Friday, July 18, 2014 – The current Israeli onslaught on Gaza, which so far has resulted in 172 dead, as Israel is attempting to give a final blow to Hamas after many failed attempts, appears to have been planned in advance, regardless of developments on the ground. Following the abduction of three Israeli youth and their subsequent murder several weeks ago, Israel laid the blame on Hamas although the latter denied responsibility and said it wants calm with Israel. It then went on to conduct a major crackdown on the movement in the West Bank and arrested over 500 people. Israel is now launching a massive aerial bombing campaign on Gaza, claiming its goal is to eradicate Hamas.
Hamas was a convenient target for the Israeli government that has been fretting over the fact that it joined a unity government with the PLO, which received international recognition. By framing Hamas as the culprit initially, Israel probably sought to disrupt the government and chose an escalation at a time when it was faced by increased international criticism as peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas collapsed. The role of Muslim world is shameful in this matter; all Muslim rulers are sleeping, they are reluctant even to condemn the Israeli cruelty.
We can call it a criminal silence. From the Nile to the Euphrates, every one is silent on this cruelty. Egypt has also closed its border with Gaza, Israel remains the occupying power in strip due to siege it imposes. It was also Israel, and not Egypt, that occupied the area in 1967. Then, as now, Israel claimed it was not targeting civilians intentionally although it was doing just that. Then, as now, the international community turned a blind eye to what a former Israeli pilot described as war-crimes, until the number of the dead became ‘unbearably’ high beyond what the international community could digest.
A world that could stop employing double standards in its dealings with Israel would be the world that could be far more effective in its response to war crimes anywhere in the world. Cessation of the incremental genocide in Gaza and the restitution of the basic human and civil rights of Palestinians wherever they are, including the right of return, is the only way to open a new vista for a productive international intervention in the Middle East as a whole. It is time to raise strong voice with concrete steps against Israel to relieve the people of Gaza.