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Violence will go on

Fri, June 01, 2018 14:33

By the Gazette Editorial Board

The 70-year long Palestinian-Israeli conflict should be seen as a series of connected episodes that tell the story of a peoples' resistance of an occupation force.

Whether in Gaza, Jerusalem or the West Bank, the major features dominating the scene throughout the conflict are oppression, violence and counter violence.

So, the statement made by the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley this week – in which she said that the Security Council should be outraged and respond to this latest bout of violence directed at innocent Israeli civilians – is presenting only part of the picture.

Indeed, Hamas has in the past few days been firing rockets from the Gaza Strip, whose people have been living under a border blockade imposed by Israel since 2007. But that is not the whole story.

There are many details and events that have been taking place during the past few weeks which have led to the latest escalation, which is described as the worst military flare up since Israel's 2014 offensive on Gaza.

Israel's use of excessive force in response to the Palestinians' peaceful March of Return which they launched in March changed the course of events and drew world-wide condemnation. Israeli troops have shot dead more than l00 protesters.

And according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, some 1,350 of the total 3,600 wounded since March need between three to five surgeries each.

And yet, the US blocked a UN Security Council statement that called for an independent and transparent investigation into Israel's killing of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border.

But a few days later, the US hastened to draft a statement that condemned Palestinian rocket fire on Israel, which Kuwait, a non-permanent member at the Security Council, managed to block.

Kuwait also said that it was considering submitting a draft resolution that deals with the protection of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Gaza Strip.

The council is expected to vote this week on the Kuwaiti-proposed resolution. It will not be surprising if the US uses its veto to block the resolution.

Life in Gaza is very difficult, as it lacks basic human needs. The people have no permanent supply of electricity and water and the Strip's economy has been stifled owing to the 11-year siege. The humanitarian crisis speaks for itself. But for Egypt's attempt to alleviate the pressure on the Gazans by opening the Rafah border crossing, the situation would have become worse.

The present military clash in Gaza, despite an announced ceasefire, may develop into a war.

Even if calm is restored in Gaza, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will remain unresolved so long as the US upholds its biased policy which encourages the Israeli government to pressure and oppress the Palestinians regardless of the world community's condemnation.


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