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November 25, 2012, Sunday

Israel’s art of killing

A one-day stay in Gaza would be sufficient for those who still view Israel, the spoiled son of the West, as innocent, to have firsthand experience of the Israeli art of killing.

Nearly 150 people have been killed in the Israeli attacks over the past eight days, including women and children. The remaining victims are also civilians. The only Hamas member and leader murdered in the attacks is Ahmad Jabari, who was assassinated by the Israeli forces in the first day of the campaign.

Destruction of infrastructure, attacks against civilians and public institutions and heavy bombardments in nighttime pertain to the Israeli war machine. In other words, these attacks seek to destroy the elements of daily life.

Letting civilians die in the attacks by the Israeli authorities indicates that the Palestinians have no significance at all in the eyes of the Israeli officials.

There is nothing to justify these attacks by Israel, which is an occupying force in Palestinian lands, against Gaza. Israel says that it carries out these attacks to protect its citizens. But where do these people Israel refers to as citizens live?

Most of the lands where these people live are not recognized as part of Israel by the UN. The remaining territories were Palestinian lands 100 years ago.

Palestinians are in blockade and have no access to food and essentials. They are prevented to travel freely and obliged to take permission from Israel in every step. So resisting Israel through trading missiles is a last resort for them.

The method of the Palestinian groups may be criticized; these methods could even be called as terrorist methods, as the Western countries have done.

However, those who criticize the Palestinian groups for relying on these methods should spend at least one day in Gaza in order to find a proper answer to the question as to why they use these violent methods.

They have to drink sea water, and power outages make the people angry and furious. Oil and natural gas are becoming even more expensive. Buildings are not renovated and the roads are destroyed. Israeli herons are watching the people from above all the time. Nobody could swim or navigate on the sea. In short, the freedoms of the Palestinian people are controlled by Israelis.

And these people are being punished by the occupying country all the time, and this punishment takes place by the violation of human dignity.

But what is the solution?

Above all, Israel should withdraw from the territories it has occupied and lift the blockade against the Palestinian lands. Israel claims to be the only democratic state in the Middle East, but, in fact, it is more theocratic and autocratic than other regime in the region that are considered autocratic. Besides, Israel should recognize equal rights to all Palestinians in compliance with the democratic principles.

This means that a Palestinian should be able to buy a house in any part of Israel, he should live in any place, assume any position -- for instance, he should be allowed to become defense minister. A country that discriminates against Palestinians cannot be regarded as democratic.

The Palestinians cannot be successful against Israel by trading missiles or rockets. They cannot be successful by relying on these methods. This justifies the attitude of the states supporting Israel. Besides, this method leads to the deaths of more Palestinians. The only way for the Palestinians to become successful is to unite by overlooking social differences. In addition, Palestinians should stay away from Syria, Iran and some Gulf states. Palestinians should realize that these countries observe their own interests rather than the interests of the Palestinians.

A truce has been made between Israel and Hamas for now after the involvement of the US. But nobody could call this truce healthy and durable. We will keep seeing the same attacks and incidents as long as Israel remains an occupying power in the region.

Previous articles of the columnist