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Israel’s assault on Rafah: What’s India’s place?

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We return to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza- now practically 250 days of it- in retaliation for the October 7 terror assaults by Hamas- the newest civilian casualties, after Israel Defence Forces launched strikes on a refugee tent metropolis in Rafah, an space designated a protected zone by Israel itself- killing about 45, many burnt to demise whereas asleep and injuring 200.

– The demise toll now from 7 months of Israeli operations- greater than 36,000, together with civilians, UN staff and journalists.

– Israel that misplaced 1200 civilians within the Hamas assaults, nonetheless awaits the return of about 125 hostages.

– Starvation additionally stalks Palestinians with Israel blocking meals and humanitarian provide routes- a UN survey discovered that 85 per cent of youngsters didn’t eat for an entire day no less than as soon as within the three days earlier than its survey was carried out.

Global Response to Rafah:

1. Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu referred to as the Rafah strike a tragic mistake, at the same time as IDF claimed the camp had a weapons dump that brought on the deaths. His NSA stated the conflict would proceed no less than one other 7 months- till finish 2024

 2. The newest civilian killings even prompted the US to problem a robust assertion, however stated no “red lines” had been crossed by Israel but

3. The strike got here even because the ICC prosecutor utilized for arrest warrants in opposition to Israel PM Netanyahu, Defence Minister Gallant and Hamas Leaders for conflict crimes- as soon as these are issued, it should change into troublesome for them to journey to different international locations who’re signatories- because it has been for Russian President Putin

4. Meanwhile the ICJ- that continues to deliberate on South Africa’s petition on terming Israel’s conflict as a genocide, issued a particular order on Rafah- ordering Israel to cease its operations within the southernmost space of Gaza in Rafah, its final refuge for Palestinians

The Hindu in focus Podcast this week has extra

5. Ireland, Norway and Spain joined 140 international locations worldwide which have already recognised the state of Palestine, saying this was a part of a symbolic push on Israel for the 2-state resolution.

6. Spain has additionally introduced it should deny port services to any ship carrying weapons for Israel, and stopped a cargo from Chennai carrying explosive materials

7. While UN members preserve urging the UN Security Council to rethink the attraction for full membership standing for Palestine, the UNSC has a brand new proposal by Algeria calling for Israel to cease it offensive on Rafah. A UNSC listening to noticed a very fierce debate between the Israeli and Palestinian Ambassadors

All this occurred previously week- what’s India’s place?

1. The MEA referred to as the Rafah strike killings, heartbreaking:

Randhir Jaiswal: “The heartbreaking loss of civilian lives in the displacement camp in Rafah is a matter of deep concern for us. We have consistently called for protection of civilian population and respect for international humanitarian law in the ongoing conflict..”

2. India just isn’t a signatory, so is not going to be certain by the warrants, if issued

3. However, India does adhere to the ICJ, and an Indian decide was amongst these presiding on the ruling- it is usually clear that South Africa has gained a lot standing within the world south over its powerful place at ICJ, and India will watch that keenly

4. The MEA additionally identified that India was among the many first international locations to recognise Palestine – manner again in 1988. India hosts and helps the Palestinian embassy in Delhi

5. India will watch all peace strikes closely- particularly the Chinese one, given China’s function within the Saudi-Iran rapprochement final 12 months. PM Modi even declared this week that he had despatched his envoy, believed to be NSA Ajit Doval who met with PM Netanyahu to induce him to not bomb Gaza through the month of Ramzaan. Given that Israel continued its bombing, it stays to be seen whether or not the newly elected PM publish elections will take a extra engaged function.

6. Grand connectivity tasks I2U2 and IMEEC have been pressured into an indefinite pause, commerce prices by the Red sea and Persian gulf have skyrocketed, and US plans to increase the Abraham Accord have floundered

WV Take: Despite the backing of the US, Israel is preventing a dropping world battle of notion – and the losses mount with every passing day of civilian casualties. In that sense, Rafah is not only the ultimate entrance for Palestinian refugees fleeing the bombardment, it may very well be Israel’s final likelihood to show the tide, settle for a ceasefire, negotiate a hostage launch and finish the struggling of civilians. India should play its function, if in any respect, to that finish.

WV Reading Recommendations: I’ve already advisable quite a few books in current episodes. So as not duplicate, listed below are some books anticipated within the subsequent few months:

1. The Killing of Gaza: Reports on a Catastrophe by Gideon Levy

2. The Gates of Gaza: Critical Voices from Israel on October 7 and the War with Hamas (De Gruyter Disruptions Book 4) Kindle Edition by Lihi Ben Shitrit

3. The Abraham Accords: The Gulf States, Israel, and the Limits of Normalization by Elham Fakhro

4. Spies Among The Sands: Assessing Seven Decades of the Mossad and Israeli National Security by Prem Mahadevan

5. From Beirut to Jerusalem (With a New Preface) Paperback – October 1, 2024 by Thomas L. Friedman

6. HAMAS: The Quest for Power 1st Edition by Beverley Milton-Edwards (Author), Stephen Farrell

Script and Presentation: Suhasini Haidar

Production: Gayatri Menon and Shibu Narayan

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