India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Occupied Territories, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, USA, UK, Spain, the Russian Federation, to name a few, are a testimony to the cruel attacks on civilians and other human rights abuses in the recent past by non-state armed groups, including terrorist groups. They are showing utter disdain for the lives of civilians and others, continuing a pattern of serious crimes and crimes against humanity. They fail to abide by even the most basic standards of humanitarian law. The attacks and other abuses by armed groups are so frequent and the security situation so grave, that it is impossible to calculate with any confidence the true toll upon the civilian population, let alone the long term consequences that so many people inevitably suffer.
We are all aware of the terrible toll of unarmed civilian casualties caused by the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) air strike on Gaza a few days ago. It demonstrates yet again the willingness of those who currently hold power in Israeli to sabotage the chances of a lasting and durable peace with the Palestinian people. There is no other way to describe these air strikes other than as acts of gross state terrorism. Bombing unarmed civilians from the skies, including children is not a solution or an answer to terrorism. It is terrorism.
Of course, Hamas, (which controls the West Bank, and whose origins lie in the cultivation by Israel of an ‘Islamist Opposition’ within the Palestinian ranks in the eighties and earlier ) with its own obduracy has contributed to the ‘blowback’ that holds the peace process in Israel-Palestine hostage to a never ending cycle of competitive retribution.