Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Israeli Soldiers Shoot Dead 58 Palestinian Protesters in Gaza Strip

It is horrifying that at least 58 Palestinians have been killed during the recent protest in Gaza. Most of the Palestinians were killed with live bullets by the Israeli soldiers. No Israelis have been killed or even injured which indicates that they were not in immanent danger before Israeli soldiers used such deadly force.

It was partly a protest against President Trump's decision relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem and many within the COGs will no doubt know this. Previous presidents from both parties made sure to keep the Embassy in Tel Aviv as they knew moving it to Jerusalem was likely to cause something like this to occur. There should be no surprise that this move was accompanied with bloodshed. Anyone could have foreseen this.

But what will be less apparent for those within the COGs is that was an attempt to return to land that they or their ancestors were expelled from by those who yearned to create a Jewish state during the war that occurred in 1947-9. Their towns are very near to the Gaza Strip but the Israeli government has never allowed those Palestinian refugees to return to those homes ever since the war of 1947-9. In the 1950s many Palestinians went into the lands from which they were expelled from but many of them were shot to death to keep them out of the land then ruled by the State of Israel. The violent suppression of this protest by Israeli forces continues this long standing policy. They marched towards the site of the villages from which they or their ancestors were expelled from and received deadly fire from Israeli soldiers.

Also the Gaza Strip is under an economic blockade. After the Israeli government seized control of the Gaza Strip in 1967 at first the Palestinians in Gaza were allowed to work within the State of Israel but from around 1990 onward the Israeli government severely restricted their ability to enter or work within the State of Israel. Further restrictions on their economic activities were implemented in 2006 after Hamas won elections there and have remained since. Consequently there is high unemployment. Many Palestinians in Gaza are unable to leave. The people of Gaza face a dire economic situation. Such harsh economic sanctions promote strife since the people are desperate and yearn for an improved situation. So no wonder they marched knowing they would face death.

This violent act is a dreadful day which will be remembered for many years. Who knows how many children, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers have lost loved ones in this terrible event? What a terrible thing to have occurred.

And shamefully the COGs insist that peace can never arrive until Christ returns. They say there is no hope. That implies that there is no point trying to solve this pressing problem. This implies that this problem cannot be solved. That is not good enough. We must abandon that fatalistic attitude.

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