A lot has been written about Palestine, whether the part that has been erroneously named ‘Israel’ by zionists, or the pieces that yet retain the ancient name.
We have become fairly familiar with the statistics of abuse, discrimination and death, as created by the Israeli regime as they plough violently through Palestinian statehood and people.
However, I find that sometimes facts and figures become reduced in their effectiveness if no reference is provided that might better help we observers understand the various aspects of Palestinian life, and how the conduct of Israel has impacted upon the indigenous people.
An example of this is to be found in the population density of the Gaza Strip.
Currently, there are 2 million people residing in a parcel of land that covers 365 square kilometres, or 141 square miles. That equates to approximately 5,479 people for every square kilometre, making the area one of the most densely populated in the world (approx. 5th).
If we compare these figures to those found in Ireland, and more especially those of the Occupied Six Counties (OSC) in the north-east of the island, we get some startling results.
One of the six mentioned, County Derry, has a population of just 250,000 living in an area that covers 2,074 square kilometres. That means that one eighth of the number of people that inhabit Gaza, are at home in an area in Ireland that is more than five and a half times larger than the entire Gaza Strip. It is easy to see from this just how crowded Gaza really is.
The entire area of the OSC is approx. 14,139 square kilometres, or almost 39 times larger than the Gaza Strip. Yet the total population of this British controlled part of Ireland is 1.87 million, well under the total for that beleaguered part of Palestine.
Those of us who inhabit the OSC will find it difficult to truly imagine what it is like to live in such over-crowded conditions. It would be a hardship under any circumstances to reside in an area where there is such pressure upon space, utilities and amenities.
But for the people of Gaza it is much worse. They are penned in like cattle, at the behest of the immoral political entity known as Israel. The people, of what has been accurately described as an ‘open-air prison’, are held hostage to the whims of a militaristic state that sees only its own selfish and indefensible desires.
Palestinians in Gaza are denied the very basics necessary to live a normal life. In addition to all that they are starved of, they also have the ever-present threat of bombardment and attack from the zionist beast to the north.
Those who regularly observe Israel’s behaviour towards the area, will have noticed that there are daily acts of provocation against the people of Gaza. These may come in the form of shooting at fishermen (and murdering some), poisoning agricultural land and crops, bulldozing properties and assassinating Palestinians overseas, as well as interning any who would dare speak out about the Israeli regime.
These aggressive actions are designed to, firstly, make life in Gaza unbearable, thereby forcing the people to seek a new life elsewhere and, secondly, provoke al-Qassam and any other militant groups into retaliation.
This second purpose allows Israel to then claim their well-tried tactic of playing the ‘eternal victims’. This in turn gives them an opportunity to launch a missile and artillery blitz against the entire population of Gaza. In doing so, Israel gets to showcase their military hardware for potential overseas buyers, as well as compound the misery and hardship of the long-suffering populace, imprisoned by zionist barriers.
The undemocratic Egyptian government, currently an Israeli puppet, is complicit in this ill-treatment of the Gazan people.
In the OSC of Ireland, during a conflict which lasted 30 years (and still continues at a lower level today), 3637 people were said to have perished due to politically-related violence. Not all of that number died within the six county region, and the number consists of both combatants and non-combatants.
In 2014, in Gaza, 2202 people were reported killed during a 51 day onslaught by Israel upon a civilian population. From December ’08 until January ’09 – 22 days – 1398 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in Gaza. (figures from B’Tselem)
This means that during 73 days of Israeli attacks, during Operations ‘Protective Edge’ and ‘Cast Lead’, 3600 people died as a result of Israeli actions.
This figure equates to the same number that died in the entire militant Irish Republican–British forces’ war over the course of 30 years.
Yet, it would appear that neither the mainstream media – nor the governments of the west who would decry such loss of life in Ireland – care much about a similar death-toll in Gaza over a shockingly shorter period of time. So what can the people of Gaza read into all of this?
There is no justification for what has been, and is still being done to the population of Gaza. As bad as life was, and in many cases still is, in the OSC, it pales in comparison to life in the Gaza Strip.
Whether it is over-crowding, destruction of utilities, destruction of schools, destruction of hospitals, obliteration of neighbourhoods, ethnic cleansing of people, fascist controls imposed upon residents, the ghetto-ization of an entire area, the imprisonment of an entire population, the isolation of an entire population, the psychological warfare used against civilians, the traumatizing of civilians and children,the slaughter of children and civilians, the deliberate disinformation disseminated and the lies told to cover-up the truth, Israel stands accused, and is guilty, of all.
History will NOT absolve them. Nor should, or will, the people of this planet forgive them.
As an Irish rebel who was to become a martyr once remarked, “It is not those who can inflict the most, but those that can suffer the most who will conquer.”
The Palestinian people have suffered, and they have endured. The heavy hand of history will fall upon Israel. The anger of the people of the world will fall upon Israel also.
Palestine, and their people in Gaza, will prevail.