The three-day cease-fire between Hamas and Israel has ended, and I fear there will be a loss of life on both sides but with much more insurmountable suffering for the Palestinians.
After the relentless bombing of Gaza, at least 1,875 people — 1,354 civilians, including 415 children — were reported killed as a result of airstrikes, according to a report on Friday by the BBC, citing U.N. information and Palestinian officials. The number of children killed during this ongoing war has now surpassed that of the 2008-09 “Cast Lead” military operation when 350 children were reported killed, according to UNICEF, and 270,000 civilians displaced. Many excuses have been made, in the name of self-defense and fighting terror.
Cyril Wecht’s July 30 letter (“PG Cartoon Misleads on Israel vs. Hamas”) went so far as to say that Israel is the only military that warns civilians to flee targeted areas. Where are people to run? Gaza is the most populated piece of land in the world. These warnings were confusing. One tragedy was when Israel warned people of North Gaza to go to Gaza City only to have the U.N. school bombed. It was the third such strike on a U.N. school.
The assault of civilians and children is horrific to watch. It is not military might that is going to resolve this conflict. In conflict resolution all parties negotiate with each other.
My hope is that the Israelis have the moral courage for genuine compromise — to compromise with Hamas to address the root of the problem: to lift the siege on Gaza.