Rafah inferno

Published May 29, 2024

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even by the Zionist state’s standards. Eyewitness accounts of survivors reported by media outlets make for highly disturbing reading, pointing to the fact that a war crime against defenceless civilians — not the first in this conflict — has been committed by the ‘world’s most moral’ army. If anything, Israel’s conduct in Gaza since the Oct 7 attacks has been the epitome of amorality. Tel Aviv has had no regrets about the civilians it has murdered, the children it has orphaned, the mass graves it has left, and the forced starvation it has used as a weapon in the Gaza hellscape. At least 45 people were killed in the latest atrocity, with several victims charred. Israel says it struck the camp while pursuing Hamas fighters. Yet the ferocity of the assault can be gauged from the fact that a number of victims — including children — were left dismembered after the attack. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed the Rafah outrage was a “tragic accident”; but these words are meaningless as Tel Aviv’s war machine has continued to pound Gaza even after the refugee camp tragedy.

Condemnation of this monstrous attack has been pouring in from around the world, including the UN and EU. US officials, meanwhile, have highlighted the need to “assess what happened”, while timidly asking Israel to “protect civilians”. ‘What happened’ is abundantly clear; Israel has unleashed a genocidal war in Gaza in the name of going after Hamas, and in many instances, has used American money and weapons to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people. Therefore, those supporting Israel’s abominable war should shed the use of euphemism, as this fools no one. Moreover, the time for strong critiques of Israeli barbarism has long passed. If the world is serious about stopping the butchery in Palestine, solid action is needed. Both the brave states that initiated legal action against Israel, as well as the courageous voices in the West condemning their governments for complicity in genocidal violence, must focus their energies on isolating Tel Aviv internationally. People of conscience in the East and West must unite to economically and militarily boycott Israel for its shameless spilling of Palestinian blood. If concrete steps are not taken, then we must await the next atrocity.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2024

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