Wednesday September 28, 2022

A state of siege

By Editorial Board
August 09, 2022

It is the same tragic story time and again. Palestinians – besieged from all sides by Israeli occupation forces – become targets of relentless bombardments and targeted killings. The blockade by Israel renders the only power plant of Gaza dysfunctional as it depends on fuel imports that Israel controls. Though for now a ceasefire appears to be holding between Israel and Palestinian freedom fighters in the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian-brokered truce may break down any time. In a week of violence, Israel claimed to have targeted the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Palestinian ‘militants’ firing rockets into Israel; but the fact is that Israel has done what it does best: killing Palestinians, this time 44 of them, most of them civilians. This is the most serious flare-up since May 2021 when Israel pounded the Gaza Strip for 11 consecutive days. Now after the truce, Israel has promised to lift the blockade of the Strip allowing the first fuel tanks to enter Gaza. The way Israel responds to ‘threats’ has become a hallmark of Israeli brutalities. It blames ‘militants’ for being a threat to its security and creates tensions that lead to days and weeks of attacks and killings.

In the latest bout of violence, at least 15 children have been confirmed dead among the 44 deaths recorded. Israeli aggression invariably results in civilian deaths of children and women too, but there is never the slightest remorse or regret from the Israeli side. In three days over 300 people have also received serious injuries in indiscriminate attacks from Israel which have targeted over 170 places across Gaza – already the world’s largest prison. Israel claims that projectiles from the Gaza Strip were likely to strike in Israel but there has not been even a single casualty on Israeli territory from any of the alleged attacks from Gaza. What is even more disturbing is the callous response from all major world powers and from the UN which have urged ‘both sides to continue to observe ceasefire’. In this one-sided aggression there is no question of ‘warring factions’ so to say; there is also no space for both-sideism. There has been absolutely no damage to property and no loss of life at all in Israel which is solely responsible for all deaths and destruction in Gaza Strip whose people are entirely at the mercy of Israeli forces from all sides.

The US president – true to his country’s long-held policy – has called on ‘all parties’ to implement the truce. There are serious concerns over the humanitarian situation in Gaza where clinics and hospitals ran out of fuel as civilian casualties mounted. The week-long pounding of Gaza by Israel has once again displayed a complete disregard for human lives in an area that has no outlet to the world, apart from Israeli controlled check posts and a cordoned-off sea from the Mediterranean side. So far, Hamas has stayed out of this spat and restrained its members from responding. This bloodshed by Israel must stop now. The people of Palestine have nothing but the charred bodies of their loved ones, ashes of furniture, and ruins of homes.