In the annals of history, there are moments that define the trajectory of conflicts, moments that are etched into the collective memory of nations. The recent events in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which culminated in the daring “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” are undoubtedly one such defining moment. The sequence of events leading up to this operation, which is currently ongoing, provides a poignant backdrop to the Palestine resistance’s determination and the crumbling facade of Israeli invincibility.
First, we must make mention of the cause that triggered this military response from the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. On the fifth day of Sukkot in early October 2023, Israeli settlers, under the protection of Israeli forces, stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, one of Islam’s holiest sites. This act was not just an isolated incident. It was a culmination of escalating provocations, emblematic of the larger Zionist agenda. This agenda seeks to erase Palestinian history, culture, and presence from their ancestral lands.
While the world was focused on the provocations at Al-Aqsa, behind the scenes, Hamas was orchestrating a meticulous campaign of deception. Over a two-year period, they masterfully masked their intentions, leading Israel to believe that they were not seeking confrontation. This strategy of subterfuge saw Hamas train and drill their fighters openly, even constructing a mock Israeli settlement in Gaza for training purposes. These manoeuvres were filmed. Although Israel surely saw them, they were misled into thinking Hamas was avoiding a direct confrontation. This deception was further deepened by Hamas’s restraint over the past two years. Even as other groups like Islamic Jihad launched attacks, Hamas held back, further solidifying the illusion of their economic concerns taking precedence over warfare.
When the day of reckoning arrived, Hamas’s operation was divided into meticulously planned stages. It began with a barrage of 5,000 rockets, followed by aerial infiltrations using hang gliders and motorized paragliders. Ground incursions saw explosives breaching Israeli barriers, with fighters speeding through on motorbikes. Bulldozers widened these breaches, allowing more fighters to pour in. In a strategic move, a commando unit targeted the Israeli army’s southern Gaza headquarters, effectively jamming its communications.
The culmination of these strategies—which is now called Operation Al-Aqsa Flood—was evident in the hostage operations, where fighters abducted Israelis, moving them swiftly to Gaza. This operation’s success was also aided by the fact that Israeli troops were not at full strength near Gaza, with many being redeployed to the West Bank due to escalating tensions there.
However, to view this incident as a standalone event would be a gross oversimplification. It was, in reality, the climax of a series of intensifying provocations. These actions are not random or impulsive but are deeply rooted in the larger Zionist narrative. This agenda, driven by expansionist and erasure ideologies, aims to systematically diminish and eventually obliterate Palestinian history, culture, and their very existence from lands they have inhabited for generations.
For decades the foundation of the Zionist narrative has rested on the belief in the unparalleled strength of the Israeli military. This long-held conviction was deeply shaken by the recent operation. As news spread of Palestinian fighters gaining control over settler-colonies close to the Gaza boundary, a palpable sense of disbelief permeated throughout Israel.
Thousands of Israelis, who had always placed unwavering faith in their military’s capability to shield them, found themselves fleeing or being evacuated from their homes near Gaza. This event shattered the meticulously constructed illusion of Israeli invulnerability that had been promoted for generations. The global community looked on, both stunned and captivated, as the once “unbeatable” IDF appeared to falter in the face of resolute Palestinian resistance.
The international community’s response, especially from the United States, the UK, and the EU, has been predictably skewed, rushing to support Israel and condemn the Palestinian resistance. Such reactions only serve to underscore the double standards that have long plagued international diplomacy. The Palestinian resistance is not an act of aggression; it is a response to decades of occupation, oppression, and systemic erasure. The world must recognize and respect the Palestinian right to resist occupation under international law.
Furthermore, the unfolding events carry profound ramifications for the intricate web of geopolitics in the region. Several Arab nations, which had recently taken steps towards normalizing relations with Israel in a bid for regional stability and economic cooperation, now find themselves at a crossroads. As the winds of change sweep across the Middle East, they bring with them renewed vigour for the Palestinian cause.
Nations that had hoped to sidestep this pivotal issue in their diplomatic endeavours must now confront it head-on. Those who opt to sideline or ignore the Palestinian quest for justice and sovereignty risk not only regional backlash but also the judgment of future generations. In this evolving landscape, it becomes imperative for nations to align their foreign policies with the principles of justice, human rights, and self-determination, lest they find themselves on the wrong side of history.
Reflecting on the chain of events that culminated in “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” it is clear we are at a pivotal juncture in the enduring Israel-Palestine saga. The audacity and determination of the Palestinian resistance have underscored a crucial message: even against overwhelming odds, it is possible to rise, challenge, and even surmount a formidable foe.
This revelation beckons the global community to engage in deep introspection. The traditional approach to the Israel-Palestine conundrum needs a thorough reassessment, with an emphasis on justice, human rights, and unwavering adherence to the tenets of international law. The winds of change are blowing, and it is time for the world to stand on the right side of history.