The Battle For Gaza Begins in Jabalia

Hamas Fighter

The war is intensifying with the Palestinian resistance groups joining together to defeat the Israeli army

The battle for Jabalia is raging. This is the fifth day. Despite its onslaught from the air and tanks from the ground, Israeli troops have not been able to enter the camp.

They are being met with stiff resistance from different Palestinian groups lead by Hamas and Islamic Jihad with nationalist and leftist forces like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Israeli troops are being killed by the day as reported by Hamas officials on the ground but the Jewish army is only admitting those as wounded and critically injured. They are not reporting the tanks that was destroyed by a shell from a Hamas drone.

In one instance, fighting was so bad that an Israeli helicopter was called up to pick up the Israeli injured but was fired upon by the Palestinian resistance.

The fight for the Jabalia camp in north Gaza seems to be a stretching out, one of a series of battles Palestinian armed groups are fighting also in Al Zaitoun neighborhood in east Gaza City and in Rafah.

Fighting has been so intense in Zaitoun the Israeli army had to withdraw on the fourth day because of the number of Israelis being killed. In the last six days, the Israeli army admitted 95 of its soldiers went down as well as numerous tanks and military hardware with a $1 million bulldozer knocked out in east Jabalia. 

This is while intense battles are being reported in east Rafah where soldiers and tanks are also being killed and destroyed through launchers and resistance snipers.

Just while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was saying Rafah holds the last “quarter” of Hamas operatives and must be destroyed by the Israeli army, he is now eating his words because of the Jabalia battles that are mushrooming to Beit Hanoon, Beit Lahia and the like. 

His army is at breaking point. There are grumblings the war is not going their way with plenty of Israeli dead which is likely to increase higher if the Israeli army manages to launch a full-scale attack on Rafah.

But it appears nobody, at least besides Netanyahu and his extremist allies want to do that because of the high material and human cost.

What follows is a brief highlight of the feelings of the people of Jabalia as seen through the social media.

The Old Lady

Reporter: We are meters away from the Israeli tanks and with the increase in the bombing of the Jabalia camp, the people are refusing to leave, and so is the case with this elderly lady. Why aren’t you leaving, the tanks are around the corner?

The old lady: I am not afraid. I am 80 years old. If our houses are destroyed, so be it, and if they destroy our houses, we will sleep under the trees. By the grace of God, we are not afraid. This bottle of water and piece of bread I hold can last me up to five days. And with this I want to protect the land and our youth and die before they do.

The reporter: (surrounded by youth cheering on) When we talk about the community, we see it here. The battles in this camp are always different with atmospheres you see around. This is why it is difficult for the Israeli occupation to penetrate, it because everyone here is united in one voice and one power. Everyone here, refuses to leave from the camp, even till the last minute.

Young blogger

Abod is a young blogger in Gaza who has been covering this Israeli onslaught on the enclave since 7 October. He starts by a smirk, saying:

‘…This is me with the latest from the Jabalia and we will talk about the Israeli attempted incursions into the camp. On the first day, the Israeli army lost 10 tanks and 50 soldiers injured according to them. On the second day, they lost 13 tanks and on the third day they lost 12 tanks. The Israelis are being clobbered on a daily basis.

This is a camp, not a town or city. And there is more to go….This is better than a movie, all you need is just popcorn and you watch what is going to happen next….[Its an Israeli scandal, tanks destroyed,  bulldozers put out of action, every machine gone!

May our fighters win, let’s pray for them…’

Death of the word

One more journalist has been killed in Jabalia. Gaza has become the graveyard for journalists and media workers with over a 140 killed so far thanks to the Israeli big guns. 

Journalist Hayel Al Najjar was killed with several members of his family after an Israeli strike targeting his home in Jabalia in northern Gaza.

Al Najjar was part of a group of Palestinian journalists who were targeted in the field in Jabalia by an Israeli quadcopter that fired upon them point-blank whilst journalist Mahmoud Abu Salama was reporting and carried the attack live.

Also, Al Jazeera journalist Anas Al Sharif was also reported to be in the background. Israelis has deliberately been targeting journalist in this war in an attempt to hide the slaughter they are carrying out.

Al Sharif’s father was killed in the early days of this war and his house was recently targeted by an Israeli drone. Luckily he escaped.

Dr Asmar, an Amman-based writer, covers Middle East Affairs

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