Last Saturday, Hamas went on a full-scale attack on Southern Israel and its civilian population, indiscriminately assaulting, kidnapping, and killing more than a 1300 innocent Israeli men, women, and children in the most brutal way, while letting thousands of rockets rain. The death toll and horrific details of the attack are still coming to light, but what we have learnt so far are of unspeakable atrocities and cruelty. SOLIDAR vehemently condemns these horrendous war crimes and demands that the kidnapped are released to be reunited with their loved ones and the wounded receive the appropriate medical care.
Hamas ruthless attack has since resulted in a massive Israeli counterattack of indiscriminate bombings that has already killed more than 1500 civilian Palestinians out of which more than 500 are children. The attacks have also hit civilian infrastructure, UN facilities and humanitarian staff, and there are reports of the use of incendiary weapons employing white phosphorus. The death toll and the number of wounded increases by the hour as the bombardment continues.
Additionally, since Monday, the Israeli government has put Gaza and its two million people under a complete siege, cutting water, fuel, and electricity. This to a population that has already been suffering under a military blockade for the past 16 years. As of today they are encouraging Gaza City’s 1,1 million residents to evacuate in 24 hours. UNWRA describes the rapidly escalating crisis as “bone-chilling”. These most brutal acts of vengeance and collective punishment constitute war crimes and clearly breaches international law, as both EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Borell and the UN has emphasized.
This spiral of violence must stop!
International humanitarian law must always be the guiding principle, applied to both parties in this conflict, using the same standards. This also concerns ceremonial moments and symbolic gestures or official visits. We cannot fuel this very dangerous situation with the perpetuating application of double standards that has defined the situation in Israel and Palestine for decades.
Picture Credits: Anas-Mohammed via ShutterstockCut