The International Centre for Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) yesterday held a panel discussion on the war on Gaza to address the question, “War on Gaza: What’s next for Palestine?”
In light of the current events in Gaza, the topic of the meeting was changed from Palestine 30 years after the signing of the Oslo Accords to what the future for Palestine is. They assessed the failures of the peace process, which have become more important now than ever, according to the organisers.
The conference began with two introductory speeches from members of the International Centre for Justice for Palestine. The Centre’s Executive Director, Tayyeb Ali, stressed that defence of Palestine is essentially a defence of justice.
Keynote speaker, Professor Avi Shlaim, explained the precise stage that the Middle East region now finds itself in. Detailing the history of the Israeli occupation of Gaza over the years, he said Tel Aviv gas always used the excuse of self-defence, which is an incorrect justification, according to Shlaim.
Shlaim highlighted the Goldstone report, which talked about Israel committing war crimes against the Palestinians.
He stressed that Israel deals with various political issues in a military manner, and by working to impose a fait accompli by force, especially in light of the extreme right-wing government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Shlaim pointed out that what is new in the recent war waged by Israel against Gaza is its intention to eradicate Hamas.
However now, he explained, the situation has changed and when the current bombardment of Gaza comes to an end, Israelis will hold Netanyahu accountable and oust him.
Shlaim criticised the American and British positions and said that they not only supported Israel politically, but also supplied it with the weapons used to commit crimes against humanity.
Renowned speakers including Daniel Levy, a former Israeli negotiator for the Oslo Accords, Wadah Khanfar, head of the Al-Sharq Forum and former director-general of Al Jazeera, and Yasmine Ahmed, director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) in the UK, also took part in the discussion.
Media and academic figures participated in the symposium and provided, with their experience, a more comprehensive view of the war in Gaza. They presented a set of viewpoints that shed light on the reasons for the faltering and collapse of the peace process.
Over the past 24 days, the Israeli army has launched intensive raids on residential neighbourhoods in Gaza, killing more than 8,306 people, including 3,457 children, and wounding 21,048 people, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.