By: M Shaaban, MINA’s Contributor in Gaza
The Israeli occupation has been trying for years to enhance the confidence of the Israeli settlers who live in the so-called “Gaza envelope” by its army and all the security measures in order to protect them. This time, the occupation is working to perpetuate and strengthen settlements in the area, in a move to enhance security for the Israeli settlers and tighten the suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip.
The occupation announced the establishment of a new settlement in the Gaza envelope to accommodate 500 settler families, as part of its efforts to strangle the Gaza Strip geographically, and plundering its resources, whether water or agricultural. Thus, one million shekels ($323,000) has been allocated for building its own infrastructure.
According to specialists, the new settlement will be a new disaster for the Israeli settlers because it is very close to the border with the besieged Gaza Strip. Thus, it will be an easy target for the Palestinian resistance factions, which means that hundreds of new settlers will enter the list of 42,000 Israeli settlers whose fate and daily lives are determined by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.
In a related context, Palestinian resistance factions in the small besieged Gaza has turned these illegal settlements into a living hell in escalations between the both sides. This means that the Palestinian resistance controls the lives of thousands of them and determines what they must do.
It is noteworthy that the resistance factions worked in the past years to establish attack tunnels that extended for kilometers deep into the settlements surrounding the Gaza Strip and through them carried out several military operations, as happened in the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip in 2014.
Moreover, these settlements are more vulnerable to the resistance’s rockets fired from inside Gaza in every Israeli aggression against the Strip.
“Hanoun” is a temporary name that will be given to the new settlement, and it is the first to be approved to be established near the Gaza border since decades. Will this step be a new protection for settlers near to the Gaza borders?
Its Fate Is Not Different from Other Israeli Settlements’ Near to Gaza Border
Contrary to this step aimed at enhancing security and protection for the Israeli settlers, the response of the Palestinian resistance, as usual, is that the geographical factor will not change its goals. Thus, every occupied part of Palestine is a legitimate target of the Palestinian resistance.
Palestinian political analyst Abdel Akkad said that the entire Israeli occupation is a colonial occupier entity, but rather an extended settlement bloc in the land of Palestine from which its people were forcibly displaced.
Al-Akkad added that “this is what makes targeting the usurpers – the Israeli settlers – on the Palestinian land legitimate targets under international laws, and the occupation bears the consequence of exposing them to any direct or indirect targeting by placing them in the wrong place.”
He pointed out that “the whole Israeli entity is a legitimate target of the Palestinian resistance without consideration of any division in the entire Palestinian map.”
Why Around Gaza?
The Israeli occupation has been trying for 15 continuous years to tighten the stifling siege on the Gaza Strip in various ways, attempting to weaken the Palestinian resistance inside the Strip.
Its attempts were not only limited to controlling the main crossings and controlling the natural resources, as well as preventing the entry of many different goods and devices, including medical equipment, into the city, but also to intensifying the settlement outposts on the Gaza border.
In more detail, the new settlement will join several Israeli settlements established near the Gaza border, plundering the Gaza Strip’s resources as groundwater, and also preventing the Gazan residents, under security measures imposed by the occupation forces, from farming near the separating borders. It’s obvious distance, in which Palestinian farmers are prevented to work in, sometimes extended more than 300 meters, along the eastern Gaza border.
Al-Akkad noted that “many settlement outposts are built for military or security purposes with civilian cover.”
The political analyst stressed that “the Palestinian resistance is fully aware of every settlement and ethnic outpost, its residents and the objectives of its establishment, and takes them into account in all fields.”
Occupation Attempts to Restore Confidence of Its Settlers
Through the rounds of escalation between the occupation and the Palestinian resistance, a large number of Israeli settlers in the “Gaza envelope” settlements expressed their despair and frustration over the continued state of security and military escalation and their distrust of the statements of their leaders.
According to Israeli reports and analysts, the atmosphere of anxiety and tension in the “Gaza envelope” area, in particular, between settlers and the Israeli occupation forces due to the uncertainty about the coming period, indicating that the “Gaza factions have made the settlers’ lives hostage to them”.
Israeli analysts said that the Israeli security is seeking, through the establishment of the new settlement, to renew the confidence of the settlers, who have repeatedly demanded to act against the Palestinian factions and remove the danger to their lives.
On November 8, 2020, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated the “Hanoun” settlement in the Gaza envelope area, claiming that it is “good news, and great news for the Israeli settlers near to Gaza.”
The Minister of Housing in the Israeli occupation government, Ze’ev Elkin, was quoted as saying, “The approval of the construction of the new settlement is very importance these days, especially in the Gaza envelope.”
“We are determined to continue building and developing settlements, and since I assumed my position as Minister of Construction and Housing, we have strengthened the Golan Heights, the Jordan Valley and the West Bank, and today we are also working to strengthen the Gaza envelope settlements,” he added.
Aviad Friedman, Director-General of the Ministry of Construction and Housing, also said, “There is an important step in expanding settlements in the Gaza envelope, which represents a major power for the entire region.”
Friedman stressed that the establishment of the new settlement “will meet the demand of settlements in the region and will strengthen our southern border with the Gaza Strip.”
It is worth noting that the “Gaza envelope” is used to refer to the more than 50 Israeli settlements adjacent to and close to the Gaza Strip. (AKG/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)