Sheikh Hasina urged world leaders to stop the war between Israel-Palestine

Hiren Pandit: The war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas has been going on since the beginning of October last year. The war began after Hamas fighters entered Israel from Gaza and launched a surprise attack. Tel-Aviv claims that 1,200 Israelis were killed in the attack by gunmen that day. The attack by Hamas is the deadliest in the history of Israel. Since then, the Israeli military has been invading Gaza. Thousands of Palestinians have already been killed in the ongoing campaign. Among the dead were children, the elderly, and 364 youths at a music festival. In addition, in that campaign, Hamas fighters took about 250 hostages to Gaza. Among these were foreign nationals. Evidence of rape and sexual violence during the Hamas attacks has also been published in the media.
However, Hamas rejected such allegations of Israel. Although Hamas won the 2007 elections, Fatah, the West Bank-based political party, did not allow them to come to power in Palestine. Israel and the West mainly support the party led by Mahmoud Abbas. Since then, Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip. The organization has an armed wing and is believed to have had 30,000 fighters until the outbreak of the latest war. The Islamic Resistance Movement wants to establish an Islamic state. Furthermore, Hamas rejects Israel’s right to exist and is committed to its destruction. Hamas blamed years of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people for the October 7 attack.
In other words, they justified the attack as a response. The attack included the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest site. Because Hamas and the Palestinians have vowed to protect Al-Aqsa from Israeli occupation. In addition, Hamas wants the release of thousands of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli prisons. Also, the organization wants an end to the blockade that Israel and Egypt have on the Gaza Strip. Both countries have imposed a blockade against Gaza on security grounds. Hamas has fought several wars with Israel since taking control of Gaza, firing thousands of rockets and carrying out many other deadly attacks.
Israel carried out massive airstrikes on Hamas and Gaza in 2008 and 2014. At the same time, the army was sent to the besieged valley. Israel, the United States, the European Union (EU), and the United Kingdom have designated Hamas, and in some cases only the armed wing Qassam Brigades, as terrorist groups. Iran allegedly supports Hamas with funding, arms, and training. In response to the latest attack by Hamas, Israel immediately launched a large-scale airstrike on various targets in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s goal is to destroy Hamas and bring back the hostages. Three weeks after the attack, Israel launched a ground invasion of Gaza. Their forces have also bombarded Gaza from the sea.
The attacks primarily targeted northern Gaza, particularly Gaza City and the tunnels built by Hamas under it. Israel considers these tunnels to be the center of the military power of Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it was expanding ground operations in southern Gaza after a temporary ceasefire in late November last year. That is why they ordered the Palestinians to leave there. In addition, Israeli forces have carried out many attacks in the West Bank. It may take 80 years to rebuild homes destroyed by the brutal Israeli occupation forces in the Gaza Strip. The cost may be around 30 to 40 billion dollars in this case. This is what the United Nations said.
According to the organization, the number of houses destroyed by Israeli bombing in Gaza cannot be rebuilt in this century. It may take up to the next century to complete the renovation. A United Nations official said that seven months of Israeli bombing has caused tens of billions of dollars in damage. Many tall concrete buildings in the crowded valley collapsed in the attack. According to the news, about 80 thousand houses have been destroyed. More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks.
For weeks, US universities have been rocked by protests against Israel’s attacks on Gaza. Pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with police on some campuses. There was a clash with pro-Israel protesters somewhere. Police arrested more than 2,200 pro-Palestinian student protesters. Some university authorities have taken disciplinary action against protesting students. US President Joe Biden called on pro-Palestinian protesters on university campuses to maintain the rule of law. Biden made the call in a televised statement from the White House on Thursday. He emphasized that discipline must be maintained on the campuses.
We are not an authoritarian nation where we silence people or suppress dissent, the US president said. But we are not a lawless country either. Biden said that a civil society and order must be maintained. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the United States on April 30 at midnight, pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian protesting students clashed. Later, the police raided the campus. Police arrested more than 2,200 protesters from there. Ongoing protests at US universities demanding an end to Israeli aggression in besieged Gaza are gaining momentum.
It has spread beyond the borders of the United States to at least six other countries worldwide. Pro-Palestinian protesters protested on Leeds University, UCL, and Warwick University campuses in the UK. The tent movement has started at the Quebec campus of McGill University in Canada. Pro-Palestinians are also protesting at Concordia University in Montreal. In addition, there were protests at the American University John Cairo campus in Egypt. After that, the protests spread to France’s Sciences Po, Sorbonne, Institute of Political Studies, and Italy’s Sapienza University campus.
Protests have also occurred at Sydney University and Melbourne University campuses in Australia. Protests against Israeli aggression in Gaza started a couple of weeks ago from Columbia University in New York. Gradually, this protest spread to different universities in the United States. Protesters have set up a makeshift camp on the campus. Additional members of law-and-order forces have been deployed in universities to quell the protests that have been going on for several days. They arrested hundreds of students who participated in the protest. Policemen use force on students on some campuses. Clashes have also occurred in some places.
Meanwhile, the students have announced to continue protesting by pitching tents on the campuses. They demand that the universities should sever ties with individuals and institutions that support the Israeli attack on Gaza. The students also demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. New York City Police raided Columbia University. Anti-war, pro-Palestinian protesters in Gaza were cleared in a raid on Tuesday night. During this time, many protestors were also arrested by the police. Amidst the ongoing war in Gaza, pro-Palestinian protests are taking place at universities across the US, calling for the boycott of companies and individuals associated with Israel.
The protestors continue the series by setting up tents on the Columbia University campus. In this incident, the university authorities set a deadline for the protestors to leave the campus on Monday. A request was also given that they would face punishment if they did not leave the camp by 2 pm local time. However, as the university authorities did not act on the request, the New York City Police raided the university. Within 2 hours of police entry, Hamilton Hall and the tented camp were cleared and taken over. During this time, many protesters were arrested. The arrested were handcuffed and taken to police buses under guard.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said a delegation would soon visit Egypt to continue indirect talks with Israel for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. The head of Hamas gave this information on Thursday after a phone conversation with Egypt’s intelligence chief, Abbas Kamer. A delegation is going to Egypt to discuss the issue of a ceasefire in Gaza. Haniyeh assured Kamer that the ceasefire proposal was positive in a phone call. Hamas said it was aware of Israel’s current situation. This will be discussed before giving our position on that matter.
A Hamas delegation will arrive in Cairo in the next few days. Meanwhile, a Palestinian official close to the agreement said a Hamas representative will visit Egypt in two days. The talks in Cairo aim to reach a mature deal that will achieve the Palestinian people’s demands and stop Israeli aggression. Another Hamas statement said Haniyeh and the Qatari prime minister agreed to negotiate a mature agreement mediated by Qatar and Egypt. Egypt has resumed stalled talks between Israel and Hamas to agree a ceasefire in Gaza.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on world leaders to stop the war between Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Iran-Palestine and said that war can never provide any solution. It must stop. Women, children, and people of all ages are victims of this and are giving their lives. Reminding of the horrors of war, Sheikh Hasina said, we call upon the world leaders to stop the war between Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Iran-Palestine. We know the horrors of war. Bangladesh does not want any war. Any problem can be solved through discussion. World leaders should take the initiative to end war by looking at those who are still suffering in various ways due to war.
Bangladesh is for peace, not war and we want the countries that are supposed to play a role in de-escalating the Iran-Israel tension and stop the Israeli killings in Gaza. The killing of innocent civilians and the brutal evacuation of areas have created an atmosphere of terror. Such heinous acts should be punished so that those who have homes in Gaza can once again live peacefully in their own country. We must revisit the decisions agreed upon by the United Nations, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the Quartet Road Map and initiate swift solutions to bring peace to the region’s people. We want any problem to be solved peacefully. My appeal to all: Stop the war; Stop the arms race. Every country regains its sovereignty and right to live in peace.
Hiren Pandit is an essayist, researcher, and columnist.

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