by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 50, No. 11, Jumada' al-Ula', 1443)
Gaza has been described as the world’s largest "open-air prison". The tiny sliver of land is surrounded on two sides by Zionist Israel. The opening to the Mediterranean Sea is also tightly controlled by the Zionists. On the fourth side is the Egyptian border. This, too, remains closed most of the time because the Egyptian regime is aligned with Israel.
As if this was not enough suffering inflicted on the two million Gazans, the Zionist regime last month completed the construction of an iron and steel wall around the besieged Gaza Strip. Now it is truly a prison complete with watch towers. Built over a three-and-a-half-year period at a cost of $1.1 billion—the money will be paid by American taxpayers, of course—it features surveillance equipment that far surpasses equipment installed to monitor captives in regular prisons.
Here are some of its features. The iron and steel wall stretches 65 kilometres from the Egyptian border. It is in addition to the border fence that Israel had erected soon after its forces were driven out of the Gaza Strip by Palestinian resistance in 2005. It covers the entire border with Gaza and even juts into the Mediterranean Sea.
This newest barrier built with 140,000 tonnes of iron and steel bristles with massive surveillance equipment. There are dozens of antennas, hundreds of cameras and radars positioned on the massive wall that rises more than six metres (20 feet) into the air.
To get a sense of what has been done, here is a brief description of the new installations. Behind the existing border fence (Israeli snipers shoot Palestinians that come close to the fence and hundreds have been killed or maimed since the Great march of Return was launched in March 2018), there is a huge earth barrier. The new iron and steel fence is erected behind it. Then there are huge towers with powerful surveillance cameras.
Not content with barriers above the ground, the Zionists have erected an underground metal wall as well equipped with sensors. It runs several meters deep below the ground. The purpose is to prevent resistance fighters from using tunnels to get into Israel for military operations.
The new wall is mounted with a remotely controlled weapons system. This is intended to minimize risk to Israeli soldiers in case the Palestinian resistance manages to penetrate the barrier to carry out operations. This can be best described as hi-tech occupation.
Leaving nothing to chance, the Zionist occupiers have also installed monitoring equipment on the wall in the sea that can detect incursions via maritime routes. The imprisonment of Gaza is complete. It is a hi-tech concentration camp in which the prisoners—the people of Gaza—do not want to escape but to free themselves from the clutches of their occupiers.
The Gaza wall is even more oppressive than the one on the Zionist occupied West Bank. That wall was built to separate Palestinians from Israel proper but Zionist occupation forces continue to carry out attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank. There are also scores of military checkpoints that Palestinians have to negotiate to get from one point to another. The separation wall, as it is called, was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in July 2004.
Zionist Israel, however, is not constrained by any legal rulings. Its very existence is illegal, occupying the land of the Palestinian people. It is a colonial settler entity whose survival depends on stealing the land of the Palestinians and getting massive handouts from the US.
The new Gaza wall essentially turns Israel into a ghetto. It is now separated from Palestinians by two walls, not one. This reflects extreme nervousness of Israeli rulers that they have failed to subdue the Palestinians with their brutal policies despite repeated wars on Gaza in 2008-2009, 2012, 2014 and 2021 and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians. The Palestinian resistance in Gaza led by Hamas and Islamic Jihad is getting stronger and more resourceful.
The 11-day war that Zionist Israel launched against the Gaza Strip in May 2021 exposed its weaknesses. Not only did Hamas and Islamic Jihad continue to stand up to the Zionist Goliath but when Israeli political leaders asked the military to launch a ground invasion of Gaza, the military commanders refused. They said they cannot fight a war on two fronts. Palestinians in the West Bank and even inside the green line (what is referred to 1948 Israel) had risen up. It was a challenge like never before faced by the Zionist military. It could not be subdued with bombs or missile. They had become irrelevant.
The days of the racist apartheid regime are numbered. How many barriers will it erect to hide behind? The Palestinian resistance will find ways to overcome this latest challenge as well, insha’Allah.