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article imageOp-Ed: Israel, Palestine, and the question of self-defence

By Sami Zaatari     Nov 21, 2012 in World
Gaza - Whenever violence breaks out between the Palestinians and Israelis, such as the recent conflict we’re witnessing, the standard response is that Israel has a right to defend itself.
To quote President Barack Obama "we are fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself from missiles landing on people's homes"
So while it’s been made clear that Israel has a right to defend itself, does this same logic ever apply to the Palestinians? Do Palestinians also have a right to defend themselves? Or are the Israelis the only ones allowed to defend themselves? If we look at what’s happening in the Gaza Strip, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes within that region, raining down missiles onto the people of Gaza day and night. These airstrikes have thus far left over 100 dead, a large portion of them being civilians. In one Israeli airstrike for example, 9 members of the same family were killed, when an Israeli missile struck their home. In another more recent such attack, 4 members of the same family, including two children, were also killed by an Israeli airstrike.
So in light of Israel's airstrikes that have wiped out entire families, as well as killing women, and children, let us now apply our own analogy to the situation. Imagine any other country in the world was having it’s cities being bombarded by constant air and navy strikes, strikes that were leaving dozens of innocent people dead, a large number of them children, would any country tolerate such a scenario, and would that country not have a right to defend itself?
One must also not forget, that the Palestinians don’t even have a functioning army to defend themselves, nor do they have a functioning civil state. On the other hand Israel has one of the most advanced militaries in the world, armed with some of the most sophisticated weapons in the world, including nuclear warheads.
So this is an issue we should all be thinking about, does the issue of self defence only apply to Israel, or can it also apply to Palestinians in light of what's happening in the Gaza Strip?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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