No matter what, human life is sacred. A child born in Johnson County, Kansas is just as precious as one of the 400 children killed in Gaza, ever since Israel began Operation Protective Edge on July 8. The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, supposedly values all life equally. He says Israel is forced to bomb densely populated areas because this is where Hamas, the terrorist organization shooting rockets at Israel, operates.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is portrayed as even-handed. Each side is seen as causing a sizable amount of damage to the other. This is false. Although Hamas targets Israeli civilians, they rarely succeed. Their charter is full of anti-Jewish sentiment but this is not their sole motivator. The 47 year occupation of Gaza, marginalization, oppression, and injustice suffered under Israeli control is the main reason the hostility exists.
When the state of Israel was formed many Palestinian families who had been there for generations were forcibly removed. Many were pushed into Gaza and the West Bank. Almost all the rockets fired by Hamas are shot down by Israel’s extensive missile defense system, the Iron Dome; paid for by the American government.
Where is Gaza’s Iron Dome? If 5,000 Israelis were in Gaza would the bombing continue? Of course not. Little to no Israelis are affected by Hamas rocketfire, but over 2,000, mostly innocent, Palestinian men, women, and children have been killed since July 8 according to the news organization Reuters.
It’s hard to believe only terror sites are targeted when three quarters of the people killed are innocent noncombatants. Ordinary citizens are blatantly preyed upon. The Israeli Defence Forces bombed six UN schools, killing 17 and injuring 90. They bombed the only power plant in Gaza, leaving the entire strip without electricity.
Netanyahu says Hamas uses the citizens of Gaza as human shields. This is illogical. If innocent people are used as cover for a terrorist group, then why does Israel give Hamas the upper hand and give into terrorist demands? Although Hamas is a radical, violent organization, the bombs killing hundreds of Palestinian civilians are dropped by Israel.
It’s no secret that Gaza is overpopulated. It’s a strip of land less than half the size of Los Angeles, only meant for a population of 100,000 but crammed with almost 2 million people. Israel is well aware. They know Gaza is under siege and barely anything or anyone gets in or out without the explicit approval of the government. If depriving people of basic human rights, confining them to an open air prison, and bombing them if they show any sign of resistance isn’t terrorism, then what is?