Airstrikes, import ban amid COVID-19 turn Gaza a death strip...

Dhaka, Sunday   25 October 2020

Airstrikes, bulldozing, import ban amid COVID-19 turn Gaza a death strip

 International Desk

 Published: 03:26 PM, 28 August 2020   Updated: 06:16 PM, 28 August 2020

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

The Palestinians are on the edge of everyday deaths-ruin. No night can be finished without a nightmare of attack in the sleep or in the morning, as Israel has been carrying out sudden airstrikes, bulldozing and drone attacks (dropping bombs from drones) on Gaza since several decades last. Especially using drones for the bombing on the Palestinians’ houses has added another dimension in the occupation trend of Israel in recent years. Drones became infamous for “roof knocking” as a “warning” of a more powerful blast and advance signals that their homes would be destroyed. In practice, civilians were often not given enough time to evacuate before the deadlier explosion occurred, as a United Nations fact-finding mission.

The Israeli weapons industry has tried to take advantage of those operations by marketing its drones and other weapons as “battle-proven.” Experimenting on Palestinians has proven lucrative. According to data published in 2019, Israel has become the world’s largest exporter of drones. Israel’s drone exports were worth more than $4.6 billion over an eight-year period, according to the data, which was gathered by the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Security forces wearing protective gear in Gaza

On the other hand, in the wake recent tensions grew amid world pandemic coronavirus outbreak, Israeli occupants have banned all kinds of imports in the Gaza Strips and made it a ‘besieged enclave’. Where people including children, maternities, patients, and elders are in on the brink of epidemic danger as there is only a slight opportunity to provide food and medicine at a nominal quantity.

The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip proclaimed on Thursday that they hold Israel fully responsible for the lives of Palestinians in the besieged enclave, in light of the outbreak of COVID-19, Safa News Agency reported.

“If the siege is not lifted and all medical supplies are not brought in to confront the pandemic, we will not accept that our people suffer alone,” the statement read, calling on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to assume its responsibilities towards the enclave and provide the necessary medical supplies.

The statement also called on Arab and international human rights organizations to assume their responsibilities in supporting the Palestinian cause and the protection of civilians.

The factions announced in a joint statement that they will not remain idle regarding the suffocating siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, especially after the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The total number of people infected with coronavirus in the Gaza Strip has increased to 129 cases, including 54 active cases and three deaths. The Hamas-led Interior Ministry has imposed a six-day lockdown to limit the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, Israel doesn’t take a breath breaking the ongoing Gaza attack. On Friday morning, the occupant Israeli Air Force carried out an attack against Hamas, hitting a weapons manufacturing facility and communications in the area, reports different international media according to the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) statement. There is no immediate news about casualties in the enclave.

On the other hand, the normal living of Palestinian people is being disrupted severely due to Israel’s necked surveillance through drone flights and many other means. This causes severe mental disturbance to the Palestinian people, puts psychological pressure on everyone as well.

Drones can be heard frequently over Gaza’s skies in supposedly more peaceful times – when Gaza is subject to a blockade rather than a blitz. Drones serve as a reminder that Palestinians are under constant surveillance.

Mahmoud Siyam, a psychiatrist, argues that Israel is, in effect, torturing Gaza’s people by monitoring them with drones.

Humans require calmness and relaxation. Deprived of these essential needs, their mental health can be damaged.

Hearing drones “puts psychological pressure on everyone,” said Siyam. “The noise of drones makes people irritable. People may feel extreme anxiety and lose their ability to concentrate.”

Israel began subjecting Palestinians to drone flights after withdrawing settlers from Gaza in 2005. The withdrawal meant that Israel’s occupation was moved to the periphery and that Israel’s brutality against Gaza’s people continued and, in many ways, intensified.

Iman al-Mansi lives on the ninth floor of a tower block in the Tel al-Hawa area of Gaza City. Drones prevent her and her family from leading a normal life.

“The sound of drones is very loud,” she said. “We cannot sleep when we hear them. We cannot watch television. When there is a drone near us, it always interferes with satellite reception. We have been living like this since 2006.”

Ahmad al-Husari, who lives in al-Zaytoun, also a Gaza City neighborhood, often gets a headache from the sound of drones.

“Sometimes the drones are so noisy they are like a car’s engine getting louder as the driver gets faster,” he said. “The drones make my children wake up and then they cannot go back to sleep. Sometimes I hate the evenings because of all this noise.”

Besides all these above, the boundary shooting of Israeli soldiers is claiming the lives of Palestinian people irresistibly beyond the consideration of age and sex.

Source: Safa News, Sputnik, Middle East Monitor, EI