Time to act for Gaza is now

Published 17.07.2014 00:41

There is a bloody conflict going on in Gaza and Israel. The ceasefire brokered by Egypt has been flatly refused by Hamas leadership. It is only tragic to see that former Chief of General Staff of Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who recently has been "democratically" elected president of Egypt has tried to establish a cease-fire between Hamas, which is a political movement in line with the Muslim brotherhood. El-Sissi is a leader who did not hesitate to massacre his own people to overthrow a democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood presidency. He has been instrumental in betraying the Arab revolutions and he has now been trying to broker a cease-fire between the Hamas and the Likud Government in Israel who thinks that a military solution is feasible.

Realpolitik in external relations is necessary, and every step taken to end the bloodbath in Gaza must be supported, but definitely it is a sorry sight for all the contenders involved in this conflict.

Three Jewish youngsters in the West Bank have been abducted and slaughtered. Such a crime was ostensibly committed in order to sabotage ongoing peace talks between Palestinian Authority and Israel. The issue had to be dealt with utmost care by the Israeli government, which could not manage the whole issue: Likud government held the Palestinian Authority responsible for the criminal investigation, whereas it was obvious that the latter did not have the means to do so. As a matter of fact, the Palestinian Authority jurisdiction covers a scattered land, a number of distant cantons that have been separated from each other because of security concerns pertaining to Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories. But the blame was put anyhow on the Palestinian Authority by the Israeli government. In the meantime, a Palestinian youth has been tortured and assassinated in Jerusalem, the conflict got out of hands after that. By conflict, we mean an open warfare between Hamas and Israel. One should understand that Hamas is firing a huge numbers of rockets (more than a thousand) over almost all of Israel, which are neutralised by the Iron Dome anti-ballistic system. The bombing did not cause many losses on the Israeli side, a person has been killed, one other gravely injured, but the whole population has been kept in a tense situation. Rockets fired serve mainly as a justification for Israel to use its immense firepower to destroy all military sites in Gaza. The problem is that military sites in Gaza are not conventional nor visible, so together with the rocket launching sites, an important number of civilian casualties occur. More than 150 people, mostly women and children have been killed during the fighting.

Instead of relying upon Egypt's non-existent capacity to broker a cease-fire, Israel should perhaps get inspired by multi-millennial Jewish wisdom and stop this bloodbath as soon as possible. Gaza has turned into an open air concentration camp, which is easily bombarded by the Israeli Air Force. However, rockets have been fired from Syrian border, as well as the Lebanese border into Israel. It is obvious that some hostile action is being prepared in the Sinai, therefore Israeli Defence Forces cannot wage war against everybody in the region. Egypt is already having immense difficulties establishing security on its own soil, so there might not be much room to count on its brokerage for a cease fire either.

Turkey cannot cooperate and is not cooperating with Israel so long as such a strategy is espoused by the Israeli government. A cease fire should be established, to save the populations of Gaza and West Bank from this desperate situation and to allow the Israeli population to live normally, in security. Hamas tries to make the price of a cease fire be very consequent. Two populations who start to abduct and kill each other's children can hardly envisage a passive coexistence. The U.S. and the EU should understand this reality and act at once. The clock is ticking, there is no time left.


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