Connect with us

#Current Affairs

8 Reasons Why Israel is Under Rocket Attack

We always hear of Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’. What about Palestinian right to not be occupied and live under a brutal siege?

Published

The “peace-loving nation” of Israel is yet again at the brink of an existential annihilation due to homemade rocket attacks from Gaza — or so they would have you believe. As the Israel-Palestine conflict rages, we’ve heard the same boilerplate statements about “Israel’s right to defend itself” and “No country would tolerate rocket attacks, so why should Israel?”

But why are rockets being fired into Israel in the first place?  “Because the Palestinians are terrorists and anti-Semites.” Perhaps, or perhaps there are few more plausible explanations for Palestinian armed resistance; consider the following:

1. The Occupation

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Israel, with U.S. support, has militarily occupied the Gaza Strip (along with the West Bank and East Jerusalem) since 1967. The belligerent occupation, now in its 47th year, is one of the longest, bloodiest and brutal in human history — over 2,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza alone in the last seven years.

Up until 2005, Israel maintained illegal Jewish colonies in the Gaza Strip as well. It has since disbanded these colonies and thus claims it’s no longer occupying the Gaza strip. Israel is alone in holding this deceptive view; the UN, US State Department, global NGO’s and legal scholars all consider Gaza a part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories because Israel exercises complete military control over it.

2. The Siege

Israel, with U.S. backing, has laid a brutal siege in the Gaza Strip since 2007. It has blocked off air, land and water access to the Strip — nothing goes in, nothing comes out. This tiny strip of land is home to some 1.7 million people; due to its cage-like setup, Gaza has aptly been described as the ‘world’s largest open air prison.’

The siege has stifled Gaza’s economy, destroyed its infrastructure and has cut off access to some of the most basic amenities needed to live a dignified life. Today, almost 80 per cent of Gazans are dependent on aid as a result of the blockade. The UN has warned Gaza will be inhospitable by 2020 if the siege continues.

3. The Water Crises

Israel’s discriminatory division of water means that Palestinians get 70 litres a day per person, far below the 100 liters per capita minimum, while the Israeli’s get four times this amount. Limiting the water supply results in Gazan households receiving water for only six-eight hours at a time about every other day. Israel severely damaged the sewage treatment infrastructure in Gaza during its 2009 assault; the blockade means the resources needed for repairs are unavailable.

sewageAs a result, only 25 per cent of Gaza’s waste water is treated; 90 million liters of untreated or partially treated sewage is dumped into the Mediterranean every day. Contamination of the territory’s ground water is serious concern; about 90 per cent of the water supply in the Strip is unfit for human consumption.  Due to over-pumping and sewage contamination Gaza’s only water source, its Coastal Aquifer, is damaged past the point of no return — it will expire in 2016.

4. Scarcity of Fuel and Electricity

Gaza is under a chronic power shortage due to the siege; Israel has severely limited the fuel supply needed to operate the only power plant in the territory. Only 46 per cent of Gaza’s electricity needs are being met currently; this has triggered rolling power outages of 12 hours everyday. Amongst other things, this lack of power means that hundreds of crucial medical devices at hospital are non-functional, including Gaza’s only MRI machine.

5. Leveling of Land and Destruction of Property

The Israeli army conducts weekly incursions into the Gaza Strip to destroy the land it has declared as ‘no-go zone.’ Its tanks, bulldozers and military jeeps, accompanied by helicopters and drones, systematically destroy fruit bearing trees and agricultural land in the Gaza strip. Civilian infrastructure in this area is also demolished; this includes hundreds of houses, wells and chicken farms — mosques and schools are demolished as well.

6. Travel Bans

Israel’s siege has meant that it is virtually impossible for Gazans to leave the occupied territory. They can’t even leave to visit their relatives in the West Bank, let alone in Israel. Gazans with spouses in Israel or the West Bank are forced to live in separation; simple matters such as raising a family are rendered impracticable. Permission to leave even for severe emergencies is rarely given.

By dividing Palestinians, Israel successfully employs the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy like colonial powers of the past. The people of Gaza can’t even seek asylum in other countries due to this restriction on movement. Even students are prohibited from going abroad, or even the West Bank, for higher education; visas of several winners of U.S. Fulbright Scholarships have been revoked in the past.

gaza7. Suppression of Agriculture 

The Israeli army created a ‘no-go zone’ along the Israel-Gaza border that Palestinians cannot enter. This ‘buffer region’ extends up to 1,500 meters at times into the Strip and includes some of its most fertile land. As a result, 35 per cent of the agricultural space in Gaza is off-limits to farmers. This has seriously damaged the food economy and harshly penalized innocent farmers. Palestinians are fired at arbitrarily if they try to enter this region; farmers suffer serious injuries, and at times death, as a result of this indiscriminate firing.

8. Restrictions on Fishing

Israel has announced that access to the sea six nautical miles beyond Gaza’s shore is prohibited for fisherman. This means that 85 per cent of fishing waters granted to Palestinians under the Oslo Accords is now inaccessible; this has severely impacted Gaza’s coastal economy. Similar to the restricted areas on land, Palestinian fishermen are regularly exposed to warning fire by Israeli naval forces, their fishing boats are intercepted and they are detained — all for the harmless act of fishing.

This is a short list of the some of the unspeakable crimes Israel commits on a defenseless population; they are at the root of this conflict. Rocket attacks from Gaza are a desperate response to these injustices – how does our government manage to omit this when brazenly expressing support for Israel ?  In light of the above, let’s try to counter some of the nonsense coming out of the foreign affairs office: No people would ever tolerate an oppressive occupation and an unjust siege, so why should the Palestinians?

[Update: July 22, 8:20 pm – I’ve included a section to highlight the refugee crises as well]

9. The Refugee Crises

Of 1.5 million people living in Gaza, 1.2 million are registered refugees spread across eight camps. These refugees are made up of Palestinians, and now their decedents, who were expelled from present-day Israel in during the mass expulsion or Nakba in 1948. Since the newly created state of Israel denied the right of return to these refugees, they have been trapped in the refugee camps for the past 66 years. These refugee camps are overcrowded, cramped and under utter disrepair – unlivable by any standards.  Attempts to rebuild or renovate the camps have been restricted due to the siege. The humanitarian crisis in the camps is only magnified compared to the rest of Palestine; unemployment is high, food is scarce and fuel is scant.

An edited version of this piece first appeared at Rabble.ca

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Waleed Ahmed writes on current affairs and politics for MuslimMatters. He focuses on Muslim minorities, human rights and the Middle-Eastern conflict. Based out of Montreal, he's currently pursuing a Ph.D. at McGill University in fundamental physics. Waleed also has a keen interest in studying Arabic and French. He spends his spare time reading, playing basketball and praying for Jon Stewart to run in the next presidential election. contact: waleed dot ahmed at muslimmatters.org

44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Mahmud

    July 19, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    This article needs to be copy pasted……everywhere.

    • ayah

      July 25, 2014 at 9:09 AM

      lol funny because in 2005 hamas started shooting rockets before the siege :) that’s why they received the siege

      i am a muslim and i live in israel and i am tired of muslims spreading lies!
      and in Ramadhan aoozobiALLAH may ALLAH guide the ummah

      • ARB

        July 26, 2014 at 7:07 PM

        What’s the truth then?

      • lholholho

        July 31, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        Muslim? Live in israel? Yeah right…

      • safia

        August 1, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        Spreading lies?! Then I suppose all the NON-MUSLIM historical accounts of Britain making deals with both Jews and Arabs, backstabbing the Palestinians, and giving Jews free reign in their occupation is a lie, too, right?

        I dunno about you… but if some psycho government gave a complete stranger full rights to kick me out of my house, I’d be firing rockets at them too.

        Authubillah, indeed.

        And YES, may Allah guide the Muslims who chose to do nothing about this situation!!

        And may Allah ESPECIALLY set the Muslims of Palestine free!!

      • Anonymous

        April 21, 2015 at 8:36 PM

        you are a muslim indeed, but not a sincere muslid

    • ahsan arshad

      July 25, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      copy and paste everywhere is the way to go.

  2. ZAI

    July 20, 2014 at 3:39 AM

    Reason #9 Gaza is under attack:

    Because Sisi, Saudis, Kuwaitis, UAE and others want Hamas destroyed.
    Israel is doing the visible dirty work, but let us not fool ourselves that plenty of regional actors
    aren’t happy with and are perhaps even encouraging what is going on. Hamas gambled on Morsi
    and lost big time…recent developments and attitudes in surrounding Arab nations have
    also sent message to Israel that it has a green light.It is an odd, odd day when the non-Arab
    Muslim countries and non-Muslim governments, excepting the anglo-sphere,
    are most supportive of the Palestinian cause. I’m no fan of Hamas, but Egypt, Jordan
    and the gulf countries, excluding Qatar, have totally betrayed the Palestinians.

    God help the Palestinian people and deliver them from this misery.

    • Masmanz

      July 20, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      Just trying to distribute blame away from Israel? Israel IS the sole responsible party here.

      • ZAI

        July 20, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        Oh yeah, ofcourse…
        Egyptian, American & Saudi governments, et. al. are totally innocent:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-hearst/attack-on-gaza-by-saudi-r_b_5603735.html
        Mutual anti-Iranian interests, mutual enmity against Muslim Brotherhood(which Hamas is seen as an off-shoot of), mutual preference of preserving the regional status-quo, mutual hostility
        to Turkey under Erdogan, mutual anti-pathy towards Qatar and on and on and on.

        https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/12931-mofaz-proposes-role-for-saudi-arabia-and-uae-to-disarm-gaza
        Why so eager for Saudi and UAE to play the role of mediator? As opposed to Qatar, Turkey
        or European countries?

        http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4401/egypt-israel-hamas
        From a right-wing crazy think-tank….however the QUOTES all have links and
        aren’t wrong.

        Sorry man….ain’t buying it.
        Israel is responsible for the actions themselves…I never said different in my previous comment.
        However there is a bigger picture and plenty of the neighboring rulers are happy with
        what Israel is doing or even cooperating behind the scenes. That’s just the reality
        of interests in the modern Middle East. I’m not drawing ANY blame away from Israel…but I’m
        not gonna pretend Israel doesn’t have the FULL support of the gas station kleptocrats and their
        dependents…just like it will if and when it attacks Iran…or confronts Turkey…or works against Qatar…

      • ARB

        July 26, 2014 at 7:10 PM

        With a little help from it’s friends – HAMAS, FATAH, Other Palestinian Sides, Saudis, Emiratis, Kuwaitis, Jordanians!

    • Juma Mohamed Mtema

      July 21, 2014 at 7:17 AM

      This is not acceptable for whatever reasons how can a human being civilized one attack children who are playing along the beach using Tanks and Warplanes F16 or Women who are running from the barbaric attacks with their children killing them in the same barbaric methods. Israels should read there History long back when the whole Word criticized NAZIs for killing them in Barbaric methods now we don’t know whether this methods they apply to Palestinians will be forever tolerated till the Day of Judgement Yaumal DINI or Allah will just make decision like during Firaun’s with his barbaric methods of killing innocent human beings let us have Subra after all we shall go back to Alah Inna Lilahi wa Inna Ilayh Rajoon

  3. kaleem

    July 20, 2014 at 6:58 AM

    This article starts with “Peace loving nation Israel”
    This is BS terminology.Choose your words carefully.How come Israel is a peace loving nation when it kills thousands of children,women and civilians.
    Israel did thousands of war crimes.
    Israel is actually a WAR-loving nation ,
    its a biggest threat to peace in arab world.

    *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

    • Iman

      July 21, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      I believe the article meant “peace loving nation Israel” as sarcasm.

    • dimitrit94

      July 21, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      The “peace-loving nation” of Israel…
      It’s in quotation marks for some reason.

    • ART

      July 21, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      You obviously never heard of a concept called sarcasm

    • ARB

      July 26, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      It was a mockery! Like Saudi Arabia is a “ISLAMIC” country!

    • O H

      August 27, 2014 at 7:19 AM

      ……………………………………..________
      ………………………………,.-‘”……………….“~.,
      ………………………..,.-“……………………………..”-.,
      …………………….,/………………………………………..”:,
      …………………,?………………………………………………,
      ………………./…………………………………………………..,}
      ……………../………………………………………………,:`^`..}
      ……………/……………………………………………,:”………/
      …………..?…..__…………………………………..:`………../
      …………./__.(…..”~-,_…………………………,:`………./
      ………../(_….”~,_……..”~,_………………..,:`…….._/
      ……….{.._$;_……”=,_…….”-,_…….,.-~-,},.~”;/….}
      ………..((…..*~_…….”=-._……”;,,./`…./”…………../
      …,,,___.`~,……”~.,………………..`…..}…………../
      …………(….`=-,,…….`……………………(……;_,,-”
      …………/.`~,……`-………………………………./
      ………….`~.*-,……………………………….|,./…..,__
      ,,_……….}.>-._……………………………..|…………..`=~-,
      …..`=~-,__……`,……………………………
      ……………….`=~-,,.,………………………….
      …………………………..`:,,………………………`…………..__
      ……………………………….`=-,……………….,%`>–==“
      …………………………………._……….._,-%…….`

      When words cannot express the amount of failure…

  4. Hyde

    July 20, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    One must not forget that role of the Saudis in this conflict.

  5. Pingback: 8 reason why | lilysland123

  6. scorpius

    July 20, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Sorry,

    But we, the free peoples of the Earth, do not need you Muslim-splaining in your patronizing way to us what this is about. It’s about racism, anti-semitism, Islamofascism, and the intolerance of Islam.

    NOTHING can forgive or explain targeting civilians for no other reason than an imagined “occupation” and a million other mythical butt-hurts. And don’t bring up the Israeli targeting; the Palestinians were warned and they could have sought shelter outside the areas affected (even better, Hamas could have used all the billions in Aid the Palestinians receive to build shelters, homes and businesses instead of tunnels.). And finally, the Palestinians elected Hamas with their racist, anti-semitic and fascist charter. Even the German people were held responsible for the Nazis, a group they didn’t even elect. Why should Muslims be so different? Are you the “special people”?

    End this now. Tell Hamas to accept the gracious cease-fire Israel and Egypt have offered.

    • Ashy Larry

      July 21, 2014 at 12:13 AM

      Sorry son, but just about everything in your post is false. Time to open your eyes and turn off Fox news.

      – Israel DOES target civilians, according to the U.N (facts…sigh) This is evident by the high percentage of civilian casualties.
      – I understand the whole “occupation” thing isn’t convenient for your narrative. But according to our very own US state department and the U.N it does exist. (i know, i know more facts…sigh..)
      – Mighty gracious of Israeli army to provide warnings for imminent bombs. But where exactly are the kids supposed to get shelter? You do realize Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on earth, right? There is nowhere to run.

      Seriously, open your eyes.

  7. AH

    July 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    The statement “Peace loving nation Israel” is meant for SARCASM. Reading the entire article should have made that very clear. However, if you were not able to pick up on the sarcasm then I assume some others were not able to either.

  8. Muslimthug

    July 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    God must have profound hatred for you Gaza folks as he allows you to live in suffering and makes you loose war after war while still fooling yourselves that victory is imminent. Allah makes you fast during the war so you can’t even fight the war!. So Muslims time to reconsider Jihad and other holy wars they are a prescription for Muslim death all over the world.

    And BTW while you are reconsidering that maybe just maybe you could join the 21’st century ??

  9. william aid

    July 21, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    http://www.buycott.com/ download this app and support the campaign
    http://www.buycott.com/campaign/all

  10. Muslimthug

    July 21, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    DId Israel kill anybody yet ? I didn’t see that yet did you ? did Hamas kill anyone ? I think it’s all made up.

  11. dimitrit94

    July 21, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    First of all, it was a very enjoyable and informative read, Waleed. Thank you for sharing. Nevertheless, I’d like to speak my mind. I certainly agree these reasons are more than enough for being at least angry and annoyed. Israel has no right to have caused all the suffering they’ve been giving many thousands of souls for the last 50 years — my question to you, so, is: are all the reasons in the world really reasons for answering back with violence? How does using violence make Palestinians any better than the Israelis?
    “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, because if you only love those who love you, what reward will you get?”

    With this being said, in no way do I support the Isreali dehumanization that is being and has been done. And surely will they be judged in this life or the next.
    Justice requires apprehending, punishing the guilty individuals — not going on a genocidal revenge against people of the same race. History aside. If you were a 10 year old in Gaza and your brother/mother/father were killed in your presence, how do you internalize all this violence? In a decade, these kids who saw their family die in front of them are going to turn around and do the same thing. By ‘defending’ themselves, Israel is just brewing the conditions for another future Hitler from the Islamic world. This conflict wont end with violence. Each time we see an escalation, it garantees a new generation to carry on the war and feed the cycle.

    My request here is, lets not fight for vengeance or hatred, but to build a peaceful coexistence.
    Sorry for the long text and many thanks again.

    • Mahmud

      July 22, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Fighting back is the right thing to do. Hamas and Palestinians have a legitimate right to defend themselves from Israeli attacks. If someone was blockading your town what would you do?

  12. Joe

    July 21, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    It is a tragedy to see human lives taken on either side, I will pray for all involved.

  13. Azmath

    July 22, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Truly to Allah we all belong and to him is our return.

  14. ARB

    July 26, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    These article should have been named “8 reasons Israel should have been faced a BORDER WAR in Gaza”! Rocket attacks are TERRORISM, not WAR! So is BOMBING!

  15. Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    1. “all consider Gaza a part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories because Israel exercises complete military control over it.” …… ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. How, if this were true did hamas manage to build such a rocket fortress

  16. Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    ” nothing goes in, nothing comes out” – Absolute RUBBISH. Israel allows electricity, food, medical supplies to freely pass into Gaza.

  17. Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    3. “The Water Crises” …… If Hamas cared about its people it could make a plan. Why should Israel supply Gaza with ANYTHING!

  18. Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    4. Scarcity of Fuel and Electricity……… DITTO ABOVE

  19. Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    5. Leveling of Land and Destruction of Property……………… supply proof

  20. Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    6. Travel Bans………….. “virtually impossible for Gazans to leave the occupied territory.” (well EVERYTHING could be “virtually”. The real truth is that gazans DO travel.

  21. Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    7. Suppression of Agriculture. WHAT RUBBISH IS THIS. What you are saying that because there is a “no go area” that you cannot farm? Id say that’s stretching it a bit, don’t you think? Honestly!

  22. Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    8. Restrictions on Fishing…………… all I can say is that if you cannot find fish in 6 kilometers…. I guess you will never find fish. Period! besides the rockets come in oversea and you cannot be trusted to just be “fishing”

  23. Aliza Salem

    July 28, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    I have one question? Is it true that if Hamas stops firing rockets Israel will stop? SO STOP FIRING ROCKETS!! If our own people dont care about our children how can we expect Israel to care?

    • O H

      August 27, 2014 at 7:54 AM

      There are numerous cases of Israelis initiating attacks on Palestinians even when rockets are not fired at them by Hamas.

      An example of this is when the Americans were celebrating the election victory of Obama during the end of 2008, Israel used this as an opportunity to enter the Gaza Strip and kill Palestinians, even though rockets weren’t fired then, Israel were the initiators in that case just like many other cases.

      It’s easy for us all, from the comfort of our homes, to blame Hamas but we don’t know the entire context & situation. This article definitely helps address this & it’s shocking to have anyone having any other view, more so if it’s a Muslim.

  24. lholholho

    August 1, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Israel : we will drop bombs, so go away.
    Palestine : okay, we’re coming.
    Israel : actually, you cant go to israel.
    Palestine : but you control all of our borders, so where do we go?
    Israel: sounds like personal problems.
    Palestine : …
    (THE TRUTH)

  25. Pingback: 14 Top Articles of 2014 - MuslimMatters.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

..
..
..

Ramadan Video Series

MuslimMatters NewsLetter in Your Inbox

Sign up below to get started

Trending