A breather – or maybe something more

Sunday 27th July

What a strange little war it is.  With the death toll rapidly approaching one thousand, with hundreds of buildings demolished, with thousand wounded, with tens of thousands in UN shelters (which don’t even stop them being hit), with hundreds of thousands displaced and not knowing if their homes and families will ever be safe again, with millions of ordinary people around the world begging for the killing to stop it has been decided by just a few old men to pause for a breather.  And just like a tap the torture is turned off for just twelve hours.  Ostensibly for humanitarian reasons, for a chance to treat the wounded, to get medical supplies and food into the war zone the guns have stopped firing for a few short hours.  And though I am writing this on Saturday in the middle of the temporary cease-fire I am fairly certain that just as callously the tap will be turned back on again.

Ever since the Second World War, wars have been more and more fought in civilian areas and this one is no different.  It reminds me of the expression “shooting fish in a barrel”, but these fish have no means of escape as the water gets more and more bloody.  There is the tiniest flame of hope that the negotiators will be able to extend the cease-fire a bit longer to allow saner minds to prevail.  Of course Hamas are not going to promise to stop firing rockets without some concession from the Israelis.  Hopefully that will be a lifting of the blockade and a start to some sort of meaningful talks.  Even if these are just talks about talks it will be something.  Meanwhile as this temporary breather continues the World holds its breath.