So That the People of Gaza Do Not Pay

  • 21 December 2008

While the Gaza Strip is facing a difficult humanitarian situation in light of the long and ongoing Israeli siege that is blocking the passage of foreign aid of essential commodities from reaching the territory, the recent announcement of the end of truce between Israel and Hamas movement would make things worse, and expose the Gaza Strip to grave dangers that would be difficult to avert or manage, especially as some voices in Israel—from both the political and security arena—demand strict action on Gaza, including the use of force. There are already talks about the Israeli army having drafted plans to attack Gaza. A movement seems to be gaining ground in Israel that calls for the re-occupation of the Gaza Strip, and an end to the truce, which would give Israel a strong justification to put pressure on Hamas, or at least tighten the siege on Gaza Strip. It would also allow Israel to justify the perpetuation of the siege to the world on the pretext that Gaza has become dangerous for the security of Israel and that it is currently governed by a party that it is at war with it.

However, it would be the people of Gaza who would pay the price for an escalation between Israel and Hamas movement. It was the military faction of Hamas, the “Ezzeddine Al Qassam regiments,” which on Friday declared that the state of truce between it and Israel had ended. The people of Gaza would have to pay a price for this declaration by Hamas with their lives, their security and stability. Relevant international organizations indicate that the people of Gaza are living in a terrible situation due to lack of food, water, medical services, fuel and other essentials of life. Perhaps, what exacerbates the problem is that the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) is facing a problem in delivering its aid of essential commodities to the people of Gaza due to the Israeli siege.

For a long time, the people of Gaza have been enduring tragedies. They have paid the price of the conflict between Hamas and Fateh, and between Hamas and Israel. For this reason, it is important that the international community acts and moves to prevent Israel from continuing the policy of mass punishment of Palestinians in Gaza Strip as a result of its conflict with Hamas, whatever be the nature of the conflict or its future trajectory, and the calls for calm made by the United Nations and other big forces in the world in the recent past should be translated into actions that would address the humanitarian situation in Gaza, which if allowed to fester would have dire consequences, not only on the areas close to Gaza but on a wider scale to the whole of the Middle East.