Stop Israel and the Palestinian War

Hiren Pandit: The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas has been ongoing since the start of October last year. It began when Hamas fighters crossed into Israel from Gaza and launched a surprise attack. Tel Aviv alleges that 1,200 Israelis were killed in the assault by gunmen that day, including children, the elderly, and 364 youths at a music festival. Additionally, during that offensive, Hamas fighters took approximately 250 hostages to Gaza, some of whom were foreign nationals. This Hamas attack marks the deadliest in Israel’s history. Subsequently, the Israeli military has been conducting incursions into Gaza, resulting in the deaths of over 34,000 Palestinians due to Israeli actions.
What the UN Says about the Gaza Massacre?

The Israeli attacks primarily targeted northern Gaza, particularly Gaza City and the tunnels built by Hamas under it. These tunnels are considered to be the center of the military power of Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was expanding ground operations in southern Gaza.
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Israeli military operations have inflicted numerous strikes in the West Bank. The devastation in Gaza is of such magnitude that it could require up to 80 years to reconstruct the homes decimated by the harsh actions of Israeli occupying forces in the Gaza Strip. The estimated cost, as stated by the United Nations, ranges from 30 to 40 billion dollars.

In simpler terms, the sheer number of residences destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza cannot be rebuilt within this century; the reconstruction efforts might extend into the next century. A United Nations spokesperson noted that seven months of Israeli airstrikes have resulted in tens of billions of dollars in damages. The densely populated valley witnessed the collapse of many towering concrete structures during the assault. Reports indicate that approximately 80 thousand houses have been razed to the ground.

For weeks, US universities have been rocked by protests against Israel’s attacks on Gaza. Pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with police on some campuses. Police arrested more than 2,200 pro-Palestinian student protesters. Some university authorities have taken disciplinary action against them. 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. A civil society and order must be maintained,” Biden said. 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. 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 in the world. Pro-Palestinian protesters protested on the campuses of Leeds University, UCL, and Warwick University 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 and Sorbonne and Institute of Political Studies campus and Italy’s Sapienza University campus.

Protests have also taken place 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 used force on students in some campuses.
Pro-Palestinian protestors calling for a Gaza ceasefire in New York City, United States.
Cease-fire Talks

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said a delegation would soon visit Egypt to continue indirect talks with Israel for a ceasefire 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 in a phone call with Kamer that the ceasefire proposal was positive.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian official close to the agreement also said that a Hamas representative will visit Egypt in the next two days. The talks in Cairo aim to reach a mature agreement, which will achieve the demands of the Palestinian people and stop Israeli aggression. Haniyeh and the Qatari prime minister agreed to negotiate a mature agreement mediated by Qatar and Egypt.
Hamas’s Emergence

Hamas won the 2007 elections. However, Fatah, the West Bank-based political party, did not allow them to come to power in Palestine. The party led by Mahmoud Abbas, is mainly supported by Israel and the West. Hamas has an armed wing and is believed to have had 30,000 fighters until the outbreak of the latest war. 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 to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest site 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 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.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on world leaders to stop the war between Russia-Ukraine and Israel-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. 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 barbaric 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 that will bring lasting peace to the people of the region. Every country regains its sovereignty and right to live in peace.

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