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The Latest Military Conflict in the Gaza Strip and the Resistance Front’s Show of Force

Ramin Nadimi
November 2018

The latest round of military conflicts in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups, on the one hand, and the Zionist regime’s military, on the other, started after an operation conducted by Israeli commandos, who infiltrated into Khuza'a region, south of the Gaza Strip. Despite its short duration, this operation had characteristics, which allow us to consider it as a “turning point” in the war between the Palestinian resistance groups and the Zionist occupiers. Following that military operation, Palestinian groups fired about 460 rockets into the occupied territories, targeting Zionist towns and settlements. In addition to causing casualties and damage, the resistance groups’ rockets caused widespread panic among dwellers of those areas.
As admitted by Israeli defense sources, the “Iron Dome” missile defense system was not able to intercept more than 100 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. This issue proves the fire power of the resistance front and its ability to perform high-volume rocket attacks in a way to paralyze the ordinary life in the southern part of the occupied territories. In addition, the resistance front has threatened that it is able, in case of continuation of the conflict, to target farther regions with its rockets, such as the capital city of the Zionist regime, Tel Aviv. At the same time, the Palestinian fighters have shown that they are able to fire armor piercing guided missiles from their positions within the Gaza Strip and take precise aim at the positions of Israeli forces beyond the Gaza border fence in order to disrupt their operations. The Palestinian fighters proved this ability by targeting and demolishing a bus carrying Israeli soldiers.
However, despite subsequent heavy air raids on the Gaza Strip by the Zionist regime, whose warplanes hit more than 150 targets, including the building of al-Aqsa television network, such acts of aggression did not elicit any official remarks or statements from officials of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The reason behind this passivity on the part of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi becomes more evident when one notes the increasing trend of contacts between Saudi and UAE officials and those of the Israeli regime. Such contacts shed light on the alliance between these countries and the Zionist regime and the United States against the Islamic Republic of Iran and other members of the resistance front.
The reaction shown by Arab states – especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – to the military conflict between the Zionist regime’s military and Hamas and also to the subsequent bombardment of Gaza and rocket attacks on cities and towns in southern part of the occupied territories was a general response through the Arab League statement. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the current secretary general of the Arab League, condemned the Zionist regime’s attacks on the Gaza Strip while calling for immediate efforts by the international community to force Israel to stop such attacks. In his remarks, Aboul Gheit urged the international community to take urgent measures to put on end to attacks by the Zionist regime’s army on the Gaza Strip. He emphasized that the operations carried out by the Tel Aviv regime on the Gaza Strip amounted to blatant violation of international law and violation of primary rights of civilians. The secretary general of the Arab League also underlined the necessity for Israel to show commitment to its obligations as an occupying regime in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention and other norms of international humanitarian law.
Meanwhile, on November 14, and three days after the beginning of the latest round of military conflicts between the Zionist regime and Hamas – which started on November 11 – the official Saudi news agency, SPA, released the Saudi government’s statement. The statement did not make any direct reference to recent conflicts and their reason, which was the special operation by Israeli forces that left eight Palestinians and an Israeli trooper dead. However, it underlined the need to take an urgent decision to make the Zionist regime give in to the peace process, stop building new Zionist settlements, end the unjust siege of Gaza, stop violent aggression against Palestinians’ rights, and put an end to the occupation of the Palestinian territories and other Arab lands.
At the same time, the Lebanese Hezbollah movement issued a statement after the Zionist regime and the Palestinian resistance groups – including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad – reached an agreement to stop the latest round of military conflicts in Gaza. In that statement, Hezbollah emphasized that the victory in Gaza conveyed the categorical message that the resistance front is capable of defeating any act of aggression by the Zionist regime. The statement, which was released on Wednesday, November 14, congratulated the entire Palestinian nation and resistance groups on the victory in Gaza and noted that the victory was the result of steadfastness, patience and unity of resistance groups, which handled the war with high precision. The Lebanese Hezbollah noted that the war in Gaza proved the power of the Palestinian resistance in taking skillful advantage of its military capabilities. In another part of the statement, Hezbollah said, “The Palestinian nation is greater than all plots hatched against it, and what the enemies of Palestine call as the ‘Deal of the Century’ is nothing but a big lie and a mirage.” Hezbollah also stated that the bravery of the Palestinian nation had thwarted all measures taken to normalize relations between Arab countries and the Zionist regime and had brought to the light the treacherous nature of some Arab leaders.