Editorial: Peace In Gaza Is Non-Negotiable

Editorial: Peace In Gaza Is Non-Negotiable

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Tuesday, March 26, 2024, 11:21 PM IST
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The UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza comes too late to be effective, citing Ramadan, which is already in its second week. The resolution was possible only because the United States refrained from using its veto power. However, the US stance has angered Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu to the extent that he canceled an Israeli delegation’s visit to the US to discuss the latest war situation. He viewed the US’s refusal to veto the resolution as a departure from its consistent position at the Security Council since the beginning of the conflict. This forced the US to backtrack and inform Tel Aviv that the resolution was non-binding and that Israel could still pursue Hamas. The US also reiterated that its policy remained unchanged.

These developments have significantly weakened the resolution, leading few to expect a ceasefire to be implemented for the remaining period of Ramadan. If reports are accurate and Israel seeks a ground operation in Rafah, where a million Palestinians seek shelter from the war, the situation will deteriorate further. Moreover, if the resolution is indeed non-binding, as the US claims, Hamas may not feel compelled to release the Israeli hostages. In other words, the resolution is akin to a stillborn child. Conversely, if the Israeli forces reach Rafah and disrupt whatever peace exists there, it will become impossible for them to withdraw from Gaza. If Netanyahu and other Israeli right-wingers dream of occupying Gaza, they will be embracing isolationism with disastrous long-term consequences. Even if there was a slight pretext to restore Israel’s honour following Hamas’ incursion in October last, that opportunity has now passed. What is needed is a permanent arrangement that reconciles Israelis and Palestinians as neighbours.

Only a policy based on compromise can establish a Palestinian state that fulfils the aspirations of its people, which have been denied for more than three-quarters of a century. The international community must unite to pressure the Israeli leadership to rely less on its military might and acknowledge the human tragedy unfolding in Gaza. If Israel can be so upset as to cancel a scheduled visit over the US’s abstention at the UNSC, it only exposes the Jewish state as overly bellicose and unwilling to heed reason. It is time for the international community to assert itself in favour of peace!

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