08 octubre, 2023



SONAR21.COM – 08/10/2023

Hamas pulled off an alarming and surprising attack on Israeli military and civilian targets today, leaving more than two hundred Israelis dead and a large number being held as hostages. Unless you’ve been living in a cave you already know that. Israel and its supporters around the world view this as an act of unjustified terrorism. Conversely, Hamas and its supporters are celebrating this as a blow against Israeli aggressors. Regardless of who you support in this matter, this represents a dangerous escalation in the longstanding conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and is not likely to be confined to Gaza. As I write this there are reports of mortars firing on Israeli positions along the northern border with Lebanon.

Demonstrations in support of Hamas sprouted around the Muslim world as news of the attack spread. The following video from Yemen today is staggering:

Today’s attack caught Israel totally off-guard and it immediately raises questions about an intelligence failure. Was this a failure to act on warning information or were Israeli authorities really in the dark? Either way it is a black mark on Israel’s reputation for superior human intelligence and it is likely to weaken public support for Netanyahu’s government.

There are several reports circulating on Middle East Telegram channels claiming that Hamas attacked Israeli positions with weapons supplied by Ukrainian sources. In other words, military aid sent to Ukraine by the United States and NATO allegedly was used in the savage attacks launched by Hamas. If confirmed this is likely to accelerate demands in the U.S. Congress for tighter oversight on weapons supplied to Ukraine, which will delay promised aid.

Much of the commentary about the Hamas attacks is ignoring the name Hamas assigned to this operation –Al-Aqsa Storm. The Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is a holy site venerated in Islam. The West paid little attention to what happened at the Mosque on Thursday, April 5:

More than 800 Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday morning under the protection of Israeli forces.

Rabbis, heads of settlement associations, and far-right university lecturers were among 832 people who forced their way into the religious site compound, a source in the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem told The New Arab’s Arabic sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. . . .

It comes during the Jewish religious holiday of Sukkot, which started on 29 September and ends on Friday. The holiday has seen thousands of Israeli extremists storm the Al-Aqsa compound, with almost 1,500 entering the site on Monday.

Israeli extremists also continued on Thursday to hold provocative marches both inside Jerusalem’s Old City and outside its walls, attacking Palestinians and their property.

They also beat and spat at journalists in a market area near Al-Aqsa, where shops were forced to close for the sixth day in a row.

Imagine the reaction in the Christian world if Muslims entered St. Peter’s Basilica and forcibly ejected Christian worshippers from that sanctuary. Maybe that parallel example will help you appreciate why muslims, not just Hamas, are reacting with such vitriol. I also want to note that the habit of Israeli extremists spitting at people is not confined to muslims or Palestinians. The following video shows what a group of Filipino Christians encountered recently in Jerusalem:

Israel faces some very difficult choices in responding to the Hamas attack. Hamas does not have military installations or massed forces that can be easily targeted. That means Israel will attack civilian areas, which raises the specter of killing a large number of Palestinian civilians. Instead of weakening Hamas, this is likely to stiffen the resolve of the Palestinians and fuel even greater outrage in the Arab and Muslim world. Israel, which recently held talks with Saudi Arabia in a bid to normalize relations, is likely to find itself being shunned rather than welcomed as a diplomatic partner.

If Israel decides to send its army into the Gaza Strip it will face brutal urban combat, which means high casualties. Since Israel is largely made up of reservists, a growing number of dead and wounded Israeli soldiers will bring enormous political pressure on Netanyahu.

Israel’s desecration of the Al Aqsa Mosque is the casus belli for this current Hamas attack. While there are some unconfirmed reports that Hamas is executing the Israelis it captured in the opening hours of their offensive, I think it is more likely that Hamas will use those Israelis as bargaining chips to secure the release of their prisoners or keep them as human shields to reduce the chance of Israel launching unfettered attacks across Gaza.

We know this for certain — Israelis are afraid and furious. That is a dangerous combination and may tempt Israel to act more out of emotion than strategy.

Palestinians have a legal right to armed resistance 
against Israeli colonialism

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