Saturday 10 December 2016

The world cannot stand idly by as this slow, terrible death in Gaza continues

Trevor Hogan

Published 22/07/2014 | 02:30

The father (C) of Palestinian man Zakareya al-Ashqar, who medics said was killed during heavy Israeli shelling, reacts outside a hospital morgue in Gaza City
The father (C) of Palestinian man Zakareya al-Ashqar, who medics said was killed during heavy Israeli shelling, reacts outside a hospital morgue in Gaza City

The nightmare for the people of Gaza continues. But it didn't start just two weeks ago, it's been happening for the past six months, the past eight years, the past six decades.

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The time for moderate language is over. The time for empty words, blaming 'both sides equally' is over. As Ali Abunimah, the Palestinian journalist, pointed out, those who recently argued for Israel's right to act in 'self-defence' now have blood on their hands. We are living through one of the greatest injustices of the past two generations. History will record it as such. Since 1947, when the forced expulsions of Palestinians from their homes began, the horror has not stopped. Over 60 years later, after several wars, repeated massacres and displacement, 1.8 million people lie trapped inside a 40 kilometre long, 10 kilometre wide stretch of land called Gaza, with nowhere to hide.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." There are not two 'equal' sides to report on in this horror. No two sides to take, when four children are blown up as they play football and hide-and-seek on a beach. No two 'equal' sides when disabled women are killed in their hospital beds. Nor when nine people's lives are taken as they watch a football match, or when a five-month-old baby dies in his mother's arms, after being hit by Israeli artillery. Is there a need for 'balance' when a rehabilitation hospital for spinal injuries is completely levelled or when a massacre of over 80 people takes place in Gaza's Shuja'iya district?

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