A week has passed since Israel began precision bombing of Palestinian areas under what is called Operation Protective Edge. Ostensibly aimed at stopping rocket attacks from Gaza, it has already killed 170 Palestinians and injured 1154 people, including women and children. The Israelis have also suffered damage like to the rail system in Jerusalem. The relationship between the Israelis and the Palestinians has reached its lowest level in recent years. It all began with the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers and the retaliatory killing of a Palestinian boy. The UN Security Council has at its meeting on Saturday asked both sides to declare ceasefire. Needless to say, the appeal has fallen on deaf ears.
Barring the Security Council’s appeal, no international effort worth the name has been initiated to bring the warring sides to the negotiating table to end the attacks, the victims of which are overwhelmingly civilians. The Israelis claim they attack the hideouts of the Palestinians lobbing rockets at Israel and that, too, only after asking the civilians in the buildings to vacate. The fact is that the Israeli operation has more to do with vendetta than careful calibration. Much the same can be said about the Hamas cadres, who have been attacking Israel. They are punishing the majority of the people on both sides of the divide for the thoughtless actions of a fringe few.
Despite all the wanton killings of innocents, the world community has done precious little to stop the same. The US alone is in a position to stop Israel from continuing its pulverisation of the Palestinian areas. Without its support, the Jewish nation will not be able to hold on to the territories, which rightly belong to the Palestinians. The Security Council should show greater courage to intervene in the dispute and persuade both sides to stop firing. As Israel is a creation of the UN, it has an obligation to the world to prevail upon Tel Aviv not to follow in the footsteps of the Nazis while dealing with the Palestinians.