EXCLUSIVE THE LEVANT – By Catherine Shakdam – Israel PM Benyamin Netanyahu had his wish this Thursday evening as Israeli tanks entered Gaza in what is expected to be an unprecedented escalation in violence.
Endowed with national legitimacy as a vast majority of Israelis have said to be supportive of a grand display of military force against the people of Gaza, the Israeli prime minister was quick to capitalize on such political coup, sounding once more the drums of war in the ever disappearing Gaza strip.
Pinned down, cornered in a slither of land which they cannot claim their own, Palestinians live everyday not knowing if another sun will rise on their faces. Fear has become Palestine’s companion; it follows and haunts its footsteps, an ever suffocating shadow. Palestine has learnt to face death square in the face so many times that death carries almost a welcomed relief. Such is the nightmare which Gaza cannot wake up from.
Tonight Israeli tanks have entered Gaza! Today Gaza will count its dead and mourn the lives lost. Today the world will stand and watch in silence as Palestine bleeds.
So far 230 Palestinians have lost their lives, 80% of which civilians. So far 230 Palestinians have been murdered, too many of which women and children.
Earlier today, four boys playing football on the beach were targeted by Israeli artillery; today four Palestinian boys will not come home to their families as they were identified as enemy targets by Israel.
Today mothers and fathers saw their souls and hearts leave them as they held the lifeless bodies of their children, broken by unbearable and unfathomable grief. Today Palestine cries its children and today the world stands in silence.
As Israel’s tanks advance on Gaza, Palestine holds its breath, bracing itself for more pain and more sorrow, as Palestine has learned that where Israel troops march sorrow always rain and pain always follow. Dark shadows in a lightless land, Israel’s tanks advance, relentless and unstoppable.