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EDITORIAL: In an unprecedented response to relentless Israeli incursions into West Bank towns and Al-Aqsa Mosque, Hamas launched its operation “Al-Aqsa Flood” on Saturday.

Using asymmetrical tactics, hundreds of its military wing Al-Qassam Brigades fighters overran several military bases and Jewish settlements, taking more than 100 soldiers and civilians back to Gaza. 36 hours later Hamas fighters were still battling with Israeli forces in southern Israel, forcing it to evacuate settlers from the border areas to safe locations. By Sunday evening, 600 Israeli were killed.

Retaliatory bombings by Israel claimed 370 Palestinian lives in the besieged Gaza enclave. The escalation coming in the backdrop of some Arab states normalising relations with the Jewish state, pushed by the US, makes the point that the two-state solution cannot be swept under the carpet.

Meanwhile, in a show of support for the daring attack, people in various Arab countries, including Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar, took out large demonstrations.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh warned that the assault that began in Gaza would spread to the East Bank and Jerusalem. In fact, on that very day seven young Palestinians in the West Bank died resisting raids by soldiers.

Israel has deployed tens of thousands of soldiers around Gaza — turned into an open prison for its 2.3 million inhabitants — as its shocked hardliner Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decaling “it’s a war” threatened “mighty vengeance for this black day”.

That though won’t be easy. For unlike the past indiscriminate bombings in Gaza this time Hamas is holding a large number of Israeli prisoners who can be killed in wholesale aerial bombings or a ground invasion.

Also, Lebanon-based Hezbollah – a member of the ‘Axis of Resistance along with Hamas and Iran — at whose hands Israel suffered a humiliating defeat in 2006, fired dozens of rocket and artillery shells on Sunday at three Israeli positions in the disputed Shebaa Farms, indicating its intention to jump into the fray, if need be.

Neither Israel nor its Western supporters would want the war to lead to a conflagration in that volatile region. Efforts therefore are believed to be already underway to have some Arab states, such as Egypt and Jordan, help mediate a ceasefire.

One of the declared objectives of ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ being freeing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners rotting in prisons for years, that should be achievable since Hamas fighters have managed to bring back a large number of hostages. But ‘mighty vengeance’ can trigger a ‘mighty intifada’ leading to disastrous consequences not only for the two sides but the wider region.

Hamas has written yet another chapter in the Palestinian people’s long and valiant struggle — at a huge cost of lives — for their just rights. Israel cannot expect to have security unless the root cause of the trouble, occupation, comes to an end.

Unfortunately, its Western friends have chosen to describe Palestinian resistance to occupation — a right recognised by the UN Charter — as terrorism.

The message they need to heed from the latest escalation is that unless a viable Palestinian state with contiguous borders and East Jerusalem as its capital is established the Jewish state will not be able to provide peace and security to its people.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Comments

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TidBit Oct 10, 2023 08:30am
.. and now does starting a war by massacring 400+ innocent jews civilians and children, help get to a two state solution. Hamas has blood on their hands. What was Hamas thinking, that Isreal will suddenly capitulate and surrender. You make very good points about occupation, but what Hamas did is not sitting well with many
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HashBrown® Oct 10, 2023 04:06pm
"and now does starting a war by massacring 400+ innocent jews civilians and children, help get to a two state solution." There is so much that's wrong with your comment I don't even know where to begin. Firstly, "starting a war" suggests that this attack came out of the blue. If you've been cheerfully ignoring the daily incursions into Palestinian territory, the ultra right wing hate speech by sitting member of the israeli knesset, and the complete around-the-clock choking of 2 million civilians in the Gaza Strip, only then can you pretend Hamas was "starting a war". Secondly, the majority of israeli "citizens" are in fact army reservists, which makes them far more legitimate targets than the hundreds of thousands of civilians in the occupied territory who for the past 24hrs now have been denied water and electricity and are now slowly dying (unless they've been bombed to death by indiscriminate air strikes). Much more to add, not nearly enough space.
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Az_Iz Oct 10, 2023 04:35pm
Human history shows that no one dominates forever. Palestinians will get their lands and rights back. Muslims all around the world wholeheartedly support the Palestinians in their struggle. That support shall not diminish until the Palestinians achieve their goals.
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Az_Iz Oct 10, 2023 04:39pm
Israel was created after ethnically cleansing the Palestinians to form a Jewish majority. Israel continues to steal Palestinian lands and build settlements. The Israeli army and settlers routinely kill Palestinians. The Palestinians have been rendered stateless in their own lands. The Zionists and their supporters, want the Palestinians just to move on. That is not going to happen.
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Az_Iz Oct 10, 2023 07:05pm
@TidBit, Jewish people just want to live in peace. They only killed the Palestinians and ethnically cleansed them, to form a Jewish majority Israel. They continue to steal land and build settlements. They just kill a few hundred Palestinians every year. The don’t allow Palestinians to go out of or get back in to their lands. They cannot even move freely within their lands. They have rendered them stateless in their own lands. The Israeli army keeps them on their knees. Why do the Palestinians react? Why can’t they just move on, and learn to live, on whatever bits and crumbs that are thrown at them?
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Awami Oct 13, 2023 03:30am
@HashBrown®, It is war. In war law is kill or get killed.
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