DC Edit | Ceasefire the priority in Gaza

By :  DC Comment
Update: 2024-02-22 19:38 GMT
A man walks amid the debris of destroyed houses following overnight Israeli air strikes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on February 22, 2024, amid continuing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

The US has done no one a favour by vetoing the call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza at the UN Security Council. Not even Israel would truly benefit by keeping the Gaza war going into a fifth month as it has met most of its objectives except an annihilation of Hamas.

At the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the US also defended the continuation of Israel’s 56-year occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem on the grounds that the nation faced “very real security needs”.

While there is little to add now on the status and the real powers of the UN as well as the international court, what is most logical is that the Gaza war must stop first for meaningful dialogue to take root. Only then can any attempt be made for the creation of an independent Palestine state, which may appear virtually impossible now, in pursuit of the universally backed Two-States principle for lasting peace in the region.

There is no rolling back time, which goes only in one direction — forward. To imagine the demolition of Israel which Hamas believes in, or the extermination of Hamas that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, promises as he clings to his seat by extending the war, would be foolish.

There is one way Hamas can seek a dialogue and that is to trade the hostages still alive, and not killed in all the Israeli military action going on in the war, for a long ceasefire when negotiations towards a different kind of future for the Palestinians might just become possible.

Israel is not helping its own cause in persecuting the Palestinians in the West Bank with frequent “security” raids and detaining hundreds of civilians even as violence among Israeli settlers and Palestinians goes on rising.

The siege and blockade methods must cease to make way for negotiations to help find a way through a problem that is fraught now, as much in Israel’s right to existence as it is in the continued denial of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

End the belligerence first and begin talks that alone can ensure some kind of peace, which could be possible if a militant Hamas is not also the political administrator of the Gaza Strip, building tunnels using people’s money. The crux of the problem is whether anyone is listening, in Israel and the Gaza Strip.


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