Fiamma Nirenstein

Israel-Gaza conflict: what the world still does not have clear

The greatest sorrow in this war springs out from the incomprehensible inability of the world to realize what is actually going on here. Journalists and public opinion, which feel virtuous for denouncing the death of Palestinian children, completely ignore the reasons why these casualties occur. Painful reasons for the Palestinians as well as for the Israelis.

First of all, there is a sort of tacit and cynical disapproval for the fact that Israeli children do not die, or do not die enough. But the truth is that while Israeli children, contrary to the Palestinians, are the deliberate target of the thousands of missiles fired from Gaza, they are also the treasure of Israel, which undertake infinite measures to protect them, with the shelters, the red alert, with expensive defence systems, with continuous monitoring of the school timetable with a continuous surveillance by their parents.

Two kindergartens have already been completely destroyed, but the children were not in the classrooms: because the danger for children is the first preoccupation for Israel, because the keyword here is prevention and the authorities ordered to keep those kindergartens closed that day.

For Hamas it is the exact opposite: the UNRWA itself (better late than never) just denounced that one of its schools in the Gaza Strip has been transformed into a missile deposit. UNRWA could report this violation, but what about the other schools in Gaza, public or private? They are not able to report these kind of abuses because they are afraid of Hamas. Hamas rules the Gaza Strip, it orders to transform public institutions, private homes, schools, mosques into weapons storage centers.

Very often those weapons are about to be used and must be stopped and sometimes the IDF fails to identify the presence of civilians, which in several cases has been the trigger to abort a military operation.

Unfortunately, the launching ramps, the bullets, the military structures of Hamas are scattered just among children: they are used as human shield. Also the tragic missile that hit the four children playing on the beach a few days ago, was targeting a military structure, perhaps a launching ramp ready to fire its deadly message to Israel.

Israel faces non-stop the dilemma of destroying military objectives placed among the Palestinian civil population, otherwise the civilian population of Israel, that keeps running into the shelters in these days, will be hit.

It is extremely painful to witness the Gaza society forced to suffer these losses. But the protection of the very right to life requires the ongoing military operation.
If you consider that something like 2000 military targets placed among the civilian population have been hit till now, you can realize how it is hard for the IDF to defend, besides the Israeli children, also the Palestinian ones. I wish that the people of Gaza could do it, in defiance of Hamas.

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.