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May 13, 2021

Gaza bleeds again

 
May 13, 2021

Israel is at it once again. Night after night of heavy bombardment on the Gaza Strip has begun, much on the same patter as it happened the last time in 2014 and prior to that many times earlier. Israeli forces have launched intensive raids on various locations across the besieged coastal territory. Though Israel claims that its fighter jets bombed sites belonging to Palestinian armed groups and police buildings, local sources from Gaza City have confirmed that most of the targets were civilian. Entire families have been killed including children and women in their homes. Nearly 50 Palestinians have been killed including 14 children and three women whereas nearly 500 have been wounded. On the other side six Israelis have been killed by rockets fired from Gaza. It is about time Arab and other Muslim countries broke the fear barrier and started speaking up for Palestine.

The Western world is as equivocal as it could be. Rather than condemning Israel for its brutalities and ruthless annexation of Palestinian lands and eviction of families from their homes, most countries have been calling for both Israel and Palestinians to step back from brink and both sides to show restraint. The growing violence and civilian casualties should be a cause of concern for the whole world and an urgent de-escalation of tensions is needed immediately. In its characteristic arrogance and defiance of humanitarian or any kind of law, Israel is refusing to give any specific date to end its offensive on the Gaza strip. The photos of destruction of residential towers and factories present an utterly barbarous onslaught against the people of Palestine. If this one-sided assault further intensifies, there will be a need for international peacekeepers to help safeguard Palestinians. Otherwise, successive raids will result in mass destruction. There remains no doubt that the crimes committed by Israeli forces sanctioned by the government are war crimes and the Zionist state is indulging in apartheid.

The International Criminal Court must form a commission to investigate the matter and highlight the most serious nature of Israeli atrocities. At the moment, the language the international community is using is mild and is tantamount to condoning these war crimes by treating both parties equally. To curb the Israeli violations and violence, the present level of condemnation is not enough as it downplays the magnitude of Israeli bombardments. The disproportionate use of force that Israel employs reminds us of fascist and Nazi regimes. The world must recognize that the problem is Israel itself and not the Palestinians who are barely able to respond when their homes are taken away. When this happens, the victims have to retaliate in one way or the other and confront the occupation. In what is a continuing Nakba, families are walking away from their homes and have nowhere to go and don’t know if and when they will be able to return.