Gaza Crisis Reaches Critical Stage

A coalition of eight British-based human rights organizations released a scathing report which claims the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is at the worst point since Israel captured the territory in 1967. Of the approximately 1.1 million people in the Strip, about 80% now depend on food aid as opposed to 63% in 2006. The unemployment rate is at least 40% and close to 70% of the 110,000 workers employed in the private sector have lost their jobs. Hospitals are suffering from power cuts which may last up to 12 hours, and the water and sewage systems are close to collapse.

Israel blames Hamas for the rocket attacks on Israeli cities which have created conditions of fear and anxiety among their inhabitants. The Israel Defense Ministry challenged the report’s conclusions and argued each day truckloads of medicines and equipment enter the Gaza Strip. This week NGO Monitor which is based in Jerusalem called on NGOs to cease using their authority in order to further political efforts which take the side of Palestinians.

Perhaps, it is time for all sides to end rhetorical battles as to whether Israel or Hamas is the one responsible for the current crisis. Perhaps, it is time to bring in outside mediators who have no connection with either side. Kofi Annan spent a month working to resolve the Kenya crisis and put together a nonpartisan group of Elder Statesmen to assist in his efforts. It might be time for such a group to bring together Hamas, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority to work out a cease fire which would be a prelude towards obtaining a peace settlement. It is important to keep out the Bush administration from further efforts to achieve peace.

  • Malluh

    It is time for the world to wake up and see the actions of the Monster created by the UN. Infact Israel has done more masacres in Palestine , Lebanon, The killing of the more than 20,000 Eygptian soldiers in 1967, West Bank autorocities and Gaza continues, Closing and demoliting homes, Towns spearated from the farmlands which forces farmers to travel four times the distance due to building of the Berlin Wall. The latest killingsin Gaza. As long as the American Veto protects Israel, there will never be peace. The solution for the problem is to have the Iraelis and settlers to bo back to pre-1967 and allow the formation of a Palestinian stae to be formed and then everyone can live in Peace. Following a road map that was put on an empty paper without showing any lines or conditions, or limits will not produce anything. Name it what you wish Oslo, Peace Treaty, Road Map, Wyriver, without any actions or reinforcement on either side will not produce a solution.
    The problem here needs comitment from both sides and to allow for things to be worked out.

  • Fred Stopsky

    As you obviously don’t recall, after the UN partiion plan came into place, Arab armies from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria invaded the new nation of Israel. You apparently forget that Egypt was planning an attack on Israel in 1967. You apparently forget Arab nations invaded Israel during the Yom Kippur war. Has Israel made mistakes? Yes. Does it utilize disproportianate force to respond to terrorism? Yes, it does. Your hysterical incorrect version of the conflict is part of the problem. Do you recall Arafat turned down the Clinton compromise plan in 2001 that was accepted by Israel?

  • m.h.sharef

    Israel will never give up its occupied territories,unless the the so called UNITED
    NATIONS gets some hard teeth to bite,
    till then there will be Al-Khaida ,Terrorism,
    New wars etc etc. All world problems starts
    from this conflict.

  • Fred Stopsky

    Hamas is delibertately creating difficulties in achieving any sort of peace. Hamas and those in Israel who don’t want peace benefit by Hamas rocket attacks.