Following Israel’s latest military assault on Gaza on July 20, international media reported on a “ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas. After the IDF bombarded Gaza with 50 tons of munition, Egypt and the UN brokered the “ceasefire” between the two entities.
The word “ceasefire,” which signifies “an agreement, usually between two armies, to stop fighting in order to allow discussions about peace,” is hardly the right term to refer to an arrangement between a colonizing regime and factions operating in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. By adopting this word, the media has helped the Israeli government bolster the myth of a permanent war between two equal parties, hyperbolically placing Hamas on par with Israel, the region’s largest and most advanced military power.
The word also fails to capture the on-going, never-ending nature of Israeli violence in Gaza, which is composed of a series of genocidal strategies and practices. This treatment of two million people, who have been effectively caged in an overcrowded open-air concentration camp, is perverse and illegal under intentional law.
The latest Israeli military assault in Gaza was part of this on-going strategic plan to ethnically-cleanse the Palestinian people from their lands. Just hours before it began, Israeli “defense” minister Avigdor Lieberman said it would be “a broad and painful military operation,” worse than Israel’s devastating attack on Gaza in 2014, according to Haaretz.
The 2014 attacks, like all other acts of violence perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians, caused widespread civilian injury and death. The view that all Palestinian civilians are legitimate targets of violence is, of course, at the very core of the Zionist ideology upon which Israel was founded.
Like the “Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” the “Two-State Solution,” and the “Peace Process,” the word “ceasefire” is a linguistic tool aimed at transforming settler-colonialism and genocidal violence into a diplomatic dispute and/or military confrontation between two equal powers. Not only does this rhetoric erase the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance. It also suggests episodes of normalcy exist. Palestinians in Gaza have not, however, experienced true normalcy in a long time, thanks to a colonizing and occupying power that terrorizes them whenever it wants.