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Israel Strikes Gaza as Hamas Fires Rockets: The Context and The Truth

Palestinian killed by Israeli airstrikes in May, 2019| Photo taken in Gaza on May 6th.

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Robert Inlakesh
21st Century Wire

Gaza and Israel Violence: Why has it started again?

If you are paying attention to the situation in Gaza right now, you may have heard that there is yet again fighting. Israel has struck the Gaza Strip and the armed factions in Gaza are fighting back.

The recent round of, what have described as, “hostilities” have not simply emerged as a product of “Hamas rocket fire”, the claim we hear every single time there is fighting between the armed factions from Gaza and Israel.

This is not an unusual occurrence and it was not simply Israel “responding to rocket fire” as you are reading in all the article headlines for major publications in the West.

Now, putting aside all of the most important context of the illegally imposed – nearly 14 year long – siege upon Gaza and all the catastrophes visited upon its population, here is the most recent context that the Zionist loving media of empire are withholding from you.

First and foremost, the situation in Gaza has been in a state of what Israel calls a “relevant calm”, implying of course that bombs and rockets are not dropping. This is due to a defacto ceasefire agreement between the Hamas government and Israel, the conditions of which were negotiated via the proxy of Egypt and the influence of the United Nations. This ceasefire was first reported upon as official on the 28th of June, having been agreed upon the night prior to this.

This came after months of back and forths on what was to happen next, with Hamas demanding terms for a ceasefire and Israel refusing to agree. This complication came following the last round of fighting which took place in early May, resulting in the murder of 29 Palestinians in Gaza and an undisclosed number of Israeli soldiers, as well as 4 Israeli settlers. Since then Israel has been injuring to the tune of at least 1000 protesters in Gaza, killing fishermen, breaching the Gaza fence to attack farm lands and constantly reducing – or briefly extending – the zone of nautical miles in which Palestinians are permitted to fish within, without being killed by the Israeli Navy, not to mention Israel had been cutting down regularly the fuel, electricity, as well as various other things entering Gaza.

Then, as part of its agreement, Israel did extend the fishing zone, returned 15 old stolen boats and stopped – according to Israeli military sources – using live ammunition at the Great Return March demonstrations, in which over 300 Palestinians have been killed since the 30th March, 2018. In return, hostilities from Gaza also stopped with Hamas managing the Great Return March, as best they could, in order to keep protesters further away from Israel’s illegal fence. They [Hamas] also reportedly stopped much of the balloons – with burning objects attached to them – being flown over into Israeli held land.

It also should be noted that the balloons and kites have worked to greatly anger Israeli populations living near to Gaza, as some of the balloons have been attributed to burning Israeli crops etc., this means more pressure on the Israeli government to do something about the situation, hence the ceasefire agreement.

The Israelis however, are not happy that by preventing or allowing balloons Hamas are able to pressure them. Also consider when reading this, that the population of Gaza consists of, more than, a 70% refugee population, meaning that those flying the balloons are technically burning lands that they – or their families – were expelled from in many cases.

Following some calm, Israel then began to talk of its operations which were aimed at kidnapping Hamas commanders, heightening the tension between Gaza and Israel once again. With the Hamas leadership denying many of the accusations.

Earlier on the 8th of July, Israel then claimed that it had discovered a Hamas attack tunnel, the story then dropped out of the news slowly as there was no real follow up. It also coincidentally happened that this discovery was unveiled the very day it had emerged that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s, police admissions – to his ongoing corruption cases – were reportedly going to be published.

Fast forward now to Thursday, when Israeli snipers shot dead Mahmoud Adham, 28 years old, near Beit Hanoun (Northern Gaza). Mahmoud Adham was a member of the al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, he was shot whilst posing no threat during the ceasefire, in fact he was – by Israeli military admission – preventing people from approaching the Israeli fence. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) both condemned the attack, proclaiming that “Israel would suffer for its actions”, despite the threats on Thursday night there was no retaliation from Gaza. Israel even offered a pseudo apology for its killing of the 28 year old, which in turn created an uproar in the Israeli media and amongst the public on social media, with the population and press proclaiming that Israel had been weak. Then was the proclamation that Israel had lost its infamous “deterrence capacity” with Gaza, that being the ability to scare their enemy into submission.

Israel could not just stop there though, it then decided to begin shooting at observation posts belonging to Hamas on Friday morning, it began using more excessive force against Gaza’s protesters and it shot and kidnapped a Palestinian near the fence in Beit Hanoun.

Israel then announced a high alert situation along the Gaza fence, it has spoken of the readiness of the Iron Dome Air Defence System and announced that it was anticipating a retaliation from Gaza.

After all of that, at around 10PM (Gaza Time), 3 rockets were reportedly fired. One rocket hit a beach area located close to Ashkelon, not triggering sirens.

Israel also fired, following the rocket fire retaliation that they expected, striking near an observation post in the refugee camp of al-Maghazi.

This is what happened, charging the latest round of hostilities as it is described.

But hey, if all this context and reality bores you, sure, believe the BBC, CNN, FOX and the rest of the corporations who know all of what you have read here, but refuse to tell you it. Because after all, they have to be “balanced”, “objective” and “unbiased” as they always promise you they are…

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Author Robert Inlakesh is a special contributor to 21WIRE and European correspondent for Press TV. He has reported from on the ground in occupied Palestine. See more of his work here.

READ MORE PALESTINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Palestine Files

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