Sat 02 Mar 2024 4:24 pm - Jerusalem Time

Hebrew Newspaper: It's time to stop the war

The killing of dozens of Palestinian citizens, the day before yesterday, during the distribution of humanitarian aid and food in the northern West Bank, requires an independent and thorough investigation, clarifying whether they were killed due to army gunfire, as the Palestinians claim, or due to stampeding and being run over while trying to approach the aid trucks, as the spokesman claims in the name of the army.

However, before the full details of the incident become clear, the unnecessary killing illustrates the chaos created by the partial Israeli occupation in Gaza, in the absence of a civil authority that must respond to the needs of the residents and allow them to return to their destroyed homes. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's refusal to present a practical plan for managing the sector that goes beyond false advertisements regarding the search for "local entities with administrative experience" and difficulties in delivering aid to the besieged community portends bad news and will only lead to more tragedies.

Therefore, it is time to stop offensive operations in Gaza, which are already being conducted at a much lower pace than before. Israel must quickly conclude a deal with Hamas, and the mediators, the United States, Egypt and Qatar, will propose: a continuous ceasefire and the release of Palestinian prisoners, in exchange for the return of kidnapped Israelis.

Rescuing the kidnapped people who are still alive must be Israel's top priority, even if the ambitious goal of "dismantling Hamas" will not be achieved during 146 days of fighting.

Israel responded to the "massacre" carried out by Hamas on October 7 in the "cover towns" by using unprecedented force. Since the beginning of the war, the army has killed about 30,000 Palestinians, including 12,500 children and teenagers, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health (which does not indicate the number of the organization’s fighters killed), and destroyed large parts of towns and villages in the Strip. Even if Yahya Al-Sinwar is still alive, and in control of his remaining forces, it is clear that his organization has received a hard blow, and it is clear that the ceasefire in Gaza does not constitute the end of the conflict, and that the army is ready to renew the fighting and precise operations - as it does in the West Bank and Lebanon. And Syria.

Before Gaza turns into Somalia in an instant, it is important to return the kidnapped people to their homes, allow the army to take a necessary break, begin investigating the failure, and return the population to the south and north. It's time to stop the war.


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