli enemy on daily basis.
Mezher stressed that the qualitative and consistent development of the resistance infuses fresh elements in confronting the Israeli enemy.Mezher stated that the prolonged resistance in the West Bank and its elevation and development could defeat the enemy.
(Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist. Thanks inputs from Al Jazeeera and Red Herald))
(The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Workers Unity editorial stance.)
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