Gaza is a classic case of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. Jewish settlements in occupied territories are immoral, illegal and an insurmountable obstacle to peace. They are at once the instrument of exploitation and the symbol of the hated occupation. In Gaza, the Jewish settlers numbered only 8,000 in 2005 compared with 1.4 million local residents. Yet the settlers controlled 25% of the territory, 40% of the arable land and the lion’s share of the scarce water resources. Cheek by jowl with these foreign intruders, the majority of the local population lived in abject poverty and unimaginable misery. Eighty per cent of them still subsist on less than $2 a day. The living conditions in the strip remain an affront to civilised values, a powerful precipitant to resistance and a fertile breeding ground for political extremism.
And human rights lawyer Curtis Doebbler tells inconvenient truth about Gaza.
Even if the Israeli self-defence argument focused on its use of force being a response to Hamas rocket fire, it would clearly fail any test of international law. First of all, back in December 2008 it was Israel, not Hamas that first breached the ceasefire between these two actors. Israel did so by carrying out attacks on targets in Gaza. In fact, in aftermath, it seems plausible that Israel’s attacks were intended to provoke a Hamas reaction, as they did. And it was to this reaction that Israel responded with disproportionate force.