The new year is just around the corner. I am not wishing ‘happy new year’, or accepting any. Not this year. Not when there is a human tragedy going on in Gaza. How can we celebrate new year when over 20,000 innocent civilians have been killed, with well over half of them being children and women. The death toll accounts for 1% of the entire population of 2.2 million in Gaza. The death toll continues to rise at about 300 humans/day.
This does not include the number of people injured, many of them serioulsy.
There have been over 52,000 people injured in the conflict so far, the health ministry says. While there are no up-to-date figures for the number of children injured, on 3 November there were reportedly 24,173 injured – comprising 8,067 children, 5,960 women and 10,146 men.
While the fireworks may be going around us to celebrate new year, the Gazans, unfortunately, are experiencing different kind of firework-the deadly type, as hundreds of bombs are dropped on them by IDF. This has included hospitals, places of worship, UN shelters and apartment buildings. The images and videos are gut-wrenching.
While we may be busy lighting up our homes and neighborhoods, the Gazans have no electricity. They have no access to internet by and large and access to health care is scarce. The hospitals are running to capacity- those that are still standing.
Over half of the Palestinians have been forced to relocate and are displaced-once again against international laws. And when they move South after the Israeli orders, they are bombed at their ‘new’ locations.
UN has declared this a human crisis of epic proportion- dare I say Biblical proportions. Israel states it is doing this in retaliation for the brutal attack by Hamas on October 7. They are calling this war on Hamas. Both are untrue. This is not a war. Not when one side is a nuclear power in control of the completely helpless opposition. And the damage is done to the innocent civilians, not Hamas. Even if Hamas is eliminated, which is highly doubtful, the incessant bombings, actions that tantamount to war crimes, there is no guarantee that it will result in peace for any one, including Israel.
The Palestinians have suffered even before Hamas was born. Palestinians are being killed in the West Bank where there is no Hamas. Palestinian lands are snatched away little by little as more settlers are being placed systematically-in violation of the international law and calls from US officials.
Israel may be “winning” this “war” in the short term as Palestinians have nothing to defend their land but in the long run experts are already warning Israeli government that it will result in more violence, not to mention Israel’s standing in the world as an aggressor, occupying nation. History should tell them that by bombing Palestinians, they are creating next gen Hamas. Their bodeis may have been crushed by the bombs and the demolition of their homes, but the will of the Palestinians will not be crushed. History tells us that.
The only solution to this madness is to have immediate #ceasefire. If Palestinians are not at peace (and free), Israel will continue to face security issues and unsafe environment for it’s own citizens. When there is no justice, there is no peace. When there is occupation, there can’t be any peace. History does not lie, if one is willing to take any lessons.
My new year resolutions are:
- Immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
- Return of all hostages held by Hamas and Israel.
- End of occupation of Palestinian land- both in Gaza and the West Bank and the start of a long term peace building process ending in creation of independent, free Palestine, living side by side with Israel.
Without it, the violence, unfortunately will continue.
The question is, which side of history do we want to be on? One that justifies murdering of thousands of innocent citizens, displacement of half of a nation and occupation, or one that results in two free, dignified states living in peace?