Failure to confront the genocide in Gaza will haunt humanity

A group of men at a conference table

None of Netanyahu’s declared war aims have been reached, but a genocide, with US support, is unfolding in Gaza.

Amos Ben-Gershom Chine Nouvelle/SIPA

More than two months have passed since the Zionist aggression on the Gaza Strip and the enemy persists in trying to achieve the goals it declared at the outset: crushing Hamas, retrieving captives in Gaza, and forcing the evacuation of Gaza’s population to the Egyptian Sinai.

After more than 60 days of aggression, however, Benjamin Netanyahu and his racist government have not achieved any of these goals. The heroic resistance continues, with daily reports of losses inflicted on the enemy, including the destruction of hundreds of military vehicles and the killing and wounding of soldiers from point-blank range.

The spectacle of Qassam Brigades members calmly delivering captives to the International Red Cross amidst a crowd cheering for the resistance in the heart of Gaza, where fierce battles had taken place, contradicts the enemy’s claims that it has significantly downgraded Hamas’ capabilities.

These fighters’ treatment of their captives was exemplary, even though some of these men lost their families during this Zionist aggression. This reflects the values of a people standing on the ground of a great civilization that taught humanity the values of tolerance and coexistence centuries ago.

Moreover, the deal that saw some captives freed has been the only avenue for such releases. Contrary to Netanyahu’s second objective, his army has been unable to locate or free any captives.

The third goal, expelling the population to Sinai in Egypt, the extremist Zionist government’s long-term plan, has faced the strong will of Palestinians to resist displacement and avoid a repetition of the Nakba.

The enemy partially succeeded in displacing more than a million people from the north to the south, but it has failed to expel them outside Palestine.

So what did Netanyahu and his war council achieve so far?

Tens of thousands have been killed or injured, mostly women and children. Hundreds of thousands of homes have been destroyed or damaged, along with hospitals, schools, universities, mosques, and churches.

A blot on humanity

All these are war crimes and crimes against humanity, and, together with the genocidal language of the entire Zionist political class from the very top, meet the criteria of genocide.

Netanyahu will return to his hideout dragging the tails of defeat, shame and disgrace. Importantly, Netanyahu and his war council must not escape punishment.

The battle was fought and won on 7 October. That marked a strategic victory for the Palestinian people on the path to liberation, despite the high costs we have paid and will continue to pay on this journey.

But humanity as a whole has lost. The failure of the international community to stop the Zionist aggression and prevent a humanitarian disaster is shameful.

This disaster is a direct consequence of the enemy’s targeting of civilian infrastructure, including the health system, coupled with a siege imposed for over 60 days that has stopped food, water and medicine from entering Gaza in anything but a wholly inadequate trickle, leaving Gaza’s population to starve.

Despite international pressure over 60 days, despite thousands of humanitarian aid trucks waiting at the Rafah crossing, and tens of thousands more on their way from around the world, the Zionist enemy has managed to impose its conditions for the entry of aid.

Humanity has failed to confront Zionist arrogance and American complicity. How will international institutions or countries demand any state to respect international humanitarian law and adhere to international standards in case of conflict or war from now on?

This is especially true if this genocide is not ended immediately and war criminals are allowed to escape accountability and punishment.

There is still a slim chance for us to work towards lifting the blockade and saving the lives of millions of people. Perhaps we can erase this disgrace, which will haunt humanity for generations.

But the international community must act immediately before it is too late.

Dr. Basem Naim is a former Palestinian minister of health and a member of the political bureau of Hamas. He has previously appeared and published in several media outlets, including Australia’s ABC network, the UK’s Sky News, The Guardian, Middle East Eye, Al Jazeera and The Jewish Daily Forward.