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June 17, 2021

Back to war

 
June 17, 2021

The ‘ceasefire’ that took place for 21 days in the Occupied territories of Palestine, after the Israel wreaked unrepentant havoc on the people of Palestine, appears to have broken again, at least at some level. The Israeli Air Force bombed parts of Gaza on Tuesday, and there is no clarity yet on whether it plans to continue these strikes into the narrow strip of the territory that the Palestinians live in, with most of the land snatched away from them. The problem began when a large march by extremist Jewish groups took place in Israel, followed by allegedly incendiary balloons floated by Palestinians into what Israel calls its territory. According to Israel, the balloons set fire in 10 places on fields in southern Israel. This was seen as a terrorist attack, and airstrikes followed. It is not yet clear how many Palestinians may have been injured in strikes, but the impact they have caused is very real.

Palestinians say they are terrorised by the sounds of the bombing and alarmed about possible threats to their life. The resumption of airstrikes also shows how fragile peace is in Israel and the Palestinian territory. Hamas, which controls Palestine, is seen by Israel as a militant or terrorist group with no willingness on the part of Tel Aviv to talk to the group which represents Palestinians. The new government elected in Israel by a narrow margin seems to show no indication that it is willing to change policy. The direction taken by the new president of Israel, Naftali Bennett, is not yet fully visible, but his past suggests that even though he talks of peace, he will be unwilling to reach any compromise with the Palestinians. The fact that the government he heads is a narrow coalition makes it even more difficult.

The Palestinians meanwhile continue to live without a place that they can call home. They have demanded a return to the geographical boundaries agreed in 1967. But it doesn’t seem anyone is willing to heed their call to give them any place in which they can live in peace and where they can govern by their own will. The US has consistently struck down moves made within the UN Security Council to grant Palestinians rights or resolutions passed in their favour. This leaves the Palestinians with even fewer options than other stateless people. And at the same time, they face the constant threat of Israeli violence and the deaths of still more people at the hands of Israeli forces.