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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 May 12 - 18  > International efforts urgently needed to cease Israel-Hamas hostilities
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2021 May 12 - 18 TOP3 [WORLD]

International efforts urgently needed to cease Israel-Hamas hostilities

May 18, 2021

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The ongoing artillery and bombing attacks carried out by Israel on Palestine’s Gaza Strip are killing and injuring many Palestinians, including children and women. The latest military clash was triggered by angry protests by Palestinians against Israel’s move to banish Palestinians from East Jerusalem with the expansion of Israeli settlements in flagrant violation of international law. In the conflict, rocket fire by Hamas against Israel has caused damage, injury, and deaths, and is unjustifiable. Israel’s air strikes show its overwhelming military strength with precision targeting of a media building, which has aggravated the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Both sides should stop hostilities immediately.

The UN Human Rights Council in March adopted a resolution which criticizes Israel for committing various violations of international law and demands that Israel halt its unlawful acts, withdraw from the occupied areas, and swiftly end the Gaza blockade. It is unacceptable for Israel to ignore the previously agreed upon resolution.

The UN Security Council held a meeting on May 16 to discuss the issue. However, it was unable to adopt a legally-binding resolution due to opposition from the U.S. which provides Israel with military aid believed to be worth three billion dollars (about 330 billion yen) annually. Centering on its national interests, the U.S. takes an attitude of neglecting serious human rights abuses by Israel, which is causing a negative impact on the international community’s joint efforts toward dealing with the issue.

What is needed to justly resolve the Palestine issue is the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied areas, the realization of Palestinian right to self-determination, including the establishment of their own independent state, and the establishment of a Palestinian state with peaceful coexistence with Israel under the mutual recognition of the right to exist. The urgent task now is to increase international efforts to push Israel and Hamas to call a cease-fire.

The Japanese government in a statement by the Foreign Ministry’s Press Secretary expressed “serious concern”. However, in 2018, then Prime Minister Abe Shinzo during his visit to Israel agreed to strengthen strategic cooperation mainly in the security field and set up a framework for foreign and defense ministerial talks. For Japan, it remains to be seen if it can take a firm stance toward opposing international law violations by Israel.
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