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Justice should be done to Gaza - at least in Ramadan

Justice should be done to Gaza - at least in Ramadan

Palestinians lining up for a meal in Rafah, in southern Gaza | Photo: Fatima Shbair/Associated Press

Ramadan is a time of devout fasting, spiritual reflection and social warmth. But this holy month dawns in Gaza under the most rigorous siege and suffocating test of Israel's intense aggression. This Ramadan, as in the past 160 days in Gaza, families will struggle to put food on the table. Children will go to bed hungry. Several patients will die due to lack of medical supplies. The number of Gazans killed by Israeli occupation forces while waiting for food parcels has exceeded 400. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has said that more than 25 children have died due to malnutrition and starvation and is requesting the urgent intervention of the international community. European Union foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell has raised severe criticism that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is "not a natural disaster" and is the result of Israel's use of starvation as a "war arm". Yet the countries of the world with the power and strength to solve it stand idly by as a people are being subjected to genocide. Despite US President Joe Biden's Ramadan message that he would attempt to secure a six-week ceasefire, the fierce attack in Gaza has not abated. Not only that nothing happened, but the US has not been able to even foil Netanyahu's plan to intensify the attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Instead of putting pressure to open the Rafah border and ensure a ceasefire, the US is trying to deliver food to Gazans by sea and air. The European Union also wants to be a part of an 'extreme' operation to bring food by sea to 25,000 people when 2 million people are starving. A Europe distressed by violations of human rights across the globe will be defined by the Palestinian issue, not only by its disgraceful lack of response and duplicity against Israel's systematic oppression but also by its celebration of 'freedom of expression' in the form of cartoons that ridicule the fasting virtues of the resolutely perseverant Palestinians during this Ramadan. While starving Gazans welcome Ramadan with parched throats, the attitude of Muslim nations is also extremely disappointing. They have failed to take strong action to end the suffering of the Palestinian people this Ramadan when millions of Muslims around the world come together in solidarity and compassion. Egypt collected seven billion dollars from the European Union the other day for suffering losses in the Palestinian issue. Yet, they are unwilling to open the Rafah border or deliver basic aid. They have also failed to secure a convoy system to deliver basic needs supplies through negotiations happening in Cairo, at least for Ramadan.

The time has come to end the severe starvation and growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Randa Bakr, who was destined to become a refugee in her hometown, responded to the volunteers who went to the temporary camp in Rafah with food for fasting, saying, "There is no food, no water, no medicine... We are fasting even before Ramadan. This year Ramadan is painful for us. Our loved ones are not with us. Many are starving." The world needs to hear their cry. Or else, our silence and indifference to the sufferings of those oppressed people will make us deserving of being burned from their prayer. The silence of the global powers is not only a betrayal of their moral obligations but also a guilt of having created the root causes of the Palestinian crisis. Therefore, it is the duty of all people of conscience to stand with the Palestinians in their struggle for freedom, dignity and justice and demand an end to Israel's brutal occupation and blockade.

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TAGS:GazaRamadanEditorialhumanitarian crisisIsrael Palestine conflict
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