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A world unable to stop Netanyahu’s war

A world unable to stop Netanyahu’s war

The Israeli leader showed the world exactly how much regret he felt by continuing to bomb Rafah two days later, on May 28, killing 37 more displaced Palestinians, in two deadly strikes, in one place on tents next to a hospital, and in another, next to a UN facility.

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Last Updated : 30 May 2024, 19:32 IST
Last Updated : 30 May 2024, 19:32 IST
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after a strike by his military forces in Rafah set fire to a tent in a camp for displaced Palestinians, killing 47 people including children, that it was a “tragic mishap”. Those like US President Joe Biden, who want to see in this “acknowledgement” a justification for their own support for what Netanyahu is doing, are fooling no one. The Israeli leader showed the world exactly how much regret he felt by continuing to bomb Rafah two days later, on May 28, killing 37 more displaced Palestinians, in two deadly strikes, in one place on tents next to a hospital, and in another, next to a UN facility. What is happening in Rafah is a continuation of Israeli actions over the last seven months across Gaza -- bombing, killing and maiming tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians to avenge the death of over 1,200 Israelis, killed by Hamas on October 7 last year, and to force Hamas to hand over Israeli hostages.

None of these killings is an accident. The Israeli forces are quite clear that they are targeting places teeming with civilians. What is different is Netanyahu’s deliberate and continuous defiance of the international legal system. Days before the Rafah killings, the International Court of Justice passed orders asking that Israel “immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in Rafah, which may inflict on the Palestinian[s]...physical destruction in whole or in part”. This order came in the same week as the International Criminal Court heard a request for arrest warrants against Netanyahu and the Israeli defence minister as well as the leaders of Hamas. 

The world has been too patient with Netanyahu as he continues this war, now widely understood to be meant just to ensure his own political survival in Israel. The diplomatic efforts to end the war are at a dead-end, as Israel refuses to call a ceasefire. Any other country in Israel’s place would have been declared a ‘rogue State’ by now and would have faced crippling sanctions. The US has let down the international community on many occasions in the past, but never so shabbily as it has done now. It continues to bankroll the war, pouring billions into enabling genocide. With the Security Council toothless in the matter, as it has been in most conflicts, it is sickening to consider that in another six months – Netanyahu says Israel needs seven more months to achieve its military goals -- the world will be marking one year of this war, with pious statements from the same countries that are actively assisting Israel, from those that are cheering silently, and others that are looking on, by which time tens of thousands more Palestinian civilians will surely have been killed while there’s no guarantee that Israel will be satisfied that it has finished off Hamas. 

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