Should we condemn Hamas for the Oct 7 operations into the occupied Palestinian territory?

26 Oct 2023 01:23pm
Palestinians inspect the rubble of a building following overnight Israeli strikes on the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on Oct 25, 2023. (Photo by Mohammed ABED / AFP)
Palestinians inspect the rubble of a building following overnight Israeli strikes on the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on Oct 25, 2023. (Photo by Mohammed ABED / AFP)

In the aftermath of the recent event involving Hamas on Oct 7 this month, a notable question has been circulating, particularly in Western media, especially to those with a pro-Palestinian stance: "Do you condemn Hamas for the October 7th attack?".

Curiously, there has been a conspicuous absence of similar questions directed towards Israelis or pro-Israel voices regarding the repeated brutal assaults on Gaza's civilian population since the key date.

This discrepancy begs the question: Should we rush to condemn this recent act, or is it wiser to explore the broader context that precipitated it?

While unequivocally condemning any act of violence is a moral imperative, it is equally crucial to understand the underlying causes that drive such actions. The attack on occupied Palestinian territory should be perceived as a reaction to decades of violence endured by the Palestinian people.

The fundamental concept of "action and reaction" should not be dismissed when analysing the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. Palestinians have borne the brunt of a ceaseless cycle of violence, oppression, and forced displacement over many years. This protracted conflict has resulted in immeasurable suffering, mass displacement, and the tragic loss of countless Palestinian lives. The international community's response to these enduring issues has frequently been characterised by inaction or, in some instances, a perceived bias in favour of Israel.

Over the decades, the Palestinian people have experienced a litany of violent actions, aggression, and brutal attacks against them. Tragically, as of yesterday, they continue to endure losses each day since Oct 7 in full view of the international community, the United Nations (UN), and the international security apparatus.

These relentless actions have led to numerous casualties and widespread suffering within the Palestinian community. The ongoing silence of the international community on many of these atrocities underscores the inherent power imbalances and political influences at play within the region.

When deliberating whether to condemn Hamas for their actions, it is essential to consider the extensive loss of life in this conflict since the occupation of Palestine began and the broader context. The distinction between oppressors and the oppressed, wrongdoers and victims, must be made. Thousands of Palestinian lives have been sacrificed, and the profound suffering of this population should not go unnoticed.

While the condemnation of violence remains crucial, the international community must also engage in a thorough self-examination of its role in this enduring conflict. Condemnation should be aimed at the occupiers rather than the occupied, and the oppressors rather than the oppressed. The primary focus should be on addressing the root causes of this violence and striving towards a just and sustainable resolution to the occupation.

Any assessment of acts of resistance should be conducted in the context of the broader history and dynamics of the Israeli colonisation of Palestine. It is vital to appreciate the intricacies of this situation.

The incident on Oct 7 involving Hamas should not be perceived in isolation but as a response to decades of violence and suffering. The primary objective should be to address the systemic issues that perpetuate this conflict and to advocate for a fair and peaceful resolution that upholds the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people, to gain insight into why Hamas initiated an attack on occupied Palestinian territory. Additionally, there will be another article addressing the specific reasons behind the efforts by the United States and Western countries to encourage pro-Palestinian parties to condemn Hamas.

In conclusion, my perspective stands in solidarity with the people of Gaza, supporting their right to self-defence and their pursuit of freedom. Such resistance is often grounded in religious principles and international laws, which provide assurances for those striving to secure their rights and self-determination.

Abbod Al-Khwlidi is a Yemeni PhD student. The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Sinar Daily.