Sunday 23 July 2017

Violence has gone on too long – we have lost all hope

An Israeli soldier rests atop a tank stationed on a field outside the central Gaza Strip. Reuters
An Israeli soldier rests atop a tank stationed on a field outside the central Gaza Strip. Reuters
Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinian members of al-Haj family, who medics said were killed in an early morning air strike that destroyed at least two homes, during their funeral in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. Reuters
Palestinians run following what police said was an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City. Reuters
A general view of the rubble of a house, which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, is seen in the northern Gaza Strip. Reuters
A Palestinian inspects the rubble of a house after it was hit by an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City. AP
Palestinians gather around the remains of a car which police said was targeted in an Israeli air strike, in the northern Gaza Strip. Reuters
Ramadan Abu Ghazal carries the body of his four year old son, Abdallah during his funeral in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip. AP
An Israeli tank performs a manoeuvre outside the northern Gaza Strip. At least 74 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in Israel's Gaza offensive, Palestinian officials said on Thursday, and militants kept up rocket attacks on Tel Aviv and other cities in warfare showing no signs of ending soon. Reuters
Smoke trails are seen as rockets are launched towards Israel from the northern Gaza Strip. Reuters
Smoke and flames are seen following what Palestinian witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. At least 74 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in Israel's Gaza offensive. Reuters

Raji Sourani

In Gaza, history repeats. Day and night Israeli air strikes target the Gaza Strip. As Israel calls up reinforcements and assembles its armed forces across the border we sit, waiting for the next phase of the offensive.

Five weeks ago, I was full of hope. A new national unity government had been formed and it seemed that, for the first time in seven years Palestine would be united. We thought that with reconciliation – with Hamas removed from absolute power in the Gaza Strip – the closure might be lifted. But it did not happen. The closure remained and Israel prevented senior Palestinian Authority officials from entering Gaza.

It appears Israel has used the murder of three Israeli civilians as an excuse to destroy the new Palestinian unity government and to crack down on Hamas.

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