Israel Declares “All-Out War” On Hamas
The Palestinian death toll rose to 364, as the Israel death toll stood at 4. Israel closed off a part of Gaza calling it “a closed military zone”, and is launching broader attacks than the more pin-point ones it did earlier. Israel is not after just the armed wing of Hamas, but is looking to destroy it entirely, a goal with dubious possibility of success.
[A] prominent target was the Islamic University of Gaza. Early Monday, warplanes flattened the school’s five-story science building. The university was once known as a bastion of support for the mainstream Palestinian Fatah movement, but it gradually fell under Hamas’s sway, and many of the movement’s top leaders are alumni. Hamas heavily influences the curriculum and uses the campus as a prime recruiting ground.
Israel is claiming that the building is being used by Hamas to build advanced weapons, but the university says this is untrue, and that Israel is going beyond destruction of Hamas’ infrastructure and wants to ruin Palestinian culture.
Rawiya Shawa, an independent Palestinian legislative council member who lives in Gaza City, said attacks on targets such as mosques and university buildings are uniting the population behind Hamas and neutralizing the internal opposition.
“Hamas has the sympathy of the other groups,” Shawa said. “Even the Fatah people are not happy at all at what is happening. This is a savage attack that unites all Palestinians.”
So, Israel’s action may have the effect of bringing Hamas and Fatah together in opposition. When Israel declined to open border crossings during the cease-fire over the summer, the sense of deprivation by Gaza’s 1.5 million residence deepened. Now, Hamas leaders are calling for strikes on Israel by any means necessary, including suicide attacks.Click here for reuse options!
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