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Voice of peace cannot be silent on massacre of Palestinians

Editorials 2023-11-13, 3:40pm


A newborn is delivered at the Al Shifa hospital in Gaza. War rages all around the hospital and its power supply has been putting this newborn and other patients at fatal risk. © UNFPA - Bisan Ouda

The UN have agencies issued an urgent call for international action on Sunday to end the ongoing attacks on hospitals, as Israeli forces battle Palestinian militants in the heart of the Gaza Strip, the UN News Agency reported on Monday.

Simultaneously, the European Union has of late joined the call for immediate pauses in hostilities and the establishment of humanitarian corridors, including through increased capacity at border crossings and through a dedicated maritime route, so that humanitarian aid can safely reach the population of Gaza.

"The EU is gravely concerned about the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza," said the EU High Representative Josep Borrell Fontelles on behalf of the European Union on humanitarian pauses in Gaza on Sunday, internal news agencies wrote.

These calls have come in the wake of the attacks around hospitals and the cutting off power supplies to those by Israel. Independent sources have said that the power supply cut meant that the seriously wounded patients and newborns in hospitals started dying.

The 365 square kilometer Gaza Strip has been under Israeli blockade since even before the October 7 Hamas strike inside Israel. The Israeli air strikes followed by the ground offensive has punished unarmed civilians mostly, has by now crossed six weeks. It is reported that one-third of the buildings in Gaza have now been flattened. UN relief agency (UNRAW) that coordinates humanitarian activities in the strip has been telling the world that there has been no safe place in the territory, and the death toll of the Palestinians has crossed 11,000.

The only opening for the people of Gaza to go out or receive supplies is the Rafah crossing at the Egyptian border. Even the movement of relief trucks through the crossing is controlled by Israel. Gazans are not only starving but also deprived of regular supply of water and life-saving medicines.

One aspect of the current war in Gaza is that it is happening before the eyes of the people of the world because of the extensive reach of the present information and communication technology. A horrifying video that has been aired has shown Israeli men in uniform throwing blindfolded and handcuffed from behind Gazans into a 10-15 feet deep and about 30x12 urban bunker, with smashed concrete beams and slabs spread all around, one after another and ensuring their death by shooting from assault rifles. There were sequences like such a Gazan led there on foot while walking and talking to his captor unknowingly drops into the bunker and then the latter shoots the victim in the middle of his fall into the bottom; and another captive while in conversation with his captor kicked down the bunker and then shot.

The International community cannot continue to shut their eyes to such crimes against humanity. While the UN Security Council has failed to adopt any resolution to stop the War, more than 70 members of the UN General Assembly have recognized Palestine as an Independent State. This recognition has little meaning as far as the current war killing innocent Gazans is concerned and until the Security Council acts to make the state of Palestine a reality. The big powers backing Israel are more eager to prevent escalation of the war than asking the Jewish state to stop the war. They have in diplomatic exchanges said only a two-state solution can bring lasting peace to the Middle East, world’s most dangerous flash point for three quarters of a century.

Good sense is demonstrated by conscientious Israelis and Jews living in many countries who want the war to end giving way to recognition of Palestine as an independent and sovereign state to live in peace alongside Israel. Political leaders from non-Muslim countries like South Africa and Ireland who suffered from apartheid and ethnic violence in the past are strongly vocal against the Israeli policy of apartheid and want the establishment of the right of Palestinians to live fully enjoying their fundamental rights to life, liberty, and freedom of expression, assembly and association. The earlier this is ensures the better. Because, Israel’s right to exist and defend itself, cannot be at the cost of the Palestinians, the indigenous people of the land.