On the 13th day of Israel’s so-called Operation Protective Edge, stories of entire families collectively pulverized, women and children keenly targeted by Israeli soldiers, saturate the media. Until now, 430 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and 18 Israel soldiers been killed at the hands of the Resistance. In Shejaiya, elders, mothers and children scrambled for cover as shells mercilessly rained down, stealing the souls of countless innocents.
The destruction is overwhelming, and everywhere, Palestinians lament there is nowhere that is safe. Regardless, resolve is strong and the people of Gaza will not resign themselves to surrender.
The resistance movement in Gaza is often misrepresented intentionally at times, and at other times innocuously. In the heat of the information battle that has ensued since Israel unleashed its latest war many facts and essential context have gone missing.
Historically, Gaza has been a hub for uninterrupted popular resistance since the ethnic cleansing of Palestine at the hands of Zionist militias, and later the Israeli army, in 1947-48. An estimated 200,000 of Palestine’s then nearly 800,000 refugees were forced there, with most enduring squalid and humiliating conditions.
Despite the shock of war and the humiliation of defeat, Gazans fought back almost immediately. There was no Fatah, no Hamas, and no siege — in comparison to its current definition — and Gazans didn’t organise around any political factions, or ideologies. Rather they assembled in small groups known to Gazans as Fedayeen — freedom fighters.