Palestine – Casualties of Undeclared War

91

The undeclared war against the Palestinians is called by many names, but a rose by any other name would still smell the same.  Israel currently defends 262 illegal settlements in Palestine, while demonizing the efforts of Palestinians to fight back against continued Israeli annexation of the homes and property of the Palestinian people.

While it has been argued by many news media outlets who fired the first rocket that marked the official aggressive military maneuvers between Israel and Palestine during the 2014 summertime assault on Gaza, the timeline shows that Israel was responsible.

While war was never officially declared, the scarred landscape and the cost of the lives of over 2,000 Palestinians, and 69 Israelis, would certainly suggest that a war took place in the battered Gaza Strip Territory.

Prior to the firing of the first rocket, there was an escalation of aggression by the Israeli military against the Palestinian people.  There was also the closing of the crossings into Gaza, so nothing was allowed into Gaza, leaving people suffering from hunger and a lack of everyday supplies such as fuel, clothing, food, and drinking water.

At first the Palestinian people pleaded with Israel, and received no positive response, only an increase on the nightly raids by the military upon civilians. The Palestinians then cried out to the international world for help and were silenced by the media.  Finally, out of desperation they fired back at Israel after the dust from the first Israeli rockets settled.

As the aggression escalated, Israel was heavily criticized for the high death toll upon the civilians of Gaza. Israel, in its defense, pointed out that Palestinians were notified prior to most of the bombing runs to leave their homes. This warning was not ‘ordered by law’ but it was given, it is a shame most of the Palestinians had no where to go, nor a way to get there as gasoline was not available.

The Rafah operation is one of the most notable attacks that is criticized for being far more brutal than it needed to be. After 4 short hours of bombing, over 190 Palestinians were dead, more than 1100 wounded, and 2500 left displaced because their homes were destroyed.

No one would argue that Israel has a right to be secure in it’s state, but as long as they continue to occupy Palestine, the Palestinian people have just as much right to defend themselves against the continued illegal occupation of it’s state territories.  The Palestinians are defending their children from Israeli military, they are defending their land and their homes from destruction.

The Israeli military controls the land, the water, and the sky around the Palestinian people.  Many people want out of Palestine, and even have someplace else to go, but the Israeli military doesn’t allow the crossings to be opened, even the UN has been turned away from entering Gaza.

Israel claims ‘it is defending itself’ when it attacks Palestine. How can a people being held prisoner be guilty of being the aggressor on their own land against their captors? How can an occupying country claim to be defending itself against people it illegally holds captive?

Israel claims ‘it has the right to defend itself’, yet the Palestinians are prisoners of war as defined by the Geneva Convention, and as such they have the right to defend themselves against their captors, in fact, they have a duty to defend themselves against their captors.

Regardless of if war is declared or not, the Palestinians are prisoners of war and it is illegal to attack and kill prisoners or war or a people your military is currently occupying. The first law in occupation is to protect the occupied people, that doesn’t mean putting them on a diet by restricting the calories allowed into their country.

The freedoms most of the world takes for granted, most of the Palestinians have never known.   Gaza is more than just an open air prison, because in prison they don’t shut off your electric for long periods of time. They don’t restrict the calories you have access to on a daily basis to below 1500 per person. They don’t lock up your children, interrogate them without an advocate present.

A prison doesn’t refuse to allow you power for heat in the winter, a prison doesn’t kidnap your children and hold them captive trying to get them to expose who speaks out against their government.  A prison doesn’t shoot their prisoners when they are sleeping in their bed.  

A prison doesn’t bomb their prisoners. A prison doesn’t destroy the prisoners living space, their fields, and their factories. A prison is responsible for the prisoners within it, they are accountable to the world for their prisoners well being.

So the Palestinians who are slowly starving to death, the ones who are freezing to death, the ones who have no water to drink nor shelter from the weather are not in a prison, they are in a living hell.

The United States justifies it’s unconditional support of Israel by saying that it is the only democracy in the Middle East, when if fact it is not.  No country that has a state religion can be called a democracy.   To top it off, the UN supervised the democratic election of the Unity Government in Palestine in 2006.  YES, the very people America is paying for Israel to destroy is totally democratic and has been for almost 10 years.

Palestine has also been a ‘friend’ to America since before Israel existed, dating all the way back to the Palestine mandate by Britain. They opened their borders to all people and welcomed them with open arms and friendship.

What does the future hold for Israel and Palestine after such a history and a shaky cease fire agreement that has not been honored by Israel, and consequently not by Palestine either?

The future holds another aggression, as tensions are continuing to build again. The frustrations of the Palestinians can be heard in all of their news sources that speak of what is going on in Palestine. The tension can be felt as Netanyahu speaks, addressing the public.

Another undeclared war is brewing, and will soon overflow, causing more death in the streets of Palestine. This cycle of building tension, war, relief, suffering, tension building; is going to continue as long as there is an occupation.

According to the Geneva Convention, the second duty of an occupying country, is to end the occupation. Considering Israel has occupied Palestine for almost 70 years (since 1948), it is time to end this occupation and free the Palestinians.

It is time for peace.