After three days of violence, the Gazan people are making their first tentative steps toward normalcy.
Last Friday’s latest episode was when Israel launched a attack against the Islamic Jihad Movement. This militant group is the second largest in Gaza Strip.
In what is considered a critical and poorly understood organisation, two of its commanders were murdered. We spent many days trying to get in touch with its leaders.
We finally got the call, and were directed to an undescriptive location near the ocean.
We wondered why we should fight an opponent who is disproportionately strong. What would happen if violence stopped? These and many other questions came to my mind.
Khalid al Batsh, the international relations manager of the movement, met us.
I inquired who was behind the fighting.
He stated that the Israeli occupiers were responsible. It is evident by the assassination and murder of our Palestinian citizens. Their aggression caused the escalation of violence.
“Israel is a powerful country”
Israelis describe their military operation, “Breaking Dawn”, as an exceptional success and claim to have eliminated the senior leadership of the group.
However, Mr. Al Batsh claims it is not fair.
He stated that he never believed we were more powerful than Israel. We claim that Israel is a powerful state and a nuclear power. Therefore, we resist as unarmed citizens. We will resist the occupation using the tools we have.”
Islamic Jihad is not without arms. They fired more than 1,000 rockets on their neighbors. Israel claims that many of their weapons were malfunctioning, causing both explosions and significant casualties in Gaza.
Mr. al Batch responded furiously: “These are false words, lies, they spill innocents’ blood and then accuse others. Who was responsible for the deaths of the people? It’s Israel.”
“Israel won’t give him any Palestinian state”
I asked the spokesman of the movement if they would consider a different, more consensus-oriented approach.
It was dismissed by Mr al Batsh, mocking Mahmoud Abubas, president of the Palestinian National Authority for wasting time in negotiations with Israel.
Mr Abbas is the leader of the Fatah party, which controls the occupied West Bank.
“There must be a better way. You could have talks, bridge building, and you could recognize Israel’s existence.” I suggested.
“There is no one on the planet who supports peace as Mr Abbas, but Israel won’t give him a Palestinian country.
They make him weak, and they take the West Bank land slowly, slowly, and establish a settlers’ State there. Abbas and the West Bank have another state.
A return to peace at wartorn borders
Holds the Ceasefire Between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad
“So Islamic Jihad movement will fight?” I was curious.
“Would it be acceptable if Russia occupied London?” Why are we willing to accept the occupation in Palestine? We are still slaves to the occupiers. It’s unfair. It will only lead to more bloodshed if there is no international justice.”
All Gazans are aware that violence will return and that preparations are being made.