Israel: 73 years after independence, still a long walk to peace

May 14 2021 makes it exactly 73 years that Israel became an independent nation.

Israel, a small country in the Middle East is located on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea and bordered by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. It has a population of about 9.2 million mostly Jewish people.

Before May 14 1948 when this covenant nation secured its land, its people were off and, on the land. They were at a point scattered around the world and suffered in the hands of many nations. The most pathetic of the persecutions was when Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews across German-occupied Europe between 1941 and 1945.

The persecutions notwithstanding the promise of God seems so sure for the Israelites. From the Bible account, the land Israel presently occupies was the  Land God promised them after their miraculous escape from Egypt. The Lord had promised to give Abraham the land. But they had to fight several wars as being led by God to take over the land from the various tribes in the land before their arrival.

Though they eventually settled in present-day Israel with Saul as their first king followed by David; God allowed them to be taken to captivity several times because of their recalcitrant attitude and their unending idolatrous practices.

The Babylonians took them to slavery, the Romans too and several other nations plundered them each time they sinned against God. The foreign invasion continued till the time of Jesus. When Jesus was physically on earth, the Jews were under the Roman government.

Long after Jesus left the scene, they still suffered from foreign invasion and they were scattered around the world. The domination of the Israelis continued until 1917 when the British conquered and began to rule over them.

But in 1922, there was a resolution that they should be allowed to own their own land. This however did not materialise until May 14, 1948, when the nation of Israel was declared by the United Nations.

The land of Palestinians was divided into two and the Israelites were given a part of the land. But since that decision, the small Jewish nation has continued to fight for its existence.

It is described as an island of sanity surrounded by great hostilities. But Israel has since been up to the task. Despite being small, its military strength has dazzled the whole world.

The first proactive step by the Israeli government was to establish the Israeli Defence Force shortly after its independence.

The force has been responsible for the counter-terror attack, and the large scale defense of the civilians during many of its wars which began the day it was declared a nation. Five Arab nations according to historic account attacked Israel on the day the UN declared it a nation.

Israel’s military ingenuity however led to the defeat of those nations. But the most historic of the wars was the 1967 six-day war that led to the death of over 200,000 Arabs and about 20,000 Israelis. That is the war that has put Israel on an enviable pedestal globally.

Between 1968 and 1970, there was the Egyptian war of attrition against Israel. There was also the Yom Kippur war and several skirmishes. In between these wars, Israel has had to sign several peace treaties with nations around it. But then, it seems Palestine still doesn’t feel comfortable with Israel occupying part of where it used to occupy.

The current crisis according to reports came after weeks of rising Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem which culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews.

Hamas and the Islamic terror group that rules Gaza began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory airstrikes. But Israel has over the last few days curtailed the onslaught of the militant Palestinian group.

Cpl. Zoharya: People don’t understand our situation

Israel
, Cpl. Zoharya

Recounting her experience of the conflict, Cpl. Zoharya, Liaison to Platoon Commander in the Israeli Search and Rescue Brigade recounted on Friday, May 14 on the Facebook page of Israel Defence Force, how sirens and rockets were falling everywhere. She recalled how they had to leave their bomb shelters to rescue those who were hit by missiles in Petah Tikva.

She wrote, “The cars there were exploding and melting. We entered a half-collapsed building and saw tons of broken and shattered glass.  Our mission on the ground is to help as many civilians as possible. We went to every single door, to see that everyone managed to get out and that if they needed help or medical assistance, they got it.”

The 19-year-old trainee who was drafted to the rescue team five months ago said, “These past few days we’ve been on-call 24/7. You go to eat, and you eat in 10 minutes because you have no idea what’s going to happen.

“I think people just don’t understand the situation we’re living in here. However, we are helping people and giving them a sense of safety, and that makes everything worth it. In three hours on the ground, we helped them so much.”

The Israeli Drone has helped to a large extent to secure lives and properties as the drones reportedly repel over 300 missiles fired by the militant Haman.

Despite the effectiveness of the drone, Some Israeli people have suffered casualties.  About 70 people have reportedly died from both sides. But Israel is literally pounding the home of the terror group on the Gaza strip.

Home attacked by missiles

The IDF has continued to however give updates on the conflict on its Facebook page.  A family who was a victim of the missile from the terror group wrote on the page, “We heard a siren and ran down to the bomb shelter. The entire house burned down, all of our childhood memories. It’s not easy to understand this kind of situation, we are in shock.”

According to the Facebook account “a rocket that was fired from Gaza toward Israel, hit the home of the family from Petach Tikva, central Israel. Thankfully, the whole family found shelter fast enough, surviving the attack. For the past 4 days, Israeli families all across Israel have been under fire— destroying everything that stands in its path.”

Nobody knows how long this will last, but the IDF in a post on its Facebook Page showing the faces of the terrorists said the terrorists will not dare another terror attack again.

Story by Gbenga Osinaike

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