Bearing Witness To Israel's War On Gaza

Bearing witness is seeing, listening, being present, assuming responsibility, telling, and retelling the stories of the people in the war-torn Gaza Strip.

Outlook's December 21 issue

Israel continues to bomb the Gaza Strip in the third month of its war on the Palestinian enclave. As large swathes of neighbourhoods, once populated by scores of families, turn into wastelands, peace remains a distant dream as the scope of another round of ceasefire gets slimmer by the day. 

For the world, this might be the first televised Israeli War on Gaza, but for the 1.9 million displaced within Gaza, this is akin to the 'Nakba' of 1948 and 'Naksa' of 1967 when the State of Israel defeated the Arab states and firmed up its position. As Israel progresses with its war on Gaza, we bear witness to the death and destruction raining on the Palestinians for three generations. Bearing witness is seeing, listening, being present, assuming responsibility, telling, and retelling the stories of the people in the war-torn Gaza.

As the seven-day ceasefire expired, Israel not just resumed bombing Gaza but also expanded the campaign to southern Gaza where it had earlier asked the Palestinians to go. Tiny patches of land, that had little water or food, were earmarked by Israel as 'safe zones' for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. But with Israel now stepping up its attacks in the southern part of the enclave, which was considered as a 'safe zone' earlier, Palestinians have virtually nowhere to go.

In opposition to the Israeli War on Gaza, the Palestinian organisations and those supporting the besieged people in Gaza are observing a worldwide strike on Monday.

"We expect the entire globe to join the strike, which comes in the context of a broad international movement involving influential figures. This movement stands against the open genocide in Gaza, the ethnic cleansing and the colonial settlement in the West Bank...The strike also opposes attempts to undermine the just national cause of the Palestinian people," said a statement from National and Islamic Forces, a coalition of major Palestinian factions that made the call for the strike.

The call for the strike has found resonance in several quarters of the world, including in India where Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Wadra has called for a similar strike. Vadra has been vocal against Israel since the beginning of its war on Gaza and has called the attacks on the Palestinian enclave a "genocide". 

The calls for the strike came as the United States vetoed a resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued damning warnings about the humanitarian crises in the Palestinian enclave, with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying it will be all but impossible to improve the "catastrophic" health situation in Gaza as things stand. 

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