Gaza is still under Israeli attack, and for the first time ever it seems that armed groups in the enclave have given a tough response as Palestinians throughout historic Palestine rise up against their occupier.
At least 67 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, this includes 17 children and 6 women, 388 civilians have also been wounded, including 115 children and 50 women. On the Israeli side, as many as 10 soldiers may have been killed and between 6-20 Israelis due to rocket fire, however, it is nearly impossible to tell as the Israeli authorities are unreliable sources.
Since Israel’s assault on the al-Aqsa Mosque and its worshippers on Monday, which injured 550 people, 333 of which were hospitalized, the entire Palestinian people have risen up into a new Intifada. This time however, things are extremely different.
First of all, the armed groups in Gaza, the most prominent of which are the al-Quds brigades (PIJ armed wing) and al-Qassam brigades (Hamas armed wing), are now in the possession of real rockets. Despite media propaganda produced in the past, the armed groups possessed merely glorified fireworks which had little impact on their enemies beyond becoming an annoyance. This has completely changed, as the armed factions have delivered a stronger blow to Israel in the past days than they have in any previous encounter with their occupier.
For every Palestinian civilian killed and every building leveled, the armed groups have responded, hitting an Israeli power plant, oil refinery, military bases and all its major cities to the centre and north. The rockets now seem to be more precise and some of them pack a real punch. The armed groups have also carried out strikes with Koronet ATGM’s hitting Israeli military vehicles directly and killing soldiers; they have also used drones to target the Israeli military. Hamas officially announced today that its newest technology is also yet to be used and is much more powerful.
On top of this, the Palestinian citizens of Israel have for the first time since they were under military occupation – up until 1966 – risen up, but this time in a more significant way than ever before. The city of Lod was put in a declared state of emergency, after Palestinian demonstrators reacted violently to police crackdowns and Israeli gangs. We have never seen this sort of action from Palestinians inside of Israel before, but after years of oppression their collective outrage has exploded across 40 different cities.
In Jerusalem and the West Bank the people have also risen up and are constantly protesting Israel’s settlements and illegal measures under occupation, with West Bank inhabitants living in Jenin and Nablus committing armed resistance.
The resistance, both armed and unarmed, is not ending and will continue until Israel stops egregiously violating the human rights of the people of Palestine. Even if this escalation finishes in the next few weeks, it will re-emerge and the situation on the ground has now changed forever.
The Palestinian people have been abandoned by the International Community, and their hopes of one day seeing an end to life under Apartheid – as Human Rights Watch describes it – had sunken into the darkness. However, Israel made one crucial mistake, its government and the majority of its people worked under the assumption that this day would never come; a day when the Palestinians would unite as one body and with greater force than ever.
When a population suffers massacre after massacre and lives for decades under a brutal military occupation, then you attack their Holy Sites forcing their backs against the wall, they have one option, and that is to fight back. We are seeing that now. The Palestinians are fighting back stronger than ever and it came out of a period of time that little to no-one had expected.
The Israelis have continued massacring Palestinians and it is nowhere close to a fair fight, but now the Palestinians have sent a clear message that Israel can no longer just torment them for sport and get away with it. So now rises the Third Intifada.