The Iron Wall around Gaza Strip | By Dr Muhammad Khan


The Iron Wall around Gaza Strip

ON 07 December 2021 the State of Israel announced the completion of Iron Wall around its border with Gaza Strip.

As per Israeli Ministry of Defence, this 65 kilometres barrier along the Gaza border (Iron Wall) has been completed in three and half years. The Iron Wall is equipped with “underground barrier with sensors”.

It is six metre-high smart wall with radars, cameras and a maritime monitoring system to restrict and monitor the activities of Gaza people.

It is worth mentioning that Gaza inhabitants of Palestine are under Israeli siege and blockade since 2006, the year they won the elections and formed their Government.

Besides, there have been repeated brutal ground and aerial attacks on Palestinians of Gaza by the Israeli State, killings thousands of innocent Palestinians. In the most recent Israeli aggression of May 2021, over 300 Palestinians were killed.

It was a major Israeli military offensive in which it used all offensive weapons including fighter aircrafts, missile and ground forces. Israel has also built a security barrier along part of its land that connects to the West Bank, a Palestinian territory it has occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War.

As revealed by Al-Jazeera, from 2008 to 2021, Israeli military killed over 5,739 Palestinians and wounded more than 121,438 Palestinians, mostly in Gaza Strip. Among those killed included 1,255 (22%) children and 565 (10%) women.

Unfortunately, there has been no condemnation of this Israeli illegal act, since there is no outlet for the Gaza people. All their routes and linkages with the outside world have been blocked by Israel and Egypt.

Gaza has been converted into an open prison for 2.1 million Palestinians. It is very unfortunate that the Arab world is mysteriously quite over this Israeli act, rather they are getting closer and closer with the State of Israel.

The GCC States of the Middle East are getting thick and thin with the Israeli State which indeed is a great victory for Israel and US policies towards Middle East.

On 15 September 2020, an accord was signed in Washington between Israel and United Arab Emirates in the presence of many other Arab leaders and dignitaries from all over the globe.

This deal was a major mile-stone in the US foreign policy for the Middle Eastern region. While signing the deal Donald Trump, the then US President, hoped that all other regional countries will have similar deals with the state of Israel.

Even before, the formal signing of the Israel-UAE deal, Bahrain has also normalized its relationship with Israel.

President Trump announced this desire of Bahrain’s monarchy through a Twitter, after having the consent of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. President Trump said in a statement, “This is truly a historic day,” expecting other regional states of GCC to follow the suit.

Indeed, Trump never expected the fragility and excitement of the regional states to be closer to Israel, thus had to say, “It’s unthinkable that this could happen and so fast.”

Whereas, this entire development took place in the Middle East was a success story for Israel and US foreign policy towards Middle East, it also speaks the fragility of the regional states and policies of monarchs towards their sovereignties, territorial integration concept of Muslim brotherhood and regional integration of Middle East.

The essence of US policy towards Middle was to create a fissure among the Muslim states of Arab world at three levels.

(i). Expanding the existing gulf between Sunni monarchs of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) state and Islamic Republic of Iran while exploiting their current fault-lines.

(ii). Creating a fissure within the GCC States based on tactical issues.

(iii). Influencing all regional countries through a policy of divide and rule.

On 21 May 2017, President Trump addressed representatives of Muslim countries in Riyadh and apparently emphasized unity among Muslims against the terrorist organizations and terrorism.

The speech also targeted some of the Muslim states; an intrinsic contradiction in his speech; saying something else and doing otherwise.

In fact, his speech was the formal beginning of rivalry and enmity among the Muslims states of Arab world and even GCC.

The gulf continued between these states with each passing day, dissipating their strength and increasing their vulnerability. All Muslim Arab states have differences among themselves but cordiality with State of Israel and the US.

It is worth mentioning that, origin of terrorist organizations in Middle East can be traced from their strategic usage by major powers, the depiction was quite contrary.

These terrorist organizations were formed with lot of deliberations for creating a cause which ultimately used for create effect; a cause and effect relationship.

Militancy and terrorism is an anti-thesis of Islam and Muslims, thus has to be analysed in the perspective of its prospective beneficiary.

After creating the split among the GCC states, United States received major consignments for the purchase of arms and ammunition from the new rivals of Middle Eastern region.

While these Arab states isolate and fight among themselves, US defence industrial complex earns a lot of money through their military consignments.
It is very disappointing that through the projection of militancy and militant organizations in the Arab world, the US and its regional allies were able to put the Palestine issue under the carpet.

Practically Arab Muslims no more own the Palestinian issue as their problem. Indeed, they all are in a great hurry to normalize their relationship with the State of Israel, the illegal occupier of Arab land.

The mysterious silence of Arab world, OIC, Arab League and the GCC has enabled the occupying Israeli State to unleash a reign of terror over Gaza Muslims while simultaneously annexing the West Bank through illegal Israeli settlements.

Through construction of Iron Wall, Israel has converted the Gaza Strip as an open prison. This indeed is a step towards emergence of a great humanitarian crisis, warranting immediate attention of the United Nations and international community.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.

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