Israel and Hamas should call a halt to the seemingly endless cycle of damaging ceasefires and return to normal hostilities as soon as possible, a consortium of global arms manufacturers and governments has said.
A group of leading weapons manufacturers and distributors from around the globe has spoken out about the challenges to the industry presented by ‘totally disproportionate’ attempts to resort to peace. ‘How are we supposed to carry on with our work when we don’t know whether they’re bombing each other or temporarily not bombing each other?’ demanded a spokesman. ‘We’ve got families to think about. Ours, not theirs, obviously.’
Journalists and aid workers have also started to report that the incessant rounds of peace, sometimes lasting up to four hours, are creating extremely uncomfortable working conditions. ‘We don’t know whether we’re coming or going,’ said a doctor working for a humanitarian agency in northern Gaza. ‘I came out here to help people in a war zone. If I’d just wanted to do routine operations surrounded by crumbling buildings and a poorly-functioning state system, I’d just fly home again and rejoin the NHS. We want the fireworks.’
Forces on all sides are calling for a cessation in inhostilities on humanitarian grounds. A member of Hamas, speaking via secure link from an underground bunker stated: ‘Our fighters find the silence, the waiting, terribly stressful.’ Meanwhile over in Jerusalem a tearful Israeli commander admitted: ‘We need a respite in the ceasefire to ensure our guns are still working properly. It can be really hard to justify lobbing one back if we have nothing to retaliate to. Nothing in our training has prepared us for this.’
A senior official at the US State Department concurred. ‘It really is very worrying. We got the Israeli kids an Iron Dome for Christmas and already they aren’t playing with it. What happens when they get bored? Do we have to give them nukes? Now Libya wants attention, sheesh! This Middle East place is full of warmongers. No, not us – them.’