Israel began pounding the Palestinian area of Gaza on Nov. 12 with scores of air raids and artillery attacks. The assaults renewed an ongoing Israeli military campaign against Gaza that had been in a lull in recent months.
Gaza has been described as the largest open-air prison in the world, after nearly 2.1 million residents suffered 12 brutal years of an Israeli-imposed state of siege. During this time Israel has limited or cut off complete access to food, water, electricity and medical supplies, leaving the Palestinian people there in hunger, thirst and danger.
Now Israel has renewed its outright targeting of Palestinian political and military leaders in their homes. On Nov. 12, Israel claimed it had assassinated the top local commander of the Islamic Jihad, Bahaa Abu Al-Ata, in his house in Gaza City. His spouse, Asma Abu Al-Ata, was allegedly also killed.
The Israeli Defense Force asserted this was a “surgical airstrike” and that it also was “investigating” whether Gazan civilians were killed in the dozens of other airstrikes and bombardments in November.
In fact, scores of civilians have been killed in recent attacks on Gaza and hundreds wounded. Housing units, agricultural lands, poultry and vegetable farms have also been targeted and destroyed by the air raids. This tactic of destruction, along with genocidal murder, has been employed by the Israeli government since 1948 in an attempt to subjugate or drive out Palestinian resistance to colonization and occupation.
Arab members of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, accused right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of renewing and escalating the attacks on Gaza in order to secure his political survival. Netanyahu received a severe setback in recent Israeli elections, narrowly winning reelection.
Gaza continues to fight for its liberation. The day following the predawn attack on Al-Ata, Palestinians fighters fired a barrage of some 200 rockets into Israeli territory. Al Jazeera Arabic’s Wael Al-Dahdouh, reporting from Gaza on Nov. 13, said there is a “high degree of anger” in the city. ”The overnight [Israeli] operation reminded people in Gaza of previous assassinations that targeted Palestinian activists and high-level commanders from Palestinian resistance groups in their homes.”
Previous resistance in Gaza has also been fierce, most recently in the year-long Great March of Return, lasting from March 2018 through March 2019. Every Friday thousands demonstrated at the border fence imposed by Israel, demanding their right to return to their Palestinian homeland. The majority of Gaza’s population descended from those violently expelled from their homes and villages in 1948 when Zionist militias drove out 750,000 Palestinians in order to seize land for Israel’s creation, backed by U.S. imperialism.
Throughout the Great March, Israeli snipers opened fire at protesters, killing over 300 Palestinians, including those clearly identified as journalists and medics, and injuring more than 26,000, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.