Photo Credit: Kynzee Sethi
Israel has the right to defend itself, but we cannot turn a blind eye to the innocent lives lost in Gaza.
Aramayah Ocol, Contributor
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They are not necessarily representative of the views of The Mike or its staff members.
There is no way to provide adequate background information on the Israel–Hamas War. The region’s history is complex. The creation of the Israeli state and the subsequent Arab–Israeli war in 1948 resulted in the displacement of Palestinians and the division of land with ethnic and religious implications. This brings us to the current war.
Israel’s mobilization of 360,000 reservists for a ground incursion into Gaza is a response to the deepest assault on Israel in 50 years. Hamas infiltrated 22 Israeli towns, killing men, women, and children, and seizing 200 hostages. Every state has the right to defend its borders, but Israel’s actions have caused significant harm to the residents of the Gaza Strip. The missiles launched by the Israel Defence Force (IDF) have caused extensive destruction in an already impoverished civilian space. CNN World’s live updates report that Gaza’s Shifa Hospital “will become a mass grave” if fuel runs out. The conditions in the Gaza Strip are progressively becoming a humanitarian aid nightmare under Israel’s bombardment.
Is the IDF justified in its relentless airstrikes and ground invasion of Gaza? For one, Hamas’s terror attack on Israel’s borders was “sudden and unexpected,” according to Steven Erlanger. However, the innocent lives lost must be considered. Israel’s response has been disproportionately severe, treating the homes of civilians as battlegrounds. With the force Israel is using against Hamas and the residents of the Gaza Strip, CNN headlines read, “Hamas releases more hostages as Israeli troops prepare for potential ground incursion.” This could be seen as Hamas making moves to cede hesitantly before Israel’s military power.
Regrettably, and to the world’s horror, the homes of civilians in the Gaza Strip have become battlegrounds. The Daily Mail reports that “Hamas are using civilians and children as human shields and placing rocket launch sites beside a kindergarten, schools and mosques.” Hamas displays a blatant disregard for /civilian life by placing its military equipment beside schools. Hamas hides among civilians as a military strategy, purposely taking advantage of ethical and moral standards and putting the IDF at a moral crossroad.
It is obvious that both Hamas and the IDF disregard the loss of human life through their use of civilian space as battlegrounds. While Israel has the sovereign right to defend itself against attackers who have taken its citizens hostage, it should be held accountable for its treatment of civilians in the Gaza Strip both today and over the past several decades.