AA Edit | As Israel hits back in Gaza, much grief for Palestinians

The Asian Age.

Opinion, Edit

As a stung Arab world says stop this madness, and sympathy for the plight of long-suffering Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza grows

Palestinians look for survivors under the rubble of a destroyed building following an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. AP/PTI

Paying no heed to opinion building in the Middle East against its no-holds barred attack on Hamas, Israel has unleashed another blitz of bombardment from air, land and sea, splitting the Gaza Strip into two and progressing in a land war on Gaza City. Leaving only a small opening for civilians to flee south, Israel has ignored calls for a ceasefire, or even humanitarian pauses, for a few hours a day to allow a passage for aid and an exit for those wishing to leave the war zone.

It appears Israel is ignoring the fate of more than 240 hostages as it presses on, sparing no thought for any rules of engagement as it has pounded a convoy of ambulances, refugee camps, schools, hospitals, and areas it had designated as safe routes for fleeing civilians. All’s fair in war seems to be the hard line approach of the government of a nation that was shocked by a barbarous terrorist attack a month ago, on October 7, in which 1,400 of its citizens were killed.

An incipient groundswell of sympathy worldwide for victims of terror evaporated quickly with Israel’s retaliatory action aimed at annihilating the terror-sponsoring administration of Gaza run by Hamas, whose aim is, of course, to exterminate the Jews of Israel. As an already heavily conflicted part of the world continues to witness military and terrorist action, the fear of war spreading through the provocative acts of the Iran proxy, Hezbollah from Lebanon, is real.

As a stung Arab world says stop this madness, and sympathy for the plight of long-suffering Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza grows with well-attended demonstrations in western countries, Israel is more inclined to think up post-Gaza occupation scenarios of who will govern a territory, more than a quarter of which has been destroyed by tonnes of bombs. Any talk of the war easing if the hostages are released appears to be a ploy.

Caught in the crossfire are a couple of million Palestinians whose children are not being spared either as bombs drop in heavily populated areas. This pursuit of an eye for an eye principle in the battle against Hamas, whose terror wing butchered people regardless of age or gender in Israel is leading to the killing of Palestinian women and children in their thousands. This, to any right thinking person, is clearly illustrative of a dystopian world, bereft of reason, empathy and humanity while being filled with the injustice of people thirsting for each other’s blood.

Torn to shreds are the early principles stated of a targeted approach to attacking Hamas. They may have invited this hell on earth for their own people amongst whom they hid while carrying out their cynical daily attacks on Israel with rockets for years before the shocks of October 7 took this conflict to a far deadlier dimension, relief from which lies some time away as Israel is bent upon taking Gaza City and dismantling the ‘Gaza Metro’, a warren of tunnels from which members of Hamas operate.

It would seem logical that a Palestinian state existing alongside Israel is the only long term solution to this fracas. Curiously, the countries closest to the conflict are still chary of promoting the concept of a democratic Palestinian state even if Israel is bound to see an existential threat in any kind of dispensation, but long before all the great powers can conceptualise what should happen after Hamas are hunted down in Gaza, there will only be the death and destruction of war. In such a setting, what has the world come to is a fair strain of thought.