Editorial: Israel Must Call Off The War

Editorial: Israel Must Call Off The War

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Tuesday, May 28, 2024, 08:51 PM IST
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Israel Carries Out Airstrikes On Rafah | IANS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls it a “mistake” but it cost the lives of 45 people with no count of those who were injured. The worst such incident since Israel unleashed a war against Hamas would not have happened if Israel had complied with the directive given by the International Court of Justice last week to halt its operations in Rafah. The so-called mistake happened when Israel allegedly tried to kill two senior militants in the thickly-populated southern Gaza city where Palestinians displaced by the war have been living in tents in miserable conditions. Netanyahu told the Israeli parliament that he would investigate how the civilians, including women and children, became what the Western nations call “collateral damage.” He does not realise that these 45 people were either spouses, parents, children, or grandchildren of someone. Their loss is forever, and it cannot be brushed aside as a military mistake.

The least Israel should do is to call off its operations in Rafah, bordering Egypt, where those fleeing from the war have been converging. Far from that, reports suggest that the Israeli military has begun even ground operations in the city. This is totally unwarranted and would put the refugees in their own land under tremendous pressure. Even if Israel had some justification to retaliate against Hamas’ attack on its soil in October 2023, later events have nullified those justifications. The Palestinian death toll since the war began has crossed a staggering 36,000. When Netanyahu says he respects international law, how can he continue the war when Hamas has already been reduced to a pitiful condition? In other words, the Israeli attack has already served its purpose, though the world at large would not see it in that manner. One thing is for certain: for every second the Israeli onslaught continues, it loses support even among its own backers.

The US has been distancing itself from Tel Aviv on the ongoing war. In the latest such setback, Spain, Ireland, and Norway have recognised the Palestinian state. Some 140 countries already recognise Palestine, but only a few in Western Europe have taken that step so far. It is a symbolic but powerful act, underscoring Israel’s growing isolation in the comity of nations. There is no alternative for Tel Aviv but to call off the war. Let there be no mistaking that the more it delays this decision, the more opprobrium it gets on this score.

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