February 9, 2024
From The Real News Network
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On Jan. 17, the Israeli military detonated 315 mines to destroy Gaza’s last standing university, al-Israa University, located south of Gaza City. For 70 days prior, the Israelis occupied the university as a military base, posting snipers in its buildings and using it as a detention and interrogation center. According to university authorities, prior to the detonation Israeli soldiers looted the university museum, which contained 3,000 artifacts dating back as far as the Roman era. With al-Israa University’s destruction, Israel has now destroyed or damaged all of Gaza’s 12 universities, and also targeted 280 government schools and 65 UN schools, many of which were sheltering civilians when they were attacked. Al-Israa University Vice President Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina joins The Chris Hedges Report to discuss Israel’s war on Gaza’s educational and cultural institutions.

Studio Production: Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Adam Coley, Kayla Rivara


Transcript

The following is a rushed transcript and may contain errors. A proofread version will be made available as soon as possible.

Chris Hedges:

The Israeli attacks on Gaza have included systematic assaults on Gaza’s cultural and educational institutions. Israel has damaged or destroyed all 12 of Gaza’s universities. Some 280 government schools and 65 UNRWA-run schools or UN-run schools have also been destroyed or damaged, often resulting in dozens of fatalities.

About 133 remaining schools are used to shelter those displaced by the Israeli assault. More than 85% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been driven from their homes amid continued Israeli ground and air attacks that have killed more than 25,000 people, including 10,000 children. The Geneva-based independent Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor reported that Israel destroyed Gaza’s 12 universities in stages. The first stage, including the bombing of the Islamic and Al-Azhar universities.

On January 17, the Israeli military detonated 315 mines to turn Gaza’s last standing university, Al-Isra University — South of Gaza City — Into rubble. The Israelis have occupied or had occupied the university for 70 days, using it as a military base, including positioning snipers within its buildings as well as turning it into a detention and interrogation center. The university housed a museum with 3000 archaeological artifacts dating back to the Roman era. University authorities have charged Israeli soldiers with looting the museum before blowing it up. Al-Isra University was home to the only university hospital in the Gaza Strip, one of only two in all of the Palestinian-occupied territories, as well as buildings that housed medical and engineering laboratories, nursing labs, media training studios, the law colleges, court trial, and graduation halls.

The Israeli attacks have killed 94 university professors. These include Professor Sofyan Taya, the president of the Islamic University of Gaza, an award-winning physicist, and UNESCO chair of astronomy, astrophysics, and space sciences in Palestine, who died alongside his family in an airstrike. Dr. Ahmed Hamdi Abo Absa, dean of the software engineering department at the University of Palestine reportedly shot dead by Israeli soldiers as he walked away having been released from three days of enforced detention. Professor Mohammed Eid Shabir, professor of immunology and virology, and former president of the Islamic University of Gaza, Professor Rafat Al-Araeer; a poet and professor of comparative literature and creative writing at the Islamic University of Gaza who was killed along with members of his family.

Some 4,327 students have been killed and 7,819 others have been injured. 231 teachers and administrators have also been killed. Palestinians who have one of the highest poverty rates in the world nevertheless cherish education. They also have one of the highest literacy rates in the world and Palestinian graduates excel in medicines, mathematics, engineering, and other fields. Israel appears determined to obliterate Palestinian cultural, educational and historical properties, part of its planned erasure of the Palestinian people.

Images of Israeli troops cheering as schools are blown up, have appeared on social media including one video showing the demolition of a distinctive blue UN school in Northern Gaza. Joining me from Cairo to discuss Israel’s wholesale destruction of Gaza’s educational and cultural institutions is Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina, the vice president of Al-Israel University. Dr. Alhussaina’s home block in Gaza was bombed by Israel, resulting in the death of 102 of his family members. Doctor, thank you for joining us and of course my heartfelt condolences not only for your personal loss but for everything that has been happening in Gaza.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

Thank you, Chris, for having me.

Chris Hedges:

I want to begin with what it took to build this university and how important the university was. We should also note that this isn’t the first time that Israel has struck or bombed universities; they did so in previous assaults. Let’s begin with the university itself because Gaza is very poor and one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. And to build that structure and create what you created is almost Herculean. So talk about the inception of the university and what you built.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

The university was established in 2014. We started teaching in the fall of 2015. We started with a small building north of Gaza, which also was demolished partially or 70% demolished during this war. It’s in the North, close to the North of Gaza. At the same time, two years later, we started building this campus, which is a 4,000 square meters of area multiplied by seven floors, it was one of the biggest buildings, if it’s not the biggest building, in Gaza. And we had the designs and we had a lot of hope. It was a bunch of pioneers that we had. Everybody pitched in. We spent years building that building and we followed every single detail of it. It was, by witnesses, everyone in Gaza, everybody visited the building. It is one of the best buildings, one of the nicest buildings in Gaza.

It looked like a hotel when you walked in. One of the best. Everything was so elegant, was luxurious actually. We tried to make it one-of-a-kind and we had so many hopes for this. We had, like you said, laboratories, we had everything. We had 4,300 students. We haven’t even been here 10 years. 4,300 students, 65%, more than two-thirds were female. We had given opportunities to a lot of females even when they were mothers and single mothers or divorced, they weren’t home because we offered so many scholarships. We had our vision, our motto was “poverty will not stand an obstacle front of any Palestinian who wants to pursue a college degree.” So that’s what we started with and that was our slogan or motto for that. That’s one of the main reasons we started this university and that was the focus of everyone.

So we were helping, we were giving so many scholarships to a lot of people. We were getting help, we had donations from Kuwait, from UNDP. We were working with all our NGOs and international organizations and we were helping a lot of people. Even if they didn’t have the money, we were giving a scholarship to excel students. It was 90% or more a 3.6 average get a full scholarship. Women who are divorced or minorities get full scholarships. Orphans, if their parents died we gave them a full scholarship. We were giving so much help and we were about to do a grand opening of the museum. The museum we had, we built a building next to this campus, which also was destroyed this time. We had a nice building in there. We had everything in there and it was looted out and destroyed. Everything went away in the blink of an eye. We also built the first university hospital in Gaza. We just started teaching, opened the program a week before we started the season. We started the semester for the Bachelor of Medicine and we just started this new program, not even a week teaching, and then everything was gone. Everything.

Chris Hedges:

When did you leave the university or when did you leave Gaza?

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

I had spent 45 days. I left November 14 and I was in the North. I was in the middle of the city of Gaza except I was on the south side. We went through a horror leaving from the North to the South. When we left, the Israeli IDF was on Salah al-Din, which is the main road that connects between the North and South of Gaza. That’s the main road. And the Israeli tanks and soldiers were there, so you had to go through them. Everywhere else you can’t go because that’s what they announced: You have to go through that. You go there and then you have to walk because there’s no cars, they don’t allow any cars to come in.

You’d have to pull the bag into sand. There’s no pavement because everything was uprooted by the Israeli bulldozers or whatever. So you have to pull the bag and right before you got to the Israeli’s army, there was something they have you walk through, there were cameras in there and stuff, you walk in there and then they would put batches of 150 to 100 people. You stand in front of soldiers, you’re facing them, and you have to hold your ID in your hand standing up. We were in this position for two and a half hours, standing on your feet, in the sun, with your ID in your hand. If you drop something, you can’t kneel down, up and down to pick it up because you subject yourself to a death sentence. You can get sniped out by… You can get killed.

While you stand there… Within that two and a half hours they were calling people. They were like a hundred yards from us and they have ditches on the ground between them. They call you, they say, you, the donkey with the red shirt — That’s how they call you. Humiliation — They call you, you come out there, you go into a small ditch and they make you stand. They pick people by random. I don’t know if it’s random but they make you take all your clothes off, totally naked. Even your underwear. You hold it in your hand and then they either come out, blindfold you, handcuff you, and they take you in. Some people they made them sit there for the next day, use them as a human shield so people wouldn’t get shot.

All this humiliation. A 70-year-old man had to stand and take all his clothes off and they made him turn around in front of people. There were women, there were kids standing there, women were crying, kids were crying. My granddaughter was with me. She’s three years old. She was horrified. And once you pass through, two and a half hours later they make whoever is left go walk. You had to walk. Then you walk another mile and then you find a cart that is pulled by a donkey. That’s the only thing they allowed there. It’s going to take you for another mile to get to where cars are supposed to be. Then we found some old car we took to the Rafah border.

Chris Hedges:

And you were in Northern Gaza. Did you leave because you were ordered to leave or because where your home was destroyed?

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

Yeah, my home was destroyed. It was unlivable and we had no choice and then there’s nowhere to go and you either go to the South or leave. We had a chance to live with my family through the state department. They had our names as dual citizens. We went through State to Rafah Crossing. I forgot to mention, once you cross past the IDF, while you’re walking, there were bodies on both sides of the road. They started decomposing. You could see them —

Chris Hedges:

So let’s talk about the assault on educational and cultural institutions. It’s clearly by design. This is not accidental. Why is it that Israel is determined to obliterate educational and cultural institutions? There are many that I haven’t mentioned including Gaza’s public library, Gaza’s cultural center. Why are these important targets for the Israelis?

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

— They want to wipe out everything that points to the Palestinian identity or Palestinian culture. It’s like the propaganda says: People with no land came to a land with no people. They consider there were no Palestinians and they’re still saying it now. Oh, there was no people there. There’s no such thing as Palestine, there were no Palestinian people in there. So who was there? Who was living there? Where were my grandparents and my great-grandparents? They still have the keys for their homes in there. They have currencies. The State of Palestine, the old currency, it is in 1927 and 1918. Where did that come from? Actually, it was a manhole cover in Jaffa. Still, I saw somebody posted a picture that it says on the State of Palestine. They probably forgot to take that out too. I don’t know.

But they don’t want people to educate themselves. They don’t want education. They want to destroy universities because that’s the only way the Palestinian has. We have no weapon, we have no future. Every Palestinian in Gaza, as I know, they will derive themselves from food and they will send their kids to college. It becomes like a necessity; it’s a must. Everybody sends their kids to college. They don’t let them — After high school they sit down, they force them or ask them to go to college. Even the young kids are convinced that you build a future and you can get your country back by educating yourself. You can’t be illiterate and you can’t represent yourself in front of anybody. It’s not just that. They uprooted olive trees; Olive trees is a symbol for Palestinian land and you see what happens in the West Bank: The settlers, every other day they go on to the olive trees and they uproot a lot of them. They burn them. It’s a war against everything that is Palestinian.

Another thing, they wanted to make Gaza unlivable. If you have no hospitals, no schools, no universities, no mosques to pray, no place to go, what else would you have there? They won’t be alive in there. And it’s really shocking what they did to the university. Why would you stay in it for 70 days and then go boobytrap it and blow it up in front of people while cheering? I don’t understand, he was there for how long? I saw the American spokesman for the States said, oh, they said it was headquarters for Hamas. It has never been for Hamas there. I don’t understand where that came from. There was no weapon. If they had something, they would’ve had videos and pictures or they would state something like they did in Al-Shifa hospital or whatever. I don’t know what to say to anymore.

Chris Hedges:

If I remember, Palestinians have a 97% literacy rate. It’s really high.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

Yes. Everybody makes sure they go to school.

Chris Hedges:

In terms of Palestine, for viewers who may not know, from the Muslim conquest in the 7th century until the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, historic Palestine — Which before World War I was under the Ottoman Empire — Was a Muslim entity. It was Muslim.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

Yes.

Chris Hedges:

And much of what Israel seeks to accomplish is not just an erasure of Palestinian cultural and historic identity, but a form of historical amnesia.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

Yes, that’s exactly what I wanted to say.

Chris Hedges:

Let’s talk about some of the figures: Rafah and others. They have killed over a hundred journalists. To a certain extent, for those of us who are watching it from a distance, it seems clear that some or many of these people were targeted; They weren’t killed accidentally. And with Rafah, he was receiving threats from Israel before they bombed him and I think he was killed with his sister and his family. But they have wiped out, along with a journalistic class –And foreign journalists are not allowed into Gaza, so we can’t cover. I was part of a group from the Egyptian Press Syndicate that tried to go to Rafah to protest a few weeks ago — But I want you to address this issue of the killing of leading academics, leading poets, writers, what your reflections on it are, and whether you believe they were deliberately targeted by the Israelis.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

Yes, I do. Most of these people are prominent figures. They know — And what I heard is that they’re typing them through their Facebook accounts and their social media accounts right now and anybody that is publishing something or posting anything, you get threats. Sometimes it’s directed threats, sometimes it’s indirect threats. You post something simple on Facebook, you get something. You get notified, sometimes you get phone calls, you get this recording phone call from the Israeli army that you have to leave your house or whatever and sometimes it’s… You don’t know what’s going on. I’ve seen journalists get… One of the journalists that was in the North, in Jabalia, had come. His name is Anas Al-Sharif, he got text messages that were threatening him to stop because when Al Jazeera left, only this guy was videoing in the North. He’s the one who was staying. Then they bombed his house and killed his father and he’s still there. I don’t know if he’s still alive or not. There are so many cases of journalists getting threats and killed.

There are so many academics that were killed. We had few from Al-Aqsa University. We had Dr. Fadel Abu Hein, he was a professor of clinical psychology. He was a prominent psychologist for 30 years he was working for the Gaza Clinical Mental Health Center, and he was retired. Then he came to work for us and he was teaching in the clinical psychology department. He was the head of the clinical psychology department. He was killed two weeks ago, maybe three weeks, with his family by a bomb to his house.

Rafat Al-Araeer was bothering them with his poetry and what he was fighting for; He was always posting things about Palestine. Dr. Sufyan Tayeh, the president of Islamic University and a prominent physicist, he was number one on Palestine — One of the 10% of the people in the world for physics. I don’t know why would you kill somebody like that. He had nothing to do with anyone and you bomb their house with their family. They know who’s there before they bomb — There’s new technology right now, they know who’s in there through their cell phones and other technology, even with the voice recognition and other stuff. So they know who’s in the house before they bomb the house. And it looks like this was deliberately targeting all these people on purpose to rid Gaza or Palestine of intellectuals and a good educational future.

These people are very well-known scientists and most of them were killed in cold blood with their families and children, some of them with their grandchildren, with the whole family wiped out. Some of them left a little kid or a father or whatever, but most of the families are wiped off this civics register. I don’t know what else we can say. It’s there, everybody sees that it’s deliberately targeted, but the US doesn’t want to see it. The State Department spokesman doesn’t want to see it. When I see somebody’s press conference for him with journalists and asking him — He tries to avoid questions and say, I don’t know. I don’t have enough information to comment on that. We still wait and we ask Israel for comment, for explanation. I’ve never heard him say, I have an explanation. I don’t know.

Chris Hedges:

The US understands very well what Israel is doing. It is carrying out not only genocide but also attempting to create a situation or a humanitarian catastrophe that is so extreme that Palestinians will have to choose between dying of exposure, disease, bombs, starvation, infectious disease, or leaving. That’s clearly the goal, whether Israel can achieve that goal — Because where are the Palestinians going to go? I don’t know. And having covered Israel for seven years, this has long been the intent of Israeli political figures like Netanyahu, it’s not a secret. They have long advocated for this wholesale ethnic cleansing. Are you in touch with anyone within Gaza at the moment?

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

Yes. It’s very hard, but I still have brothers and sisters back there. I have a brother and couple of sisters in the North, still in Gaza City, and I have one brother with his family in Khan Younis with all this bombing right now. He evacuated to where they told him to go. They said, go to Khan Younis. It was fine, it was safe, but right now it is the worst area for him. Every day there is bombing close to where he’s staying and he is so scared for his life. He send me messages sometimes just saying if we might not make it through the morning. And that’s why we had … I was feeling that same thing when well was staying at beginning of the war for over 40 days. That’s what we were feeling.

The bombing, the house shakes and you don’t know when the next hit will be. We say our prayer, we gather together in one room so we can die together and we don’t know if we’re going to make it until the morning. Nobody knows. We say your prayers and go to sleep and you say goodbye to everybody if you can sleep.

Chris Hedges:

What do you think the end goal of Israel is and how achievable do you think their goal is? I mean they say that this is a war against Hamas. I think the evidence argues against that. It’s a war against the Palestinian people. A few days ago, US intelligence reported in the New York Times said that only 20 or 30% of Hamas fighters had been killed and that I was surprised Hamas had the capabilities to continue resistance for two or three months. From your perspective, what is Israel’s goal? How achievable is that goal?

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

I think the goal is to evacuate people from Gaza. I think they want Gaza empty land. That’s what they’ve been planning even for years. They said it before, I think one of their leaders said it before that Gaza has to be emptied out. It’s imposed … I don’t know if this is part of the, I guess the deal of the century. That’s what they do when they want to make it unlivable, like they say. They want to make it people have no choice but to leave. Either you die there of bombing, let alone famine or starvation or hunger or thirst or diseases that’s spreading right now because of all the bodies that is out there. They want to make it unlivable, make or migrate. I think their goal is to push people into the Sinai desert, into Egypt, and it’s going on a step by step. It’s already almost there. Now it’s almost 2 million people at 1 … What I heard is 1.5 or 1.7 million out already in Rafah, right close to the border. I see pictures of tents like less than 20 feet from the border, the Egyptian border.

So the people are there, they’re ready to go. If they start bombing from the north, I think that’s what is going to happen. My own belief, they’re going to stop bombing, pushing people toward the border. Then they bomb the walls of the border, make it open and people will run for their life. They’re going to go in there and then once they go in there, they seal it and they stopping them from coming in or back to their places.

What stopped them? The people’s steadfastness in the north, there’s a lot of people still there. They don’t want to leave their houses, nobody want to leave. Some people left, but a lot of people still there. There’s big numbers are still in the north in Jabalia and other places. And that’s actually delayed there. I think that’s delayed … That had delayed their plans. For now it’s the fourth month start already, 120 days. But there is a lot of people. If they can’t do that, I think they will just push to whatever who’s left in Rafah and stay with half the population or more than half [inaudible 00:28:41]. They have this policy. It’s called mowing the grass. I don’t know if you hear of that.

Chris Hedges:

Yeah.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

They were doing that every few years. Every couple of years there was a war on Gaza.

Chris Hedges:

Yeah, let me just explain. Mowing the grass was Israeli slang for periodically carrying out armed assaults including aerial attacks against Palestinians in Gaza as a form in their eyes of deterrence to keep them under control, in which, of course, thousands of Palestinians were killed.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

Yeah, of course. I think that’s what is a target. They want to kill numbers. They don’t want the numbers to go up. Even when the blockade was there, they were counting the calories. How many calories are you supposed to consume in Gaza? They go buy one person to another and they were controlling the food. They measure the food, how much food you need to go. So for all the past 17 years with the blockade in it, they were controlling everything that go in and out of Gaza. The food was proportionate. They were not giving you enough food. They were going to giving you healthy food. Some stuff were even forbidden. Laboratory equipment. In our own case, we had purchased a PC, PCR, CPR unit during the COVID-19 spread and it was coming in and then since then, it’s been there at Delta, they blocked it from coming. They didn’t allow it to come into Gaza. I don’t know why. This is no permission for this. Another instrument we had to wait for a year and a half and we had the ICRC, the Red Crescent help us to get that from the Israeli side.

So all kind of obstacles hinder for everything. When you want to build something, if you know that when you build the material, the cement, you have to register and know and you have to tell them exactly where the cement is going and you have to show that you have used the cement and there was cameras at the warehouse that you want staff … UNDP I think with staff was there, and they have to calculate every ton of cement, where is it going and who’s it going for and what it’s used for.

That was a policy for the past 10 years at least since the war I think 2014. You can’t bring anything unless they monitor or agree to let it in. And that’s part of also making Gaza unlivable for people. I mean, you have economic hardship, you have siege, a blockade, you can’t travel. Through them 1%, you get the permit to travel. You didn’t deny your entry, they deny you to leave. You go through the Egyptian site. Also, it was the first few years was closed, the border was closed for like 200 days out of the year and now it’s started opening, but also with just a lot of restrictions, you have to pay people. There’s a bribe, but if you can hear now, you have to bribe somebody to get out of Gaza.

Chris Hedges:

Yes, and those bribes are in the thousands of dollars.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

$5,000 right now.

Chris Hedges:

5,000. Now we’re talking about Egyptians who will allow people to get out.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

They have advertisement that shows, I didn’t believe it. They advertise that. They’re not even ashamed of what it says, 5,000 per person, $1,200 if you’ll carry an Egyptian passport or Egyptian citizenship.

Chris Hedges:

And we should also mention that the Israelis have announced that they’re going to make an assault on Rafah, so-

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

Yeah, I think we are about to go there …

Chris Hedges:

Which is right on the border with Egypt. That’s where the border crossing is.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

I think this part of the planet is still going in there. I don’t know if Egypt would allow this or not, so hopefully, not. And God knows.

Chris Hedges:

I’m wondering what this means for the Palestinian people. In many ways, what’s happening in Gaza is even worse than the so-called Nakba, the catastrophe, Palestinians call it in 1948 when 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from historic Palestine, thousands were murdered by Zionist terrorist groups and villages like Deir Yassin. How do you place this moment in Palestinian history? What does this mean for the Palestinian people?

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

From my own opinion, this is second Nakba. I mean again, worse. Third Nakba is 1948, 1967 and now 2023 or ’24 right now. My uncle, he was 95 years old probably. He was killed also on the last bombing of our [inaudible 00:33:31] with our family. He saw the Nakba, he left through the Nakba. He was a teen at that time or maybe 20 years old. He said that this is another Nakba but is a much larger and much horrifying in scale. He never seen this kind of killing and a deliberate targeting of mosques, hospitals, schools. I mean, this is the worst ever. I mean, I never even seen it in any other in the world that you deliberately attack a hospital or university and what patient in the hospital and unplug … I would stop the fuel from going in there for children or babies in the NICU will die and there are people dying of all kind of stuff.

There was [inaudible 00:34:27] actually killing. There was assassination. They were gathering people and shot them in the back of the head. Now they find bodies buried with their hands behind their back tied. So it’s a lot of executions and like I said, this is third nakba and I think they want to do it because one of their leaders, they’re saying that they regret keeping Palestinians during the 1948 inside Israel. They won’t even want to get rid of the people who was living Israeli Arabs, they say, 1948 people. They say we should have gotten rid of … We should never left anybody in there and think now they want to say what … They want to do what they couldn’t do in 1948. They want to get rid of everybody in there.

And if this works, I think the next turn they’re going to go to the West Bank and kick them to Jordan. I think that’s part of bigger plan and that’s what makes me believe that and make people should believe that that Netanyahu in the United Nation, he held the map and it didn’t show no West Bank on Gaza, if you can remember that was-

Chris Hedges:

Yeah, you’re talking about, it was in September. He addressed the general assembly and he held up a map of the future of the Middle East and it showed Israel having incorporated the occupied West Bank and Gaza into one country. That’s right.

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

Yes. That’s what I’m talking about.

Chris Hedges:

What do you think the consequences are for Palestinians? You obviously, have tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of people who have been so deeply traumatized that you yourself have lost extensive family members. Children are going to grow up with this, not only this trauma, but having lost close relatives, maybe their parents, their homes, their community. How is this going to play out among the Palestinian people? You have roughly 5.5 million living under Israeli occupation and about 9 million Palestinians living in the diaspora. What are going to be the consequences among the Palestinians?

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

I think after this, the Palestinian people have reached a point of despair. I don’t think anybody now thinks there is a future for peace with Israelis. Before that, it was divided. It was a lot of people that believed that we could live, we can have our own state and they can have their state and two-state solutions. And I don’t know what they don’t … Think their right is extremist. They destroyed that hope for everybody. And I don’t think that’s going to work anymore. Like you said, if all these kids that they had lost their parents, lost their relatives, lost their homes, what are they think? They think they’re going to want to live in one state or two state next to say somebody who killed their parents. I think they are destroying the two-state solution at all, and that’s what they wanted to do since years or tens of years since decades because Netanyahu said that he doesn’t believe that should be a Palestinian state. And they don’t want it and they want to want a one-state solution for themselves by themselves.

They want a Jewish state like they passed the law a couple of years ago. They don’t want Palestinians and the extremists are holding power in Israel and that’s what they want. And I think they’re getting a lot full support from United States and it doesn’t seem that support is diminishing. No, I think it’s growing more, especially between Republican and Democrat, it’s not diminishing at all. I don’t know what to expect. The kids are despaired, we feel in despair. I’m not so optimistic about the future. I don’t know when are we going to be able to even go to Gaza and start building. Gaza is totally destroyed. Like you say, more than 70% of the houses and buildings are turned into rubble. Everything is destroyed as schools are gone, universities, hospitals, mosque, medical centers. What can we expect? I mean, what kind of life are we ever going to go back to start this kind of stuff?

Chris Hedges:

What about the consequences within the region? Because I think with much justification within the Arab and the Muslim world, this is just seen not only as an assault on Palestinians, but an assault on Muslims, an assault on Arabs, and there’s been tremendous unrest which has put pressure on Arab regimes that have beyond rhetorically denouncing the genocide haven’t really done much with the exception of Yemen. How is this going to play out within the region?

Dr. Ahmed Alhussaina:

To be honest with you, I don’t think there’s a lot of change. Like you said, there’s not much condemnation like they condemned at the beginning. They’re not even condemned now. And like Edy Cohen, one of the journalists say if a lot of Arab countries are supporting our operation in Gaza, then some of them are funding it. They want to get rid of whatever left of resistance in Gaza and Palestine. They want to finish this struggle and get rid of it because I guess this part of … It’s like is giving them unrest. They giving them a headache because the people in Arab countries and the Muslims are still alive and they want a solution. They want to stop the killing in all the countries, even the neighboring countries to Gaza Jordan, Egypt, all other countries, but still is not …

They’re not moving it. The leaders of those countries are not doing much or they’re not doing enough to ease that suffering or to stop the genocide, the ethnic cleansing, they stop the killing. They’re not even trying, they’re not even saying it. Even some of them didn’t even call their ties or they cut their political ties, they say, or economic ties with Israel. No, they’re supporting … And you can see are also, I heard that they have trucks coming from Dubai through Saudi Arabia to Jordan bringing all kind of merchandises and stuff to Israel to I guess to make up for the laws through the Red Sea, what the Yemenis are stopping. I don’t know if that’s ever going to change, and I think the leaders are worried about their position on their authority to lose their power, but I think that’s too early for that. Maybe in the future, maybe this will start. I guess it’s got a domino effect, but it’s going to take time to start. I don’t think it’s going to be a time soon. That’s my own thinking.

Chris Hedges:

Great, thank you. That was Dr. Ahmed Al Alhussaina, Vice President of Al-Isra University. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team, Cameron Granadino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com.

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