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Israeli settlers will no longer feel safe in occupied territories: Journalist

By Alireza Hashemi

The latest Palestinian resistance operation against the Israeli regime marks a “turning point” in the struggle for the liberation of occupied territories, proving yet again that the regime cannot protect settlers, says a Canadian-American journalist.

Robert Fantina, a Canada-based author and activist who has written several books on Palestine and serves on the board of 'Canadian Voices for Palestinian Rights', in an interview with the Press TV website said the operation has sent a message that the regime’s atrocities will no longer go unanswered.

“Palestinians in Gaza have shown that they can challenge the apartheid regime, and regardless of the response, Israelis can never again be complacent in their criminal activities; they are not safe anywhere as long as the occupation continues,” he remarked.

The Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement on Saturday morning launched a surprise attack on the regime, firing thousands of missiles and rockets into the Israeli-occupied territories.

Concurrently, resistance forces entered the Israeli-controlled territories and attacked illegal settlements around Gaza.  The operation has left more than a thousand Israelis dead, with hundreds of other Israeli soldiers and settlers ending up as war prisoners in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Senior Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri described the attack as a pre-emptive strike, saying the movement acted on information that an Israeli strike on the coastal strip was in the offing.

“Regardless of the number of people that Israel kills, Israelis will no longer feel safe. They know now that their fascist regime cannot protect them. They will increase their ‘security’ measures. But none of it will be sufficient to allow people to feel secure anywhere within the artificial entity known as Israel,” Fantina said in a conversation with the Press TV website.

He hailed the Hamas operation as a success story and said it severely damaged the Israeli regime.

“Countless martyrs have given their lives since this operation began and continue to. But the people of Palestine have demonstrated repeatedly that they will not surrender,” the author and activist noted.

“This current operation is perhaps the most dramatic demonstration of their courage and resilience. Regardless of the eventual outcome, this operation must be seen as successful.”

Fantina said the people of the besieged Gaza Strip have lived under “horrific conditions” for decades and it’s totally natural for them to fight back against the occupying regime.

“The Zionist entity’s complete blockade has caused the Palestinians unspeakable suffering. The economy is in shambles; basic needs are prevented from being imported; there is no opportunity for travel, even to other parts of Palestine; building materials are banned by Israel, meaning that there can only be a minimal reconstruction of the damage done by Israel’s many bombings,” he asserted.

“No one should ever have to live under such circumstances. And the full responsibility does not lie with Israel; the international community, and especially the United States, shares in the blame and shame of these atrocious violations of international law and human rights. Anyone should recognize that people oppressed so horribly will eventually fight back, and that is what the people of Gaza did.”

Ground invasion of Gaza unlikely

Fantina further said a ground invasion of the coastal strip seems unlikely, partly due to the fact that Israelis are particularly fearful of human casualties.

“A ground invasion is unlikely at this time for a few reasons. One is that the US is sending its most powerful warships to assist Israel. Additionally, Israeli forces are busy harassing and killing Palestinians in the West Bank, and the regime will not want to remove them from there,” he stated.

“Lastly, the fascist population of Israel seems to view soldiers as revered beings, not the savage terrorists that they are, and Benjamin Netanyahu will not want to risk their lives if it’s avoidable.”

Fantina said the conflict is likely to expand as the Israeli regime continues its gratuitous atrocities.

“This conflict is bound to expand, even if it doesn’t do so immediately. Lebanon has already pounded Israeli targets, forcing Israel to face two fronts. The US, by sending warships, is only complicating the problem, and this decision could bring Iran into the war to support Palestine.”

The US-based author further noted that Hamas’ operation has badly damaged the prospects of a rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which he said would “in no way benefit Palestine”.  

Fantina said comparing the reaction of the West and its allies to the Palestinian operation with Ukraine’s attacks on Russia once again exposes their hypocritical attitude.  

“International hypocrisy is clearly on display in these situations. Many governments are blinded to Palestine’s victimization but talk extensively about Ukraine.”

He cited two main reasons for the Western double standards on Palestine.

“One is that Palestine is a mainly-Muslim nation, and Western nations show hostility toward all things Islam. Since the 9/11 attacks, Muslims have been the invented enemy of the US, a nation that always needs an enemy in order to justify to the citizenry its bloated military budget,” Fantina noted.

“A second reason is that pro-Israeli lobby groups are among the largest donors to these officials and, not wanting to jeopardize those contributions, they will overlook Israeli crimes against humanity. This is simply another example of the hypocrisy of government officials working in a flawed system that benefits them personally, but no one else.”

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