It is being said that Hamas is responsible for what is happening in Gaza, that there will be no Israeli attack if Hamas stopped firing its toy rockets into Israel. The problem with this logic is that it thinks that the issue started this or last month with the kidnapping and murder of three young Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.
The fact, however, is that the problem did not start last month or last year, and Hamas was not the first to fire a rocket at Israel. Indeed, every truce since 2005, has been broken by Israel. The problem started long ago when Britain in 1918 inaugurated the Jewish Homeland project in Arab Palestine. The problem was there in early 1948 when Jewish terror gangs, like Haganah and Irgun, let loose "Plan Dalet" to expel the Palestinians from their homeland. A majority of the Palestinians then took refuge in the neighbouring countries. Many moved to areas which were still safe within Palestine like the West Bank and Gaza Strip which house large refugee camps to this day — 70 per cent of Gaza Strip population are refugees fleeing from areas which are now "Israel". The Gaza refugees know exactly where they came from. Some still have the keys to their usurped homes in which Jews — coming from the four corners of the world — are now living. The remaining parts of Palestine, such as West Bank and Gaza Strip (constituting only 22 per cent of mandated Palestine) were also occupied by Israel during the June 1967 aggression. These refugees and occupied people are fighting back to liberate their lands — a right enjoyed by every occupied land and nation under the international law.
Their own weakness and blind Western support to Israel made the Palestinians forget what was occupied in 1948 and accept only 22 per cent of their homeland. This was the basis of the Oslo Accords of 1992 under which a sovereign Palestinian State was to appear within five years. But 22 years later, that sovereign State is still a pipe dream. The Palestinians, who have no power whatsoever to force the occupier to vacate their land, have been kept busy in futile "peace process" talks all these years while Israel keeps building new settlements on Palestinian land which even Israel agrees should be part of the promised Palestinian sovereign State.
A new development took place when in 2006 Hamas swept West Asia's first free and fair elections. But this popular mandate was not honoured by Israel and its Western backers. The Hamas government was toppled within months and a blockade of Gaza started in 2007. This total blockade, brutally controlling the lives of 1.8 million occupied people, continues till this day, turning Gaza Strip into the world's largest prison, destroying the lives of its 1.8 million people.
Every toy rocket that goes out of Gaza is a protest against this cruel, inhuman and illegal blockade, and every real American rocket and bullet fired by Israel at the defenceless people of Gaza says that Israel and its backers are adamant on continuing this inhuman incarceration of a whole population.
The issue in Gaza is not Hamas's toy rockets or tunnels. The issue is the blockade and occupation. The day the blockade and occupation end and even if only "22 per cent" of their homeland is returned to the Palestinians, the rockets will stop and the tunnels will become history as Gazans will start living again as human beings, trying to catch up with building their lives like any other nation in the world.
The author is Editor, The Milli Gazette