Destruction from an Israeli strike on the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza, October 31, 2023
I joined Australia’s ABC and India’s WION on Wednesday for a full-and-frank assessment of Israel’s ground offensive, accompanying its intense bombing, into Gaza.
I analyze the effect of the offensive and bombing, first and foremost, on the civilians in Gaza. However, I also link it to the questions of humanitarian aid and of negotiations for the release of more than 240 hostages seized by Hamas on October 7.
The ground offensive limits, and possibly prevents, an advance on both of those issues — even as a token group of foreign nationals and seriously ill Gazans are allowed through the Rafah crossing into Egypt.
Bluntly stated, Israel’s War Cabinet, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have made their priority “destroying” Hamas — and thus “civilians and hostages are expendable”.
Watch Australia’s The World
I chat with Yvonne Yong about the timing of the limited opening of the Rafah crossing, why the conflict has “taken a turn for the worse”. I discuss Yemen’s Houthi insurgency firing missiles on Israel, and Latin American countries cutting relations with Israel or withdrawing their ambassadors.
But it is Yong’s question, “How do you think families react when they hear that word ‘expendable’?”, that catches me off guard.
This is the trauma when leaders on both sides, for the sake of power, no longer provide security for their citizens but are willing to sacrifice them….
This is not one side or the other. This is a question of humanity.
Watch WION News from 3:38
I explain to Priyanka Sharma Pahwa:
I don’t think Netanyahu and the War Cabinet care about the fate of Gaza’s civilians. Indeed, I don’t think they care about the fate of the hostages.
With Israel intercepting the Houthi missiles, I also evaluate the prospect of a wider conflict.