Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gaza... oh Gosh

December 27 marked the commencement of yet another Middle Eastern conflict. Israel, in response to an estimated 3,000 rocket attacks, began its attack on Gaza with a series of air strike taking out various locations suspected to have Hamas leaders. While Israel’s desire to protect their people is completely understandable their actions are not.

During the air strikes Israel targeted a many civilian areas, most disturbingly, a mosque and an elementary school on a refugee camp operated by the United Nations. The blatant disregard for innocent civilians has left a humanitarian disaster. Of the 1300 casualties 410 were children and 104 were women. Not to mention the fact that 34 heath facilities have been hit (both directly and indirectly with shelling) killing 16 and wounding 22 health care workers (WHO).

This is not to say that Hamas is the innocent victim. However, I do not think that Israel’s offensive strikes will accomplish much in terms of securing their people or discouraging terrorism. Economic sanctions, with the purpose of starving out Hamas, have probably done more to strengthen the terrorist’s resolve then weaken it. The conditions in Gaza are already primed towards violence. More violence will not fix the problem. Not in a region so displaced that a majority of the dense population remains in refugee camps!

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