Both Israel and Hamas don’t want a two-state solution.
Israel believes that a two-state solution would render it open to attack since the buffer of West Bank and Gaza Strip would have gone to the Palestinians who have not one but many scores to settle.
Hamas believes that a two-state solution is useless: Israel would still be the colonial-settlers and continue to hold sway behind the Palestinian Authority (PA) who survive on the donations by its patrons.
Palestinian resistance was real till Oslo peace process was initiated. Then Yasser Arafat became the head of PA in 1996 and it began chortling the two-state rhyme; opting for governance, law-order, fiscal prudence etc. instead of sticking to the goal of booting out Israel from its lands.
In effect PA did everything which Israel wanted: Provide a sense of security to Israeli settlers/citizens and taking the worry of basic administrative services off its head.
Having defanged the PA thus, a classic tool of colonialists to remain in control, Israel began settling in thousands of its Jewish population in West Bank while in the Gaza Strip, in due course, it cut off supply of food, water, fuel, electricity etc.
This policy of de-radicalizing Palestinians served the United States, as it did it’s outpost that Israel is: The hegemon could control oil and those sea lanes which carry a major chunk of world trade.
So the PA remains the face of Palestinians: Indeed it is they who are recognized by the 138 nations in the United Nations but in truth they are losing legitimacy amongst the Palestinians with each passing day.
Palestinians increasingly believe that the only option they have is armed resistance. They see little purpose in two-state solution if there isn’t going to be any material change in their lives; if they continue to live in non-contiguous manner and if their religious mooring in Jerusalem is thrown to winds.
Thus for Palestinians, the very existence of Israel is death knell to them and armed resistance alone is worth pursuing. It is not as if being peaceful and obedient would stop Israel from being repressive.
Hamas thus represents the armed resistance of Palestinians—it’s in their charter of 2017 in which they vow to throw out the illegal entity of Israel and it’s colonial project.
In Hamas’ view, the Israeli society should live in fear as do the Palestinians for the former’s illegal occupation.
That violence is the only reply they have for the massacre and apartheid, trauma of generations inflicted by Israel.
This should make readers view this impasse in a new light: Whether Israel really is the victim they portray themselves to be; or whether Hamas really are the barbarian human animals they are said to be.
Playing the script of being victims themselves, Israel has resorted to propaganda, straight from the Copybook West. It began by claiming 40 Israeli babies were beheaded, a report which was found to be untrue.
Then the Haaretz newspaper in Israel published the names, photos, images of those civilians who were killed by the Hamas in their raid on October 7, 2023. But it has now come to light that 361 of those 933 dead were in fact soldiers, police and security officers.
The truth is, Israel has been merciless in dropping bombs rather than precision missiles in Gaza Strip: As if eliminating Hamas is as important as indiscriminate killing of Palestinians, 40% of whom happened to be children.
Homes, hospitals, refugee camps, mosques, churches, schools, halls, infra etc—nothing has been spared.
As per the United Nations, 70% of those killed are women and children. The UN Security General says he is “deeply concerned by the clear violation of humanitarian law that we are witnessing.”
The Amnesty International chips in that the “documented unlawful Israeli attacks…which causes mass civilian casualties must be investigated as war crimes.”
So is Israel violating the humanitarian law? Is its attack illegal? How credible is the Israeli claim that all they are doing is defending themselves?
Before we dive into the legality of Israel’s pounding of civilians in Gaza, answer for yourself: How legal could it be to cut off water, food, fuel, electricity of trapped civilians?
The International Humanitarian Law (IHL) broadly is made up of four 1949 Geneva Conventions and Hague conventions of 1899 and 1907, all meant to safeguard civilians who are caught in a conflict.
Besides there is rule of proportionality which requires that the collateral damage in unleashing hostility must be borne out by the military advantage gained. It can’t be indiscriminate.
Under this law, Israel ought to have measured its actions against the impact on civilians—just giving warning to civilians to vacate Gaza within hours when they have nowhere to go is nothing but an attempt at ethnic cleansing.
What Israel is doing is a total siege of Gaza and its civilians which is unlawful, more so when life’s essentials, including medicines, is off the shelf.
This is unlawful and disproportionate.
Yet, Israel is brazen, not least because its patron the United States is offering billions in aid to help them carry out the genocide in Gaza Strip.
When the United Nations called for an immediate “humanitarian truce leading to cessation of hostilities” by a 120-14 vote, the Israel’s UN ambassador termed it a “ridiculous resolution.”
The United States of course sided with Israel in UN but, interestingly, none from Western Europe, Africa, the mainland of Asia, the Caribbean or the Middle East joined them.
France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland and New Zealand stood for truce; the likes of UK, Germany, Canada and Japan, India were among the 45 absentees.
Meanwhile, streets in the US, Canada, Europe, UK, and in Asia and the Middle East, are filling up with protests against the genocide.
People are revolting—and those includes the citizens of Israel and the US itself.
A Maariv poll of Israelis found that only 29% now support the ground invasion in Gaza; in the United States, a poll found that 66% of the Americans want its government to “call for a ceasefire and a de-escalation of violence in Gaza.”
The Americans are asking: How could the US be supplying weapons which is killing children?
It reminds one of the speech of Harold Pinter which he gave against the US while accepting his 2005 Nobel Prize for literature:
“How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal?”