Mustafa Ibrahim – Palestinian human rights activist

We need a chance to breathe some fresh air enough to remember that we are alive and to bring our sadness, pain, and fear out for a moment when death and destruction stop. We are now trying to understand our suffering and the severity of the loss suffered by the people of Gaza, hoping for a life and a future worthy of our sacrifices.

On the 49th day of the war on Gaza, the four-day humanitarian truce began, during which the prisoner exchange agreement between Hamas and Israel will be implemented. There are contradictory feelings that fill people’s hearts, their eyes are confused, and their faces are rigid. Perhaps it is anger, sadness, or postponed joy until the return of displaced people to their cities and homes.

Hope now is the final ceasefire, fear is both known or unknown, and trying to lose homes, missing, and absent. As for the joy, it may be caused by the possibility of getting some rest, but the Gazis’ search for drinking water, and their quest to collect what is left of food, goods, and flour to survive, has not stopped.

This is the case of the south, which is said to be a “safe zone”, but those who remain in Gaza City and northern Gaza, life for them is crueler and more terrifying, and after the circulation of the images of destruction there, people’s fear increased, whether those who have a house or who no longer have any trace of his home.

We need a chance to breathe some fresh air enough to remember that we are alive and to bring our sadness, pain, and fear out for a moment when death and destruction stop. We are now trying to understand our suffering and the severity of the loss suffered by the people of Gaza, hoping for a life and a future worthy of our sacrifices.

The displaced from the north at the beginning of the humanitarian truce believed that they were entitled to return to their homes, but the Israeli army prevented them and killed citizens and others were injured, yet many were able to return to inspect their destroyed homes, and hundreds of Palestinians were able to return to Gaza at the Rafah crossing, those who were stuck in Egypt during the war.

On the first day of the humanitarian truce, the quantities of aid increased, and the number of trucks entering the sector reached (200) trucks per day, as well as quantities of fuel (150,000 liters per day) and greater amounts of cooking gas. Quantities are not enough, but they give imperceptible hope that people will improve.

A few days ago, the Arab countries began to provide medical aid and establish field hospitals in the south of the Gaza Strip, the Kingdom of Jordan established a field hospital in the city of Khan Younis next to Nasser Hospital, and the United Arab Emirates is about to finalize a large field hospital in the city of Rafah inside the municipal football stadium, and there is news that the State of Qatar has established a field hospital in the central governorate in Nuseirat camp, in addition to Turkey’s establishment of a field hospital in the Egyptian city of Rafah.

I do not want to question the intentions of states and the need to support the destroyed health sector, especially after targeting major hospitals in Gaza City and the North (Al-Shifa, Indonesia, Jerusalem, and Baptist), but greater efforts could have been made in pressuring Israel to protect and rescue Gaza and Northern hospitals.

How will the war stop, and Israel will resume killing and destruction in the Gaza Strip after the end of the truce (which was said to have a maximum of 10 days)? Will Israel give up the goal of liquidating Hamas? And will all the Israeli kidnappers be happy? What Israeli media and military analysts are publishing now, is to question the Israeli army’s success in its “operation,” and threats of ground maneuvers in the south of the Strip, and in Khan Younis in particular. The argument, of course, is “the presence of Hamas leaders in tunnels there.” Analysts suggest this process will take months but will face difficulties. In this area, they said, all Hamas’s military capabilities are clustered, those that have not been damaged. But is the Israeli military ignoring the gathering of nearly two million citizens, while less than 80,000 Palestinians remain in the northern Gaza Strip, estimated?

War is a political tool and not to combat epidemics and pests, and until now there is no “objective” threshold whose crossing leads to the elimination of the Hamas movement. Destroying the sector will not achieve this, and it is a measure agreed to be “extermination.” Currently, there are no homes for hundreds of thousands, no infrastructure, and no work, no matter how much the destruction reaches in Gaza, and no matter how many senior leaders have been killed, there are always those who will take over, and that is what Israel does not understand.

There is an illusion in Israel that they are making progress, but progress in the battle means more destruction, more slogans, and words that claim to achieve an unattainable goal, whether they call it “eliminating Hamas” or “destroying the threat coming from Gaza.” Now there is only death, destruction, and death from Palestinians in Gaza (tens of thousands), epidemics, and refugees whose lives were ruined.

This barbaric war must stop, because a war that does not achieve a goal, lasts forever. It is necessary to let the destroyed Gaza breathe and to recognize the right of Palestinians to self-determination and independence, and this alone allows life and the future.

Israel will continue to kill Palestinians in Gaza, so how will the displaced return to their homes if there is no “military achievement” in the form of “Hamas defeat”? Extermination will not achieve a goal, as there is no way to destroy the military capabilities of Hamas or Hamas itself. And that’s what several objective Israeli commentators say.

Gaza is under siege, closed with lock and key, and Israel pretends to see it and does not recognize that it is occupying the Strip. But is this policy what will restore security for Israel? War is aimless has no limits and has no end. Unless the goal of the war is to destroy as many homes as possible and kill as many Palestinians as possible. But lists of numbers of dead and destroyed houses, even if they are endless, cannot be considered a victory.

It is not true that the “extermination” in Gaza is the result of the anger and pain of what happened on the 7th of October, and the claim that there is an existential threat to Israel. In my opinion, this brutality, the dehumanization of the Palestinians, and the extermination speech of the political and military elite are driven by great failure, and the attempt at revenge for their dignity and their failure to read the Palestinians’ abilities to break Israel’s arrogance.

This is an English version of an Arabic Article that appeared first on website. 

To read in Arabic, click here