Hamas has taken it upon itself to avenge Gaza. We call it a terrorist organisation. So be it. But we ought to have known something would erupt in Gaza in the face of the extreme and inhuman provocation which has gone on for decades.

Now the world’s largest open air prison has erupted like Vesuvius.

The lava simmers and sizzles in the face of unbearable persecution till it reaches a point where it cannot be contained any longer. It has to burst at the seams and boil over. Unfortunately, when it does, it tears all human posturing to shreds. All pretence of human dignity and compassion is thrown to the winds. If humans have not been treated as human for decades, have been trampled upon like worms in the grass, when they finally turn, they become monsters for they have forgotten what it’s like to be human. So they rise like nothing we have seen before and destroy everything in sight.

It’s hard for those who are living in safety and comfort to see the worms turn; the victims change their stance and become the executioners.

How dare they!

So naturally everyone in positions of power is condemning Hamas for its terrorist acts in Israel.

How can they forget (or is it natural that they should forget) that for decades, Israel has blockaded Gaza, violated all human rights, reigned terror and imposed an extreme shortage of food, water and medicines on the people there?

It has done to the Palestinian citizens what bigots and fascists did to the Jews in Europe, before turning to mass slaughter.

Across the world, Jews who remember the agony of their forefathers are saying the Israeli state has no right to thus wreak it on others.

A damaged school building in Gaza. Photo: X/@UN_SPExperts

To “help” a strong military nation like Israel at this juncture is inhuman and politicking of the worst sort.

Such prolonged torment had to generate a violent reaction sooner or later. It has come now to Gaza, and with the only outlet available. Terrorism.

No doubt, a nonviolent solution has to be found – but only a non-partisan statesman can strategise a treaty which preserves self respect for all the parties involved.

This is not the time to talk or play politics. First of all, Israel has to recognise that Palestine is a State in the same way that Israel is. It is only then that ground can be laid for fruitful talks for a settlement.

I’m not condoning terror – but years of torture and deprivation leave people with no recourse.

Let us not be swayed by videos, real or fake, but understand the situation in the light of recent history, which was made right in front of our eyes.

Mridula Garg is a prominent Hindi writer and Sahitya Akademi award winner.

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