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The horrors of Gaza continue

Cut off from food, water, electricity and hospital facilities, the brunt of the grief is being borne by women and children

Bombardment in the Gaza Strip UNRWA / Photo by Ashraf Amra

The catastrophic situation in the Gaza that started on October 7 with the terrorist outfit Hamas storming Israel and killing some 1400 and taking close to 300 hostages is now in the fifth month with no signs of respite. 

The response of the Jewish state was along expected lines but the disproportionality of it all has stunned the world including many of its friends in the global community.

The government of Benjamin Netanyahu has been saying from Day One that the military strikes against the Hamas will continue until that terror outfit is wiped out. 

What has happened in the tiny strip of land is a tale of destruction and sorrow rarely witnessed in recent memory. The physical levelling of Gaza aside, close to 30,000 people have died in the onslaught, hundreds more believed still buried under the rubble and hence unaccounted.

Cut off from food, water, electricity and hospital facilities, the brunt of the grief is being borne by women, many of whom are either in the family way or nursing newly born. 

What makes this whole conflict gut wrenching is that kids are being deprived of generations for no fault of theirs. The same thing is true for most of the Palestinians who have no truck with the Hamas but pushed into that outfit’s fold on account of Israel’s indiscriminate actions.

And there are those believe that Gaza can be completely taken off the map but the Hamas cannot be wiped out no matter how many tunnels are flushed with sea water. 

There is no question that what happened on October 7 is atrocious with the mass killing of innocents and the taking of hostages, many of whom have been killed. Even as there are efforts to put together a plan for a ceasefire, Israel has released a report saying that some 50 of the remaining hostages may have been killed, the blame game soon to begin.

Even before South Africa dragged Israel before the International Court of Justice, there were discussions in international forums whether the actions of the Netanyahu government could fall  under war crimes. The ICJ did not call for an explicit ceasefire but did caution the Jewish state of a potential genocide if it did not take care in its responses. 

Netanyahu and his cohorts may give two hoots to what the ICJ has said taking cover under jurisdiction, but in the court of international public opinion, Tel Aviv has lost without a doubt.

The United States is involved in a hectic Middle East diplomacy mode to bring to an early closure of this bloody mess. But Washington will have to understand that much of the region is talking about a Two State solution that Tel Aviv refuses to have any truck with. 

As it is hardline politicians in Israel are openly defying calls from the Biden administration and going on to say that things would have been different if Donald Trump had been in the White House.

Netanyahu and Co may be clever to poke their noses in American domestic politics and that too in a presidential election year. 

Perhaps some Israeli politicians forget that disgust and disapproval of what is happening in the Gaza is not just confined to the Arab-American community in the political battleground states of America but cutting across the political spectrum of both parties.

There are those in Israel who believe that one reason why Netanyahu is unwilling to stop is the fear of being shown the door in an election that could follow. Without a doubt Israel has been wronged; but two wrongs do not make a right. Time to listen to saner voices. 


 
 

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