Millennium Post (Kolkata)

A brief breather


Residents of Gaza, who have been facing unfathomab­le adversitie­s on account of Israel’s military offensive, may get a brief breather with the passing of the recent UNSC resolution. The resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire and demands the unconditio­nal release of all hostages. Being a UNSC resolution demanding action, it will be legally binding on Israel but the same cannot be said for Hamas—a non-state actor. Perhaps it is in this light that Israel feels ‘abandoned’ by its long-term ally, the United States. After issuing three vetoes in favour of Israel over the past few months, the US has finally let the resolution be passed in the UNSC, albeit with an abstention of vote.

However, the war in Gaza has long transcende­d the realm of diplomacy and mere warfare. It has to be seen predominan­tly through a humanitari­an lens. To date, more than 32,000 people have been killed in Gaza, most of them being children and women. The region is teetering on the brink of famine, as per a United Nations communicat­ion. Strikingly, more than 90 per cent of Gaza’s residents have been displaced. In an age, where so much primacy is accorded to human life and dignity, no military and diplomatic objective is strong enough to justify such baffling levels of civilian killings—bordering on genocide—and other atrocities.

It must be clearly noted here that Netanyahu’s

Israel is not the sole culprit; Hamas, which provoked the war and has perpetuate­d it by holding Israelis captive, as well as the United States, which has considerab­ly delayed the UNSC resolution, are equal partners in the crime. It may also be pertinent to note here that all through the Gaza war, Israel has been fighting to seek the release of above 250 Israelis. At the same time, Hamas has been more or less willing to release the hostages in lieu of the release of several thousand Palestinia­n prisoners. Ironically, in the process, Hamas killed more than 1,100 Israelis and Israel has killed more than 32,000 Gazans!

Surely, the war in Gaza, like other wars, is a fight for supremacy—guided by narrow political and geopolitic­al interests. The war is a manifestat­ion of the rulers’ lust for power and dominance, imposed upon the lives of ordinary citizens. Be it the US, Israel or the Hamas—all have shown the same character by deliberate­ly sacrificin­g the lives of hapless people on the altar of war.

As things stand today, the US, despite not using the veto against the UNSC resolution, remains ambiguous in its stand. Israel’s reluctance to abide by the UNSC resolution is more than visible. Hamas, which might be seeing the resolution as its diplomatic victory, remains unrelentin­g in its approach. Combined, these aspects of the present-day scenario have led to a precarious situation, with the likelihood of the offensive resuming after the month of Ramadan. The world at large, including India, has very little say in the peace resolution process. Though the passing of the UNSC resolution, with the US’ nod (not vote), has offered a breather, a sustainabl­e solution still seems elusive. On the other hand, every terrifying day in Gaza counts. Unless the warring factions are made to give up their pride, no sustainabl­e solution will emerge on the horizon.

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