UPDATE: Ceasfire ended after Israeli shelling killed eight people in Gaza on Friday just hours into a three-day truce.
As a three-day ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip comes into effect, world leaders continue to comment on the conflict that has claimed has killed over 1,170 people.
A majority of these politicians blame Hamas for the bloodshed. They claim it’s the militant organization – and not Israel – which is responsible for the loss of innocent lives in Gaza.
However, is it really a logical argument?
If a terrorist group is inadvertently responsible for civilian massacre then what is Israel, a so-called democracy and protector of human rights, doing to stop it?
In fact, as it turns out, Israel is doing exactly what Hamas is attempting to do – killing innocent people.
Of the hundreds of Gazans who have died in the Middle Eastern conflict, 70% are reportedly civilians.
“A shocking 815 are thought to be Palestinian civilians, and 232 of those children. That means that about 7 out of 10 total deaths are innocent Palestinian civilians, and 2 out of 10 innocent Palestinian children, an appallingly high rate,” wrote journalist Max Fisher on VOX.
Last Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper blamed Hamas for the heavy loss of civilian life in Gaza.
"Obviously, no one likes to see the suffering and loss of life that has occurred," Harper said.
"That said, we hold the terrorist organization Hamas responsible for this. They have initiated and continue this conflict, and continue to seek the destruction of the state of Israel," he added.
Sadly, Harper has got so many things wrong here. While he wants to condemn the humanitarian crises in Gaza, he thinks it’s Israel – and not the Gaza Strip – facing the threat of destruction.
Also, the Canadian Prime Minister is completely disregarding the fact that almost all the attacks that killed the Palestinian “human shields” nevertheless came from the Israeli military – which essentially means that “inadvertently” both Hamas and Israel are killing the same people.
Israeli Economics Minister Naftali Bennett also reiterated Harper’s point in a televised interview.
"Hamas has missile-launchers hidden in homes and in schools," he said. "I myself was a commando fighter in Gaza and I saw missile-launchers in the living room of a home. When you do this you are killing your own children. Hamas is clearly responsible for the very unfortunate death of Arab citizens."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has – on multiple occasions – blamed Hamas for using civilians as human shields.
“They want to pile up more and more dead bodies of Palestinian civilians. Hamas is responsible for that, Hamas should be held accountable for civilian deaths,” he said in an NBC interview last Sunday – the same day when 13 Palestinians were killed in Gaza by IDF forces despite a humanitarian ceasefire.
It’s been almost a month Israel started its defensive Operation Protective Edge. Netanyahu has been and is continuously being warned about the humanitarian crises his forces are inflicting on the other side of the border. But it doesn’t seem to affect his actions.
Here is the entire conflict in a nutshell:
Israel is bent on continuing with his deadly ground operation despite mass civilian deaths to exterminate its enemy. So is Hamas.
Then how can the two be any different from each other?