Six Months of Genocidal War on Gaza: A Facade of Israeli Victory

Mustafa Ibrahim -
Palestinian Human Rights Activist
Published on 08.04.2024
Reading time: 6 minutes

Thousands of Palestinians have been arrested in the past six months, subjected to harsh measures such as humiliation and torture. Laws have been amended to suit security needs, and around 20 detainees have been killed in inhumane conditions.

Six months have passed, and those of us in Gaza continue to live while expecting the worst, drowning in loneliness and the inability to think. We have endured six months of fear and emptiness during endless days, accompanied by insomnia, fear, and attempts to fall asleep early to escape what is to come.

Six months have passed, and 20-year old Zubeida has been living in our house with us, displaced and alone, as her father, mother, siblings, and uncles were all killed by a missile that destroyed their lives before destroying their home. Zubeida is the sole survivor of her family. She has recovered from her injuries and now walks slowly with the help of a walking aid. She spends her nights crying rather than sleeping.

This past Sunday marked six months of war, and yet its horrors continue. I don’t know how the days and months have passed: it has been half a year of genocide, killing, destruction, and starvation.

Mass starvation, considered morally prohibited before being illegal, is one of the pillars of genocide. It should undermine Israel’s arguments for “self-defense,” which claims that the end justifies the means, a claim that is malicious and untrue.

Dozens of studies and discussions have addressed the ethics of war and the limits of permissible actions from ethical and utilitarian perspectives. Even if there is no theoretical agreement on where the boundaries lie, there is consensus on the existence of a limit that can be summed up as not causing human suffering.

All arguments and discussions remain theoretical and without practical application, far from evaluating the ethics of Israel and the policies of the occupation based on eradication, expulsion, forced displacement, racism, apartheid, Jewish supremacy, and sovereignty.

Today, the “military ground maneuver” in Gaza has ended, after the Israeli army completed its military operations in Khan Yunis, which lasted for four months. It left behind four months of destruction, devastation, and killing, forcing more than half a million Palestinians to flee to Rafah and leave their homes.

Some Israeli analysts believe that withdrawing from Khan Yunis marks the end of the major fighting that lasted for six months. Netanyahu and his followers will continue to market “entering Rafah,” “continuous military pressure to return the captives,” “absolute victory,” and “dismantling Hamas.” However, most of the Israeli public already understands that it is over.

Netanyahu’s government will no longer be able to achieve the war objectives it initially set for itself. Worse, it is deliberately sabotaging achieving these goals. It has obstructed the hostage deals, created a deep crisis with the United States and the world, and is unable to overthrow the Hamas government and replace it with another ‘submissive, legitimate, and effective’ government. It can be said that the government is engaged in an ‘artificial’ operation.

Prolonging the “war” has become a harmful policy, as some Israeli analysts have pointed out. The reasoning behind it is a lie to exert military pressure on Gaza, but this propaganda no longer deceives anyone. The term “eliminating Hamas” has also lost its credibility.

The withdrawal of the last military units from the sector, the increase in humanitarian aid, and the unrealistic boasting that military pressure will bring back the prisoners, all indicate that Hamas has still not come undone and that Netanyahu is unable to change the current reality in Gaza.

The genocide began six months ago when the Israeli army killed my aunt, the majority of her family members, my cousin, my relatives, my friends, and their families, as part of a series of horrific massacres at the hands of the Israeli army.

Thousands of Palestinians have been arrested in the past six months, subjected to harsh measures such as humiliation and torture. Laws have been amended to suit security needs, and around 20 detainees have been killed in inhumane conditions.

The Ambiguity of International Law in Light of 30,000 Murdered Palestinians

Last week, I met with the Chief Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs and Reconstruction in Gaza and the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Sigrid Kaag, at the UNRWA operations center in Rafah. The discussion with Kaag revolved around the lack of security and safety, forced displacement, double standards, and the non-application of UN resolutions. The ironic and tragic thing about the entire situation is the division of international law and international humanitarian law bodies regarding Palestinians, with different interpretations of international law coming to light, as each party interprets the law according to its desires! But what remains certain is that more than 30,000 Gazans have been killed.

Thousands of Palestinians, both men and women, are still illegally detained, and there are reports of some female detainees being subjected to sexual harassment, rape, mistreatment, and torture based on testimonies from released detainees.

Israel’s heinous crimes cannot be justified in any way. Since October 7, Israel has destroyed the besieged Gaza Strip, re-imposed its blockade, and brutally bombed tens of thousands of Palestinians in their homes, wiping entire families off the civil registry, all whilst using surveillance and AI-driven killing programs.

Six months have passed with over 30,000 deaths recorded, but the international stance on Israel has not decisively changed. However, following the direct targeting and killing of the seven World Central Kitchen volunteers, the Western world began expressing concern. When six “foreigners” were killed, pressure began to be exerted on Israel to allow aid into Gaza, and the UN Human Rights Council decided to suspend arms sales to Israel.

Three of the six volunteers hold British citizenship, prompting British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to call for an urgent ceasefire, an end to mass killing and famine in Gaza, and the release of Israeli hostages.

Sunak’s stance and insistence are paradoxical, as he is shocked by the bloodshed in Gaza, which only moved him when Israel’s war machine assassinated three of his citizens, a machine his country considers a partner in its “work.”

The Israeli Army Investigates Itself 

Repeating the chants of a two-state solution following the genocide is ridiculous.

What happened over the past six months is terrifying, and the truth is, no one cares about it. At least, no one cared until the killing of World Central Kitchen’s relief workers, after which ‘the world’ expressed its shock and condemned the murders, prompting Israel to conduct a “neutral and independent” investigation. This is the same ‘world’ that remained silent as the army unleashed its murderous sprees in Gaza without any regard for human life. The second irony is that ‘the world’ demanded an investigation into the killing of kitchen workers, which ended up being the [Israeli] army investigating itself.

Based on intel from military and intelligence sources, Haaretz reported that the World Central Kitchen volunteers were killed due to officers’ and soldiers’ failure to follow orders, rathen than due to a lack of coordination, making it seem that everyone acts as they please within Israeli army ranks.

Many may be wondering, why did Israel kill relief workers in Gaza? And yet, the answer is crystal clear. Israel is a raging bull left unchecked, subjected to no accountability whatsoever. That is the same reason why it was allowed to justify the killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians as “collateral damage.”

The Israeli army’s goal of the genocidal war is to destroy Hamas. Everyone in Israel, including politicians, experts, researchers, military commentators, and politicians, openly supports and speaks about the necessity of the war. With that in mind, who will force Israel to investigate the killing of 33,000 Palestinians and the continuation of the genocidal war in all its forms? Who will do justice by the Palestinians and the victims and hold the perpetrators accountable?

I realize that the previous questions may be hard to answer in such an inconsistent world, with double standards and absolute support for Israel reigning. It may seem ridiculous to repeat and talk about them constantly, but the world must not remain silent.

Mustafa Ibrahim -
Palestinian Human Rights Activist
Published on 08.04.2024
Reading time: 6 minutes

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