From Xinhua News Agency, Nov. 3, 2023. Complete text:
Beijing – Nearly a month into the ongoing Palestine-Israel conflict, the death toll has surpassed 10,000, one of the worst humanitarian crises in this century.
Sadly, this confrontation has swiftly caused a significant number of casualties within a remarkably short period compared with fatalities from a pandemic and the Ukraine crisis.
Worse still, a ceasefire is nowhere in sight, as Israel has vehemently rejected any humanitarian truce under full-swing support from the US.
According to the health ministry in Gaza, as of Wednesday [Nov. 1], 8,796 people, including 3,648 children and 2,290 women, have been killed and 22,219 injured during the Israeli military offensive on the Palestinian enclave. On the Israeli side, over 1,400 people have been killed, local media reported.
The current situation, where neither side wins, not only brings catastrophe to civilians, but also sows the seeds of renewed animosity between the two sides, intensifying a vicious cycle of hatred between Israelis and Palestinians.
“Ceasefire” is not only a diplomatic term, it is now a matter of life and death for many civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis.
When the international community has shown widespread concern regarding this humanitarian disaster, urging for a ceasefire and condemning attacks on civilians, the support of the US and its Western allies towards Israel, in contrast, is mind-bending.
A permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, the US has vetoed two UN resolutions that, if adopted, would have called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian aid.
On Oct. 27, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that calls for “an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce,” and urges immediate humanitarian access to Gaza, with 120 countries voting in favor. The US voted against it again.
By vetoing UN resolutions and providing military assistance, the US has added to the gravity of the situation, blocked the prospects for a quick resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and exacerbated the current humanitarian crisis.
The conflict has also backfired on the US itself. Protests have erupted in many US cities, exposing the cracks in US society with heightened risks for attacks against Jews. Its ubiquitous military bases in the Middle East are under increasing attack.
Hatred does not go away. It only grows deeper. With civilians suffering immensely in the conflict, the US is once again helping sow the seeds of hatred between Palestinians and Israelis, exacerbating the vicious circle. A possible spillover of the conflict will also undermine the already fragile security situation in the Middle East.
“Will you continue to allow this jigsaw of war to be completed by aggressive acts, by your disunity, or by sheer neglect? Or will you take the courageous and necessary steps back from the abyss?” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi asked.
Instead of vetoing UN resolutions, the US should leverage its influence on the conflicting parties to achieve a ceasefire, thus preventing the humanitarian disaster from getting worse and avoiding the spillover of the conflict.
The 10,000 lives already lost in the conflict serve as an urgent call for ceasefire. The sooner, the better.