The current Israel-Palestine conflict has escalated to immense violence and world leaders have been urging a ceasefire. What started on May 10 as a warning rocket strike from militant group, Hamas, is now a sequence of retaliatory strikes between Hamas and the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). On top of that, mobs and riots between Jewish and Arab people are escalating in different areas, spreading more violence and casualties. According to the New York Times, more than 200 people have died just within eight days of conflict. How did the conflict get here and is there hope for a ceasefire?
For decades, Palestine has been fighting to establish a separate Arab state, however, the declaration of the state of Israel in 1948 repressed this idea causing rising tensions between Palestinian-Arabs and Israeli-Jews. Public resources from the United Nations (UN) show that the UN recognises Palestine as a separate state but Israel has yet to recognise them. This is because militant group Hamas, considered as a terrorist organisation by Israel and other world powers, governs Gaza therefore according to the Israeli embassy, recognising Palestine would result to recognising a terrorist entity. A more detailed chronology of events can be found in the OWP’s Crisis Index page. Still, due to these tensions, the world continues to witness ongoing flares of violence between the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and Hamas.
With the current escalation of conflict, many world leaders have expressed their dissent against the violence and have been calling for a ceasefire. An article from Al Jazeera reported that 26 foreign ministers from the European Union have called for a ceasefire. Evarist Bartolo, the Maltese Foreign Minister, stated “ As a minimum, we can try to get a ceasefire, then provide humanitarian aid, and then see what can be done to restart the Middle East peace process to address the root causes of the violence.” U.S. president Joe Biden has also recently joined this international pressure, however, reports from the New York Times saw that Biden is receiving criticism for placing this pressure privately with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, whilst publicly supporting Israeli defence.
Ongoing international pressure for ceasefire is a positive outlook towards a peaceful, diplomatic resolution between Israel and Palestine. However, although this is a positive outlook, an important factor in leading to a peaceful outcome is for the rival parties to recognise this pressure, be aware of the significant civilian damage the conflict is causing and admit their faults. As with Foreign Minister Bartolo’s statement, it is only a minimum in starting up a peace process through international pressure for a ceasefire and providing humanitarian aid. It is the responsibility of Israel and Hamas to recognise the negative repercussions they are causing with the present violence and lean more towards a non-violent resolution.
If bombings and violence continue, tensions will continue to spread further creating a high risk of civil war. Families will be displaced, poverty will arise but most significantly, lives will be lost. The Israel-Palestine conflict has been going on for too long and it is time to come up with a peaceful resolution.
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