Six months of war

Editorial Board
Tuesday, Apr 09, 2024

The Gaza its people once knew is now unrecognizable. Six months after the brutal war on the tiny, besieged territory, the open-air prison has largely become uninhabitable. Since October 7, Israel has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians, including 13,800 children, 700 aid and healthcare workers, and over 100 journalists. This open brutality has not shaken the Western world, especially Israel’s allies which continue to provide military support to the settler-state to continue with its relentless bombing. Tens of thousands of bombs have been dropped in Gaza (in the first three months of the war, 45,000 bombs were dropped). The use of chemical weapons like phosphorous bombs has left children with severe burns. Videos coming out of Gaza show the state of starving children, orphaned children in make-shift markets selling whatever they can to earn money for food, and injured children lying on hospital floors waiting for treatment. Attacks against unarmed civilians and children are deliberate – there are call records of the little girl Hind whose last moments were spent waiting for help while being surrounded by the bodies of her relatives. The war has shown the barbarity that the West is capable of unleashing on people it does not like.

What is happening in Gaza is not a response to what happened on October 7, when some hundreds of Gaza’s resistance fighters broke down Israel’s walls of invincibility. Instead of opting for diplomacy, Israel went with bombs, emptying its stock of ammunition. The settler colony’s war crimes remain ignored, and Palestinians’ stories of humiliation and torture continue to be met with scepticism. The Biden Administration has also been disappointing in its criminal share of this genocide. The dehumanization of Palestinians has reached a point that instead of convincing Israel to go for a ceasefire and negotiate with Hamas for the release of hostages, the US continues to ignore Israel’s war crimes, arguing that the state has not broken any international law. The only ray of hope amidst the darkness of war and destruction is people around the world, who have come out in large numbers to call for a ceasefire and shame their government for their complicity in what clearly is a genocide.

What Israel has been doing in Palestine since 1948 is monstrous. The Zionist state has detained hundreds of people in its prisons, neglecting their health and wellbeing – a phenomenon many Palestinians refer to as slow killing. Israel responds to stone-throwing with bullets and bombs. It deliberately attacks healthcare workers to deprive Palestinians of a dignified death. This cannot go on for long. Israel should not become a model for other rogue states around the world. Countries around the world have to hold it accountable for its human rights violations and war crimes. The apartheid has to end, the occupation has to be dismantled, all Palestinians – regardless of their religion – must live under one free state with equal rights. The politics of forceful displacement to make way for occupation and the cycle of violence and heartbreak must end. Unfortunately, even as we write this, it is apparent that Palestine and its supporters are up against a war machinery and racist imperialist project that wields complete impunity.