Amidst Conflict, blood, and chaos, the Gaza Strip is currently stranded in the horrors of destruction. Palestinians are once again facing the wrath of Israel while the international community continues to remain confined to the idea of offering statements of condemnation. Since the start of the conflict, around 5791 Palestinians have lost their lives, including children and women. At the same time, more than 17000 injuries with varying degrees of severity have been reported up till now.
A strike from the Israeli forces on Gaza’s al-Ahli Arab Hospital alone took the lives of at least 500 people. Videos and images of the conflict are devastating enough to make a heartless person weep over the miseries of Palestinians.
As US President Joe Biden visited Israel to express solidarity with Israel and to remind them not to repeat the mistakes made by the US after 9/11, there is a serious strife within the administration itself. Josh Paul, who worked for the State Department office that approves arms transfers, posted his resignation on LinkedIn. He also wrote that “Blind support for one side is destructive in the long term to the interests of the people on both sides. I fear we repeat the same mistakes we have made these past decades, and I decline to be a part of it for longer”.
Though a single member of the US administration publicly expressed his dissatisfaction over the US policy and made a bold decision, there will be thousands more who will be unhappy with the administration’s response but fear to come forward.
While Hamas has also attacked Israeli cities, killed at least 1400 people, and taken 200 hostages up till now, the end goal from both sides remains human suffering. Rules of war have been completely negated, while observance of international humanitarian law proved a myth. One of the core principles of international humanitarian law is the protection of innocent civilians in a conflict; however, the recent wave of conflict has terrorized the Palestinians.
Thousands of Palestinians have been displaced, while more than 500,000 are taking refuge in the UN refugee camps. Though the UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on Israel to avert the crisis since the humanitarian crisis has reached an all-time low, unwise decisions from the Israeli leadership in the name of National Security continue.
Fortunately, the Arab World and Asian states have strongly criticized and condemned Israel’s aggression and war-mongering stance towards the Palestinians. African Union, Algeria, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Kuwait, Morocco, Malaysia, Maldives, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, South Africa, and Venezuela have all criticized and categorically rejected the oppressive stance of Israel and called for a ceasefire.
However, surprisingly, the World Uyghur Congress has condemned the attacks by Hamas against Israelis yet refrained from condemning the bloody massacre of innocent civilians in Gaza by Israelis.
In a press release published on its website, the World Uyghur Congress said, “The World Uyghur Congress strongly condemns the horrific attacks by Hamas against Israeli civilians and is deeply concerned about the prospect of escalation of conflict and further loss of lives. We stand in solidarity with all those suffering from terror and war, and we keep all those impacted by violence in our prayers”.
Such dual standards not only impact the credibility of an organization but speaks volume about the agenda it is supporting while also putting a question mark on its credibility. On the contrary, China has also urged Israel to stop its collective punishment of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. Russia, China, the United States, UK, and France, being global powers, have the responsibility of not only making efforts to halt this disastrous conflict but also facilitating the availability of humanitarian aid to innocent Palestinians who are in a miserable state.
However, the United States vetoed a UN resolution to condemn all violence against civilians in the Israel-Hamas war and to urge humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, arguing it was too early to craft an appropriate Security Council response to the crisis. At the same time, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield criticized the states for failing to underline Israel’s right to self-defense, completely overlooking the humanitarian disaster that Israel has created in the name of self-defense. Brazil put forward the resolution with 12 votes in favor, while the Russians and UK abstained from voting.
Such is the state of affairs in global politics where a global body fails to even pass a resolution after over two weeks of disastrous conflict and bends down to a superpower that also is supporting the aggressor.
Time is of the essence in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Unnecessary delays by the international community to maximize their efforts for a ceasefire will lead to further humanitarian crises. While diplomacy and negotiations always remain conflict resolution mechanisms, the first step would be to ensure that there are no further humanitarian causalities and that innocent Palestinians remain safe from the rage of Israeli forces. Moreover, the global consciousness must awaken since innocent Palestinians have been making sacrifices at the hands of Israeli settlers for decades.
The writer is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in International Relations at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad.