Lost Hopes in Gaza: Israel’s Duplicitous Warfare Crushes Peace

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Rafah Under Attack
#RafahUnderAttack

Israel hits Rafah after Hamas accepts truce deal

Once again, the Palestinian people of Gaza have had their tenuous hopes for peace brutally dashed by the Israeli government’s duplicitous conduct. Despite Hamas leaders accepting a ceasefire proposal brokered by Qatar and Egypt after days of intense negotiations, Israel has brazenly continued its military assault – carrying out strikes in Rafah even as it purportedly considers the deal.

The contemptuous treatment of this potential truce shows Israel’s utter disregard for Palestinian lives. Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh announced the group had agreed to the proposed three-phase 126-day plan to cease hostilities and ultimately reach a “permanent cessation” of violence. Yet within hours, the Israeli military was pounding Rafah, the sheltering ground for over 1 million Palestinians displaced by Israel’s relentless bombardment of residential areas.

Thousands more terrified civilians were forced to flee their homes as the Israeli Defense Forces prepared for what they euphemistically termed “military activity” in the city. This, in the wake of over 34,700 Palestinians already killed – the vast majority civilian non-combatants – since Israel’s disproportionate retaliation for the tragic Hamas attacks of October 7th began two months ago.

The callousness on display by Israeli leadership beggars belief. Even as they profess willingness to engage in “negotiations” over the ceasefire terms, their actions speak louder – revealing an outright unwillingness to cease the indiscriminate slaughter of a trapped civilian population. One Israeli official was brazenly quoted dismissing the Hamas ceasefire acceptance as “a ruse” while another American source bluntly accused Netanyahu’s war cabinet of negotiating in bad faith.

Meanwhile, the families of the Israeli hostages scream their own anguish at their government. The Hostage Families and Missing Families Forum said in a statement Hamas’s announcement “must pave the way for the return” of the captives. “Now is the time for all that are involved to fulfil their commitment and turn this opportunity into a deal for the return of all the hostages.”

Israelis protest in Tel Aviv
Israelis protest in Tel Aviv on Monday.Credit: JACK GUEZ / AFP

Angry protests erupted in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem late Monday as families of hostages held in Gaza and anti-government activists calling for a deal to free the captives took to the streets to rally against the government’s rejection of a Hamas ceasefire offer. Police forces twice dispersed hundreds of protesters blocking traffic on Tel Aviv’s Ayalon highway, with demonstrators banging drums, blowing on bullhorns, and lighting fires. “The time has come to take the deal. The time has come for a ceasefire,” Einav Zangauker, mother of hostage Matan Zangauker, yelled into a bullhorn from the roof of a car stopped on the highway. “We won’t let them pass up the chance tonight.” Activists also blocked Begin Road outside the main entrance to the Defense Ministry. Dozens were still gathered nearby after midnight, holding pictures of the 128 captives kidnapped on October 7.

For the Palestinian people, such naked contempt is nothing new from a nation that has mercilessly persecuted and displaced them for decades under the thin guise of “security.” But it also confirms their worst fears – that for Israel, the unfathomable suffering being inflicted upon Gaza is not merely an accidental byproduct of war, but the intentional weaponisation of human anguish as a tool of ethnic cleansing.

How else to interpret the systematic targeting of residential areas and civilian infrastructure that has left entire cities of Gaza uninhabitable? The bombed out hospitals, the crippled power and water treatment facilities, the hundreds of thousands left roofless and starving – all evidence that supports the growing consensus that Israel is perpetrating a slow-motion genocide, regardless of its publicly stated goals.

Gaza
Cries from the Rubble: Witnessing Gaza’s Agony. Image: A Mother’s Mission: Noor Harazeen

And now, this latest depraved act of rejecting a credible ceasefire while ramping up aggression against a cornered, largely civilian population. For Gazans who dared hope that diplomacy might deliver them from Israel’s escalating brutalities, it is yet another gut-punch of betrayal from an apartheid regime that views them as subhuman impediments to ethnic supremacy rather than a people deserving basic rights.

As the death toll continues mounting and mediators’ efforts are casually dismissed, the forlorn people of Gaza are being subjected to a bitter truth: that Israeli regimes of either political stripe have no authentic interest in peace, only domination through disproportionate force. No negotiation, no ceasefire, no pleas for mercy from civilians will deter them from their project of securing maximum territorial control through gratuitous murderous subjugation.

Genocide cloaked in the unctuous rhetoric of “security.” An entire population stripped of hope, dignity and the most fundamental human rights. This is the grim inheritance bequeathed to the Palestinian people – a harrowing glimpse into the abyss of modern ethnic nationalism at its most calamitous extreme. Unless the world intervenes forcefully, it will be their eternal purgatory.

#RafahUnderAttack

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