End Gaza misery: Humanitarian crisis demands immediate ceasefire - The Tribune India

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End Gaza misery

Humanitarian crisis demands immediate ceasefire

End Gaza misery

Photo for representational purpose only. - AP/PTI file photo



ISRAEL, as expected, reacted angrily to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ remark that the attacks of October 7 did not happen in a vacuum. As he highlighted the suffering of the Palestinians over the years, he said their grievances cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas. The gruesome terror strikes, in turn, he added, cannot justify the collective punishment meted out to the Palestinian people. Repeated calls for humanitarian aid without restrictions and an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip have gone unheeded. As Israel prepares for the next phase of its war, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is only going to get worse. It’s a tragedy beyond words.

Israel’s right to defend itself is undeniable. But on the pretext of going all out against Hamas, is Israel not in contravention of international humanitarian law when it drops bombs on civilians, cuts off essential supplies and denies them access to aid? How does it help Israel’s cause when its actions inflict immeasurable misery on children and other innocent civilians? The prospects of finding a long-term solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict are getting distant by the day. The relentless bloodshed is also fraught with grave consequences that could spill over far beyond West Asia.

Given the geopolitical nature of the conflict, wading into identity politics is an avoidable exercise. There are only losers in this endless confrontation, no matter which religion they follow. It’s important for India to stand with Israel in its hour of crisis. It is equally important to stand up for the rights of the Palestinians and reiterate support for a two-state solution. At this point of time, the world’s focus has to be on ending the misery in Gaza. India must use its good offices to call for easing the civilians’ suffering and facilitating the release of hostages.

#Antonio Guterres #Gaza #Hamas #Israel #Palestine


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