Omar Hajajlas, father of the Hajajlas family from the village of Al-Walaja, spoke on Wednesday about the daily struggles he faces as a consequence of having his family house located on the Israeli side of the separation barrier.
The Hajajlas’ house is considered a part of the village, but has been on the Israeli side of the barrier since the wall was errected. To facilitate their access to the village and access to the necessary supplies, a gate was created under a tunnel that runs beneath the fence, and which is operated by an electronic key.
Omar revealed that Israeli authorities made them six offers to resolve the matter, including one to buy out their land and relocate them to Palestinian land — something his family was not willing to do.
“The Palestinian air is the same, regardless of whether it is in front of the wall or behind it, because this is all the land of Palestine. And these fences and walls that they built — because they are afraid for themselves — are going to change nothing in the climate or the air of Palestine, or even the relationships between the Palestinian people,” said Omar.
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Method and Madness: The Hidden Story of Israel’s Assaults on Gaza
By Norman Finkelstein
In the past five years Israel has mounted three major assaults on the 1.8 million Palestinians trapped behind its blockade of the Gaza Strip. Taken together, Operation Cast Lead (2008-9), Operation Pillar of Defense (2012), and Operation Protective Edge (2014), have resulted in the deaths of some 3,700 Palestinians. Meanwhile, a total of 90 Israelis were killed in the invasions.
On the face of it, this succession of vastly disproportionate attacks has often seemed frenzied and pathological. Senior Israeli politicians have not discouraged such perceptions, indeed they have actively encouraged them. After the 2008-9 assault Israel’s then-foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, boasted, “Israel demonstrated real hooliganism during the course of the recent operation, which I demanded.”
However, as Norman G. Finkelstein sets out in this concise, paradigm-shifting new book, a closer examination of Israel’s motives reveals a state whose repeated recourse to savage war is far from irrational. Rather, Israel’s attacks have been designed to sabotage the possibility of a compromise peace with the Palestinians, even on terms that are favorable to it.
Looking also at machinations around the 2009 UN sponsored Goldstone report and Turkey’s forlorn attempt to seek redress in the UN for the killing of its citizens in the 2010 attack on the Gaza freedom flotilla, Finkelstein documents how Israel has repeatedly eluded accountability for what are now widely recognized as war crimes.
Further, he shows that, though neither side can claim clear victory in these conflicts, the ensuing stalemate remains much more tolerable for Israelis than for the beleaguered citizens of Gaza. A strategy of mass non-violent protest might, he contends, hold more promise for a Palestinian victory than military resistance, however brave.
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