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World opinions divided as Gaza conflict marches on

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has divided opinion and stirred public sentiment around the world with both sides accused of committing war crimes.

NEW YORK: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has divided opinion and stirred public sentiment around the world for decades.

With both sides accused of committing war crimes, many major cities have seen protests as members of the public are making their voices heard.

As the conflict in Gaza marches on, protesters in New York have taken to the streets. The conflict has a long and complex history but for people here, the message is clear.
Experts say these protests mark a global frustration.

"The international community is just tired, I should say even sick and tired, of this ongoing conflict that doesn't seem to be resolved," said Professor Alon Ben-Meir from New York University’s Centre for Global Affairs.

In France, some of these protests have turned violent. 

Reports that nearly 80 per cent of those that have died in Gaza are civilians have further fuelled anger felt by many pro-Palestinians.

With rockets fired from Gaza, civilians from both sides have been caught up in the fighting. Israel says groups like Hamas are to blame for the casualties on both sides.

"What other nation in the world has an army that supplies food, electricity and medicine to the other side even as the enemy fires indiscriminately into its own citizens?" asked Ron Prosor, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

It is a view that many Hamas supporters deny, arguing that they are simply responding to an ongoing Israeli occupation. 

With the United Nations Security Council often divided on the subject, finding common ground has been tough-going.

"I think the UN's role is extremely limited. The only real players in this regard that can actually make a difference are the United States and to a slight extent Arab States, in particular Egypt," said Professor Ben-Meir.

While the UN may not be the ones who broker an eventual ceasefire they've criticised both sides for attacks on civilians.

The United Nations has launched an investigation looking into whether Israel's military may have committed war crimes in Gaza, a position that Israel strongly denies, in a development that could further complicate efforts to find a lasting peace. 

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