By Gulamhusein A. Abba
Note: A report on U.N. Secretary General’s speech can be seen at http://www.news.net/article/1724215/un-chief-gaza-deaths-and-destruction-shame-world?referid&sid=1tq68agbi1q5a10bhcjig63i54
U.N Secretary General is to be commended for some plain speaking on Gaza. Regrettably, the “solutions” he suggests make no sense and are self-defeating. In essence the UN is evading its responsibilities to the Palestinian people once again.
When Israel, after the 1967 war which it initiated, refused to vacate the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, all of which it had occupied, the UN evaded its responsibility to get the illegal occupation
vacated and instead the Palestinians were pressured to “negotiate” with the occupier, Israel. Now the UN is evading its responsibility again by its Secretary General saying that Hamas and Israel should go
back to the negotiating table to work out a truce deal providing for lifting of the crippling siege of Gaza by Israel
There are four distinct components of the problem.
Ending the carnage being perpetuated by Israel with its current military action.
Freeing Gazans from the crippling, strangling and illegal siege and blockade of Gaza.
Dealing with the rockets being fired by Hamas into Israel.
Establishing a truce.
The UN can and must call on Israel to end its current military operations in Gaza and lift the siege and blockade of Gaza. It is the bounden duty of the UN to call on Israel, a child of its own creation, to abide by international laws.
Indeed, seeing that the “peace negotiations process” has merely been used by Israel to grab more land allotted to a Palestinian state by the UN, construct more illegal Israeli settlements thereon and inflict unbearable and cruel suffering on the Palestinians, it is time for the UN to go further and discharge its responsibilities and take all necessary steps to end the illegal occupation of West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
The UN cannot ask Gazans to desist from exercising the internationally recognized right of occupied people to resist the occupation, by force if necessary.
There is no obligation on Hamas to end the firing of rockets into Israel even if Israel ends its current military operations in Gaza and lifts the siege and blockade of Gaza. Gazans are, first and foremost, Palestinians and Gaza is an integral part of the Palestinian state mandated by the UN. Hamas demands include the ending of the continuing illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in addition to ending its occupation of Gaza and its illegal siege and blockade of it.
For the immediate present, a truce is desperately needed. But it is as ridiculous and unjust to the Palestinians to ask both the parties to “go back to the negotiating table”, as Ban Ki.moon has done, as it was to ask Palestinians to negotiate with the occupier the terms and conditions for ending the occupation. The UN evaded its responsibilities then and it is doing it once again.
On the face of it, there appears to be an insoluble dilemma.
Here is where the UN can come in. Though it cannot ask Hamas to desist from exercising its right to resist the illegal occupation by firing rockets into Israel, it can call on both parties to agree to a truce formulated by the UN, which would include:
Israel and Hamas to forthwith cease violence against each other.
Israel to start lifting its siege and blockade of Gaza and complete the process within 90 days.
If Israel and the UN want Israeli citizens to live in peace and security after the 90 day period, it is for Israel, and the UN, to see that Israel vacates its illegal occupation of West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem and recognizes an independent and sovereign state of Palestine within the 1967 borders which the Palestinians (both Hamas and Fatah) have already agreed to.