The Palestinian people were shocked after receiving the news of the Israeli bombing of Said al-Meshal Cultural Center. The Israeli attack on the five-story building posed a question of why the Israeli Occupation bombed a civil target, which has one of the few large venues for theater and music performances in Gaza.
Ahead of bombing the cultural center west of Gaza, the Israeli Occupation struck more than 100 targets across the coastal enclave, most of them civil ones, including the Israeli attack on a Palestinian house in central Gaza which killed a 9-months pregnant mother and her 18-month-old toddler. Why did the Israeli Occupation target Said al-Meshal Cultural Center before halting its aggression on Gaza?
The answer to this question may be one of the following:
First: The Israeli Occupation was fed up with the Palestinians’ steadfastness despite its heavy bombardment on Gaza. Therefore, it decided to take a step forward by bombing civil targets as part of its bid to restore a balance of deterrence against the Palestinian resistance. The Israeli Occupation had also threatened to target the multi-story buildings in Gaza and throw their residents into the streets in its upcoming offensive on the coastal enclave in order to pressure the Palestinian resistance to agree to a one-sided ceasefire.
Second: The Israeli public, especially the far-right extremists who called for the reoccupation of Gaza or the launch of an all-out offensive on the coastal territory to topple Hamas and release the Israeli soldiers held in Gaza, lost their trust in the Israeli political leadership. Therefore, the Israeli Occupation’s government targeted the cultural center to score cheap political points.
Third: The Israeli Occupation’s leadership seemed to preserve the status quo and not lift its 12-year siege on Gaza, while averting a full-fledged offensive on the coastal enclave. Thus, it targeted Said al-Meshal Cultural Center as part of its bid to secure hollow victory over the Palestinian resistance.
Fourth: The Israeli Occupation chose to target the cultural center among other dozens of similar civil targets to prevent the center from conveying its cultural message through theater and music performances. This proves that obliterating the Palestinian culture and identity is a strategic goal for the Israeli Occupation.