Editorials 16.5.2018 08:43 am

Gaza violence shames us all

A Palestinian boy holding his national flag looks at clashes with Israeli security forces near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel east of Gaza City. Picture: AFP /  Mahmud Hams.

A Palestinian boy holding his national flag looks at clashes with Israeli security forces near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel east of Gaza City. Picture: AFP / Mahmud Hams.

This week’s slaughter of 60 Palestinians by Israeli security forces on the border with the Gaza Strip was horrific.

In the confusing dust of claim and counterclaim by both sides, we believe the Israeli use of live ammunition – to kill this many people and injure more than 2 000 others – was disproportionate to the threat to Israel at the time.

There is, so far, no evidence of any Israeli casualties, which tends to give the lie to Israeli claims that their country’s borders were in danger of being engulfed by a tsunami of armed Palestinians.

There should surely have been other, nonlethal, ways of negating the threat posed by the crowd, even if it numbered up to 40 000.

We think the South African government did the correct thing in recalling its ambassador to Israel, until further notice, as a way of signalling this country’s condemnation of the killings.

No doubt, the views in this country will be as deeply polarised as those on the ground in Israel and Gaza. And, in few cases, will those on either side be prepared to listen to the other.

The ongoing violence shames all of us as human beings.

 

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