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Palestine Report

Sameera Casmod |
20 May 2024 | 12:53 p.m. SAST
2-minute read

Gaza is experiencing intensified violence and humanitarian crises as Israeli military operations continue. Approximately 800 000 Palestinians have been forced to move from Rafah towards northern or central regions of the Gaza Strip, marking a significant displacement.

Initially, Rafah was a focal point of concern, with fears of an Israeli invasion, but recent shifts in military focus indicate broader and more systematic attacks across Gaza.

Central Gaza, including areas like Deir al-Balah, has witnessed severe violence. Over the past weekend, a massacre in Deir al-Balah claimed the lives of 31 people.

The situation in northern Gaza, particularly Jabalia, remains dire, with reports of hospitals being targeted and emergency services recovering around 150 bodies.

Moulana Ebrahim Moosa described disturbing scenes from Jabalia, which show injured and deceased individuals lying in the streets, unable to receive aid due to ongoing heavy fighting.

The widespread attacks suggest a deliberate strategy to manage the conflict in a way that minimises media coverage and international backlash, Moulana Moosa tells Radio Islam International during this week’s Palestine Report.

While initial fears centred on Rafah, the shift to attacking multiple areas across Gaza indicates a calculated approach to continuing the violence while attempting to avoid a concentrated media focus.

Israeli politics are increasingly divided, particularly within the war cabinet. Benny Gantz has issued an ultimatum to Prime Minister Netanyahu, demanding a post-war action plan by June 8. Gantz’s demands include the safe return of hostages, demilitarisation of Gaza, dismantling Hamas’s rule, and establishing a joint administration for Gaza involving the US, Europe, Arab states, and Palestinians. He also calls for the return of displaced Israelis and the advancement of normalisation deals with Saudi Arabia.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, on the other hand, opposes the idea of reinstating Israeli military rule in Gaza, highlighting stark divisions within the Israeli leadership.

An alternative interpretation suggests that the US exerts significant influence over Gantz and Gallant, potentially guiding their positions to align with American strategic interests. The US appears to be pressuring these politicians to push for an end to the conflict under terms unfavourable to Hamas, aiming for a swift resolution rather than prolonging the war as Netanyahu might prefer.

If Gantz and Gallant were to be ousted, Netanyahu would likely become more dependent on his far-right allies, which could further radicalise Israeli policy.

China’s involvement in Palestinian politics offers a contrasting approach. Unlike many Western countries, China does not condemn Hamas or label it a terrorist organisation. Instead, it views Hamas as a legitimate political force in Palestine’s future, aligning this perspective with UN General Assembly resolutions supporting liberation struggles, including armed struggle.

China’s view of Fatah is less favourable, citing ineffective governance and compromised positions due to its relationship with Israel. Despite this, China facilitates unity talks between Hamas and Fatah, believing that unity is crucial for advancing their collective aims. This belief is informed by China’s own historical experience of armed struggle during its revolution. Following a meeting in Beijing in April, another round of unity talks is scheduled for mid-June.

Listen to the Palestine Report on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat.


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