Israel is using media to incite hatred and violence against all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip after its military assault on Hamas has failed to defeat the Islamic resistance movement.
Over the last four weeks, the Israeli army has waged a brutal military campaign in Gaza, killing over 1,800 Palestinians, mostly civilians, but Israel’s former national security advisor Major General Giora Eiland has placed the blame on the Palestinian people in Gaza, holding them responsible for the massacres committed by the Israeli army.
Eiland suggested that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, who are being killed daily by the Israeli war machine, are the ones responsible for the massacres perpetrated by Israel, simply because they elected Hamas in 2006, nearly eight years ago.
Eiland wrote in an op-ed for Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper on Monday that all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip “are to blame for this situation just like Germany’s residents were to blame for electing Hitler as their leader and paid a heavy price for that, and rightfully so.”
Rationalising this kind of collective punishment, which is in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, he said: “Hamas is not a terror organisation which came from afar and forcibly occupied Gaza. It’s the authentic representative of the population there. It rose to power following democratic elections and built an impressive military ability with the residents’ support. Its power base has remained stable despite the suffering.”
Eiland claimed that the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza “is not the result of the Israeli pressure but of their support, through their elected government, for an armed struggle. This suffering could [end] instantly if they accept a ceasefire.”
He said that Israel fights Hamas alone while at the same time allowing the entry of food, fuel and electricity for the people in Gaza, which he argues is “wrong”.
Ironically, he bases his argument on the idea that Gaza is a country with all the rights of a nation state, including a standing army. “We should have declared war against the state of Gaza (rather than against the Hamas organisation), and in a war as in a war. The moment it begins, the right thing to do is to shut down the crossings, prevent the entry of any goods, including food, and definitely prevent the supply of gas and electricity,” Eiland said.
He believes the restoration of the Gaza Strip will begin as soon as the war ends, and then Israel will be called to reopen the crossings, which Israel can and should agree to, but only if the other side agrees to disarm its heavy weapons from the enclave.
Eiland concluded by saying: “In order to guarantee our interests versus the other side’s demands, we must avoid the artificial, wrong and dangerous distinction between the Hamas people, who are ‘the bad guys’, and Gaza’s residents, which are allegedly ‘the good guys’. We are dealing with an enemy state, not with a terror organisation, which is seemingly operating from within an innocent civilian population.”