By Julia Kassem
The Israeli regime’s humiliating withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 placed the coastal strip at the center of the illegitimate entity’s wrath as Gazans rejected the comprador authority that ruled the West Bank, marking a reversal and upheaval of the plan of Zionists.
After that, Gaza was subjected to a brutal blockade, depriving it of clean water, strictly limiting its food, and every once in a while shelling the world’s largest open-air prison.
Before the Tel Aviv regime launched its genocidal aerial bombardment campaign, it was caught by complete surprise on the morning of October 7, 2023, when the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement launched the ‘Al-Aqsa Storm’ operation.
Following the barrage of rockets that pounded the occupied territories, Hamas’s Izzidin al-Qassam brigade fighters broke through the regime’s highly-fortified fence and ambushed bases in Israeli-occupied Beit Hanoon (called Erez by the occupation) border crossing, the Zikim base, and the Gaza division headquarters at Reim.
Within a few hours, the Palestinian resistance fighters had already captured 35 Israeli military personnel, killed dozens, and captured vast swathes of occupied towns. They dragged out senior Israeli regime commander Nimrod Aloni - who was responsible for planning operations against resistance groups - in his undergarments.
Almost immediately, the resistance eliminated the entire Israeli battalion responsible for overseeing, monitoring and surveillance of the besieged Gaza Strip.
This knocked out the occupation’s intelligence capabilities to the extent that PM Benjamin Netanyahu himself had no clue about it even hours after the operation, and Israeli units failed to respond - let alone inform the public - for at least 6 hours.
The information then revealed that one of the bases ambushed by the resistance was a publicly unknown one - and not only did the Palestinian fighters know where the base was, but were able to specifically target and destroy the communications infrastructure there.
It was entirely the work of Palestinian resistance - despite a Wall Street Journal article claiming the operation was carried out with the help of Iran - an erroneous lie, especially the reference to “Hezbollah security sources”.
Iran’s United Nations office dismissed the claim while reaffirming the Islamic Republic's unflinching support for the Palestinian resistance and the surprise operation.
The lie was later retracted by the Pentagon, issuing a statement that there was no evidence of Iran’s involvement, but already, it was clear that Iran was also a target - likely at the request of a desperate regime in Tel Aviv, who realized that its security, like its impenetrable wall, was completely broken.
The Palestinian resistance was victorious not because of any co-incidence or luck, but because of its strategic vision and military prowess, which is lacking on the other side.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says that the Zionist officials must be put on trial over the ongoing genocide in Gaza.#GazaGenocide https://t.co/OBQKQyCdMP pic.twitter.com/CfIqaY1RG5— Press TV (@PressTV) October 17, 2023
The Palestinian resistance’s operation, which came in response to daily atrocities against Palestinians as well as the repeated desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque by regime forces and settlers, exposed not only chinks in the regime’s military apparatus, but also the complete absence of strategy in the Zionist entity, so it had to resort to propaganda and false narratives.
As the threat of a ground invasion becomes more pronounced, the Zionist entity finds itself at a crossroads: either to back down and accept defeat or move ahead with ground invasion and face the wrath of all fronts of the resistance axis.
The latter scenario almost ensures the Zionist entity’s crushing defeat - both in terms of being pulled across two fronts as well as facing Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, which has grown considerably stronger since its thumping victory over Israel in 2006.
The prospects of an Israeli defeat are particularly high as the events that unfolded on October 7 reveal. The regime’s lack of strategy pushes it into the fold of ideology and cruel, sadistic idealism, producing its “tactics” (if you can call them that) of shock-and-awe terror and intimidation, of mass genocide of Gazans to produce civilian intimidation, devastation where military victories cannot be matched up.
Despite the Palestinian resistance’s superior intelligence capabilities and strong command of strategy, the Zionist entity could drum up nothing more intelligent than a propaganda campaign equating the Palestinian resistance, particularly Hamas, to the Daesh terrorist group - alongside other orientalist tropes aimed at dehumanizing Palestinians - to justify horrific war crimes and mass murder carried out in the absence of a strategy.
The Palestinians were projected as bloodthirsty savage men with appetites for rape and murder who had nothing better to do than to target scantily-clad white settler women and murder children.
These tropes, present in different forms during the Al-Aqsa Storm operation (also known as the Al-Aqsa Flood), were quickly debunked.
The most notorious of these Zionist lies was that 40 babies were beheaded by Hamas in the kibbutz of Kfar Aza on October 10. The lies were debunked over and over again, (with the Zionist entity adding insult to injury in tweeting an AI-generated image of a burned “baby”) but the damage in invoking a sensationalist reaction to orientalist tropes stuck.
Israel used it not just to justify its aerial bombardment of civilians in Gaza, but also to manufacture consent for such a campaign amongst Americans, whose support is so critical for Tel Aviv to even consider launching its ground offensive, and whose public has grown more hesitant to pour more money for wars abroad - especially post-Ukraine.
On October 13, the Israeli regime demanded North Gaza’s nearly 1 million inhabitants evacuate to the south of the territory, warning them of an incoming, unforgiving aerial bombardment campaign. The order even applied to hospitals that were teeming with critical patients.
Gazan authorities immediately slammed the warnings as psychological warfare, with Hamas leadership urging citizens not to fall into Zionist schemes “to create another Nakba.”
Hamas pointed out in an English-language telegram statement that targeting hospitals was a violation of international law. Yet Israel pressed harder in forcing a mass evacuation - or at least making it look like they had warned Palestinians before their brutal annihilation.
When terrified Palestinians heeded the threatening orders and traveled south, the humanitarian corridor became a target for the regime, which rained bombs on numerous convoys, massacring and injuring over 200 civilians, mostly women and children.
In the short term, the regime has sought to wipe out Gaza of not its resistance, but of its inhabitants, first by aiming to establish a security belt from the North of Gaza before moving in to wipe out Gaza of its entire population, tear through underground tunnels, and washing away its crimes by reinstating the illegal occupying settlements (“Gush Katif”) removed as part of the occupying entity’s withdrawal in 2005.
These campaigns of terror and mass murder serve a nefarious displacement project - one that would see Gaza’s two million inhabitants dead - or, in the long term, pushed, permanently displaced, into Egypt’s Sinai to live in tents (and forever panhandle from the liberal wing of Global Zionism as begging recipients of paltry “aid”), as recurrent Israeli proposals have indicated.
Just as Daesh’s forced displacement of Syrians and Iraqis from the region’s oil-rich north enabled trillions in US oil extortion to take place, the forced exodus of Palestinians squashes out any hope for Palestinian sovereignty over land and resources - including an estimated $15 billion in offshore oil wealth in occupied Palestinian maritime boundary.
Like Daesh, the Zionist entity functions outside of any legal or humanitarian standards or laws, be it religious or liberal-secular.
Like Daesh, the Zionist entity invokes indiscriminate campaigns of mass murder and violence to cleanse the population and uphold an ever-expanding ethno-state.
Like Daesh, the Zionist entity upholds its reign of terror through supremacists, a twisted ideology that disregards vision for nihilistic dogma.
And like Daesh, the Zionist entity carries out its genocidal campaigns essentially to the benefit of the West, with whom it finds itself in collusion with chaos-inducing means to plunge Palestine and the Arab world into a reactionary, servile end.
Yet like Daesh, the illegitimate regime’s genocidal goals executed with a lack of a constructive vision and harnessed by death and destruction come amid waning US hegemony that Israel is completely dependent upon. So the future looks particularly bleak for the regime.
On the other hand, the resistance axis, following the latest developments, clearly holds the upper hand in this battle – a battle that will end in the annihilation of the apartheid regime.
Julia Kassem is a freelance writer, having contributed to Detroit's own Riverwise, Against the Current, and nationally syndicated outlets such as Counterpunch, Mintpressnews, and TruthOut.
(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)