Are they resilient? Defiant? Suffering? Weakened? Conservative? Militant? Victorious? United? There isn’t a single lens through which you can view the Palestinian people of Gaza, their suffering or their struggle.
The report did not identify a particular faction making the rockets. The interview featured ‘Abu Obeida’ the spokesperson for Hamas’ military wing, the Izzedeen Al Qassam Brigades. The group manufacturing the rockets profiled in the report is not necessarily related to Hamas.
On the one-year anniversary of Israel’s war on Gaza, our network planned to extensively cover the sombre event by looking at the past year through the eyes of the people, civil society and political forces. All were looked at or reported on.
Inevitably, every perspective was different but surprisingly there was a common thread in most, if not all of the subjects we covered.
Is there a difference between the resilience of a mother raising and providing for her children against the backdrop of war and siege AND a man who digs illegally 20 metres below the ground to smuggle in food and supplies to earn a living and provide for the people of Gaza AND a fighter determined to manufacture a homemade rocket that he believes is the only act of self-defence against an occupying power attacking his people and his land?
Each one can make the argument that they are defying the “unjust” siege imposed on them in their own right. People may not agree with each's act, some more than others, but no one can define or argue with how the mother, the tunnel digger and the fighter perceive themselves…they all see themselves as fighting injustice.
So the question is – why did I choose to profile a military wing and its capabilities on the first anniversary of the war?
The answer is simple. Its because Israel launched a brutal war that killed almost 1400 people, mostly civilians and unleashed its military war machine on a beseiged and a defenseless territory for 22 days - all in the name of destroying that very same capability. Did Israel do it? It claims to. Is it true? Not according to the reality on the ground we saw. Were Palestinian military wings deterred by the war? Not according to the people we spoke to. That’s what my report shows.
This story was not about whether Palestinian factions should pursue firing rockets as a justifiable means to their end. It’s not about whether these rockets are effective or not. Thats for the Palestinian people to decide.
The report was simply questioning whether what Israel claims to have done was actually as true as it wants the world to believe. The premise of the report is simple. If what Israel claims to be the motivating factor behind its war was not achieved, than its motivating claims can only be considered either false or at least, the war a failure.
But more importantly – this report was just one snapshot from days of coverage that followed a year of systematic reporting from the only major international English language news channel with a permanent bureau in Gaza that has covered the plight of the people in Gaza under siege and through war for more than 3 years.
However one looks at it…rest assured the people of Gaza, their institutions, civil society, and military factions have survived and defied isolation, siege and war no matter who I would have profiled.