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Gaza: A Deadly Struggle.

2023-11-24 (#154)

The Gaza Strip has been intertwined with Israel through blood and terror for over 75 years. Throughout its existence, Israel has not been able to decisively eliminate this threat. A journey through historical archives, along with insights from Israeli prime ministers and senior officials present during critical decision-making moments, reveals a chronicle of Israeli missed opportunities, errors, lack of initiative, and complacency. From 1948 to the disengagement: occupations, withdrawals, promises, and terror – this is the first installment of N12's article series: 'Gaza: A Deadly Struggle.

Video Transcription:

We are going out to attack Hamas and the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip.

Our goal is one, victory.

What was in Gaza will be no more.

Everyone promises that today.

What we said is that we will strike deeply in Hamas, once every few years,

and we will get a few years of silence, and we will do it at a very low price.

It happened until, maybe even until Friday, maybe until the 6th of October.

That was the policy of the government for a long time.

To be acurate the policy of the governments.

And there, of course, we took, how do you say, the surprise of our lives.

The past year, devided us from the inside,

made us weak as a nation,

and what happens to a body when its immune system weakens and weakens?

It is attacked.

What we are doing today, we could do at a completely different price.

Much earlier than that, and we didn't.

What actually happened?

When we go back in time, we hear that Gaza spoke.

The voice was already there.

We only heard what we wanted.

Gaza has become the home of the great graves of all the Israeli conceptions,

the dreams, the wars, the repression and the inclusion.

Everything you are going to see here in the field was visible.

Israel simply preferred not to look directly.

The Gaza Strip was born with Israel.

The results of the war of independence draw the line.

The Arabs of the the coastal plain and the Negev,

who flee the young state,

doubling the number of residents of the Gaza Strip

and shape its character.

A huge refugee camp

Egypt, which ruled it, probably already recognized the problematic potential.

It imposed a military regime on the Strip.

The settlements on the border, such as Nahal Oz,

suffered a lot from the attacks of the Egyptians.

A guard tower was built

and the children hid in shelters.

Terror was born there from the first moment,

even though Israel did not control it.

Then it was called a Fedayin.

the pattern of action has not changed.

Already in 1955, Israel began the campaign against terror from there.

The goal, as you know, was to purge the terrorists.

It made no diferance to the Fedayin if the victims where Israeli men, women or children.

Roy Rothberg, the security coordinatorof Nahal Oz (kibbutz), was murdered and his body was taken to Gaza.

The image that remains to this day only gets worse

when you hear Moshe Dayan's prophetic elegy on his grave.

Is it forgotten by us that this group of young people,

sitting in Kibbutz Nahal Oz,

carry on their shoulders the heavy gates of Gaza,

gates from which hundreds of thousands of eyes and hands

are drawn, praying for our weakness.

Moshe Dayan stood there, he didn't know Roee.

He said, let's not blame them, let's blame ourselves.

It's not just a dream, it's not just a dream,

it's not just a dream, it's not just a dream.

Gaza was liberated in the final stages of the battle.

It's true that the terror of the Fedayeen

was only a secondary reason for the Suez Crisis (the Second Arab–Israeli war in 1956),

but together with all of Sinai,

Israel also conquered the Gaza Strip.

Yes, Israel held Gaza for some time even before 1967.

The residents of the place are receiving flour and food

from Israeli storage.

Demonstrations sweep the streets here.

In the matter of the Gaza Strip,

all the people of Israel are united in their desire

to preserve the achievements of peace

that were achieved in the Sinai War.

All the components that are still known today.

The public is calling to keep Gaza for security reasons,

the international pressure is working,

and Gaza is returned.

The war is now being started just about 7 houres

We're now in the Israeli front line position, facing Gaza.

Most of the children are now in a bomb shelter.

They're joined by their parents,

and they've been there all day with their coloring books.

After the six days war crushing victory,

Gaza is once again in the hands of Israel.

We are on the largest and widest borders

ever known to a Jewish state.

Moshe Dayan was against the occupation of Gaza.

He said, don't occupy Gaza, leave Gaza.

Not interesting.

I'm not sure he was wrong.

Maybe if we had not fully occupied the Gaza Strip,

we'd be in a better position.

We just added to ourselves then 350,000 residents to deal with.

Today, it's already 2.5 million.

We always treated the Gaza Strip a bit

as if it were part of the State of Israel.

Don't ask me if I'm for or against it.

It's a two-state solution.

That's something we need to discuss after the war,

not now.

But we'll discuss it.

This gap between the vision of the State of Israel,

which includes security and control of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians,

It will accompany Israel from then for many decades to come.

What can we expect in the future?

It's dangerous to predict in the Middle East.

After the war,

Israelies travel to Gaza.

Here's an example of this trip by a home camera.

In Israel, a worker earns 17 Lirot a day.

In Gaza, his income is only 4 Lirot only.

Israel believes that the economic incentive

will be the key to the quiet,

and will bring down the motivation for terrorism.

A vision that was repeated again and again

until October 7 this year. Already then, 56 years ago,

Israel expects and is disappointed

Ten kilometers north of Gaza,

the refugee camp of Jibaliyah.

a real hornet's nest.

The hatred against us Israelis,

between the alleys and the Blocs,

is pathological.

It's not a concealed hatred

They hate us openly.

Every time someone talks about the importance

of stopping the incitement,

it's kind of annoying to hear it.

Okay, the incitement, it's a small thing.

No, it's not a small thing.

Because the 2,500 terrorists

who entered Be'eri and Nir Oz

and slaughtered Jews,

that's the result of 30-40 years of incitement.

Indoctrination of hate you could compare it with Hitler

What do we do? We set up settlements.

The sun will rise

from Gaza to Rapiah.

Five-finger plan.

Settlements that will divide the strip

from Gaza to Rafiah

And will make it secure

This is a big day.

A day in the establishment

of our holding

in this area.

Yes, you're not confused.

This is Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

Over time, architect of Oslo.,

who places the cornerstone..

21 settlements have been built over the years.

Did you see anyone

who threw a grenade or something?

This is the fifth grenade

that has exploded in the Gaza Strip

since the beginning of the week.

But after the euphoria, a wave of attacks.

A child's salary,

who works 12 hours a day,

is one Israeli lira.

for throwing a grenade

on an Israeli bus

he will get five liras.

A terrorist, a 15-year-old boy,

killed Avigail and Mark Arroyo

when throwing a grenade

to the family's car

when they returned from a trip.

And I think

it's Gaza soon

Hopefully no one will throw

a grenade , and we'll go to hell.

If they come, you'll stop them

And report.

Another round against Gaza.

The unit in the camp

is quickly closing the quarter.

Arrests and shootings from house to house.

Special units, raids and assassinations.

Israel is starting to get used

to the "attack - Reaction" equation.

A routine that will turn against it.

In the peace agreement,

we are giving up Sinai, not Gaza.

The Egyptians, anyway,

didn't welcome this bag of troubles.

The Islamic revolution in Iran

creates in the Middle East

a new league of terror.

The Islamic Jihad is established in Gaza.

15 years later,

Israel will kill its founding leader.

05:00 PM,

In the coastal town Sliema in Malta,

the last stop of the Islamic Jihad leader

Fathi Shaqaqi

Assassinations served as a deterrent or in response

will become part of the method.

My first meeting

in the Gaza Strip

takes place in the mid-80s.

I'm actually an operating agent

at the Mossad, and I work in the Gaza Strip.

It's a dangerous place,

it's a dangerous place.

This place was always in turmoil,

always with a kind of threat.

From Gaza, the evil also unfolded during the First Intifada,

The first stones were thrown there,

and immediately after, in Judea and Samaria

And the fire continues for years.

Noone here, including those who get paid for it

for preventing events like this,

didn't know anything.

Maybe it's because the Palestinians

learned very well how to deceive us.

The beginning of my path

in the Israeli elite forces in 1990

took us to Dir el-Balakh,

hundreds are rioting

and everything.

That was my first experience.

During the events in the Shati refugees camp,

a new Jihad movement was established.

The founder is called Ahmed Yassin.

The movement is called Hamas.

These pictures were taken

during the terrorist attacks

that Hamas carried out in the past year.

I defend myself, I am the victim

I am the attacked not the attacker

Yassin gives a religious validity to terrorism,

and one of the first actions

in the Sheikh's instruction

is the kidnapping of soldiers

Avis Sasportas and Ilan Sa'adon

in an attempt to manipulate

the release of prisoners.

Among the kidnappers is also this man

who was assassinated years later in Dubai

in an operation associated with the Mosad

Following him, in tennis clothes and hats

2 out of the 11 members of the assassination unit are going out of the elavator.

Israel closes another circle.

A border patrol officer, Nisim Toledano

was kidnapped today

on his way from his home in Lod to his base.

The wave of kidnappings leads to a decision

to expel more than 400 Hamas terrorists

to Lebanon,

a decision that was also supported by Meretz officials,

even the Supreme Court approves.

another response tool, Israel hopes that will create deterrence

But Hezbollah exept the exiles

and trains them. Hanniya, Hazahar, Ihye Ayash

When they return under American pressure,

They are more skilled in the craft of murder

Az-Din al-Qasim Brigades announce that they take responsibility for the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier Nachshon Mordechai

A squad , led by Mohammad Def,

conducts another kidnapping attack.

The military operation to release Nachshon Waksman fails.

I, as Prime Minister and Defense Minister,

is responsible for the decision.

Anywhere, the goal is a military operation

and not a negotiation and the release of murderers.

You cut the head of a snake and you have two.

If we have an interest in eliminating senior members of the organization,

it's not because of revenge, it's because "He arose early to harm you, you should kill first."

I don't accept the approach

that the aggressive approach didn't work.

Against terror,

which is not driven

by a specific motivation,

but by an ideology that says

we must destroy you,

then the war is everlasting

There is one struggle,

to kill the mosquitoes,

and there is a second struggle, to dry the swamps.

in the immediate term, you must kill the mosquitoes,

and the mosquitoes breed in the swamp,

and it's endless, it's eternal war.

In the end, a solution of such national conflicts happans

when you find a formula to dry out the swamp.

The approach he expresses

says that we, can influence the enemy's motivations.

I don't think I know how to change the motivation of Yahya Sinwar.

I think we need to deal with the abilities

that all terrorists, systematically,

don't allow them to strengthen.

We say to you today, in a loud and clear voice enough of blood and tears

The results are yet to come,

but there is no doubt that the Oslo agreements

are changing direction.

For the first time, Israel launches

an initiative in the hope of peace and quiet.

In the framework of the agreements,

the IDF will leave Gaza,

and will be the first to move to the new Palestinian identity.

Bye Gaza.

Bye. Bye to Gaza.

We are seperating.

The commander of the Saul Division planned a ceremony in the office,

What happened in the brigade command changed all the plans.

The crowd broke in,

the IDF soldiers were stunned,

the Palestinian police demonstrated their method of operation

Even in the studios, they celebrate the exit from Gaza

I had reservations mainly about the security arrangements

but in the end, I wasn't against it.

It's easier to fight terrorism from the outside, than from the inside.

It sounds strange compared to the outcome of the recent event.

Let me suggest something. In Judea and Samaria, such a thing doesn't happen

because you occupy the ground.

We take our failure, a technical failure

that can be easily solved,

and turn it into a foundation

for a policy that will never

end the journey of expansion.

We need to conquer also Sinai

and maybe some other area

beyond the West Bank.

I voted against Oslo.

I think the decision was wrong. I think voting for Oslo was the right decision

It was a difficult decision.

It was a decision that created expectations, some of which were not fulfilled

because of the continuation of the terror regime of Arafat

in the Palestinian Authority

and the contribution we made in the extremist, messianic policy.

I was very opposed to Oslo.

I thought it was crazy to import terrorists into the heart of Israel

In Arabic, they continued to incite,

and in English they spoke

as if nicely.

Six planes landed today almost simultaneously

in the new Palestinian international airport in Gaza

Maybe this is more than we expected, thank God.

Yes, for a moment Gaza even had its own airport.

The new Palestinian airline is still young and has only three planes.

They are already considering the potential of Israeli customers who may want cheap flights.

But after the ceremonies, the blood continued to flow.

The terrorism of the suicide bombers struck at the heart of the country

The evil mind resides in Gaza.

Today at 12 o'clock, a car crashed into a bus and exploded.

Terrorist attacks are also happening in the settlements around Gaza.

The "Engineer" was killed by a cell phone that he held in his hand and exploded.

Israel eliminates the leaders of Hamas, Their replacements carry out revenge attacks

I told him,

don't stop the blockade from Gaza.

There will be disasters here.

The Prime Minister chose

to prefer the welfare of Arafat and the residents of Gaza

at the expense of the security of the residents of Israel.

We will fight the terror and we will continue the negotiation

I call on the establishment of a state investigation committee

that will investigate all the security deterioration..

They promised us Katyusha rockets from Gaza.

For a year there was no Katyusha rocket and there will not be one

At that time, there was almost no choice for Israel but to try it.

The experiment failed?

There are many things that did not succeed, of course. Under certain circumstances, it failed

But there is a political consideration of what you are losing in this oportunity.

The possibility to resolve the relationship at some point. Sometime. I don't know when.

Historically, I think that this process called the Oslo Accords was never completed.

We stopped somewhere in the middle of the way.

This thing was actually stopped, and rightly so,

becouse those who signed the Oslo Accords return to engage in terrorism.

After the murder of Rabbin, Netanyahu was elected

but the Oslo process was not stopped.

The meeting with the head of the Palestinian Authority

Yasser Arafat and the handshake

that until a few days ago, the Prime Minister's office thoght

it might be possible to hide them from the TV cameras.

The failed assassination attempt of Khalid Meshal in Jordan

brings the release of the prisoner Ahmad Yassin.

When he's in a wheelchair ,the Hamas leader was lifted onto a helicopter by a doctor.

He was assassinated seven years later.

This is what remains of the 3 rockets attack

Sheikh Ahmad Yassin was killed on the spot.

But there's one wanted fugitive who escapes again and again.

The man whose career of terror is stained with rivers of blood.

He was in charge of the October 7th events,

somehow he manages to hide.

A combat helicopter that launches missiles at the car of Mohammed Daf

At this time it is still not clear

whether Mohammad Def, the most senior leader

in the territories, was indeed killed.

Another attempt to kill Mohammad Def,

the military commander of Hamas.

It's possible that he was lucky.

it could have been that we needed to be more focused

I was a part of one attempt,

Three heavy bombs, probably Bombs penetrating bunkers,

hit a 3 flors building

In the course of the first explosion of the house he was in, the bombs did not explode.

It is possible that in this short time, Def managed to escape.

During Operation 'Tzuk Eitan' I know he crawled out of the building that hit him,

but yes, we tried and will continue to try.

Do you remember the airfield?

Large forces of the IDF destroyed today the Gaza airport runway

With the beginning of the second intifada, it is out of use.

In those days, the new strategic capability

entered the arsenal of terror.

You can see here in the area behind

the place of the bombings.

The firing range is growing slowly

and Israel fortifies itself.

An impruved rocket, The Kassam-2 was launched from Gaza to the north,

to the area of the Ashkelon industrial zone.

The missiles of Hezbollah reach Haifa.

Kassam missiles already reach Ashkelon from the south.

A deadly barrage of rockets began to fall on the city

The tragic result is that two small children were killed.

Ashkelon will not turn into a front line.

I want you to know that.

Sharon, who also promised that Netzarim and Tel Aviv security is the same

Has a change in perspective

The Gaza disengagement will strengthen Israel its hold on the territory that is vital to our existence,

It will advance us on the path of peace with the Palestinians and our other neighbors

The head of the government, the leader of Likud, decides to unilaterally leave Gaza.

A large bomb, about 100 kilograms,exloded under an APC

In the evening, a bomb exploded again under the APC and there were casualties

These images of soldiers looking for the remains of their friends after the double bombing

stirring up the public debate over the plan

Tali Hatuel, eight months pregnant, was killed with her two daughters.

At the same time,according to the decision of the Gush Katif committee,

The residents will continue with the disengagement referendum.

Another hard attack in Gush Katif

on the day the Likud people vote in the disengagement referendum

Although the Likud committee votes against it,

Sharon want to go for the disengagement and nominates a majority in the Knesset.

Israel Kats, votes "For"

Benjamin Netanyahu's votes "For"

There are ministers who oppose any exit from Gaza, I am not one of them

Netamihu supported the votes

No, I'm not wrong, but I think you'll lose with the Prime Minister

In the TV studios he warned

We do not fortify the Western Negev settlements for nothing

We are not preparing an anti-missile array in Ashkelon for nothing

Only on the very eve of the disengagement did he resign from the government

I know that I cannot be a partner at this moment of truth

in a process that I think, that I believe,

A flawed process that would blindly facilitate the establishment of an Islamic stronghold,

endangering the State of Israel.

The dispute was not only about the "Greater Land of Israel",

but also concerning the future of security.

There is a claim that there will be a threat,

a threat to settlements in the Negev.

I have never heard such a ridiculous claim.

The disengagement is good for Israel security

The right-wing people talked here about the rockets that will fly from here to there.

There is no point in continuing

and establishing 7,500 Jews

among 1,500,000 Palestinians

for the sake of security,

for the sake of the war on terror,

and for the sake of the economic growth of Israel.

They promise us that after the disengagement...

Who promise?


No, we did not promise.

From the first moment,

there was no illusion

that whoever is in the Gaza Strip

is someone you can talk to

and that you can live with him in peace.

But to live inside the Gaza Strip,

200 meters from Chan Younes,

Would it have given security?

The rockets were before 2005.

But in a different range.

But our proximity to the rockets was much greater.

Even when we were inside the Gaza Strip,

we failed to prevent terrorism.

The idea that if we clear the area

and give the other side the area

and they will be fine

and that's it,

peace will come to us,

is not proven by the Palestinian enemy.

It's failing time after time

because they want to eliminate us.

The main problem is

that it comes

without any agreement from the other side.

This is the gift

that you could give the Palestinian Authority

in 2005.

Why not negotiate? Get something in return.

How do we ensure

that the security arrangements

after we got out the Gaza Strip

are for our own good?

On September 12, 2005,

the last of the soldiers left.

Now it's possible to raise the flag of Israel

on the new border

of the Gaza Strip.

Israel left Gaza,

but Gaza

did not leave us.

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