Point-blank: Israeli deception

Mohamed Salmawy
Tuesday 27 Feb 2024

“Why doesn’t Hamas just surrender and leave Gaza so that Israel can stop its bombardments and bring an end to the war?” one Deutsche Welle TV host asked me recently.


I responded that she had fallen into the trap of believing that Israel’s aim in this war is to eliminate Hamas. The real aim is plain to all outside the West, I explained. It is to eliminate the Palestinian people and annex Gaza. Proof of this is to be found in the West Bank.

Hamas has no presence in the West Bank, yet Israeli settlers and the Israeli occupation forces are killing Palestinians and driving them out of their villages in order to take over their land as well.

Of course, Israel cannot admit this, so it claims that its aim is to defeat “terrorist” Hamas. Most of the world is not blind to the reality, to which testifies the International Court of Justice’s decision to accept the South African case charging Israel with genocide.

“I’m aware of this,” the German journalist said. “But don’t you think that if Hamas surrendered, this would undermine Israel’s pretext and put it in a position where it is forced to cease hostilities?”

Israel’s history tells us otherwise, I said. The West is unaware of the bitter price we have had to pay for Israel’s deceptions. In 1948, Israel told the Palestinians to leave their homes and land to save their lives, only to gun them down as they left. The rest were forcibly displaced.

In 1982, Israel invaded Beirut ostensibly to hunt down the PLO, which Israel also called a terrorist organisation. However, within days after the PLO left Lebanon to its next exile in Tunisia, it committed the massacres in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps killing 3,500 defenceless civilians.

The same scenario is playing out in Gaza today on a much larger scale.

Did not the occupation forces instruct the residents in northern Gaza to move to the south for safety and then bombard them in their places of refuge? Has Israel not ruthlessly attacked women and children and mercilessly destroyed hospitals, schools, and houses of worship? How can one take anything they say seriously? Israeli policy is founded on lies and deceit.

The West has fallen for this for years, but we in the Arab world have long since seen through the Israeli sham.  

* A version of this article appears in print in the 29 February, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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