Four boys died on the beaches of Gaza yesterday from Israeli air strikes in response to rocket fire from Gaza. The United Nations(UN), reacting to the developing humanitarian tragedy in Gaza Strip, sought and gained from the conflict parties a five-hour cease-fire. That cease-fire was reportedly broken by Hamas two hours in when at least two rockets were fired into Israel. But that short intent to peace by both sides to the UN proposal for emergency relief to Gaza, has now opened the door for a more comprehensive cease-fire announced earlier today in Cairo, Egypt, between Israel and Hamas that will go into effect on Friday.
The peace of Gaza must hold for the sake of the many children who reside there. Some 227 Palestinians and a sole Israeli have been killed since hostilities began on July 8. The large number of civilians killed over targeted militants is disproportional of any conflict. The UN puts the figure at 77 percent civilians. Thus, as is also emerging in the Ukraine, this Israel-Palestine conflict emphasizes that modern warfare has undergone a theater change from jungles and plains to highly populous urban centers. To this end, while war must be an absolute last resort to the resolution of differences, parties who dare war must be exacting and precise in the exercise of operations against enemy forces in order to minimize the continued loss of civilian lives. In other words, parties daring to war must re-train their armed forces in the execution of modern urban warfare.
With respect to Gaza, the peace must hold. Should hostilities re-emerge there, more and more innocent children and civilians will die. Gaza has a youthful population: 43.2 percent of its population is 14 or younger; in the West Bank that number is 33.7 percent; in Israel that number is 27.1 percent. Any conflict will ultimately victimize children. We pray for the peace of Gaza. Amen!