Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

My Fondest Farewell
My Fondest Farewell
Carsten Oyer, Editor-in-Chief • May 24, 2024

Five years ago I entered the computer lab here on campus for the first time. I was attending the class...

My Last Article
My Last Article
Canon Grant, Political Analyst • May 24, 2024

Dear Horizon Honors, In Journalism, farewell articles are reserved for those who have spent a significant...

Daniel Duggan is under suspicion of betraying the U.S.
Former U.S. Marine Arrested in Australia after Unknowingly Working with a Chinese Hacker
Joey Miller, Columnist • May 21, 2024

A former United States Marine pilot fighting extradition from Australia to the U.S. was charged with...

Mary Alice Pultz has been identified as a dead body found decades ago.
Authorities in Florida Identify Remains of Woman Last Seen 40 Years Ago
Ethan Fulton, Columnist • May 21, 2024

In 1985, human remains were found on a beach in St. Johns County, Florida. On May 12, police were able...

Israels actions in the Gaza Strip are worthy of being called genocidal.
Israel Has Chosen Criminality
Carsten Oyer, Editor-in-Chief • May 21, 2024

It would be disingenuous to say that the Oct. 7, 2023 terror attack on Israel sparked the current war...

The aurora borealis could be seen in Arizona recently.
Aurora Borealis Visible in Arizona
Eli Geist, Columnist • May 21, 2024

Many travel far north just to get a glimpse of the aurora borealis; however, recently the amazing spectacle...

Squad Busters is a new game from Supercell.
New Supercell Game: “Squad Busters”
Matthew Greco, Columnist • May 21, 2024

The popular mobile game company Supercell just announced a new game currently in development called “Squad...

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Israel Has Chosen Criminality

We all must resist the atrocities.
Israels actions in the Gaza Strip are worthy of being called genocidal.
Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip are worthy of being called genocidal.

It would be disingenuous to say that the Oct. 7, 2023 terror attack on Israel sparked the current war in the Gaza Strip. Instead, it is necessary to begin in 1948. The entire conflict between Israel and Hamas – all this killing that is exposed before the world’s eyes – can be traced back more than 76 years.

According to the United Nations (UN), the organization passed a resolution defining the partition between Israeli and Palestinian states in 1947. Under this plan, the Palestinians would receive three territories, while Israel would take the remainder of the land. The BBC states that Arab leaders were dissatisfied with the map. When the British mandate over the region terminated in 1948, Arab states invaded Israel. During this war, Israeli militias illegally destroyed and seized Palestinian land, displacing more than half of the Palestinian population. The Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe,” is the root source of the crisis that the world is witnessing. Israel must not only own up to its criminal behavior since Oct. 7, but for a long legacy of genocide that extends for over three quarters of a century.

In 2023 and 2024, there have been countless instances of clear war crimes committed by Israel. This is not to say that Hamas has been innocent by any means. The taking of hostages, for one, is particularly illegal according to the Rome Statute that constitutes the International Criminal Court, and there is undeniable evidence that Hamas has taken hostages. The annihilation of Israeli civilians is abhorrent. However, Israel has perpetuated this crisis through its blockade and settlement of Palestine. Hamas is guilty, but Israel is far from innocent and has maintained a legacy of disgrace.

The blockade of Gaza, which began in 2007 and has closed off all borders of the enclave, has created what Human Rights Watch calls an “open-air prison.” The blockade of the Gaza Strip has prevented movement, a right under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It has also restricted the flow of supplies and electricity, which impacts life-saving needs, utilities and communications, reports Amnesty International.

The Israeli response to the Oct. 7 attack has been disproportionate under international law. France 24 writes that 695 civilians were killed on Oct. 7, which is absolutely 695 too many. Although the numbers are not clearly reported according to the Associated Press, as Hamas does not distinguish the numbers of dead between combatants and non-combatants, the terror group claims that two-thirds of the 33,137 people killed in Gaza were civilians. This must be taken with a grain of salt given the source, but it is clear that Israel has killed a monumentally larger number of people. While it cannot be argued that the death count alone is incriminating, it begs the question of how Israel is committed to limiting civilian casualties.

Two of the clearest violations of international law were the bombings of Jabalia refugee camp and al-Shifa hospital, both of which were civilian locations with a reasonable doubt of Hamas utilization. The Guardian reports that the refugee camp was hit with an airstrike in early November of 2023. UN-operated shelters were struck, killing 80. According to the Rome Statute, “Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings which are undefended and which are not military objectives” is considered a war crime. It is also criminal to attack functioning hospitals save for military objectives; CNN writes that there are still doubts about whether there was a Hamas command center (a Human Rights Watch investigation found insufficient evidence for such activities) under al-Shifa hospital, which was besieged amidst Israel-created supply shortages that threatened the lives of patients.

Amnesty International has extensively documented Israeli war crimes in its current offensive against Hamas. There has been insufficient warning of civilians before bombings as well as little diligence to ensure that targets are military in nature. The blockade of the Gaza Strip, according to Amnesty International, has resulted in a destructive lack of critical supplies like fuel, limiting basic necessities for civilians. According to Human Rights Watch, Israel has engaged in illegal collective punishment through the deprivation of vital services, the restriction of humanitarian aid (a particularly malicious act), and potentially the deliberate targeting of civilians. The murder of civilians includes a terrifying number of journalists, writes the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. Israel has abandoned the vital convention of proportionality. These arbitrary violations of international law make clear that the Israeli military is functioning outside of the boundaries of both legality and ethics.

Again, however, this issue is far from recent. Instead, it originates from a long-standing, coordinated attempt to destroy the Palestinian nationality. The illegal settlement of the West Bank is the best example of this attempt. Reuters reports that, back in 2022, the returning Netanyahu government was set to expand Israeli settlements on land in the Palestinian state. Israel Policy Forum writes that these settlements are intended to change the de facto borders of Israel, expanding them into Palestinian sovereign territory. It is also to weaken the demographic and social continuity of the West Bank. It is not possible to condemn Palestinian agitation against the destruction of their people’s territorial sovereignty. Israel has brought this upon itself by violating international law.

With that, it becomes necessary to move forward. The war rages on, as do the war crimes and the destruction of the Palestinian people. It is necessary to determine how best to resist. With that, we must return to the principles of peaceful protest, civil disobedience, and coalition building. For one, anti-Semitism has no place in resistance efforts. Jews, both in Israel and abroad, are not to blame for the atrocities against Palestinians. Violence in any form against the Jewish population is antithetical to the vision of a two-state solution. Extremists in this movement risk losing the message of peace that a ceasefire would help to implement.

Silence is unworkable. Achieving a lasting existence for the Palestinian people requires action across the world to stop the killing and illegal settlement. In the U.S, all forms of military aid to Israel’s government must be protested. It is America that has sustained this war through an unending supply of weapons to the Israeli military. These weapons have been used to bombard and slaughter Palestinian civilians. America must not be allowed to play lip service to protecting Gaza while assisting in the war crimes that created the crisis.

Simply calling for a ceasefire is not enough. Assisting in bringing this war to a close through peaceful efforts that bring together everyone is the sole option. The innocents of Gaza demand it.

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