The ceasefire does not mark win for the Palestinians
The brutal violent conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians has apparently ended after 11 days of bloody destruction through a ceasefire. At least 243 people, including more than 100 women and children, were killed in Gaza. Israel has said it killed at least 225 militants during the fighting. Hamas has not given casualty figures for fighters.In Israel 12 people, including two children, were killed.Both sides claim victory in the conflict after the ceasefire which was the result of effort of Egypt, Qatar, the USA and the UN. But if this marks a win for the Palestinians really remains a grave question.
Britain took control of the area known as Palestine after the ruler of that part of the Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, was defeated in WW1.The land was inhabited by a Jewish minority and Arab majority.The international community gave Britain the task of establishing a ‘national home’ in Palestine for Jewish people.For Jews, it was their ancestral home, but Palestinian Arabs also claimed the land and opposed the move.
Between the 1920s and ’40s, the number of Jews arriving there grew, with many fleeing from persecution in Europe and seeking a homeland after the Holocaust of WWII. In 1947, the UN voted for Palestine to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem becoming an international city.This proposal was known as ‘Mandate for Palestine’ by the League of Nations for the British Administration. It was similar to the India-Pakistan division by the British based on bi-nationalism concept. Though Jewish leaders accepted but the Arabs rejected the plan.
In 1948, unable to solve the problem, British rulers left and Jewish leaders declared the creation of the state of Israel.Many Palestinians objected and a war followed. Troops from neighboring Arab countries invaded.Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced out of their homes in what they call Al Nakba, or the ‘Catastrophe’.By the time the fighting ended in a ceasefire the following year, Israel controlled most of the territory. As there was never a peace agreement, each side blamed the other. Hence, more wars and fighting followed in the later decades.
In another war in 1967, Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank, most of the Syrian Golan Heights, Gaza and the Egyptian Sinai peninsula.Most Palestinian refugees and their descendants live in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in neighboring Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.Israel disallowed them to return as Israel claims that this would overwhelm the country and threaten its existence as a Jewish state.
Israel still occupies the West Bank and although it pulled out of Gaza the UN still regards that piece of land as part of occupied territory.Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. The US is one of only a handful of countries to recognize Israel’s claim to the whole of the city.In the past 50 years Israel has built settlements in these areas, where more than 600,000 Jews now live.
During the last 74 years, 15 medium to heavy attacks were staged by Israel as they have moved far from the concept of Mandate for Palestine, which adopted the concept of both Israel and Palestine. The Western countries have used this zone for their political and business interests as they are the suppliers of arms used in those wars.
Tensions are often high between Israel and Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.Things have escalated since the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in mid-April of 2021, with nightly clashes between police and Palestinians.The threatened eviction of some Palestinian families in East Jerusalem has also caused rising anger.
Israel demolished 848 Palestinian residential and livelihood structures in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 996 people, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).Israel continued to discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in areas of planning, budget allocation, policing and political participation. According to the Adalah-The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Israel maintains over 65 laws that discriminate against Palestinians.Israeli military and police used unnecessary and excessive force during law enforcement activities, including search and arrest operations, and when policing demonstrations.
Israel continues its illegal air, land and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel stopped the entry of construction materials and fuel into Gaza repeatedly.Israeli authorities conducted hundreds of raids throughout the West Bank to arrest Palestinians and made them prisoners in Israel to torture them brutally. Palestinian civilians, including children, were prosecuted in military courts that did not meet international fair trial standards.The authorities used a range of measures, including raids, incitement campaigns, movement restrictions and judicial harassment to target human rights defenders who criticized Israel’s continuing military occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories.
The creation of Israel is strictly related to Zionism, Jewish nationalist movement that has had as its goal the creation and support of a Jewish national state in Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jews. The orthodox Jews do not support violence against the Palestinians. But Zionist ideology is leading Israel to take violent measures to demolish the rights of the Palestinians. This conflict has even taken the shape of a religious conflict keeping Masjid Al-Aqsa at the center.
These three religions- Christianism, Islam and Judaism are termed as ‘Al-Kitabi’ meaning guided by the holy books and the Prophets are common. According to Islam, along with Hazrat Muhammad (Sm.), Isa (As.) and Musa (As.) are also the recognized Prophets of Islam. Despite, such similarities, the conflict between Israel and Palestinians on the ground of religion is very unfortunate.
Considering all the Jews of the world, they are only 0.2% of the world population. Europe has 0.16%, Africa 0.006%, Asia 0.15%, Oceania region 0.31% and the Americas (North and South America) 0.74% Jews against their whole population. On the other has, Christians and Muslims are the largest religious groups at all parts of the world. Though Israel has enriched itself with heavy military weapons with the help of their Western alliesand one of the best secret service networks of the world, they might not succeed in straight war against the Palestinians if the Muslim world unites. But that unity is always under questions.
Through the different wars between Israel and Palestine, Israel mostly remain at the top but this time it was truly a failure for them despite no substantial physical or financial losses at their part. It is due to their loss of people’s support even among their ally nations as well as among the Jews living outside Israel. Even the Jews in different countries staged protests in favor of the Palestinians. None supported their brutality and it even pushed the US President Biden to move away from his initial stand. This is definitely a moral defeat for the Israel.
No ruler who has depended on military forces a lot and oppressed people by violating their human rights could sustain with their regime. From Muslim leadership like Muawiya regime to recent leaders like; Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi to European leaders like; Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler and many others stands as such failure. Hence, Israel should posses and spread the message of peace that lies in their religion too rather than portraying hateful actions. Violating rights of the Palestinians will not support the cause of Judaism.
The current ceasefire is not at all a solution and it is never a victory for the Palestinians. Israel has done the damage by taking so many lives and destroying the homes of thousands of Palestinians. The only solution lies with the creation of a free land for the Palestinians. In the upcoming future, the globe may divide into two groups surrounding this Palestine-Israel conflict and that might even trigger the Third World War. Hence, we hope the world leaders will concretely address this issue to establish a free land for the Palestinians so that their rights are safeguarded along with the future of the whole world.
The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA), Editor at Kishore Bangla and
Chief Patron, Bangabandhu
Shishu Kishore Mela