Violence in Palestine

Escalation of violence has sadly become a familiar cycle in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Hardly a year passes by without violence in the region–the Israel army provokes, Gaza responds with a few rockets, and Israel responds with fire in the name of countering terrorism. It is a tragic sequence of events which results in destruction and death for both sides, but disproportionately more for Palestine.
Last year saw a devastating war in the region, which led to the deaths of 254 Palestinians, including 66 children, and wounded more than 1,900 people in 11 days of conflict. Unfortunately, from the look of it, it appears that this year might see such escalation too. Israel said it launched a pre-emptive strike against Islamic Jihad, killing the commander it blames for a series of recent attacks inside Israel. This pre-emptive strike included Israel pounding Gaza with air strikes on Friday, killing more than 15 people.
However, like every operation committed by Israel, the victims are never just military leaders, as Israel claims. A Palestinian child was among those killed, according to the territory’s health ministry. Israel’s list of targets just keeps increasing with every attack; before, every strike was conducted with the excuse that the targeted region was controlled by Hamas. This time, however, the region attacked is not Hamas-owned; Islamic Jihad is a separate group, but aligned with Hamas. It seems then that the war lines keep expanding and expanding.
It appears unfortunately that the world has not learned its lessons from the war that occurred last year. Last year, after witnessing the terrible violence, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) decided to start an open-ended international investigation into “systematic” abuses in the Palestinian territories and inside Israel, stemming from the disproportionate use of force by Israel. Israel had even then not provided any evidence that the buildings targeted in Gaza were “hosting armed groups or being used for military purposes” to make them fair play for attack to either the UN or any neutral body, and it appears that even now it does not intend to justify its use of force.

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