Israel-Gaza war: What is the price of peace?

Israel-Gaza war: What is the price of peace?

1st December 2023

Just getting to the end of the day and surviving the night must feel like a miracle in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians "plead for safety", wrote Philippe Lazzarini, head of UNRWA, the main UN relief agency in Gaza, in an "endless, deepening tragedy… hell on earth".

It must be just as hellish for the hostages taken by Hamas and for the families of their victims. War is a cruel furnace that puts humans through terrible agonies. But its heat can produce changes that seemed impossible.

It happened in western Europe after World War Two. Old enemies who had killed each other for centuries chose peace. Will the war in Gaza shock Israelis and Palestinians into ending their century of conflict over the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan river?

I've been watching a video of a woman wracked by grief, sitting next to the body of her husband, Muhammad Abu Shaar. As Israel and Egypt are not allowing journalists to enter Gaza, I have not met her. I haven't been able to find out her name, which was not posted alongside those of her dead husband and children.

In the video, it is as if she hopes, somehow, that the power of her grief will bring him back.

"I swear, we promised to die together. You died and left me. What are we supposed to do, God? Muhammad, get up! For God's sake my beloved, I swear to God, I love you. For God's sake get up. Our children Nour and Aboud are here with you. Get up."

The two children were with their father because all three of them had just been killed by Israel. An air strike destroyed the house they were hoping would shelter them in Rafah.