India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushama Swaraj and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaih Nadu deserve applause for having rejected some of the Opposition members’ demand in the Indian Parliament to condemn Israel’s ongoing air and artillery bombardment of the Hamas infrastructure in the Gaza Strip . Last week some members of the Parliament argued that the strikes had led to the deaths of over two hundred Palestinians, including some civilians and children and as such New Delhi must condemn this “ aggression.” and demand a halt to the attack. Minister Swaraj retorted, “ any discourteous reference to any friendly country would affect relations.” Her colleague Naidu echoed similar sentiments.
One finds any such demand to condemn Israel is absolutely discriminatory. The lack of fairness herein is clear from the fact that those Opposition members who have made this demand seem to be so upset about the death of a couple of hundred in Gaza but they have hardly ever been moved when many Middle Eastern regimes have indulged in or been parties to the cold-blooded killings of the hundreds of thousands of their own citizens, including women and children .
Their demand to condemn Israel is ludicrous too. They have, in the present context, seemed to have ignored the predicament of Israel , the only developed democracy in the Middle East, at the hands of Hamas, a notorious terrorist organization with a charter based on the fanatic ideology of hatred and violence against vast sections of humanity, including women . The latter has had no history of faith in peace and development in the region. Jerusalem withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005 uprooting more than 8.000 of its citizens and abandoning all its border controls of Gaza, except the Israeli one . Yet this terrorist outfit has fired more than 12.000 rockets at Israeli towns since 2005 and indulged in dozens of other terror attacks on civilians in the country .
Pertinently, in its activities and operations Hamas has had the support of certain reactionary establishments in the Middle East. For long it had the support of the “Axis of Resistance” (Iran, Syria, Hizballah, and the Islamic Jihad). After Hamas’s parent movement Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Cairo, former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi blessed it. In the recent past the Emir of Qatar is said to have granted Hamas $ 400 million .
Recently , Hamas has further vitiated the political atmosphere in the region . Former Hamas Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh has announced the “Third Intifada” has begun in the West Bank. He has praised the terrorism of the Hamas military wing and called Israeli civilians killed in its terrorist operations “settlers”. Senior members of Hamas , such as Khalid Mashʿal, Fauzi Barhum, and Mushir al-Masri, have praised the recent abduction and later killings of the three Jewish teenagers . Mashʿal has referred to the Israeli civilians killed in its attacks as “soldiers. ”
This has not but put Jerusalem under tremendous moral and legal obligations to use all means at its disposal to protect its citizens by liquidating the entire Hamas’ infrastructure completely. Its previous offensives, including the “Operation Pillar of Defense” (November 2012) have failed to end Hamas’ operational control in the Gaza Strip. As such the Benjamin Netanyahu government needs to leave no stone unturned in its current “Operation Protective Edge” to corner Hamas once for all.
The current dispensation of President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi in Cairo seems to appreciate Israeli imperatives in this regard. It has recently done a lot in neutralizing Hamas in the region. After the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, Cairo has declared Hamas a terror movement . The Egyptian army has destroyed a majority of Hamas’ smuggling tunnels to the Gaza Strip. One wishes the Palestinian Authority government would distance itself completely from Hamas now for the sake of peace and development in the region. The Authority ought to realize there is no point having a partner whose ideology is hatred and violence against fellow human beings . The Hamas rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip kill or maim not only Israelis but also Palestinians in the West Bank.
Unfortunately, however, despite precautionary measures, such as dropping leaflets to warn Gazan residents about the areas and buildings to be targeted by the ongoing Israeli on Gaza , some innocent people get killed as the terrorists force them to be used as human shields . This could be avoided to a great extent if Jerusalem planned a full-fledged ground invasion in consultation with major military powers and moderate Muslim nations such as Egypt and Jordan in the region, entered the Strip and destroyed Hamas one by one. Hamas is a threat to them all in the short or long term. They could provide Jerusalem with whatever appropriate military, logistical and diplomatic support were needed in its current “Operation Protective Edge.”
About the Author: Jagdish N. Singh is an Indian journalist based in New Delhi.
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