It’s important to note that this is not a war representing all Palestinians or the inhabitants of Gaza in general; it is an initiative of Hamas. Unfortunately, there are expected to be numerous civilian casualties, with the majority being Palestinian, but there will also be Israeli victims.
It’s crucial to understand that the goal of this war is not the liberation of Palestine. The parties belonging to the Palestine Liberation Organization, founded by Yasir Arafat, are declared enemies of Hamas.
This is because Hamas is a militia made up of extremist religious individuals who have established an oppressive regime in Gaza. They did not consult the population before launching this offensive, and unfortunately, it will be the inhabitants of Gaza who will suffer the most direct consequences.
When I was covering the war in 2014 from inside Gaza, Israeli propaganda accused us of not showing Hamas members launching rockets. However, this accusation was baseless, as we couldn’t actually observe them. Hamas had built an extensive underground network that included barracks and dormitories from which they carried out their actions. Israeli drones had complete control of the airspace and as soon as they located a Hamas member, they would eliminate them. To avoid confusion, we wore blue vests with the inscription “PRESS.”
Civilians are the ones who remain on the surface and bear the brunt of Israeli airstrikes. These civilians do not have the power to vote and are obliged to follow the decisions of the Islamist leaders.
So far, the immediate objectives of the war initiated by Hamas are not entirely clear. Its level of planning and execution is unprecedented and has caught the Israelis by surprise. This suggests that they are following a plan with concrete goals that they believe they can achieve.
However, it’s important to emphasize that the well-being of the Gaza population is not a priority for Hamas in any case. Their goal is to impose their religious dictatorship on the entire region.
Israel is responding with considerable force. In 2014, in just 15 days, they managed to eliminate all of their military targets. They then spent the next 40 days destroying civilian infrastructure, including residential buildings and UN schools that served as shelters, as they couldn’t show weakness by decreasing the intensity of their attacks. The human cost was immense.
Now, Netanyahu and the generals have been challenged by an offensive they couldn’t anticipate, despite their advanced technology and espionage networks. It has been decades since they suffered such severe damage, and they are likely seeking revenge.
It’s plausible that Hamas may be calculating that taking hostages could force negotiations in which they have an advantage. However, it’s uncertain. In 2011, Israel exchanged soldier Gilad Shalit for 1027 Palestinian prisoners, so they may now seek to restore their image of absolute superiority, reaffirm the sense of security of their population, and strengthen the image of Netanyahu’s far-right government, which is already quite contested.
En esta nueva guerra, hay dos combatientes, Hamás y milicias aliadas, e Israel. No es una guerra de los palestinos ni de los gazatíes. Es de Hamás. Y habrá numerosas víctimas civiles, la mayoría palestinas, y también israelíes.
No es una guerra de liberación de Palestina. Esto… pic.twitter.com/FgXuy029VK
— Témoris Grecko (@temoris) October 7, 2023