IT was after more than a month of naked Israeli aggression on Gaza that a ceasefire could take effect, and that, too, as a temporary arrangement for prisoner exchange. Israel besieged Gaza, the supply of water, food and fuel to 23 million people was suspended, and the communication system had been cut off. Even during the truce, there is little hope of any meaningful change in the quality of life of the Palestinians.
More than 50 per cent of the houses in Gaza have been destroyed, while, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 25 of the 36 hospitals in Gaza have become inactive. The few hospitals that remained operational are also partially functional, and are facing severe difficulties in providing medical aid due to shortage of fuel and medicines.
According to the WHO, more than 70,000 people have suffered from severe respiratory infections in Gaza, while more than 44,000 cases of diarrhoea have been recorded. The United Nations and other international organisations were worried about the human tragedy, but rescue and relief operations were not allowed by the Israeli administration. Even during the ceasefire, nothing substantial could be done by the various world bodies.
There is a need to have a permanent ceasefire in place. The world community should stop being a silent bystander. The world has had enough of rhetoric. It is time to do something more practical.
President, Pakistan Christian Association
Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2023