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Israel's War on Gaza Strip: 'Gulf Today' Editorial
Pablo Picasso's 1924 abstract work "Nature Morte a la Charlotte" discovered by French police and returned to the Pompidou Centre museum.

As Israel blocked aid supplies to Gaza, cutting off the lifelines to the Mediterranean strip and bringing the economic life there into a standstill, the Sharjah-based English daily 'Gulf Today' on Jan. 19 wrote in its editorial: 'Israel has declared open war on the Gaza Strip and is pressing ahead with military action that it says is retaliation for Palestinian rocket attacks from the territory.

It has imposed a total lockdown on Gaza and is refusing to reopen crossings into the Mediterranean strip where residents are largely dependent on food aid to survive in view of the Israeli blockade that has brought economic activity there to a standstill. .

'The Israeli military machinery is working in earnest. Israeli strikes have killed dozens in three days, capping the hundreds killed and maimed in its attacks in the last few months, not to mention the thousands who lost their life since the Intifada was relaunched.

'The Israeli army is also pressing ahead with forays into West Bank towns, killing and arresting Palestinians at the slightest suspicion of challenging the occupation forces.

'Many of the Palestinian casualties were and are civilian, including women and children.

'On the other side, Palestinian groups are continuing their armed resistance. They have fired dozens of rockets and mortar shells into the Jewish state, lightly wounding more than 10 people, since Tuesday.

They have no other way of keeping Israel reminded that there could be no security for its people without security for the Palestinian people.

'Ignored in the din of military action are warning that the spiraling escalation of armed conflict between the two sides could sink revived peace efforts, and no one seems to be able to do anything to check the turn to the worse. The US, by maintaining that Israel is "exercising its right to self-defence," is only encouraging the Israeli strikes.

'It would appear that Israel is not ready for a full-scale assault on the Gaza Strip and reoccupy the area that it left two years ago. That is understandable if only because it is clear that Palestinian resistance had made the territory ungovernable for Israel since the 1970s and the occupation forces were looking for a way out of the quagmire by letting it go at the first given opportunity.

'The current Israeli posture would mean more air and land strikes against Gaza while the territory remains totally cut off from the rest of the world.

'Whatever considerations the two sides have, the fact remains that the civilian residents of Gaza have been paying a high price for the confrontation in more ways than one.

'And now Israel is refusing to reopen the 'border crossings to allow in humanitarian aid despite the UN appeal for them to be reopened "so that the dire situation in Gaza does not deteriorate further, inflicting further misery on one and a half million people" who live there.

'What Israel needs to realises that military strikes would not bring a cessation of the rocket fire; It is universal - all the more true for the determined Palestinian resistance - that violence and military solutions and collective punishment will only breed violence and more hatred and will never bring the safety and security that Israel says it wants for its people. (Emirates News Agency. WAM)






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