As I am writing this, Palestinian civilians are being terrorised by air raids and bombings by Israel as the latter started its military offensives in Gaza. How many more civilians, especially children will die today?
Tension between the two have started before the new year in which medical officers estimated a death toll of 385 and more than 800 wounded in Gaza at that time. The casualties have probably escalated way more by now. In Gaza, basic food supplies are depleting much faster than aid coming in, power cuts are affecting the territory and hospitals are struggling to cope with the high number of casualties.
Many have condemned the aggression committed by Israel but Hamas, the democratically elected government of Palestine since 2006, should not go unblemished. The tension has started as soon as the 6-month cease-fire agreement expired between the two nations last month and Hamas intensified rocket attacks from the Gaza strip. Both governments have been pointing fingers at each other while no serious efforts have been made by the international community to extend the cease-fire agreement.
While there can be no justification for what’s happening right now, the international community has much to be blamed for this mess. For a start, there has been no effort made by the Bush government to revive the peace process. Ehud Olmert’s government failed to halt settlements and give Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas from the Fatah (Hamas’ sworn enemy) the support he needed. Bush refused to press Olmert to enforce a politically viable solution. Same goes to the other Arab leaders which never did enough to boost Abbas or persuade Hamas to cut its ties with Iran.
Some political analysts have attributed Israeli’s full on retaliation against Palestine to the transitional government of the United States of America. With preparation for the outgoing and incoming of Bush and Obama respectively, the US is unable to enforce any strong measures towards the conflict. Hence, Israel is taking advantage of the silence and inaction of America to have a final blow on Palestine before Obama takes office.
Even then, many have speculated that the Israel-Palestine conflict will not be on top of Obama’s priority list as the latter starts his office in an already troubled country. Barack Obama has been accused for keeping silence in his attempt to gain position with Jewish lobby in America by some scholars and political analysts.
In the end, whatever it is and whoever is to be blamed, innocent civilians are being killed, wounded and left homeless every single minute, just as I am writing now.
Israel and Hamas need to know that these civilians are not the enemy of either.