The utterly depressing truth about the violence that is again unfolding in the Middle East is that it is all too familiar. If one compared reports of heavy fighting in Gaza in 2009 and 2014 to the present day, many of the details would be the same. Civilian deaths. Families fleeing homes reduced to rubble. Rockets fired by Hamas and disproportionate response by Israel.
That is evident again in the latest casualty list: At least 10 on the Israeli side, including two children, and at least 188
Palestinians, including more than 50 children. There is, however, a reason to think that this time the situation is even worse because, for the first time, violence is erupting between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel’s mixed cities.
Yesterday, Simon Coveney used Ireland’s voice on the UN Security Council to condemn the killing of children, saying both sides must refrain from violence and Israel must also abide by international humanitarian law.
“We cannot return to the flouting of international law with the expansion of illegal settlements into occupied Palestinian territory,” he said.
We have heard strong words before from an international community that has been quick to pay lip service but slow to do more. The least we can hope for is a ceasefire but a return to the way things were means that it will only be a matter of time before violence erupts again.
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