Israeli operation in Gaza is not about Security
Israel’s Operation Protective Edge is not about security. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provoked this war with Hamas in an effort to continue Israel’s ongoing project: Control as much land as possible with as few Palestinians as possible.
No rockets are fired from the West Bank, and President Mahmoud Abbas has been the most compliant Palestinian leader. He has gone so far as to coordinate security with Israel to protect illegal settlers and settlements from Palestinians, rather than protect Palestinians from the occupation.
Nonetheless, Israel’s settler population has grown from 200,000 in 1993 to 600,000. It has declared the Jordan Valley, 30% of the West Bank, a military zone and therefore off-limits to Palestinians. It has built a wall that effectively confiscates 13% of the land intended for a Palestinian state.
Elsewhere, the 2000 Jerusalem municipal plan aims to remove Palestinians from East Jerusalem to keep the 70-30 balance of Jews to Palestinians from changing to 60-40 by 2020. Israel’s operation in Gaza furthers its plans.
In the past three weeks alone, Israel has forcibly displaced 200,000 Palestinians in Gaza, demolished more than 5,000 homes, and established a “buffer zone” that makes 44% of the already tiny Gaza Strip off-limits to Palestinians.
Israel is forcibly removing the Palestinian population, concentrating residents into enclosed areas surrounded by military and settler infrastructure. Security is but a pretext.
Even if Israel’s operation is for security purposes, its conduct of hostilities amount to war crimes against a population it has a duty to protect. So far, Israel has killed more than 1,600 Palestinians, including about 350 children. Israel admits that it killed these civilians but says that Hamas is responsible for launching its military operations from civilian areas.
Past U.N. investigations have debunked this claim. Even if the allegations were true, the high death toll and destruction to civilian infrastructure make this operation completely disproportionate to the military advantage gained.