The night turned into day. The sky over Gaza was covered in yellow light and a missile storm began that shook the earth like an earthquake. Israel launched the largest operation in recent years against Hamas’s tunnel network and in just 40 minutes, 160 planes unloaded 450 missiles that hit 150 targets in the northern Gaza Strip. This movement was accompanied by the deployment of infantry along the separation fence to shoot any militiaman who emerged from the ducts.
“What we have achieved is a complex network of galleries that extends throughout the Strip and that Hamas used to move under cover,” said Army spokesman Jonathan Conricus. The Israelis know this underground passageway as “the Metro” and the Army announced that among the rubble there could be dozens of bodies of Islamist combatants, including prominent leaders.
The last balance of the Ministry of Health of the Strip raised the death toll to 120 and there are more than 800 injured. In Israel there are already 8 victims of the almost 2,000 rockets launched by the Palestinian factions.
The images of the night operation were reminiscent of those of Shejaiya in 2014, a neighborhood that became ‘ground zero’ after a similar operation by the Israelis. The target is always Hamas, but those directly affected are civilians who lose their lives and their homes. Once again, thousands of people fled the shelling towards the beach, but in a fenced off place like Gaza there is no safe place when Tel Aviv strikes.
The so-called ‘Dahiya doctrine’ was once again the basis of the Army’s actions, the method they already used in the southern neighborhoods of Beirut in 2006, a stronghold of Hezbollah. It consists of destroying all possible civil infrastructure, especially houses, until the territory is razed and “returned to the stone age.” Its ideologue was the former head of the Armed Forces, Gadi Eizenkot, for whom civilians also deserve punishment for their support of “terrorists”.
Egyptian mediators presented Israel with a 12-hour truce offer from Hamas, but Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu declared that Islamists “must continue to pay a high price” and said that Operation Guardian of the Walls “did not finished and we will do everything in our power to restore safety to our cities.
Hamas fired hundreds of rockets in a new day of sirens in southern and central Israel, in which protests in solidarity with Gaza and Jerusalem spread to the West Bank, where at least nine protesters were killed by army shots. The borders of Lebanon and Jordan were also the scene of pro-Palestinian mobilizations.
In addition to the Gaza front, Israel faces serious riots that hit the country’s mixed cities every night, already leaving one dead, dozens injured and hundreds of detainees. Arabs and Jews confront each other in pitched battles, there are beatings, destruction of shops, knife wounds … and for Netanyahu “there is no greater threat to the country than these internal problems.” In places like Lod, a state of emergency has been established, although it has not been enough to calm the tension between communities and the local media denounce that the situation is “out of control”.
“Death to the Arabs”
Police Chief Kobi Shabtai accused the Zionist ultra-nationalist leader Itamar Ben Gvir, a possible partner in the next Netanyahu government, of fanning the flames of an “internal intifada” that started “with the march he organized to the Damascus Gate in full Ramadan. The slogan of that parade of Jewish radicals was “death to the Arabs”, the same one that has spread to the rest of mixed cities.
The Palestinians of Israel make up 20% of the country’s population and took to the streets in protest at the attempted eviction of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in the eastern part of Jerusalem, and especially by the two Police raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan. These are the two sparks that have ignited a fire that has spread to Gaza in a bloody way.
The serious security crisis hits an Israel that remains without a government. The Gaza and mixed city fronts have blown up their talks to form a unity government Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennet. What had been dubbed the “coalition of change”, which had the possibility of removing Netanyahu from the prime minister’s seat, walked away and Bennet resigned from the post of head of government that Lapid had offered him on a rotating basis.
Bennet, an ultra-nationalist politician and former leader of the settlers, confessed to his closest friends that he did not see the union of forces proposed by Lapid viable because the result would be an Executive unable to face the serious problems facing Israel and “security comes first ». Bennet’s option is now to go back to supporting Netanyahu, although this turn will not be enough to reach 61 seats and the country seems doomed to a fifth election.