War in Gaza amidst Ramadan


Qurat Ul Ain

The holy month of Ramadan has be­gun for the entire Muslim world. However, the misery of brethren Palestinians has shadowed the fervour and zeal in celebrating the auspi­ciousness and subsequent festiv­ities of this holy month. Accord­ing to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, since the insurgency by Hamas fighters on 7th October and the subsequent siege of Gaza by Isra­el, more than 30,000 people have been killed with approximately 70,000 injured. The United Nations has report­ed the risk of thousands of Palestinians being on the verge of famine while the World Food Programme estimated child malnutrition in Gaza to be higher than anywhere in the world.
A horrific incident earlier this month that reinforced the demand for aid was the brutal massacre of more than 100 people by Israeli forces. By opening fire on people gathered around food trucks to receive aid, the situation disrupted into total chaos leading many to be tram­pled and run over by trucks. With Israel imposing further restrictions on Muslim worshippers in Ramadan such as going to holy Muslim sites like Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the situation seems very dire. The past few months have witnessed Ga­za’s religious sites bear the brunt of con­stant attacks with approximately 184 mosques and 3 churches demolished through bombardment.
One of the warehouses of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Pal­estinian Refugees in Gaza was struck in between attempts to provide food for the captured Palestinians. A recent attack on an aid convoy in Kuwait Square killed around twenty people and wounded ap­proximately one hundred and fifty-five. While the Gaza Health Ministry claimed Israeli forces as perpetrators in the at­tack, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) put the blame on armed Palestinians for opening fire on Gaza’s population seek­ing food aid. Whosoever remains the per­petrator, this incident is a tragic reality of how the innocent get butchered in their quest to survive.
These dooming realities are a tragic de­piction of the facade created by global or­ganisations and world powers to bring peace to the anarchic international order. It seems that the passing of more than five months since hell broke loose on Gaza’s population is not enough to bring any con­crete resolution to this feud. America’s de­cision to veto the United Nation’s Security Council Resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza is just one of the many ways in which veto powers discard the very effectiveness of an international organization. Ameri­ca’s justification for the veto as an effort to prevent disruption of talks between Israel, Qatar, Egypt, and U.S seems to be flawed. An immediate ceasefire is what should have been a relief for Palestinians and for the entire Muslim world before the holy month of Ramadan began.
It is without any doubt that in this pow­er-mongering, selfish international sys­tem, states are vying to bring relief to the oppressed. The Brazilian president ex­plicitly criticised Israel for conducting ‘genocide’ against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and resonated war on Gaza to Adolf Hitler’s campaign to exterminate the Jew­ish population. Hailed by Spain and oth­er countries criticizing America for its ex­ploitative demeanour in employing the veto power, some of the eroded trust in the humanitarian spirit of states restores. Efforts of Arab countries like Algeria in pushing for a ceasefire resolution to be achieved signifies the Muslim countries’ defiance of their brethren.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s call for ‘silencing the guns’ in Gaza in honour of Ramadan remains in­effective. The foremost question in the present dilemma is the inability of the world’s biggest intergovernmental or­ganisation to execute a logical and prob­able decision given the befalling disaster on Gaza’s population, particularly during Ramadan. The misery of the hungry. war trodden citizens of Gaza are a pinnacle for deliberation on the effectiveness of mul­tilateral organizations with their current policy frameworks.
The veto power in the United Nation’s structural framework has always been in debate. It is not the first time that it has been used to fulfill one state’s selfish mo­tive in the face of other states pushing for a humanitarian solution to an existing crisis. It is at least 34 times the United States has used its veto power to block UN Security Council Resolutions that are not in conver­gence with Israel’s interests. The very au­dacity of big powers to use their veto in re­jecting a desirable, fair and just solution for states mired in crisis is devastating.
In such situations, it seems highly nec­essary for the big multilateral organiza­tions to reflect on structural hindrances to their effectiveness. Though interna­tional organizations are a conglomeration of states, a bunch of like-minded states to­gether can bring forth structural changes in multilateral organizations. Hope for a better future with concrete humanitarian achievements could be in the way if a path is paved for removing obstacles in the im­plementation of just and logical decisions.
The writer holds a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from NUST and is currently associated with Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad. She can be reached at qurat4887@gmail.com.