This was written a couple of days ago so while things have progressed since then the essence still holds true, Safa Joudeh in Gaza:
The truth will come out
La Repubblica, January 15th 2008
“Common knowledge” is a term with subjective reference to the general information widely known within a particular environment/location. This information is readily available to people through direct exposure to, and everyday encounters with the forms in which it presents itself. In reference to my situation as a resident of Gaza for example, it’s common knowledge among the Gaza community that Israel is an occupying power that aims at undermining Palestinian self determination and autonomy. It’s also common knowledge that during this attack Israeli forces strike blindly while assuming political justifications that bare no relevance to the situation on the ground. Another piece of common knowledge is that the Palestinian resistance is not a group of crazed Hamas gorillas brandishing their M16 and launching rockets into southern Israel for the sake of maintaining their presence and authority over the people of Gaza.
The Palestinian resistance forces are not an organized army, and yet they represent the legitimate military body that Israel views as an opponent in it’s full force attacks. These parties are comprised of circumstantially militarized members of all the Palestinian political factions, thus being inclusive of the Palestinian parliamentary representation and the Palestinian constituency.
Nor are they equipped with any weaponry that comes close to the massive military machine, the Israeli, Occupying forces. Out of necessity comes invention and metal tubes filled with 12 pounds of dynamite are the feature weapon of these Palestinian fighter retaliatory attacks the acclaimed rival for the half a ton, phosphorus and DIME bombs raining on Gaza, not to mention tank and warship shelling and infantry assaults.
Back to the original reference to common knowledge, while the Israeli propaganda instruments introduced to the world as military and government spokesmen continue to keep their citizens in the dark, while simultaneously advertising policy serving, sugar coated interpretations of the status quo to world governments, the reality and evidence on the ground tells a different story. Perhaps Israel thought preventing foreign journalists from entering Gaza a strategic and well thought move, yet the world media has quickly caught on and the images from Gaza are flowing from news outlets over the world. How blatantly and contemptibly arrogant of the Israeli government is to mindlessly continue its fictitious accounts!
As a resident of Gaza city distinguishing Israeli from Palestinian shelling has become “common knowledge”, and while Israel continues its attempts to advance into the city from various points, mainly Tel el Hawa, al Zatoun from the south, Tofah from the east and Sudaniya from the North West, Palestinian gunmen have posed an unexpected and substantial deterrent. Residents have seen their deployment and counter attacks in areas that witness incursions such as Tel el Hawa, while the rest of us sit up at night, wide awake, keeping note of tank shelling or Palestinian rifles fire.
In the meantime, Israel sticks to its threats of the imminent implementation of phase 3, but as each day draws to an end, and despite nightly advancements that aim at “testing the ground” each morning the Israeli forces retreat to their original posts.
Meanwhile, Hamas and the other armed factions continue to express reservations about the Egyptian/UN initiatives, a clear sign that they will not concede to less than opening the borders and a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Strip. Israel, on the other hand, is stalling, awaiting an easy way out of the operation, while keeping face with the Israeli voters.
At the end of the day, its clear to all of us that despite disparity in might and imbalance in power, Palestinians have won this one, by the sheer strength of good planning, studied strategy, infinite sacrifice and unwavering resilience. This is common knowledge in Gaza, coming from a first hand witness, and not up for challenge by analysts at a safe distance from the battlefield.