یکشنبه 28 مهر 1398 | 09:50
'Israel attacks, cries victim at opposition'
27 ابان 1391 | 20:43
An interview with Joe Catron, International Solidarity Movement, Gaza
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A member of the International Solidarity Movement in Gaza tells Press TV says Israel attacks first and cries victim at the first hint of opposition.



The Israeli regime has engaged in a series of airstrikes against the Gaza Strip. At least 30 Palestinians have so far been killed in the offensive. Israel has conducted more than 950 attacks on the Gaza Strip since start of attacks on Wednesday.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Joe Catron, from International Solidarity Movement in Gaza. An approximate transcription of the interview with Joe Catron follows.

Press TV: Maybe you can describe an adjective for it when the Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu comes out at a press conference and says that Hamas is committing two war crimes at once by hiding amongst the population where at the same time Israel is taking advantage of how they are targeting different areas with civilian casualties are caused especially the types of warfare that they are using?

Catron: …This is the same discourse we have seen from Israel and its political establishment time and time again. They will launch an attack anything from a limited incursion to a full-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip and then when they meet the resistance that is inevitable they cry victim and call the atrocities they commit from that point forward 'self-defense'.

It is really outrageous and it is hard to understand how anyone at this point is capable of taking it seriously but it is something we have heard time and time again. It is a very predictable talking point on their part.

Press TV: And of course the most alarming part about this, Joe Catron, since you are a part of the International Solidarity Movement, is we are looking at a repeat scenario, there are reports coming through about ,again, these unconventional weapons that are being used by Israel including white phosphorous.
But this is the second time around and I cannot imagine the world witnessing what is happening as they did back in 2008 and especially the International community i.e in particular the UN.

We even had Navi Pillay come out saying that that is the UN commission for human rights denouncing Israel's aerial attacks and saying that this cannot continue.
Are we going to see more of a reaction that translates into changing that reality this time around?

Catron: Well, as a US citizen, I would have to warn you not to expect very much from my country's government which, I am sure you know, is bought and paid for in full by Israeli interests within the United States.

However, there are a number of hardening moves primarily from within the immediate region that lead me to believe that this time around it may be different.
Of course, the Egyptian Prime Minister visited the Gaza Strip today. Tunisia, Iran and other countries have announced their intentions to send high-level delegations. And additionally we have seen a level of immediate mobilization as soon as Israel attacked both throughout Palestine including the West Bank and the territories occupied in 1948, other countries like Egypt and in cities around the world, London, New York, Dublin, Vancouver, Toronto, dozens more than I could possibly hope to list.

And this gives us hope that Israel's aggression against the Gaza Strip will not pass as easily as it has before.

Press TV: There has been an intense media campaign that has been going on by Israel regarding what is occurring, whether it is through Twitter, whether it is through all the different types of for example social networks and websites such as we can mentioned Facebook and YouTube etc.

But back to again the 2008 occurrence, the operation Cast Lead and up to now there has been a whirlwind of different websites condemning what Israel commits, which is almost on a daily basis of atrocities that goes on, not only in terms of the siege, which is now five years old going on to the sixth year, and also the systematic torture that it exerts on Palestinians and the occupied territories.
So, I would think that in that respect they are also losing the battle. Don't you think?

Catron: I think that is certainly the case. The Israeli discourse is running into more opposition and it has certainly in previous operations of this type, Gaza in 2008 and 2009, or Lebanon in 2006, and that I think is largely due to the diversification of media, the growth of blogs, Twitter, YouTube, etc. different avenues for people here on the ground to get their stories out and let the world knowing what is going on in a way that is unfiltered by outside interests.

It is a very interesting process to watch how the idea of spokespeople are now meeting a higher level of opposition to their narrative than I can recall seeing before.
Press TV: You have been in the Gaza Strip and of course perhaps what you are seeing right now is pretty alarming I would say to say the least here.
What do you witness or have you witnessed in the past few days and in terms of the spirit of Palestinians there, how are they holding up?

Catron: What we have seen in the Gaza Strip over the past few days has been overwhelming total aggression in every portion of the territory.

I have given up on keeping track of individual bombings because they are occurring everywhere from Rafah to Beit Hanun on an ongoing basis.

I hear attacks incessantly. The bombings have not stopped for longer than a few minutes since I don't know when, but it is an ongoing campaign that seems purposefully designed to terrorize the civilian population.

Israel of course will claim that it is targeting resistance military assets but what is clear both from its strategy of striking repeatedly with no discernible pattern and selecting targets in civilian areas with no clear military value is that its purpose in attacking the Gaza Strip is to intimidate the Palestinian people and to acquiescing to its agenda.

For all of that I see little signs that it is working. Spirits here are still strong. Those I have talked to are greatly hardened by the news of resistance activities such as those carried out against the occupied cities of Jaffa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem this afternoon and we are all waiting to see what will come next. It is a big question mark moving forward.

Press TV: One of the things that is going to be coming up next is going to occur tomorrow. We hear that as of now still plans are for the Tunisian foreign minister to come and visit the Gaza Strip. Of course, we know earlier as you mentioned, the Egyptian Prime Minister came with his convoy and also donated some, I believe, medial-related equipment, etc.

So, that is a positive sign, we did not see that last time around and of course, I personally when I reported the war at the turn of 2008 operation Cast Lead, we know that the spirits of the Palestinians were at a very low point to the point which they said that they felt the whole world had abandoned them but I would think visits by this high profile officials at the minimum is going to lift their spirits.

Catron: Yes, I think so. Those I have talked to here are -as I said- encouraged by both these high profile delegations as well as the outpouring support from many parts of the world.

I know a lot of people here are closely following news of demonstrations in their support taking place in countless cities some of which I mentioned earlier and many are also following the media very closely to see what is being said and how the narrative can be shifted in their favor.
So it is a very interconnected world we live in and actions people take in their own countries can do a lot to boost spirits here in Gaza.

MAY/HGH
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