Tue, June 01, 2010
World > Middle East > Gaza flotilla clash

Israel's abuse of force cripples new Mideast peace efforts

2010-06-01 07:57:16 GMT2010-06-01 15:57:16 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, June 1 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council convened an emergency session Monday to discuss the aftermath of the Israeli raid on Gaza-bound humanitarian aid ships earlier in the day.

President of the General Assembly Ali Triki on the same day also strongly condemned the Israeli act, calling it "a flagrant violation of all principles and rules of international law."

The attack, which resulted in the death of at least 10 innocent civilians, came at a time when Israel and Palestine just started indirect peace talks with the mediation of the international community, giving hopes of re-launching the Middle East peace process following a 18-month impasse.

Last month Israel and Palestine agreed to hold four-month-long U.S.-led "indirect talks" to continue their efforts toward lasting peace. U.S. President Barack Obama has planned to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Washington for talks to help narrow their differences and push ahead the peace process.

However, Israel's deadly storming of the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip threatens to drive the fledgling peace efforts to collapse, observers have warned.

After the attack, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza, Ramallah, Nablus and other cities to voice their outrage. The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, which has taken de facto control over the Gaza Strip, urged the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to cease "all negotiations" with Israel.

The Israeli raid also further strained its already-tense relations with other countries in the region. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said the Israeli move demonstrated it does not show the sincerity to have peace with the Arabs at all while calling on Arab countries to reexamine their relationship with Israel.

The humanitarian situation in the occupied territory and especially in Gaza remains grave. Israel must implement UN Security Council Resolution No. 1860 in its entirety and in real earnest, immediately lift the blockade on Gaza and reopen all border crossings to allow in international humanitarian aid so that the Palestinians could start reconstruction and return to their normal life at an early date.

The aftermath of Israel's assault on humanitarian aid flotilla will continue to be felt in the days or weeks to come. A lesson taught by half-century-long Arab-Israel conflict is that the use of force can never bring about peace but only heighten the hatred between the conflicting parties and lead to a vicious cycle of "violence for violence."

Only when Israel and Palestine return to the negotiating table for pragmatic and earnest peace talks, can people in the Middle East region enjoy genuine lasting peace.

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