An Israeli Artillery Soldier Covers His Ears as a Shell is Fired towards Gaza
Last Saturday marked a tragic milestone in Israel’s 75-year history as a state, with the bloodiest day ever witnessed. Hamas’s relentless assault shocked the world, leaving a devastating trail of death and destruction. Since the start of the conflict, over 1,200 Israelis have lost their lives, and the Israeli government’s retaliatory strikes have claimed the lives of around 1,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Hospitals in Gaza are overwhelmed, struggling to cope with the influx of casualties. Additionally, more than 100 hostages remain in the hands of militants, their fate uncertain.
An invasion of Gaza on the ground seems imminent as Israeli authorities assert their right to eradicate the extremist group. The escalating crisis also raises concerns of a potential wider conflagration, with the fear that Hezbollah, supported by Iran, could join the conflict from the north.
President Joe Biden has expressed unwavering support for Israel, condemning Hamas’s attack as “pure unadulterated evil.” In Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell criticized the Israeli government for violating international law through the complete blockade of Gaza. He emphasized the EU’s commitment to continuing aid for the Palestinian Authority.
While acknowledging the atrocities committed by Hamas, Borrell stressed the importance of Israel’s response aligning with international humanitarian law. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen described Hamas’s attacks as “an ancient evil.”
Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar affirmed Israel’s right to self-defense but urged proportionality in their actions. Ivana Bacik, leader of the Labour Party, condemned certain Israeli actions and expressed concern for the over a million children trapped in Gaza, subjected to collective punishment without an escape route.
This concern is justified, as hospitals are overwhelmed with injured children, suffering from burns and shrapnel wounds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for the people of Gaza to “leave now” raises the question of where they could possibly go.
It is essential that both militants and governments refrain from indiscriminate targeting of civilians, and any pursuit of vengeance is tempered with the pursuit of justice.
Terrorists thrive on perpetuating cycles of violence, using collective punishment as a catalyst for further grievances. Their malevolent intent is to incite provocative and destabilizing reactions that play into their hands.
Nothing would please them more than to witness a chain reaction of horror, where one act of outrage sets off another. Israel unquestionably has the right to defend its borders, but it is crucial to address the underlying complexities of basic rights to prevent gunmen from exploiting any unaddressed grievances.
The undeniable truth of the Middle East conflict is that if taking lives and using overwhelming force were the answers, peace would have been achieved long ago.
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