With its various Palestinian factions, Gaza collectively inaugurated the state for the full consciousness of Palestine and achieved its goal of violating Israel’s prestige, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that it had become “a superpower, not just a regional power “. This new Palestinian awareness was achieved after the Israeli escalation and aggressive campaign against the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood (read the full story below) inhabited by more than 38 Palestinian families threatened with eviction from their homes. Israel also brutally attacked protesters at the al-Aqsa mosque.
The fate of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood has become an international issue that increases global awareness and solidarity with oppressed Palestinians. The Palestinian cause had been absent from the international arena after the normalizations of the Arab and Islamic countries and when [former US President] Donald Trump offered all of Jerusalem to Israel.
But the fighting in Gaza is not expected to end anytime soon, as Israel seeks to restore the deterrent power it has lost due to Palestinian missiles fired successfully from Gaza. Furthermore, the Arab uprising is unusual in 1948. After 72 years of coexistence, especially in the city of Lod and in other mixed Arab-Israeli cities, they have shown that the new generation wants to regain its occupied territory and reject the failed Oslo. and the Camp David Accords.
The stormy development does not just come from the field: rockets from Gaza burn the ground under the feet of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). Abbas delayed the parliamentary and presidential elections that would inevitably lead to the loss of the presidency that he has held since 2005. Israel, of course, regards the current Palestinian president as its best partner because it has rejected armed resistance. Abbas also maintains security cooperation with Israel and prevents Palestinians living in the West Bank from joining Gaza to confront both Israeli aggression and Israeli expansion.
It is very likely that Israel also acted in its own interests by disrupting the Palestinian presidential elections that coincided with the illegal expulsion of Sheikh Jarrah’s families to prevent Palestinians from Jerusalem from participating in the vote. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is undoubtedly aware that attacking al-Aqsa and the people of Jerusalem is like lighting the fuse on a powder keg. The first and second intifadas were the best proof of these explosive possibilities.
Hamas, “Islamic Jihad” and all other factions in the Gaza Strip have achieved unity with Jerusalem by defending it. Hamas did not start bombing Israeli settlements until it gave Israel many hours to stop attacking the civilian population in Jerusalem. However, Tel Aviv insisted on its position and drew everyone into the fight for Benjamin Netanyahu to achieve his goals of postponing the Israeli elections to save his political future. Palestinian groups in Gaza bombarded Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon, Ashdod with hundreds of rockets that reached not far from Haifa. Israeli officials could not predict the intensity of the Palestinian rocket response and the reaction to its abuse of power and the bombing of Gaza. The various resistance groups demonstrated their credibility with times and threats. They gained more significant popularity among the Palestinian and Arab populations who supported the cause and against normalization with Israel.
One of the most critical goals the Palestinians in Gaza have achieved was to demonstrate that the Iron Dome failed to capture all of the cheap domestically-produced rockets that entered and aimed at Israeli territory. Gaza flooded Israel’s sophisticated interception systems, as it sent more than 100 rockets simultaneously. Israel acknowledged that it could not stop the rocket fire despite the Israeli army bombing dozens of targets. To the detriment of the population, Israel bombed several civilian towers (al-Hanadi, al-Jawhara and al-Shorooq) in prestigious commercial and residential areas with the intention of turning residents against Palestinian groups that were fighting Israel.
To date, at least 69 Palestinians have lost their lives and 6 Israelis, including a military officer, have been killed in the shelling. Palestinian groups were able to launch more than 1,300 rockets. Embarrassing scenes emerged in which members of the Israeli Knesset and the Defense Minister fled to bomb shelters.
Israel has lost not only its ability to deter but also its prestige. In the 1940s, a Jewish terrorist group attacked British forces and blew up the King David Hotel in 1946, killing 91 people. The Irgun group claimed responsibility for the attack, in which British officials from the British Empire, which ruled Palestine at the time, were killed. David Ben-Gurion, the founder of the so-called state of Israel, was asked at the time: “Will the Haganah gang defeat Britain with this bombing?” He replied: “The aim is to break the prestige of the British Empire.” Gaza has violated the prestige of the Israeli myth.
The history of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood:
Following the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948, known as “Nakba”, some 750,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their homes to neighbouring countries. Following these events, 28 families (today there are 38) settled in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem [al-Quds] in 1956. They reached an agreement with the Jordanian Ministry of Construction and Development and the UN refugee agency, UNRWA, to provide housing. those from the Sheikh Jarrah area. At that time, the West Bank was under Jordanian rule (1951-1967).
The Jordanian government provided the land, while UNRWA covered the cost of building 28 houses for these families. It was agreed that the inhabitants pay a token fee, provided that the property is transferred to the inhabitants more than three years after the completion of construction. “
However, this was interrupted by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including Jerusalem, in 1967, which prevented the registration of houses with surnames.
This month, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said it had given the Palestinian Foreign Ministry 14 ratified agreements for the people of the Sheikh Jarrah area in East Jerusalem, supporting their claim to their lands and properties.
In a statement, the ministry said it was handing out a certificate to residents showing that the Jordanian Ministry of Construction and Development had agreed with UNRWA to establish 28 houses in Sheikh Jarrah to be delegated and registered in the names of these families. However, the process was stopped due to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967. The Ministry had previously provided the Palestinian side with all documents that could help the inhabitants of Jerusalem to retain all their rights, including leases, name lists of beneficiaries and a copy of the 1954 UNRWA agreement.
In 1972, the Sephardic Committee and the Israel Knesset Committee claimed ownership of the land on which the houses were built in 1885 and asked the court to evict four families from their homes in the neighbourhood, accusing them of land grabbing.
In 1982, Israeli settlement associations filed a deportation case against 24 families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, and 17 families had Israeli lawyer Tosia Cohen to defend them. In 1991, the lawyer signed an agreement without the families knowing that the ownership of the land belongs to the settlement associations. The lawyer threatened to deport the Palestinian families if they did not pay the rent to the housing associations.
In 1997, Suleiman Darwish Hijazi, a resident, filed a lawsuit with the Israeli central court to prove his ownership of the land using documents issued by the Ottoman Empire, brought from Turkey. However, the measure was reversed when the court rejected the claim in 2005.
The court ruled that the newspapers did not prove ownership of the land and Hijazi’s appeal the following year was rejected. In November 2008, the al-Kurd family was evicted from their homes, followed by the Hanoun and al-Ghawi families in August 2009.
To date, 12 Palestinian families in the neighbourhood have received deportation orders issued by Israeli magistrates and central courts. Four Palestinian families have petitioned the Supreme Court, Israel’s highest judicial body, against the decision to evict them from their homes. Israel’s Central Court in East Jerusalem [al-Quds] approved a decision earlier this year to deport four Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in favour of right-wing Israeli settlers.
In 1948, al-Sabbagh’s family fled their home in Jaffa, where Israelis now live. Al-Sabbagh, a family of 32, including 10 children, fears the court will turn him and his family back into refugees.