At least 683 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and nearly 3,085 wounded since the war began on December 27. Seven Israeli soldiers and three civilians have died in the same period.
Avi Shlaim, a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford, writing in this morning’s The Guardian, argues forcefully that:
“No amount of military escalation can buy Israel immunity from rocket attacks from the military wing of Hamas. Despite all the death and destruction that Israel has inflicted on them, they kept up their resistance and they kept firing their rockets. This is a movement that glorifies victimhood and martyrdom. There is simply no military solution to the conflict between the two communities. The problem with Israel’s concept of security is that it denies even the most elementary security to the other community. The only way for Israel to achieve security is not through shooting but through talks with Hamas, which has repeatedly declared its readiness to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders for 20, 30, or even 50 years. Israel has rejected this offer for the same reason it spurned the Arab League peace plan of 2002, which is still on the table: it involves concessions and compromises.”
The tragedy that is unfolding itself in front of our own eyes, day by day, hour by hour, is a frightening reminder of the fragility of peace in our region.