Israel-Gaza Conflict: Is the escalation about to reach its end?
It has been fifteen dark days since the break out of the news of the kidnapping and subsequent murders of three Israeli youths in the West Bank led to steep escalation in tension in the region comprising Israel and Gaza. This led to the incarceration of around 300 Palestinian Hamas members by Israeli authority. Hamas, the radical Palestinian Sunni Islamic group, that holds all the political and military buttons in Gaza strip, soon launched a rocket armed assault aimed at the deep regions in Israel.
For an enduring period, Israel has been bombing the hot-spots of Hamas’ militant activities and collaring many of its militants in Gaza, alongside discussing the political terms of peace with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). For those who are unaware about the status Of PLO, it was created in 1964 aiming to create an independent state of Palestine and though the fact isironic that it got rid of the status of a terrorist fit just in 1991, two years before renouncing the practice of violence and terrorism to attain its means,after taking reasonable pressure from the UN Security Council. But this renouncement went into nullity as in the Palestinian parliamentary elections of 2006;Hamas defeated Fatah Party that enjoyed the popular support of PLO, with a huge margin bringing the tension in the region back on the table. Hence, to prove its point and show displeasure, Israel imposed a number of sanctions against the new government, primarily economic. Egypt too, from the southern side, sidelined the area to survive on its own.
If the majority of the sources are to be believed then the prime motive of Israel right now is to completely suppress the Hamas rocket-bound aggression by razing the military operatives based in the West Bank. It is evident that for at least sometime the Israeli authority’s attempts to hide the news of the deaths of the teenagers from the locals has enflamed the enmity in the local Jews for the Arabs to another level. The result was, not surprisingly, a sharp rise in the “jihadist” activities against Israel to contain this unofficial aggression. Hamas has its own reasons. One among which is the death of one of their innocent operative who was not directly involved with the rocket fire on Israel. The major count of the people killed in the Israeli air raids in Gaza is still inaccurate. Majority of these deaths include the killings of civilians includes many women and children as well. Many people have left their home and property in Gaza to seek refuge from the persistent Israeli air-raids. Meanwhile, there can also be a possible ground attack from the Israeli front, curbing the ceasefire hopes of the rest of the world even more. UN, like previous such times, is trying to serve the “humanitarian needs” that have arose from the conflict. The scale of the conflict is even more than the one that took place in 2012.
The Current Scenario
According to Israel, there are at present 118 concealed rocket launching pads present in Gaza, which they have been aiming at to destroy. By now, there have been almost 170 Palestinian deaths in just 5 days. Saying that the previously done isolation of Gaza by Israel and Egypt has proved to be constructive measure for the region, would be amateurish. The irony is that spite of coercing so many Palestinian out of their homeland and even attacking the refugee camps, many Israeli Jews are running for cover under the pretext of morality. It wouldn’t be foolish to say that Israel holds a major hand in starting this confrontation as it didn’t prove first that Hamas was actually responsible for the death of those teenagers and directly made those arrests and killed many Hamas activists. Also we cannot ignore the first revenge death of the Palestinian teenager. The lives of the Israelis are also in major distress, resulting from constant rocket-fire siren wails and a few rockets fired from the Hamas side which the anti-missile system, the Iron Dome, having 87% accuracy, was not able to neutralize.
The Divided Stand
In recent developments, Egypt has tried its best to broker a politically well framed ceasefire plan for the both the parties to agree on and bring peace. After realizing that the Hamas’ offense has been considerably brought down, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, accepted the Egyptian plan of ceasefire. But the hopes of peace faded away immediately the very next day as Hamas rejected the proposal, blaming it to be another political conspiracy for the region to fall into from the diplomatically closer nations. Hamas is still demanding the release of the prisoners captured in Israel who, if sources are to be believed, are being tortured endlessly.
On the seventh day (14 July 2014) of the Operation Protective Edge, commissioned by Israel, the rocket firing on a humongous scale continued, with Gaza hospitals almost completely running out of the supplies in their medical inventory. Clearly, Gaza is on the losing end in this conflict as it does not possess any anti-missile system, a result of which the damage to the indigenous infrastructure and loss of lives has been “immense”. Just 20 schools operated by UN in Gaza have to accommodate almost 17,000 refugees as these locations are not being fired on by Israel.
The other superpower nations in the world too seem to stand divided on the bigger blame posing game that is being played between the two sides. With countries like the US and the UK supporting the Israeli operation on one hand, other nations including Scotland and the UAE have condemned it. But help is still coming down to Gaza in different forms from many Muslim nations which support and sympathize with its cause. Egypt has also ease the blockage of its border with Gaza to give shelter to the refugees based in the coastal parts of the region.
The light at the end of the tunnel seems to look pretty bleak from looking at the current state of affairs in the region as the motivation of saving thousands of lives from destructions is right now being easily overpowered with religious passion and the fear to lose. Still, the question which fails to leave the equation is that when would it be enough and if, in future, it will be then, will the irreversible and irreparable destruction caused by this conflict be justifiable on any ground? I think this quote of the biggest advocate of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi, will be able to shed some light on the subconscious of the people suffering in Israel and Gaza, “It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence”.