Israeli historian and author Ilan Pappe says the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel is being used by the country’s leaders “as a pretext to pursue genocidal policies in the Gaza Strip.”
In an opinion for Al Jazeera, he says the renewed conflict, “is also a pretext for the United States to try and reassert its presence in the Middle East. And it is a pretext for some European countries to violate and limit democratic freedoms in the name of a new ‘war on terror.'”
Pappe, the Director of European Center of Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter in the U.K., reviews historical precursors to the most recent violence. Pappe served in the Israeli army during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
“Over the past 50 years, the occupational forces have inflicted persistent collective punishment on the Palestinians in these territories, exposing them to constant harassment by Israeli settlers and security forces and imprisoning hundreds of thousands of them,” Pappe writes.
“The savageness of (Hamas’) attack cannot be justified in any way,” says Pappe, “but that does not mean it cannot be explained and contextualised.
“As horrific as it was, the bad news is that it is not a game-changing event, despite the huge human cost on both sides. What does this mean for the future?”
Read more at Al Jazeera