Just 90 minutes after a fragile ceasefire was agreed upon by Israel and Palestine in the wee hours of Friday morning, a curious incident not only jeopardised it but also give Israel all the excuse it needed to step up the intensity of its offensive against the hapless people of Gaza. A 23-year-old Israeli soldier by the name of Hadar Goldin has allegedly been abducted and Israel has wasted no time in naming Hamas as the culprits behind his disappearance. To give impetus to this assertion, Israel has killed as many as 200 more innocent Palestinians since Friday’s ceasefire broke down. Israel seems ready to seize every opportunity to rain blood and destruction on the people of Gaza.
However, Goldin’s disappearance has raised a few questions, and suspicions. It is being reported that the soldier was abducted from the southern tip of the Gaza strip, an area that abuts Egypt, known as the Rafah crossing. The Israeli government is saying that its soldiers were searching for tunnels there. Now that leads to two questions: what were Israeli soldiers doing anywhere in Gaza during the ceasefire, when all forces were to step down, and why were they searching tunnels that were joined to Egypt? Israel typically uses the pretext that Hamas uses its network of tunnels to infiltrate into Israel but what is it doing in those tunnels next to Egypt that are nowhere near Israel? Did Israel not know that having its soldiers nosing around in tunnels during the delicate truce would produce some sort of reaction? This seems to be a clear-cut case of Israel breaking the ceasefire, not the other way around. Another disconcerting thought is that maybe Egypt and Israel are in collusion.
Hamas has not implicitly denied or admitted to having the soldier in its hands but it has said that, in all likelihood, Goldin may have been killed in an Israeli airstrike. It is fascinating to see the reaction this one soldier’s disappearance has had on the international community, including the US and UN, which all seem sore and upset. Funny how they do not seem to see the near 1,500 dead in Palestine but cannot forgive the capture of one soldier. Maybe they are having flashbacks to the time when Hamas kept an abducted Israeli soldier for five years and, to broker his release, Israel had no choice but to free 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. They probably do not want to see themselves compromised like that again, now that Hamas is pushing for a lifting of the blockade that has allowed Gaza and its people to be barricaded and killed like fish in a barrel. The sheer destruction and disproportionate murder invoked by Israel reeks of injustice and aggression. *