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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Asymmetric Warfare in Gaza: "The Gate of Hell has Opened"

"The gate of hell has opened"
Mass runaways from Shijaia toward UNRWA centers of
Courtesy: @Mohammed Y. Ismail 
Is the Israel/Palestine conflict a classic case of Asymmetric warfare?

In his recent article, Asymmetric Warfare in Gaza, Paul R. Pillar, provides significant insights about the use of the term in relationship to the ongoing conflict and recent attacks:
Perhaps the usual use of the term asymmetric warfare has contributed to warping our ability to evaluate what has been going on in this conflict...In major, glaring respects, however, this conflict is highly asymmetric, and not only in one side's physical ability to inflict far greater destruction on the other side. The larger Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one in which the far more powerful actor is occupying (in the case of the West Bank) or strangling (in the case of the Gaza Strip) the other side.
NBC News provides a terrifying glimpse of "asymmetric warfare" taking place right now in GAZA.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Around 35,000 residents a Gaza neighborhood on Sunday after a night of relentless Israeli shelling killed at least 50 and left its streets strewn with bodies, including those of children.Witnesses said airstrikes and land and naval shellings were the heaviest in 13 days of fighting. Israel said it had expanded its ground offensive in Gaza and militants kept up rocket fire into the Jewish state with no sign of a diplomatic breakthrough to end the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in two years. However, the Israeli military announced a two-hour "humanitarian hiatus" on Sunday afternoon local time but it did not last long. Both sides blamed the other for violating it.

The artillery strikes sent panicked residents of the of Shejaia area fleeing, many carrying small children and waving white flags.The main Shifa hospital was inundated with casualties and the death toll was likely to climb. Reuters reported that anguished cries of "Did you see Ahmed?" "Did you see my wife?" echoed through the hospital's courtyard, while inside bodies and wounded lay on blood-stained floors. An Associated Press journalist witnessed frantic parents carrying children wounded by shrapnel, with doctors treating some patients on mattresses in a hallway. 
Video given to Reuters by a local showed at least a dozen corpses, including three children, lying in rubble-filled streets. The footage could not be verified independently by NBC News.
"The gate of hell has opened, and shrapnel came through the windows," said resident Jawad Hassanain told The Associated Press by phone. "From 12:30 a.m. until 4 a.m., all you could hear is heavy bombardment, the smell of fire and the smell of death."

What do you think?  Is the Israel/Palestine conflict a classic case of Asymmetric Warfare? Please comment below.

You can visit our Gaza article archive here.  Poll:  Does the United States' support of Israel make Americans less safe?

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