Israel’s latest refusal to accept the Palestinian offer for a cease-fire and prisoner exchange demonstrates again that it only wants to continue the killing. Furthermore, the latest cold-blooded assault on Palestinians in Rafah – most of whom are displaced, having had to escape their homes in other parts of the Gaza Strip, presents an urgent need for the international community to intervene. The purpose of the intervention is to force Israel to comply with terms that will make it impossible for it to continue the killing. An absolute guarantee for the safety and security of Palestinians must be put in place and monitored by the international community.
All the negotiations so far began with the assumption that the Palestinians had to disarm and release hostages. However, it is time to change the equation. Since Israel is the aggressor, the source of the violence and has shown an insatiable appetite for killing Palestinians, the demand must be for Israel to disarm and release the thousands of Palestinians held in its prisons. Furthermore, Israel must immediately lift the siege on Gaza and allocate billions of dollars necessary to rebuild and rehabilitate the Gaza Strip and its people.
While the main focus since October 7, 2023, has been on Gaza, Israel’s crimes against humanity continue throughout all of Palestine. In the Naqab, in Hebron, and throughout the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in Lyd, Yafa and Ramle, and all the way to Northern Galilee, Palestinians are living in a state of terror. Afraid for their lives, not daring to leave their homes, fearful for their children’s lives and unable to communicate their fears because the Israel intelligence services are listening.
Therefore, any agreement must include demands that will improve conditions for Palestinians throughout all of Palestine. Israel must remove barriers and checkpoints that inhibit free movement for Palestinians. Settlers must be disarmed, and the authority of the Israeli military, police, and intelligence service to arrest, torture, and kill Palestinians must be curtailed.
Israel must be forced to accept these conditions; it cannot be left to the Israeli government’s will.
Until such time that Israel demonstrates that these conditions are met, there should be sanctions against the Zionist State. An arms embargo must be placed, and any party, state or otherwise, breaking the embargo must be penalized. There must be a no-fly zone declared over the Gaza Strip so that Israel can no longer endanger the lives of the Palestinians living within it. Israeli diplomatic missions must be closed down, and representatives of Israel in other countries must all be sent back home.
If the world is serious about ending the killing of Palestinians and allowing those who survive to rehabilitate and live free, then severe measures must be taken. Israel must be forced to comply with these conditions or be punished. Israel must pay for its crimes, and the heavier the cost, the more chances there are of compliance.
Miko Peled is a MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”