It is a bloodbath and unmitigated mayhem as heavy fighting unfolds between Israeli forces and the Palestinian group Hamas which has taken the world by surprise. Amidst raids, rockets and sustained fierce gunfire, bombs, and death, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding. Now, both sides are warned to consider the impact of their actions on the civilian population.
Thousands have been killed on both sides and injured in unexpected violent clashes since October 7, 2023. Israel has since cut off electricity, water, and food supplies to Gaza, further tightening the illegal siege it has imposed on the estimated 2.2 million Palestinians – half of them children – in Gaza since 2007 and is reportedly preparing for a large-scale ground invasion in addition to ongoing air strikes.
Both Israel and Hamas are under a legal obligation to avoid targeting civilians or recklessly engaging in military activity without regard to civilian lives. Israel is the occupying power and, as such, bears the duty and responsibility to protect civilian life in Gaza, the same way it has a duty to protect Israeli civilians.
Now is the time to re-evaluate the actions that all of us can take to deliver the peace that everyone, Palestinian and Israeli, deserves. It is time to pursue and realise justice so that peace may resume.
Christine L. Kharkongor