Is There Any Justification on The Gaza Strip?

The area commonly called the “Gaza Strip” is currently filled with violence, destruction, and controversy as a war between the Israeli and Palestinians rages on. The current most talked about issue is Israel’s shelling on Gaza civilians, including a United Nations shelter on July 30 that left 15 Palestinians dead. Such attacks cannot be taken lightly because assaulting anything United Nations related is a direct violation of “international law by conducting its deadly offensive and of possibly committing war crimes.”  If these attacks were intentional and disregarded the safety of those who only wanted shelter from the bloodshed, it endangers any peace that the United Nations holds together between all countries, including your rights to a peaceful life. Is Israel doing what is necessary in Gaza for their protection? Can there be a compromise so this war ends sooner before more innocent civilians are killed?

The war in Gaza is a conflict between the Hamas in Gaza and Israel. The Hamas is a group consisting mostly of Palestinians that oppose Israel. The violence started soon after the Hamas committed a terroristic act of killing Israeli teenagers. Soon after Israel retaliated, attacking the Hamas in Gaza with shelling, which also killed many innocent civilians as well. Israel also aims to destroy strategic tunnels that connect Gaza to Israel so the Hamas does not use them to further attack Israel during and after the war. The largest attack on Gaza to date was one that destroyed Gaza’s only power plant on July 29, leaving 80% of the population without power and about 1.2 million people are without running water due to electricity is needed to run water pumps. Both sides have terms that will stop their attack on each other. Israel wants the Hamas to destroy their tunnels between Gaza and Israel and remove their rockets so the Hamas will not attack Israeli civilians. The Hamas want Egypt and Israel to remove the blockade that was created in 2007 on Gaza so they can gain supplies.   However, neither side is willing to accept the other’s terms for a cease-fire. On July 31, the United Nations and United States mediated an unconditional 72-hour cease-fire starting August 1 between both the Hamas and Israel, which both sides have agreed to honor. The cease-fire is meant to give “innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence,” allowing them to get food, medicine, and rest. During the 72-hours, both the Hamas and Israel are encouraged to create a long-lasting truce to end the violence. However, both sides are able to keep operating within Gaza, as long as there is no conflict between them. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly stated that they would continue destroying the tunnels during the cease-fire. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated, “This is not a time for congratulations and joy, or anything except a serious determination, a focus, by everybody to try to figure out the road ahead. This is a respite. It’s a moment of opportunity, not an end; it’s not a solution. It’s the opportunity to find the solution.” By July 31, at least 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, where killed in Gaza while Israel lost 60, mostly soldiers.

Israel is justified in trying to resolve this conflict as quickly as possible. The Hamas is in possession of rockets and mortars that are able to hit within Israel’s borders and they do not care where said projectiles land, whether it be military buildings or schools and hospitals. They are also using Gaza as a human shield where Israel must go through, and most likely harm, innocent civilians to get to the Hamas. The Hamas then uses the media to look like the victim in the conflict when they have done worse, intentional, crimes on Israel, such as the teen killings that started the war. They even tried to launch rockets and mortars at Israel, but some of them fell short and hit within Gaza and blamed Israel for those bombings. Israel also only attempt to shell targets related to the Hamas, or areas where the Hamas attacked ground troops, most of which are in the vicinity of innocent civilians, such as the United Nations’ school shelter that was recently hit by Israeli shelling. If Israel did not care about civilians, they would not have created an app or any warning system that tells the public where they are going to attack or if an attack is going to happen within their general vicinity. The app is shown to be successful within Israel’s borders due to how little causalities they received. However, in Gaza, Israel is restricted to what they can do for the civilians except for not aiming at heavily populated areas.

It is true that Israel can be doing much more to protect the citizens of Gaza, but it is feared that the war would last much longer due to the compromise. If Israel only used special ground units to search and destroy specific Hamas targets, they will most likely be killed, resulting in more soldier deaths for Israel and more attempts by the Hamas to launch projectiles at Israeli civilians. Israel uses shelling tactics in an attempt to end the war quickly. They hope for the Hamas’ quick surrender, but that does not seem to be a likely outcome at this point. So instead, Israel must carry out their original objective to destroy the Hamas’ weapons and tunnels in order to protect Israeli civilians. If Israel fails to do so and pulls out of Gaza before finishing their objective, the Hamas will surely rearm themselves and attack Israel, killing many more civilians.

Both the Hamas and Israel cannot submit to the other’s demands unless the other side does the same. For example, if Egypt and Israel removed the blockade on Gaza the Hamas will be able to resupply and possibly attack Israel in the future. If the Hamas complied with Israel’s demands of removing their weapons and tunnel systems, it will hurt the Hamas, but then Palestinians will be denied of freedom and the right to protect themselves from invasions.

More recently, on August 1, the Hamas have broken the international cease-fire by abducting Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin. This then led to a firefight between the Israeli and Palestinians on the same day, where Goldin was then killed in battle. An article stated, “The Obama administration on Friday condemned ‘outrageous’ violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a ‘barbaric’ action.” Netanyahu then stated to the Obama administration to “’not to ever second-guess me again’ and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas.” Amidst this event, Israel is scaling back their ground forces, eventually pulling out of Gaza all together, as the Israeli military has concluded they destroyed all known tunnels between Gaza and Israel.

A lot of people seem confused as to why Israel is attacking Gaza. It would be good if Israel publicly explained why they are attacking Gaza and who the Hamas are to them in an official speech. If done well, they may gain more supporters and maybe international help to better deal with the assault on the Hamas. They should also make it a goal to evacuate Palestinians that have no affiliation with the Hamas out of Gaza so at least they are safe. The only subject that most can agree on is that this war needs to end to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians on both sides.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/29/israel-gaza_n_5631899.html#

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28554477

http://online.wsj.com/articles/israel-pounds-hamas-infrastructure-in-gaza-1406625853?mod=WSJ_GoogleNews

No Ceasefire In Gaza Until Israel Wins Decisively

In Face of Riots, Christians United For Israel Stage Loud And Passionate Support

Gaza — Facts Vs. False Equivalence

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/31/gaza-ceasefire-deal_n_5639436.html

http://www.voanews.com/content/israel-calls-up-16000-more-reservists/1968608.html

http://news.yahoo.com/us-un-announce-deal-72-hour-gaza-cease-221920613.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/02/netanyahu-hamas_n_5643852.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/02/hadar-goldin-dead_n_5644707.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/03/israel-withdraws-troops-gaza_n_5645981.html

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