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The unsettling issue of Palestine

A map showing the loss of Palestinian land over time - PALESTINEPORTAL.ORG

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The united stand taken by our MPs from both sides of the divide in Parliament to support the Palestinians’ legitimate and long struggle for self-determination and justice is in the right direction.

This came in the wake of the 7 October attacks, called Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, by Hamas and other Palestinian resistance forces on Israel, which has all along seen itself as a legendary invincible military power in the region.

The unprecedented Palestinian assault took the Zionist regime and Israelis in particular and the world in general by surprise, given the massive scale and well-coordinated operation executed on Israeli soil.

Standing in solidarity with the Palestinians highlights the still unresolved plight of the Palestinian people, a stark reality that should remain in our consciousness.

It also serves as a useful reminder to us all of the importance of putting the massive Palestinian military assault in its wider historical context.

Without the benefit of such background, the Palestinian resistance forces could be mischievously depicted as a bloodthirsty mob, entertaining their whims and fancies to go on a rampage by giving the Zionist regime and the Israelis a big surprise on Sabbath day.

The Palestinian incursions into Israel that resulted in the deaths of Israeli soldiers and civilians points to the crucial fact that the lives of the Israelis are as precious as the Palestinians’, and that violence begets violence. Violence, hence, cannot be condoned, let alone encouraged.

To be sure, the latest military assault by the Palestinian forces was not unprovoked, as certain quarters would like us to believe.

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It is the cumulative effects of a decades-long history of colonisation, oppression, brutality and injustice faced by the Palestinians ever since the creation of the Zionist state of Israel on 14 May 1948.

Ethnic cleansing was executed, evicting Palestinians out of their homes and their homeland. To top it all, the refugees among them were denied a right of return to Palestine.

Palestinian civilians are subjected to various forms of dehumanisation at checkpoints, where Palestinians are made to endure long queues, as well as deprivation of essential clean water. They also fall victim to torture, brutal killing and indiscriminate bombing.

Hospitals, where victims of violent oppression seek medical help, also become a prime target of bombings of the Israeli military.

The desecration of Islam’s third holiest site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by Israelis only added fuel to the fire.

To be cramped into the crowded occupied Gaza Strip of two million people with scarce resources and amenities is to denigrate the collective dignity of a people.

That is why former British Prime Minister David Cameron called the Gaza Strip an open-air prison camp after a land, sea and air blockade was imposed permanently by the Israeli regime on the area in 2007.

In response to the Palestinian onslaught, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed “mighty vengeance” against Hamas.

It was reported that Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gollant has ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip, saying “there will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed.

“We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.”

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That is throttling the Gazans, half of whom are children.

As already warned by the Palestinians and political observers, lasting peace in the region can only be attained when Israel and its western sponsors address the said root causes of the conflict.

The Palestinians, who are as human as the Israelis, deserve the right to self-determination, justice, freedom and a life of dignity. Depriving a people of these things is barbaric. – The Malaysian Insight

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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Dr Mustafa K Anuar, a longtime executive committee member and former honorary secretary of Aliran, is, co-editor of our newsletter. He obtained his PhD from City, University of London and is particularly interested in press freedom and freedom of expression issues. These days, he is a a senior journalist with an online media portal
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