Caabu is extremely concerned about the dangerous escalation of violence in Israel-Palestine and in particular, Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip. The killing of three Israeli teenagers does not justify collective punishment or violations of international law any more than the killing of Palestinian children justified killing Israelis or indiscriminate rocket fire out of Gaza. So far 8 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 600 arrested.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Chris Doyle argues that all this has been seen before, Israeli forces’ use of aggression, Palestinian militant violence, deteriorating into widespread attacks. “…all this is so predictable – simply because it has happened time and time again? Israel will be no more secure. Palestinians will collectively suffer for the actions of its violent minority. No doubt Hamas leaders will be assassinated but this has only ever been a temporary setback.
Either side can seek vengeance and retribution but it will not bring security, rights, justice or peace. The sad thing is that it not clear just who is fighting for that right now.”
Doyle pointed out that for Palestinians this crisis never started with the killing of the Israeli teenagers. By the time this had happened six Palestinian children had been killed so far in 2014. “When Palestinians are rounded up and detained without trial they are seen as kidnap victims. Palestinians wonder why a US President and British Prime Minister comment on three murdered Israelis and not on murdered Palestinians.”
The international community has to act now to calm the situation. It must emphasise the need for all sides to adhere to international law, for all attacks on civilians to end, for Israel to release detainees held without trial and ensure protection of Palestinians from further revenge attacks following the killing of Muhammad Abu Khudair — a 16-year-old from the Palestinian neighbourhood in Jerusalem. It has to insist on the implementation of international law and proper judicial process.
Ultimately the current situation is about the complete failure to address the underlying grievances and causes of this conflict. The Kerry process failed not least because it did not do this. The Israeli occupation not only continues but has become more onerous. Settlements are expanding at a frightening rate and the blockade of Gaza is entering its eighth year with no end in sight.