20 days ago

UN resolution on Gaza tragedy hardly serves any purpose

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Is there none to stop this marauding Israel? The country created artificially on Palestinian land has proved it is a disgrace to human civilisation. But the wonder of wonders is that the Western powers including the United States of America have not only lent support to the hawkish state but also obstructed UN resolutions on protection of civilian lives. On Wednesday, however, the resolution 2712 on the current Israel-Palestine crisis could be adopted by the UN Security Council (UNSC) calling for 'urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors' in Gaza'. This is for allowing 'full, rapid, safe and unhindered access for UN agencies and partners' in the devastated area plunged in a deep humanitarian crisis.

While this resolution was adopted by the UNSC, Israeli troops entered Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, which ran out of fuel and other necessary supplies for weeks. Backed up by tanks, armoured vehicles and other war machines, the troops conducted search for Hamas hideouts. The troops claim they found weapons in an unspecific separate building on the hospital campus. But pictures shown on TV screen do not quite match their claim. 

What, however, becomes a witness to the troops' barbarity is the damage and destruction of the hospital machines and equipment most necessary for laboratory tests and saving lives of critical patients. The sight of the newborns being shifted to other hospitals as a last resort to save them is sure to wrench one's heart. 

Whether such inhuman military operations against civilians and hospitals have moved French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian President Justin Trudeau is not known but the duo have at last come out of their grooves to urge Israel not to carry out the ruthless aggression against civilian population. Macron finds no justification for the bombing and killing women and babies in Gaza. Trudeau calls for maximum restraint and a halt to killing innocent Palestinian in the conflict-torn Gaza. Trudeau's call came following reports that people stuck in Al-Shifa dug a mass grave on hospital grounds to place decomposed bodies. 

It is exactly in this context, the 'humanitarian pauses' – just mind the soft misnomer for a vague ceasefire – for a 'sufficient number of days' worked out by the UNSC needs to be analysed. Israel has duly found even this diplomatic soft-pedalling a refusal to admit the reality on the ground. Israel's deputy permanent representative at the UNSC, Brett Jonathan Miller rather asks all to focus on what really started the fresh conflagration. It was Hamas, no doubt, and the group has yet to release the hostages it took by invading Israel, he complains. 

There is no doubt, Hamas ignited the flame but the retaliation has been well past all norms of civilisation. Permanent observer of the State of Palestine Riyad H Mansour has referred to the Israeli plan, it has been repeating now, of 'continued dispossession, displacement and denial of rights of the Palestinian people'. To complete the Nakba'. Here Nakba means complete destruction of society, culture, identity and political rights of the Palestinians through violent dispossession and displacement. 

That exactly is what has given rise to Hamas. Brett Miller has asked the UNSC members to look into the root of this present conflict but the root of this Israeli-Palestinian crisis goes beyond the Hamas attack. It is 75 years old when the state of Israel was created out of nowhere on Palestinian land and till now the sons of the soil have been denied of their right to independence, as a free people who have every right to exist like any other independent nation. 

Unsurprisingly, the Russian position is pragmatic and firm as its ambassador Vasily Nebenzya  says, "Humanitarian pauses cannot replace a ceasefire or truce". He is unhappy that the UNSC has "squeezed out such a weak call" which he terms a disgrace. Indeed so. Israel has been violating UN charters with impunity by occupying Palestinian lands and building settlements there for long. It can do so because the Western powers, claiming to be champions of democracy, have always lent moral(!) and military support to the non-complying Jewish state. 

True, Hamas has committed the worst crime by killing civilian Jewish people on Israeli territory but this has been the trademark of the Israeli state that continues to make a mockery of human rights, UN mandate and every other international rule and law. This is why Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denounced Israel as a terrorist state. The fact is there are few leaders in the Muslim World like Erdogan who are so vocal against Israeli barbaric atrocities and supporting the cause of the Palestinian people. Iran raises its voice but its own brand of politics does not make it heard in the free world. What is deplorable is that the joint summit of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation  (OIC) held  recently in the Saudi capital failed to endorse punitive economic and political steps against Israel over its war on Palestine. 

So, the world needs to recognise that a permanent solution to the crisis can be achieved if Palestine is given the status of a full-fledged sovereign country as against the observer status at the UN. Israel's patrons in the West must come forward to absolve to a certain degree their sin committed 75 years ago.


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