Meshaal in Gaza: A significant morale-booster exercise!
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi
Contrary to the earlier trauma and agony caused by their defeats at the hands of Israel, the Palestinians are, today, quite upbeat in their struggle towards full statehood. Consequently perhaps, emboldened by their victory over Israel in the just ended confrontation with the Jewish state, the Hamas chief-in-exile, Khaled Meshaal paid his first ever visit to Gaza on the just preceding Friday which may be considered as a significant morale booster for the Palestinians fighting for their home land. “This is the first time that I am coming to Palestine in 37 years,” said Mr. Meshaal who is originally from a village in the West Bank but went into exile with his family after the 1967 West Asia war. “This is my third birth,” as he said to reporters signifying the opportune moment of celebrations in Gaza after the hard won victory over Israel.
Despite all his emotional gestures, as he kissed the ground in Gaza upon this high profile visit and said to die as martyr on the land of Gaza that he prays to God, he must have had the much timely agenda to further strengthen the on-going liberation movement of Palestine from Israel, so that it may become a full-fledged nation-state in the comity of nations at the earliest. And also, he would like to secure his own future prospects towards projecting and establishing himself as an undisputed leader of Palestinian cause in a yet to be fulfilled vacuum of the charismatic and revolutionary leadership like that of Late Yasser Arafat.
That is why, Meshaal’s visit was timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the powerful Islamist movement and was also to include interactions with different Palestinian factions cutting almost across all sections of the diverse Palestinian society. There were Green Hamas flags and the red, white, green, and black of the Palestinian flag everywhere in Rafah to mark the unprecedented visit, perhaps, to project the rising and undisputed clout of Hamas among Palestinian populace and also to consolidate Palestine as a strong and stable nation-state, particularly, vis-à-vis its powerful adversary Jewish state- Israel.
Also to boldly express Hamas’s ever-fiery, never ending and never yielding spirit, Meshaal wanted to warn to Israel against its misadventures against Palestine, because Hamas, over the years, has become quite powerful to realise its avenge as was clearly seen in the retaliatory power of its army during the recent deadly battle with Israel, in which his military commander Ahmed Jaabari was, unfortunately, killed. To express personal solidarity with the rank and file of his army too, shortly after his arrival, he went to see the charred remains of Jaabari’s car, transported to Rafah especially for this visit.
In a calculated move, he was accompanied by his deputy Moussa Abu Marzook and other top officials in this trip which came just two weeks after the end of war with Israel to provide the much needed healing touch to the families of those bereaved and also to those wounded in this confrontation with the Jewish state which, contrary to its earlier practices, was forced to concede to the ceasefire to be observed by the United Nations.
Although, the leader of Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Shallah was also expected to attend the Hamas leader’s morale booster trip but he could not participate here, more likely, due to Israel’s objections, yet the changed voice of Israel was clearly noticed when it tried to salvage its image in the world by declaring that there was no blockade on Gaza. “This visit by Meshaal, which follows that of the Oatari emir and the Egyptyian Prime Minister and other officials proves there is no Israeli blockade on Gaza,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
Against this backdrop, the Meshaal’s mission in Gaza should be open heartedly supported by all conscience seeking nations including India, though there are many Gazians seeking for his early departure. As India has always maintained its principled stand, since the very begining, towards the yet to be resolved Palestinian cause despite all Israeli blunt intransigence well-supported by America, it must carry on the agenda up till its final conclusion as the time is quite ripe due to changing American attitude towards Israel. Evidently, perhaps, this has brought some positive signs, to a significant extent, towards Palestine attaining full statehood, as the United Nations is also seriously seized with the Palestinian issue.
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi is Asso. Prof., Political Science, MDPG College, Pratapgarh (UP). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org