Decoding Israel's Veiled Agenda behind the Gaza Offensive

Published On: March 4, 2024 08:30 AM NPT By: Loknath Sangroula

The ongoing Palestine-Israel conflict has now stretched for almost 150 days since its commencement on October 7 last year, showing no signs of abating. With unwavering support from Western powers, notably the USA, Israel persists in relentlessly bombing civilian infrastructure, resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, including women, and children. As of the time of writing, the death toll has gone past 30,000 and continues to rise. Since last year, the Middle East has been in turmoil giving rise to fears that the war would spill over the borders. Over eighty percent of the infrastructure, including schools, banks, and shelters, has been completely destroyed, creating the impression that no such structures ever existed there. US-funded Israel has launched attack after attack, with the US vetoing UN Security Council resolutions aimed at ensuring ceasefires in Gaza multiple times, demonstrating its further complicity in the genocide, and exposing its true colors to the world. The UN's impassioned pleas for peace, the resounding global support for Palestinians, the urgent appeals by leading intellectuals, and the massive demonstrations in different cities worldwide have all been callously ignored. Israel persists in its relentless bombardment, while the US callously funnels billions of dollars in aid, turning a blind eye to the mounting humanitarian crisis.

The Palestinians have been ruthlessly driven from the north by Israel, relentlessly pushed further and further south in search of safety. They are now trapped in the southernmost town of Rafah, bordering the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. The border has been sealed, leaving them with no chance of crossing into Sinai. Death, starvation, disease, and famine loom over every corner of the Gaza Strip. Makeshift tents now punctuate the skyline, a stark testament to the dire conditions across the entire region. Talks held in Paris, Cairo and other locations have thus far yielded no results. Israel has flagrantly gone well beyond its "self-defense" pretext, leaving a trail of innocent civilian casualties. How many more must sacrifice themselves on the altar of war before the dictates of conscience are finally heeded? Despite the massive protests worldwide, why does the West, the USA in particular, continue to funnel aid? Why are the Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan not able to exert the kind of pressure they were expected to exert, while their brethren immeasurably suffer at the hands of Zionists? There appears to be a deep connivance among those powers, suggesting ulterior and sinister motives at play.

A leaked 10-page document, allegedly from the Israelc Ministry of Intelligence dated Oct. 13, 2023, a week after the Hamas attack, recommends the forcible and permanent transfer of the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million Palestinian residents to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, thereby vacating the area. This was posted by WikiLeaks on X. The leaked document, which first appeared on Mekomit, a Hebrew website, says that the operation will start from northern Gaza and move towards southern Gaza. And, we have observed the Israeli operation's progression, starting from the northern Gaza and moving towards the south. Now, Rafah, once home to nearly 200,000 people, shelters nearly 1.5 million, all confined to a small area of just 64 square kilometers.

According to a 2019 UN report, off the coast and beneath the occupied lands of Palestine, lies an estimated 3 billion barrels of oil. This figure doesn’t even account for thecgas potential in Palestine. The Levant Basin, situated in the Mediterranean, is believed to hold approximately 1.7 billion barrels of oil. Additionally, over 1.5 billion barrels are estimated to be located beneath the occupied West Bank territory. “This genocide is not about the claims of Israel protecting itself,” says Shereen Talaat, founder and director of MENA (Middle East and North African) Fem Movement for Economic, Development, and Ecological Justice. “This genocide is about oil.” On October 29, the government approved 12 licenses for six companies to explore additional gas fields offshore. Since the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine in 2022, Europe has sought an energy provider to address its needs. And, it is said that Israel has long been working on a pipeline to export gas to European countries (source: atmos.earth).

There's yet another rationale behind the desire to clear the Palestinian territory, shared by many, including the West. Analysts posit that it revolves around the Ben-Gurion Canal Project. Originating in the 1960s, this project, named after Israel's founding father David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973), was conceived as a transformative infrastructure initiative. It aims to create an alternative maritime route linking the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, bypassing the Suez Canal. The project proposes cutting a canal through the Negev Desert in Israel, starting from the Gulf of Aqaba, the eastern arm of the Red Sea, and extending to the eastern Mediterranean coast. It envisions reshaping global maritime dynamics by challenging Egypt's monopoly on the shortest Europe-Asia route, which is the Suez Canal. Speculation suggests that Israel's desire to control Gaza and eliminate Hamas is tied to unlocking economic potential associated with the canal. The Gulf of Aqaba has a coastline shared by four countries: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia

If completed, the Ben-Gurion Canal Project would profoundly influence global trade and geopolitics by creating a new shipping route between Europe and Asia, circumventing the Suez Canal and reducing Egypt's control over global shipping. However, gigantic logistical, political, and funding challenges pose formidable obstacles. The project's high complexity and projected costs, estimated to reach up to $100 billion, pose significant challenges. Additionally, as long as the Palestinian population remains in the area, they could pose security risks to the project. Consequently, without adequate protection, the canal would remain vulnerable to potential threats. Hence, the spree of bombardment and killing of thousands of innocent Palestinians continues unabated.

Similarly, in front of an impassioned audience of thousands of right-wingers in an carnival-like atmosphere at the Jerusalem International Convention Center, twelve ministers of Israel, including Itamar Ben-Gvir and fifteen lawmakers signed on Jan 28, 2024 the "Covenant of Victory and Renewal of Settlements in Gaza Strip", pledging to rebuild Jewish Israeli settlements in the heart of Gaza Strip. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of the ultranationalist Religious Zionism party, and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir called for a 'time to return home to Gush Katif'—the Israeli settlement bloc in Gaza that was evacuated during the 2005 disengagement. Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law. In 2005, Israel withdrew its troops and forcibly removed 8,000 settlers, ending the Israeli presence in Gaza that began in 1967 with the Six-Day War.

With the aim of pursuing this goal, a real estate company has swooped in on a stretch of beachfront in Gaza aiming to build luxury homes on land that has been reduced to rubble. Harey Zahav, a leading real estate company in Israel, is advertising the construction of beach homes in Gush Katif, even as the war rages on between Israel and Hamas with no sign of let-up. Shalom Warmstein, CEO of Harey Zahav, says, "We are in the heart of Gaza doing what we do. A number of our employers have started working on the area, the removal of waste and the expulsion of invaders (express.co.uk)." This company specializes in building settlements in the occupied West Bank. Multiple posts on social media suggest that the company is already engaged in construction activities in Gaza.While Mr. Netanyahu has dismissed the idea of returning and US President Biden described the idea as a "big mistake", plans by Harey Zahav seem to be progressing. Could anyone consider this a possibility without a nod from Washington? It is hard to believe!

The Zionist campaign's professed aim is the total obliteration of Hamas from the enclave. Yet, the practicality of achieving such a feat is increasingly doubted by analysts, with Israel appearing far from vanquishing Hamas militants. This declared objective seems more for optics than actuality. Their true, veiled agenda appears to be the expulsion of Palestinians from the enclave, enabling unrestricted activities such as canal construction, oil extraction, or Jewish settlements with little or no security threats or challenges. The extensive devastation inflicted upon Gaza hints at a broader Israeli scheme, potentially supported by Western powers, notably the USA.

However, it seems that Hamas is not merely a fleeting sapling; its roots delve deep. It embodies a concept, a movement. It represents a timeless ethos, a legacy passed down through the ages. Like ancient olive trees, Palestinian roots firmly anchor to their land, impervious to Zionist onslaughts. Their resilience guarantees endurance, enabling them to stand tall against all adversities. They are a testament to an unyielding spirit, persisting until their dreams are realized—where their land is secure, and they can thrive without fear of oppression or annihilation.

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