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Israel Kills 210 in Nuseirat Camp, Injures 400 for Four Hostages

By Dr Marwan Asmar

Israel killed 210 Palestinians and injured 400 to secure the release of four Israeli hostages deep in the Nuseirat Camp in central Gaza.

What happened in Nuseirat is being described as the largest single massacre carried out by the Israeli army, using a special unit of the Shabak and Israeli police that went into the central market of the west of the camp early Saturday, backed by heavy bombardment from the air, sea and tanks.

Bollywood-style rescue

An eyewitness in the camp described what happened as “unbelievable”, something from an Indian Bollywood movie with camfloudged men that came out of a lorry thought to carry displaced people and their furniture and started firing at everyone within distance.

The Israelis are seeing the bloody operation as a “great national success. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant are patting themselves on the back for the release of the four hostages. They say now the release of the hostages – at around 120 – is only a matter of time with Netanyahu hinting at repeat operations of the same kind.

Hamas on the other hand, has been quick to respond, saying the release of four of its hostages after 245 days of an-eight-month bloody and destructive war was nothing to brag about. The Islamist organization now battling the Israeli army in all parts of Gaza says, the operation in broad daylight and carried out when the street markets are busy and full of people,  only shows the failure of the Israeli army and its strategy.

It added all that the Israeli did was carry out another massive killing spree on the civilians of Nuseirat.

The high death numbers are being confirmed by the Gaza government media office stating the number of the people killed and injured in this part of the enclave is unprecedented, adding the number of deaths is likely to climb because of the Israeli missiles that struck and buried people under the tons of wreckage and debris and as the number of those killed are dug up from under the rubble but this would take days. At least 80 homes were struck.

Worry is that extremist Israelis might now consider this scorched-earth policy which the army carried out since 7 October is finally bearing fruit and would continue. This is what Netanyahu believed all along, saying the only way to secure the release of the hostages is by more bombardment of Gaza.

Two points need to be considered here, however. Spokesman of the Hamas Izz Al Din Al Qassam Brigade Obu Obeida said the military operation has come at a high cost for the Israelis. He added Netanyahu would realize that more hostages died in the operation as the following days will show.

One of the female hostages released among the other three male captives, Noa Argamani, said she nearly died four times as a result of Israeli bombing of the camp. She said the other two she was with didn’t make it and were killed thanks to the Israeli bombs.

It is clear however, the operation was carefully constructed and took weeks to plan with the help  of American intelligence and US officers previously working in Iraq with possible reconnaissance by the British.

Worried White House

Nevertheless, the White House may just be a little bit worried about what had just happened despite serving as the main supplier of weapons in this slaughter that saw the killing of over 36,000 people and the injury of over 82,000. Washington has sought to project a dual image since the beginning of this bloody conflict  despite remaining a loyal Israeli supporter.

On the face of it, US president Joe Biden wants a political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with an end to the Gaza crisis that is complicated by the existence of Hamas. However, the White House is still banking on the release of the remaining hostages, some of whom are American citizens, and he would like to see more aid into the enclave to lighten the burden of starvation being openly implemented by the Israelis.

For Biden it’s a multi-layer role. While he keeps saying he is a “Zionist”, he is facing elections in November and wants to secure a return to the White House through Arab-American and Muslim voters but he can’t do that if he alienates them. There are many voters who say they will not vote for him because of his pro-Israeli policies in the war on Gaza already. But he is willing to see whether he can still turn the tables around.

The snagging problem now is that with the release of the four hostages Netanyahu is likely to become even more intransigent on continuing the war on Gaza, believing his scorched-earth policy and the killing of more civilians will be the only way to get the rest of the hostages back, keeping alive his pipe-dream of ending Hamas and the Palestinian resistance. And with Biden not wanting to stop the arm-supplies to Israel, he will continue to support Netanyahu whatever he does.

What this means is that the war on civilians in Gaza will continue under the name of fighting the Palestinian resistance with Netanyahu in no mood for stopping despite the fact that the relatives of the hostages are still protesting and believe the only way to get their sons and daughters back is through negotiations and a ceasefire.

Netanyahu needs to understand as well Hamas is here to stay. Its not going anywhere as shown everyday by its strength on the Gaza battlefields. Unless he comes to this realization the war will continue and the chances of getting the hostages will be slim.

Commentators have been making a mockery of the latest release of the hostages. They say at a rate of four every eight months, it would take Israelis till at least 2030 to get its hostages back. So why keep waiting till then?

Dr Marwan Asmar is an Amman-based writer covering Middle East affairs

9 June 2024

Source: countercurrents.org

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