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Suggestion for Hamas; Fire AT the Gaza wall, NOT over it!
The suggestion from Al Jazeera journalist Mark LeVine to Hamas is for them to stop aiming rockets over the wall at Israeli civilians and instead aim rockets directly AT the wall itself, thus avoiding killing random civilians. The reaction of the IDF to Hamas targeting civilians is to demolish Gaza neighborhoods and thereby kill innocent Palestinian civilians. This cycle of violence against civilians could be prevented if Hamas would target the infrastructure of the apartheid wall, thus gaining global solidarity.
If Hamas wants a real victory, it should aim its rockets at the Israeli wall cutting off Gaza.
by Mark LeVine
Mark LeVine is a professor of Middle Eastern History at University of California, Irvine, and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Lund University. His new book is One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States, co-edited with Ambassador Mathias Mossberg.
"Given the carnage still unfolding in Gaza, could Hamas' actions betray a fundamental support for, rather than opposition to the long-discredited Oslo process, and even a willingness to serve Israel's larger strategic interests?
A review of the trajectory of the thousands of rockets it's fired at Israel before and during the current fighting strongly suggest just that.
Simply put, if Hamas wanted to offer a real challenge to Oslo and Israel, it would aim its missiles directly at the wall and security fence system that has penned in Gazans for a generation, not over it.
Hamas did not start this war. We know that dishonour belongs to the Israeli government, which launched its premeditated attacks on Gaza in response to the kidnapping and murder of three settler youth in the West Bank after lying to the world about their fate in order to build domestic support for the attack. Nor can Palestinians be denied their legitimate right of self-defence, including the use of violence within the bounds of international law, against the occupation.
But the missiles neither accord with international law nor produce tangible long-term goals. The missile barrages have a history not merely of inaccuracy, but of ensuring entire neighbourhoods in Gaza are bombed back to the 19th century in response. Whatever the rationale behind their use, in reality, they reveal Hamas to be playing by Israel's rules in a game Palestinians can't win as long as they follow them.
Even the successful killing or capturing of Israeli soldiers who cross into Gaza reinforces the separation of Gaza from both Israel and the West Bank, which has conveniently dropped off the political and media radar while Gaza burns.
What is clear is that Gazans face near certain death in the confined space of Gaza, where there is quite literally nowhere to hide and not even UN shelters are safe. Why doesn't Hamas blast a few openings so that refugees can at least try to flee to the relative safety of Israel?
Zionists have long justified the consequences of the creation of Israel for Palestinians by arguing that you can't blame a person who's jumping from a burning house if they land on someone below. Don't Gazans have the same right to escape the fire?
Why destroy the wall?
Israel will no doubt shoot at the unarmed women, children and elderly streaming across the border. But it's already shooting them at will, and with no remorse or even cost (even much of the ammunition is essentially free, as the US replaces almost everything Israel uses, and even throws in bonus money every time it attacks Gaza).
More than just creating a much needed - and certainly legal - humanitarian corridor for Palestinian citizens desperate to escape the Israeli onslaught, destroying the wall would serve several other purposes. First, it would tell Israel that Palestinians refuse to accept a Gaza that is cut-off permanently from the rest of historic Palestine, particularly Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Second, it would declare that Gazans will not recognise Israeli-imposed borders and a completely unviable two-state solution that leaves Palestinians enclosed in heavily guarded ghettos with little control over their political or economic futures.
Third, it would force Israelis to confront directly the reality of the evil they have wrought in Gaza for decades. One reason the occupation continues to function so smoothly is that Israelis are largely cut-off from its effects. They no longer have to see Palestinians or in any way interact with them. The West Bank and Gaza might only be a few kilometres away, but they might as well be somewhere in Africa for most Israelis, who are expertly conditioned to bury the suffering they inflict on Palestinians in an ocean of ideological and political justification and moral blindness.
Finally, by destroying, however temporarily, a hated symbol of military occupation, Hamas would score a huge strategic and media victory, as it would be destroying property rather than killing civilians while forcing the world to address everything the barrier, and the occupation it represents, has done to Gaza and Palestinians more broadly. Similarly, blowing up the southern border with Egypt would likewise send a clear message to the Egyptian government that Palestinians will no longer allow Egypt, which did nothing to help Gaza during its 19-year occupation from 1948 till 1967, to be complicit in Israel's long-term siege of Gaza.
History provides a good lesson here. The closest Palestinians came to defeating the occupation was during the first intifada, and its success owed not so much to the largely symbolic throwing of stones as to the unprecedented communal solidarity and civil resistance against Israel that it generated.
Moreover, during the early days of the al-Aqsa intifada, when it was still a largely grassroots explosion undirected by Hamas or Fatah, Palestinians destroyed the security fence as one of their first acts of defiance against Israel and the separation-without-a-hope-of-sovereignty programme of Oslo.
Today, with the Palestinian Authority (PA) hopelessly coopted and Hamas wedded to a strategically untenable resistance strategy, it is again the local grassroots solidarity committees across the West Bank, from Jenin to the Jordan Valley to the Hebron Hills, who are thinking outside the box, constantly developing more creative forms of resistance, and taking the lead in resisting the occupation in ways that bring increasing support from international and Israeli activists. The marches and attacks on the wall of the last few days in the West Bank reflect the fruits of years of grassroots activism."
The suggestion that I received from the EBEs was for Hamas to continue creating tunnels for specific use as pedestrian subways to alleviate congestion at the above ground checkpoints and border crossings. By creating underground pathways no rockets need to be launched and the resource will protect travelers from the heat of the sun above ground.
Their suggestion to the IDF is instead of demolishing tunnels, view them as pedestrian subways that can be monitored by IDF soldiers if needed. Creating underground tunnel pathways is beneficial for pedestrian travel in a desert ecosystem. Why destroy them when they can be used as a relief for aboveground border crossings? The tunnels can maintain a flow of pedestrian traffic with some IDF soldiers present to prevent weapons from being smuggled in.
Targeting civilians by either side is illogical and only shows both sides are capable of religious extremism that favors their religion over biological life. The Palestinians and Israelis need to reign in the extremists in their respective religions that are pushing for more killing and dehumanizing the other side's people. The U.S. population needs to keep the Christian Zionists (like John Hagee, head of [CUFI] from the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX in check as they seem to favor perpetual warfare between Israel/Palestine in hopes of triggering Biblical Armageddon.
Religious extremists from ALL three Abrahamic religions should be treated as mentally deranged psychopaths and be placed in mental institutions until they can show improvement in their ethics to include respect for human life as prioritized over their respective faith belief systems.