US President: Joe Biden.
Joe Biden, an ardent Zionist as much as Trump was and is, has called for a ceasefire. A ceasefire, between Hamas and the Israeli Defence Forces or IDF. As you may have seen, Hamas and the IDF are once again locked in a tit for tat clash.
What started this round of military confrontations, was when IDF forces invaded the Al-Aqsa Mosque and tried to evict Palestinians from their homes, in East Jerusalem. In response to these actions, Hamas and other Palestinian groups fired missiles from Gaza into Israel. It was the biggest number of Palestinian rockets launched on Israel, ever. It seems that these missiles had further range and were launched simultaneously, in vast numbers to overwhelm Israel's 'Iron Dome' anti-missile missile defence system. It is thought that the 'Iron Dome' system destroys at least 90% of Gazan missiles, but some will get through. Obviously, the thought from Hamas Commanders must have been "the more missiles launched, the more likely they are to evade 'Iron Dome' and connect with an Israeli target". So it has turned out, 10 Israelis have died including a soldier and a 5-year-old boy, with many more injured. Each time incoming missiles are detected from Gaza, the 'Iron Dome' system swings into action, and air raid sirens go off in Israel, sending populations into bunkers. For Israelis, this must be a horrendous life living in a perpetual war scenario. Never knowing how many Gazan missiles will be taken down by 'Iron Dome', how many will get through and destroy buildings and kill or injure, Israelis.
For Palestinians, the population has no air defence, no air raid shelters, no anti-missile system to take out Israeli missiles, bombs, planes, drones, etc. The IDF will always make an effort, to give civilians in Gaza an hour or so, to get out before the bombing starts. More Gazan civilians will die than Israeli because, of the greater impact and explosive power of Israeli munitions. Gaza City is a packed city and when Israel is taking out Hamas facilities, some non-military places will be hit accidentally. Hospitals, charity places, mosques, churches, civilian dwellings, will be caught in the over-spill from targeted Israeli attacks. So it follows, unfortunately, that Gazan civilians, will die or be injured and this cuts across all age groups and backgrounds. In every tangle between Hamas and the IDF, more Gazan civilians die than, Israelis.
Loss of life and infrastructure is regrettable on both sides, however, the loss will always be greater on the Palestinian side. Israeli and Palestinian armed confrontations are always one-sided and tilted always, in favour of Israel. Israel is a super-power in the Middle East and backed by the US, to the tune of 8 Billion Dollars. Israel has powerful armed forces with cutting-edge tech. Whereas the Palestinians, have no army, navy or airforce. Iran is the closest thing perhaps, that Hamas has, to a state backer and so, it has obtained, many missiles and other weaponry from Iran. Other than that, Hamas has developed, its own missiles and as time has gone on, they have got more powerful and increased in range.
Overnight, Israel attacked 65 Hamas targets using fighter jets and 110, other weapons. According to the IDF, Hamas has fired 3,500 missiles in total, with, 200 launched on Monday. Sirens were sounded in Israel, as Hamas, (again, according to the IDF), fired 90 missiles on Tuesday.
The Gaza Health Ministry stated that 212 Palestinians had died, in the recent round of Israeli, attacks. This was followed up, by another statement by the same ministry that said: "61 children and 36 women were killed".
The IDF reported, that the homes of Hamas commanders, had been taken out. Lebanon and Syria have also fired missiles at Israel, but apparently, they either fell short or didn't do any damage in Israel. Given that Hezbollah operatives are in these countries, it is not surprising. Israel has fought wars with Hezbollah too, the worst conflict being in 2006, where neither side really gained a victory. However, both sides had huge losses both in military personnel and civilians. Israel fired back 22 shells into Lebanon, but whether they hit any Hezbollah targets or innocent civilians, is not known.
It appears though, that attacks from Israel on Gaza and from the Gazan side on Israel, seem to be slowing down. World leaders, the UN and Joe Biden have called for a ceasefire. Apparently, said President, one Joe Biden, contacted his Israeli counterpart, to say Netanyahu needs to be thinking about a ceasefire. Maybe this is the reason, why attacks by both sides, are slowing because there are ongoing negotiations towards, a ceasefire. The Egyptians are usually involved in the Arab negotiating team, (who after Israel, is the second most financed nation, in the Middle East).
So are we going to see a ceasefire soon? A ceasefire to end this madness is required, certainly.
However, when this will come about, probably depends if both sides have met their goals, in this campaign. Certainly, Israel has pummeled Hamas, into the ground not just militarily deaths and destruction but, sadly, in civilian losses. Yes, Israel has seen death, destruction, and fear too, during this campaign. But as usual, their losses are light, when compared, to the Gazan side. Gazan loss of life and infrastructure has been decimated. Gaza is still re-building, with what money it has and with the help of charities, from the last conflict. Unemployment is rife, the poverty level for many Gazans is rampant. Gaza is a strip of land on the Mediterranean coast, with 2 million packed, into this small strip of land. Gazans cannot leave, en masse to seek a better life, even if they wanted to. Gaza is ruled by Hamas, an Islamic extremist group, whose goal is to destroy Israel and turn Palestine, into an Islamic State. How much Hamas, (who were democratically elected and then turned Gaza into their personnel state), spends on their people ie, jobs, welfare, social services, etc, would be interesting to know. However, you can bet that Hamas, uses a large amount of money, it raises through taxes or donations to engage in building weapons. Egypt and Israel blockade Gaza and limit a certain amount of goods getting through, lest, Hamas use said goods for the construction of missiles. The bigwigs in the Hamas hierarchy would appear to be mostly, unaffected, by the limit on goods. It is largely, the poverty-stricken Gazan Palestinian population, who are hit hard by the limit on certain goods.
Israel on the other hand is a rich Western orientated nation, most Israelis are of European descent, but there are Jews, from other areas of the world too. Israelis no doubt, even in these times of COVID, are a prosperous nation where many of its citizens, yes including Arabs, enjoy a good standard of living. So re-building and reconstruction, will not be so much, of a problem. Israel right now is led by Benjamin Netanyahu and a right-leaning government. And, Israeli politics seems to be getting more and more right-wing. Israel has pulled out of the Gaza Strip, but controls the energy supply to Gaza, rules their air space and Israeli patrol boats, sit offshore. Israel is settling the West Bank, more and more, akin to many colonial nations removing native populations, from their land, in this case, Palestinians who have lived there for decades.
Both Hamas and the right-leaning, Netanyahu government are stubborn, intransigent, and corrupt. Does either administration, really care, about their people?
Peace agreement and peace negotiations have come and gone. All promising so much and yet in reality, delivering nothing. Both sides and their supporters, blame each other for this failure. Both peoples need peace, security, and it seems only a miracle, will make this come about.
CONSTANT JUMA WANJALA from MOMBASA on May 18, 2021:
A good move. It will allow time for dialogue and protect the lives of innocent people
Sharlee on May 18, 2021:
At this point don't think either side cares about Biden's request or what America thinks or does.
Nick Bishop (author) on May 18, 2021:
Thanks MG, for your comments.
MG Singh from UAE on May 18, 2021:
A cease-fire will just put a cork on the bottle which will in due course get blown and another round will start. There can be no peace in Gaza as it has become `religious conflict. In the long run, Israel has no option but to obliterate Hamas and after that give autonomy to Gaza.