Tue, 13 Apr, 2021

Israel – Palestine Conflict

By Bimal Gaire

Humanity is at stake now. This world is going crazy. Even the peaceful countries are now under chaos and destruction. No one is safe from this everlasting war. People are being treated as animals as if their lives have no value at all. Because of some political leaders and their decisions, innocent lives are being taken since the turn of the century. If things continue at the same pace, then I don't see a factor that will prevent the outbreak of World War III. There is always something going around to keep the media awake. The issues of Middle East or the bomb blasts in Iraq and Pakistan always become the hot news and a matter of big concern. The war between Israel and Palestine is a never ending event. I was 6 or 7, but I remember the news about the conflict between these two nations. The image of an old man with a white scarf wrapped around his head, Yasser Arafat, who was the Palestinian leader, is still fresh in my mind. National news would occupy the terror caused by the Maoist group whereas the international news would consist of Israel – Palestine conflict. The conflict between these nations started from the mid -20th century and has resulted in more than 20,000 casualties. It is referred to as the world's "most intractable conflict". For many years Gaza has been under the siege of the Israeli military and air force. There have been three Israel led invasions of Gaza just in the last six years. Gaza is tiny strip of land with over 1.8 million residents, making it one of the most densely populated areas of the world, has become like a prison camp and is considered one of the most dangerous places to live in on earth. Gaza is a Palestinian region situated on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean bordering Egypt and Israel. It has been subject to military occupation by Israel from 1967 to 1994. In 1994, it was granted self governance by Israel through the Palestinian Authority. Although Israel has evacuated its settlers, it has been occupying the power of the Gaza Strip as it controls the airspace, territorial waters and even the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza. Israel has been dominating Palestine from a very long time. Palestinians in Gaza have been trying to resist but they do not have an army, a navy nor a military power to fight one of the most powerful countries of the world. The blockade and suppression of people in Gaza has resulted in attack of Israeli civilians by the resistant militia group Hamas. These attacks though intolerable, yet are understandable. Newton says, every force has an equal and opposite reaction, the reaction is not equal in this case but is causing some damage for sure. Imagine what we would do if we were suppressed by India. No one wants to live under the control of another. Everybody deserves and believes in freedom. Taking that freedom which is the right of every human being is a serious crime and is bound to face some resistance if nothing more. Defiance is a de-facto measure in such a situation. The situation is quite intense at present. The death toll is mounting on both sides - more than 1000 Gazans, 80% of them civilians, and 34 Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians have been killed. Officials have reported that there were two more deadly incursions on Monday. These attacks have made many Israeli reluctant to leave the job half done. Israel is now facing a great dilemma. If it stops now, it faces a prospect of an enemy having a capacity to attack. But if it stays the course, it will be liable for the death of many civilians and will have to face international condemnation and it is!  Many have suggested that the situation can be tackled after an agreement to cease the fire. Both, Hamas (Islamist movement that dominates Gaza) and Israeli government want to destroy each other which can never be a solution. Israel is facing a difficult time with Hamas.  A former Hamas prime minister has suggested that the fighting would continue until the movement's demands were met. These terms of agreement are quite unreasonable to consider for Israel. The Secretary General of United Nation's, Ban Ki Moon has urged both sides to stop the violence and come into negotiations. Hamas wants the siege to be lifted and the borders to be opened. As things are going out of control, a strong international intervention may help the situation. Let's hope that the ongoing war will come to an end and peace will flourish among these two countries. I really want to see Gaza not recognized as a place of terror but as a land of peace and beauty.