viewComments Any pause in Gaza is good news

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Any pause in Gaza is good news

Nations like Qatar and Egypt have indeed flexed their diplomatic muscle on the hostage release and the humanitarian aid flow fronts

Destruction caused by the war / © UNICEF/Mohammad Ajjour

The world is waiting anxiously to see if the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas could be extended for one more period so as to allow the release of hostages in return for Palestinians freed from Israeli jails and for additional humanitarian aid to be sent to Gaza. 

The conflict that broke out with the Hamas terror attack on the Jewish state on October 7 has taken an unbelievable human toll and suffering. It is said that some 1400 Israeli citizens were killed in the Hamas attack that triggered a massive retaliation.

The first six days of truce in the Gaza saw some 80 hostages freed in return for the freedom of 180 Palestinians; and negotiators believe that it is still a long way to go before the entire set of men, women and children in captivity are home bound. And five weeks of intense bombardment has seen some 1.8 million Gazans fleeing South, hoping to return to their homes amidst the rubble. Health officials in the war torn sliver of land are estimating that close to 14,000 Palestinians have been killed so far, hundreds of them children. 

There is no guarantee of the truce being extended or Israel committing itself to a stop in its land and air offensives. And the Biden administration’s ‘advice’ to the Jewish state to confine itself to precision attacks is only further encouraging the government of Netanyahu.

The Hamas is indeed responsible for the tragic turn of events, but the question to be asked if the Israeli show of force has made any difference. When the dust finally settles Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to answer a lot of questions. Any pause in the fighting is indeed good news for Gaza and by extension the Middle East. It gives a small breather to those hundreds of thousands who have been living in fear for the last several weeks as well as literally scouring for food and water.

The return of the Gazans from the South is going to be even more traumatic should Israel start its cleansing operations in its vow to wipe out the Hamas. The Hamas may have taken a huge blow in recent Israeli operations, but there is little to indicate that their command structure has been dented.

Nations like Qatar and Egypt have indeed flexed their diplomatic muscle on the hostage release and the humanitarian aid flow fronts. But a lot more needs to be done, not just by countries in the Middle East but the West and the world at large. Dealing with the cancer of terrorism is one part of the problem; the larger being coming to terms with the aspirations of the Palestinian people and the rights of the state of Israel. Fanning the flames of extremism in the region does total disservice to the cause of peace and stability. Worse, it incites hatred and bigotry. 
 

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