Bloody Days in Gaza
- updated: October 24, 2023
A stormy autumn sweeps through both Syria and Palestine, preceded by the ongoing spring in Suwayda. Peaceful protests have been blossoming in the squares for over fifty days. These are civilian demonstrations raising slogans, calling for the departure of the regime, emphasizing the implementation of Resolution 2254, and insisting on building a unified, secular, democratic state in Syria, rejecting division, and condemning the Syrian and Russian airstrikes on Idlib. These protests have rekindled hope for all Syrians, becoming the voice of people in all regions where they couldn’t express themselves due to the regime’s oppression and tyranny.
According to the intertwined laws of war and international interests in the region, the signs of spring had to be obliterated and merged with a stormy autumn, reminiscent of the autumn that preceded it in Syria. It began on the fifth of this month with an attack by unidentified drones on a graduation ceremony at the Military Academy in Homs, claiming the lives of more than 110 victims, including military personnel and civilians, women, men, and children. The regime immediately accused the factions in Idlib, which did not make any statement either adopting or condemning this attack. Although fingers of accusation could be pointed at Iran, which has a real interest in supporting the regime and diverting attention from the protests in Suwayda, which received Syrian and international support, no official accusation has been made against it. The regime benefited well from this attack and the severe condemnation that accompanied it, initiating an intense aerial assault with its Russian ally on all military and civilian areas, and vital facilities in Idlib, resulting in a large number of casualties and injuries among civilians. This attack was accompanied by a parallel assault by Turkish aircraft on the areas of self-administration in northern Syria, causing significant losses in infrastructure in Amuda and Qamishli, all under enforced international silence.
These simultaneous attacks aim to change and redraw new boundaries of conflict, accompanied by a third-party assault, which is Hamas’ attack, described as “Operation Flood of Al-Aqsa,” carried out just two days after the massacre at the Military Academy in Homs. On the seventh of this month, Hamas, the Iranian tool in the region, launched an attack, by land, sea, and air, on the skirts of Gaza Strip, capturing about 200 Israelis, both military and civilian. This was Israel’s first statement: that an Iranian cyber-attack on Israel disabled all infrastructure, allowing Hamas elements to enter and carry out this surprise operation.
In contrast to the weak military capabilities of both factions in Idlib and the self-administration in northern Syria in their response to the strikes they face from different perpetrators, Israel’s response was swift and destructive, supported and endorsed by the United States, Britain, and Europe from the very beginning of the attack.
The attack spared neither hospitals, shelters, schools, nor infrastructure, accompanied by power cuts, fuel shortages, and food shortages in Gaza. Despite the pleas of many countries to Israel to spare civilians, Israel wants to fully exploit Hamas’ attack, to carry out its old-new plan: demographic change in Palestine, and the deportation of the people of Gaza from their land. This process began with the displacement of the northern Gaza Strip residents to the south, where about a million citizens were forcibly evicted from their homes, in an unprecedented brutal operation in history, disregarding all international decisions that stipulate the protection of civilians and the rights of Palestinians in their land and their right to resist.
During twelve days, the death toll in Palestine has exceeded 3,000 victims, with thousands wounded. The positions of Arab countries towards this violent attack have been marked by individualism and shyness. Saudi Arabia suspended normalization with Israel and called for an end to the war and the prevention of the displacement of Palestinians, as well as the delivery of aid. Egypt, on the other hand, refused to deport Palestinians to Sinai and proposed the Negev desert in Palestine. Jordan also refused to open its borders and receive Palestinians.
The meeting of foreign ministers of Arab countries, held on the eleventh of this month, ended with a call for an immediate ceasefire and the condemnation of the killing of civilians. It emphasized the need to revive the peaceful process and initiate serious negotiations between the Palestinian Liberation Organization, as the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people, and Israel.
The planned quadripartite meeting between the American, Palestinian, Jordanian, and Egyptian presidents was thwarted by the bombing of Al-Ahli Madaneya Hospital in Gaza, accompanied by the killing and injuring of hundreds, amidst strong global condemnation. Despite Israel’s attempt to blame the Islamic Jihad Movement for this attack, it has not provided any evidence despite continuous demands from Russia.
Israel still refuses to deliver aid to the people of Gaza unless the prisoners are handed over by Hamas. It continues to implement its settlement plan, in full view and hearing of the world, where an entire population is punished, their land is occupied, with the support of major powers claiming to respect human rights, enshrining them in their constitutions. The resolution project submitted by Russia to the Security Council, calling for a humanitarian ceasefire, and another resolution project submitted by Brazil, calling for a humanitarian truce to allow full, rapid, safe, and unimpeded access to humanitarian aid, failed due to the United States exercising its veto power.
There is a fear that the war may spread to Lebanon, turning it into a regional war, as daily clashes continue between Hezbollah and Israel, initially confined to the early days within the borders of Shebaa Farms, and in the past two days extending to all the southern borders of Lebanon. There is also a fear that it may spread to Syria, dragging the entire region into a regional war, leaving everyone as losers.
Especially with the arrival of American and British aircraft carriers to the region, it is not convincing that this is to confront a small armed faction like Hamas, but rather to shift the balance of power in the entire region in favor of Israel and weaken Iran and its arms in the region: Hezbollah and Hamas. This is in support of Netanyahu, whose popularity has recently declined. The only losers in this operation will be the Syrian and Lebanese people, as the battle will be fought on their lands, in addition to the Palestinian people, because Iran is directing the battle from outside its territory.
We, in the Syrian Women’s Political Movement, first demand the immediate delivery of relief and medical aid, and the restoration of water and electricity to the Palestinian people without condition.
Secondly, an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is imperative, especially since it is impossible to spare civilians in an area that is the most densely populated in the world. And to halt forced displacement of the residents of Gaza.
We affirm in the Syrian Women’s Political Movement that peace in Palestine, and in all Middle Eastern countries, cannot happen before Israel recognizes the rights of the Palestinian people to build their free state on the lands of 1967, with its capital in East Jerusalem, in implementation of all relevant UN resolutions, especially Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967.
And for the Palestinian people of 1948, the right to return to their lands and homes from which they were displaced and to be compensated, in accordance with UN resolution number 194.
We reiterate our rejection and condemnation of all forms of violence, regardless of the perpetrator, which affect civilians from all sides.
The Political Committee in the Syrian Women’s Political Movement.