Israeli Operations Continue in Gaza

Since Israel launched yet another military offensive on Gaza on wednesday, creativly named "Autumn Clouds," nearly fifty Palestinians have been killed and scores more wounded. These IDF operations in Gaza alone have been going on without a hiatus since June, and have caused the loss of some 300 Palestinians. However, due to the fact that a) it's happening in Palestine, and b) it's been happening for so long, it seldom makes the western news anymore.

In a scenario that eerily reminds me of Bloody Sunday in Belfast, the IDF opened fire on a group of women marchers, claiming that there were armed militants in the group. "Just World News" describes the situation in depth, taking note of grass roots non-violent social organisations (specifically womens organisations) organised by Hamas, similar to the African National Congress during the time of Nelson Mandela's leadership and it's placement on the US's terrorist groups list.

The town of Beit Hanoun (pop: 28,000) has been completely sealed off by the IDF and all adult males have been ordered to submit themselves to Israeli military "screening," in addition to house-to-house raids being carried out by IDF units and pounding by air strikes.

Beit Hanoun was also the scene for a standoff between the IDF and Hamas militants, with what Helena Cobban describes as a Hamas womens group defusing the situation, even after their group came under fire from IDF units.

A situation which was already bloody seems to be increasing in scale on a daily basis. On Friday alone nineteen people were killed, including women and children.

The Palestinian President has sent an urgent letter to the UN Secretary General asking, once again, for international intervention to put an end to the bloodshed. Kofi Annan's response was that he is "deeply concerned" with the escalating violence, but offered nothing other than rhetorical support.

The violence is escalating and it should be more than apparent to international observers that, like squabbling small children, both sides need to be sat down and dealt with through outside intervention.

Some useful suggestions for the situation:
  1. The US needs to cut off its unconditional military aid to Israel, instead offering such aid only on the condition that murderous incursions by the IDF into foreign territories is ended immediately and finally.
  2. Israel must withdraw from occupied territories back to the internationally agreed 1967 borders, and tear down its illegal perimeter wall.
  3. Iran must exert its influence on Hamas and Hizballah to stop targeting civilian areas, as it is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.
  4. Israel must cease aggressive posturing against Iran that encourages the Iranian leadership to encourage Hamas and Hizballah to continue to provoke the IDF into attacks.
  5. The US must at once re-evaluate its position of unconditional support for Israeli policies and cease using its Security Council Veto to stymie any international attempt at mediation.

For those who genuinely value peace and security, these are simple suggestions. We can only hope that those with influence might take notice of the realities of this dangerous situation, but as The Osterley Times is reporting, the US has other plans.

1 comment:

Kel said...


I agree with each of your five points. It's vital that Israel be forced to comply with international law. How can we go to war against Iraq for violation of UN resolutions when Israel has some 78 resolutions outstanding against her?