Feb 21, 2009
Gaza post cease-fire
Israel began withdrawing troops from the Gaza Strip on Sunday after Hamas also agreed to a cease-fire which was declared by the Jewish State on Saturday night after its deadliest 22-day offensive ever launched on Palestinian territory. While agreeing to cease-fire Hamas leaders gave Israel one week to withdraw all its forces and open all the border crossings to permit the entry of humanitarian aid and basic goods.Israel employed its full military might during the aggression resulting, as per media reports, into killing of over eleven hundred Palestinians, mostly civilians, destruction of almost entire infrastructure in the area and large-scale damage to homes and businesses of Palestinians. Hundreds of thousands of people have been rendered homeless and thousands rendered handicapped for life, which would add to the miseries of Gazans who were already under siege like conditions for long. The full extent of the loss of life and damage to property and infrastructure would be known after post-war survey but it is a foregone conclusion that difficult times are ahead for the residents of the impoverished territory. Declaration of the ceasefire is not the end of the ordeal as the Jewish State and its benefactor – the United States — have arrived at an agreement to work together to prevent, what they call, arms smuggling to Gaza, which clearly means overt and covert actions that would surely raise the level of tension. Though Israel has inflicted heavy damage on Palestinians because of its military superiority but there are no indications that the war has enhanced the prospects of security for Israelis. In fact, killing of thousands of people, injuries to many more and destruction of their properties means that the present and the future generations of Palestinians would not forgive the enemy. The war has also exposed duplicity of the civilized world that witnessed the carnage with crossed-legs. The response of the Muslim world and its representative organization, the OIC, was all the more regrettable as they failed to make their presence felt during critical time. Anyhow, it is time to at least provide the much-needed economic and medical assistance to Palestinians to help them fight hunger and disease.