Resolve age-old Middle East conflict now

Israel Gaza bombardings

A plume of heavy black smoke rises above buildings in Gaza City from a fire caused by Israeli air strikes, on May 15, 2021. 

Photo credit: AFP

The images and footage from the Israeli bombardments of Gaza Strip are heart-rending.

The killing of more than 3,500 children, as well as thousands of women and old people, as the death toll surpassed 10,000—according to Hamas figures—is a tragedy that can be described as a humanitarian catastrophe.

The conflict is a retaliation for the October 7 attacks on Israel by Hamas—which governs the Palestinian enclave but is labelled as a terrorist organisation by Washington and Tel Aviv—killed more than 1,400 Israelis. But the sustained massive bombardment of civilian homes and institutions does not seem a targeted effort against Hamas.

Besides, Israel’s hard grip on the flow of humanitarian aid in the form of food and medicine across the Egypt-Palestine border at Rafa is deeply troubling.

The international community especially the United States and the European Union, has a role to play in addressing this situation but have, unfortunately, become the accomplices and biased towards Israel.

It is imperative to acknowledge the urgency of aiding the suffering Palestinian civilians as has been emphasized by the UN.  The resignation of UN human rights official Craig Mokhiber following the world body’s response to the Gaza conflict reflects the gravity of the situation.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN has expressed Tel Aviv’s goal of obliterating Hamas. But at what cost to innocent Palestinians? What Israel calls a war on ‘terrorists’ can be described as terrorism on its part.

Notably, Kenya, and the African peace mission in Somalia, have fought Al-Shabaab terrorists for over a decade without causing such widespread harm to civilians.

The Israeli occupation of Palestine, particularly in Gaza and the West Bank, for over 70 years is the main contributor to the crisis. The Palestinian people find themselves imprisoned, isolated, desperate and hopeless.

It is time the world condemned the injustice and conclusively addressed the incessant Israeli-Palestinian war.

Laban Lekishon, Norway