The current Israeli onslaught has resulted in 172 dead and counting, as Israel is attempting a final blow to Hamas. This all seems to be a preplanned strategy. The story of the three dead youths was a stepping stone for this deluge of killings. Who can justify this kind of fury that Israel is displaying over three deaths? Now they are launching a massive aerial bombing assault, claiming that they will eradicate Hamas.

Hamas is a convenient target for the Israeli government that has been fretting over the fact that it joined a unity government with the PLO, which received international recognition. By framing Hamas as the culprit initially, Israel probably sought to disrupt the government and chose an escalation at a time when it was faced by increased international criticism as peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas collapsed.

The role of Muslim world is shameful; all Muslim rulers seem to be in deep slumber, and no one has even condemned Israel. Egypt has closed its borders to Gaza, Israel remains the occupying power due to the siege it imposes. Cessation of the incremental genocide and the restitution of the basic human and civil rights of Palestinians, wherever they are, including the right to return, is the only way to open a new vista for a productive international intervention in the Middle East as a whole. It is time to raise a strong movement against Israel.

AZHAR THIRAJ,

Lahore, July 14.