Gaza: A military blockade that has lasted 11 years

Since Hamas took power in the tightly packed coastal enclave. Over that period, Israel has attempted to break Hamas’ hold on power and has failed.  A military blockade has lasted for more than 11 years, over that period, Israel has attempted to break Hamas’ hold on power, and has failed.

Israel is counterintuitively marching towards war in order to ensure that those popular protests are taken out of the spotlight. Close to 2 million people live under siege in the Gaza Strip.

In March 2018, tens of thousands of people began confronting Israeli soldiers on Gaza’s border. Sometimes armed with stones, resilient and determined coming from all walks of life approached the heavily fortified border usually following Friday afternoons Jumma prayers.

Men, women and children joined the movement as it ballooned in size to the tens of thousands. Throughout the summer, these protesters risked everything to confront soldiers at the border.

The world watches on as atrocities are committed. Sniper target shooting by Israeli soldiers, rape and humiliation at the border crossing, whilst maintaining the guise of border peacekeeping, in this peacekeeping mission Israel has been killing and wounding thousands of protesters, at will. The news often masked by Trump’s hideous tweets.

Israel’s initial response to the protests was unsurprising, but it was swift. It immediately responded with the type of military force that cast the protests as a security challenge devised by Hamas tacticians.

Instead of engaging with the protesters as a civilian population with legitimate grievances against the siege and against Hamas’ leadership, Israel viewed them as an armed threat.

The majority of Gazans want day-to-day life in the Strip to improve, yet Israel as the occupier is unable or unwilling to work with this majority to achieve this simple goal.

Nearly 2 million people locked inside a land mass the size of Philadelphia, the borders carefully controlled, the movement of goods and humans severely restricted; as much as 72 percent of the population facing food shortages and 41 percent struggling with unemployment.

Hospitals forced to rely on generators for life-saving equipment, while supplies of life-saving medicines dwindle to dangerous levels; and looming in the not-far-off distance, as water treatment and desalination plants stop working, the risk that drinking water will run out, Isreal is hoping, along with this nourishment, so will hope.

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