At 2am local time Friday, May 20, 2021, a ceasefire was finally implemented ending Israel’s 11 day military assault on Gaza and its Palestinian inhabitants.  During these 11 days, Israel inflicted unthinkable destruction on a defenceless Gazan population: 200 Gazan residential blocks were destroyed, 50 damaged schools, 9 power lines cut, 24 health facilities destroyed including the ministry of health and a damaged water system affecting 800,000 people.  Electricity, which was available for only 4-8 hours a day prior to the war, is now even less available.  This affects running water and sewage treatment and discharge. Israel destroyed the only Coronavirus testing lab.

The “war” between the Palestinian people and the state of Israel is not a fight among equals as the word “war” implies. It is an uneven military assault of a defenceless people.  In order to understand the oppression, humiliation and ultimately murder of Palestinian people, we need to establish the facts on the ground.

Gaza is likened to an open-air prison where Israel military forces control the land, air and sea routes in and out of Gaza with Egyptians doing the same on their land border with Gaza.

Fact 1: Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on earth with a population density of over 5,000 people per square kilometre.  Two million people live in a narrow strip of land measuring 362 square kilometres. 

Gaza is likened to an open-air prison where Israel military forces control the land, air and sea routes in and out of Gaza with Egyptians doing the same on their land border with Gaza.  Gazan’s have no place to run or hide.  Any military assault is guaranteed to produce untold death, misery and material destruction.

Fact 2: Israel’s actions specifically precipitated Palestinian/Hamas rocket fire.

Palestinian rocket fire was in response to two Israeli provocations.  First, in early May 2020 there was a new round of Israeli ethnic cleansing in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.  It is perhaps forgotten that Israel attempting to make Jerusalem the “unified capital” of Israel is a violation of International Law and countless other UN resolutions.  Palestinians believe East Jerusalem to be the capital city of a future Palestinian state. Palestinian citizens make up the majority of the inhabitants of this neighbourhood yet Israel wants to rid the area of its Palestinian citizens.  This is a process where illegal Israeli settlers with the support of Israeli police violently remove the Palestinian inhabitants from their homes which are then occupied by an Israeli Jewish family.  This has been going on for years. These are illegal acts.  These acts are theft, plain and simple.  

The second action was the Israeli assault on the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina. Israeli police violently entered the Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, in the middle of prayers, and assaulted the roughly 300 Palestinians with stun grenades, smoke bombs and rubber bullets.  Palestinian officials repeatedly asked Israel to cease their behaviours to no avail. 

Fact 3: Israel’s 11 day bombing of Gaza killed 235 people including 65 children.  Palestinian rockets killed 12 Israelis.  Israel’s previous war on Gaza in 2014 known as “Operation Protective Edge” included a ground invasion where 70 percent of deaths were Gazan civilians—1,462 out of 2,100 including 551 children; whereas 67 Israeli soldiers and 6 civilians were killed.

This raises the basic ethical question of proportionality.

Fact 4: Israel is diplomatically supported by the United States, United Kingdom, The European Union and most of the western world.  In fact, on May 13 the US blocked a United Nations Resolution designed to bring an end to the war.  

Palestinians receive no such diplomatic support. 

Fact 5: Israel has received over a quarter of a trillion dollars of military aid from the United States alone since 1948.  The United Kingdom and France also regularly sell arms to Israel.

Palestinians receive no such aid.

Fact 6: Israel’s armed forces are comprised of the latest military technology in the form of fighter jets, bombers, battle tanks, missiles, drones, naval ships and precision guided munitions.  These facts put Israel regularly in the top 20 militaries in the world.  It is one of only 9 countries in the world to possess nuclear weapons.

Palestinians have no armed forces. No high technology fighter jets.  No bombers.  No battle tanks. No precision guided missiles. No drones.  No naval ships.  No precision guided munitions.  Out of fear of America imposing sanctions on them, no country is willing to sell such armaments to the Palestinians.  Palestinians have no nuclear weapons.

Fact 7: Israel has precision guided munitions and missiles with the latest guidance systems. In fact, in the middle of the military war on Gaza, the United States agreed to sell Israel 735 million dollars of new missiles, bombs and other precision guided munitions. 

It was precision guided munitions that destroyed the 11 storey al-Jalaa building which housed Palestinian families and news networks including the Gaza news bureaus of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press.  


Palestinian’s have no access to such weapons.  Their rockets are crude, homemade with no precision guidance systems.  In fact, they are constructed with material smuggled through tunnels that connect Gaza to Egypt.  Egypt is sure not to let any high-tech weapons through.  These rockets are so unreliable and crude, that the Israeli military (one of the most modern in world) has zero such missiles in its high-tech missile arsenal.  In fact, no other country has such primitive and unreliable missiles in their military arsenals.

No country resupplies the Palestinians.

Fact 8:  Israel violates the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits militarily conquered land being settled by the conquering people.  Every new and expanded Israeli settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is illegal under international law.

Palestinians lose more and more of their legal land with every new and expanded Israeli settlement.

Facts are true whether people believe them or not. The war between the Palestinians and Israel in Palestine is not a war among equals.  It never has been.

Fact 9:  Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights is illegal under international law and has been for 70 years.  The same is true of the separation wall built by Israel in 2009.  In fact, in a unanimous decision, the International Court of Justice ruled the wall illegal.

Fact 10: Israel is a violent, colonial, apartheid state.  The Israeli human rights group B’estelm made this very clear in its 2020 report.  Apartheid states are inherently violent.

Facts are true whether people believe them or not. The war between the Palestinians and Israel in Palestine is not a war among equals.  It never has been.  A militarily modern, colonial, apartheid state armed and diplomatically supported by the world’s most powerful countries, especially the most powerful of all, routinely brutalizes and kills a defenseless people who are reduced to defending themselves with small arms, homemade, archaic missiles and rock throwing.  These are the facts on the ground.


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