De-escalation need of the hour - GulfToday

De-escalation need of the hour


The civilian casualties have been high so far, with nearly half the 30 dead being civilians.

Israel claimed that it killed an Islamic Jihad commander in a daytime attack in Gaza City on Friday, targeting a high-rise building. The Islamic Jihad commander who was killed in the attack on the Palestine Tower was Taysir al-Jabari. It said that it was a targeted attack. It also bombed five houses, saying the targets were Islamic Jihad posts planning to launch missiles against Israeli cities.

On Friday night, Al Quds forces, the military wing of Islamic Jihad fired missile at the Israeli side. Another commander of Islamic Jihad’s group, Khaled Manosur was killed also along with five others. The civilian casualties were high, with nearly half the 30 dead being civilians. Among them were six children. Israel claimed that it was a stray rocket fired by the Islamic Jihad that killed the children.

Gaza City has shut off its power station, and power supply has been reduced from 10 hours to four.

The UAE has emphasised the need to restore calm in the Gaza Strip, reduce escalation, and preserve civilian lives, WAM reported.

In a statement, Afra Mahash Al Hameli, Director of the Strategic Communications Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), said that the UAE expressed its deep concern over the current escalation and called for exercising maximum restraint, to prevent being drawn into new levels of violence and instability.

The Saudi foreign office and the Arab League condemned the Israeli aggression in Gaza. The Saudi statement said, “Saudi Arabia condemns and rejects Israeli occupation forces’ attack on the Gaza Strip. The kingdom affirms that it stands with the brotherly Palestinian people and calls on the international community to discharge its responsibility to end the conflict.”

The situation was made worse when Jewish settlers walked into the compound of Al Aqsa Mosque and the Israeli soldiers remained mute spectators. Saudi Arabia condemned it and called it the violation of international law. Jordan and Qatar condemned the intrusion into Al Aqsa Mosque.

The statements of European Union (EU) and Russia called for restraint from both sides, and Britain wants an end to violence while expressing its support to Israel. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said, “The European Union follows with great concern the latest developments in and around Gaza.

The EU calls for maximum restraint on all sides.” The Russians too called for “maximum restraint.” On the other hand, there was a statement from Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force commander Esmail Qaani saying, “Hezbollah plans to deal Israel a fatal blow and eradicate it completely at the appropriate time.”

Hashim Debsi, director of the Tatwir Centre for Studies in Lebanon said, “every time Gaza is under attack from Israel, the Revolutionary Guards Corps launches its favourite slogan, stating that it will deal Israel a fatal blow at the appropriate time. We are still waiting for that moment. It is lame rhetoric made at the expense of Palestinian blood. No one believes it anymore.

In fact, it serves the Israel enemy.” He was also critical of the fact that “a Palestinian party is putting Palestine at the service of Iran, in order to receive the blessings of its leadership. They are leaving the Palestinians to a miserable fate.”

Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations are making efforts to end hostilities.

The Palestinian problem is indeed complicated though everyone is convinced of the just cause of the Palestinian people. There is the division among Palestinian groups, especially between Al Fatal led by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, and whose writ is confined to the West Bank, and the Hamas, which has political control of the Gaza since 2007. And in Gaza, there are separate groups like the Islamic Jihad and the Al Quds forces with their complicated links with each other.

Israeli leaders have been refusing to negotiate with the Palestinian leaders. The international community, especially the US, must intervene if the crisis in Gaza is to end.

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