After 21 months of a one-way ceasefire, Israel is once again escalating attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip.
Yesterday, Israeli shelling killed Zaina Attia al-Amour, a 54-year-old grandmother.
“My mum was killed while sitting peacefully in our farm,” her son Mohammed al-Amour told Middle East Eye’s Mohammed Omer.
Airstrikes in eastern Rafah also injured 21-year-old Khazima al-Farra.
Two days before, airstrikes on Gaza City injured three children and 65-year-old Hassan Hassanien.
In response to the recent Israeli attacks, Palestinian resistance groups have launched rockets and mortars, however, no injuries have been reported to Israeli soldiers or civilians.
Outside of Gaza, media outlets have finally broken a de facto vow of silence on Israeli attacks on the besieged enclave, however, they have been framed as retaliatory.
The Associated Press wire story was picked up by numerous mainstream media outlets. Here’s the headline: Israel Retaliates to Gaza Fire With Strikes on Hamas Targets.
The article makes no mention of the dead grandmother or any other casualties.
The escalation comes as the Israeli military is discovering tunnels dug by Gaza’s armed resistance groups. The tunnels proved to be a game-changer in the 51-day war in 2014, allowing for dramatic operations on military targets inside Israeli territory. Israel claims to have developed new technology to locate the tunnels, however, no evidence or details of the technology have been provided.
The Shin Bet is in custody of Mahmoud Atuna, a high-ranking tunnel engineer, who it claims was captured when he climbed over the border fence to attack Israelis, armed with just two knives. But this narrative doesn’t add up. Why would an engineer with sensitive information about Gaza’s tunnel network attempt an attack himself, and why with just two knives? This raises suspicions that Atuna flipped and is collaborating with Israel, and the information he provided has prompted Israel’s current anti-tunnel operations.
While officials on both sides have expressed that they do not want another war, Israel’s ever-tightening siege and continued attacks on civilians make it an inevitable outcome in the near or distant future.
One way cease fire
That’s a half-truth, at best.
Hamas, for its part, “has not fired a single bullet” into Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon boasted this February. “We’ve been enjoying unprecedented quiet.”
Israel, however, has broken the ceasefire regularly, with deadly results.
On October 10, 2015, Israeli forces shot more than 145 protesters inside Gaza, killing seven.
As demonstrations continued the following day, Israel killed two boys, aged 13 and 16.
That night, Israeli warplanes bombed a sleeping family, killing a pregnant mother and baby girl.
In March, 2016, fragments from Israeli airstrikes ripped through a home, killing 9-year-old Isra and 6-year-old Yassin Abu Khussa, and injuring a third child.
The same month, Israeli soldiers opened fire on a school east of Gaza City, narrowly missing any of the 33 students and lodging a bullet into a wall.
In December, 2015, Egyptian forces shot dead 28-year-old Ishaq Khalil Hassan who attempted to escape Gaza by sea.
During the four months I have spent in Gaza since the August, 2014 ceasefire, I have seen and heard Israeli gunfire on a daily basis. From land, sea and skies, gunfire, drones and warplanes are a near constant.