Jonathan Cook / Global Research & Tony Seed / Global Research – 2014-07-31 02:17:17
Is Killing Civilians Part of Israel’s Plan?
Jonathan Cook / Global Research
(July 30, 2014) — Another day, another UN school hit by Israeli shelling in Gaza. Israel’s attack this morning killed at least 16 civilians sheltering at the school and wounded dozens. The casualties figures are expected to rise.
Israel and even most of its critics tell us that the civilian casualties are accidental, caused by Israel’s need to wage its war against Hamas in heavily built-up areas of Gaza. Israel is accused of “disproportionality”, or of recklessness, or of inflicting unfortunate collateral damage.
But here’s another possibility: that the people of Gaza, not just Hamas, are the target. That Israel’s generals don’t see much difference between the two.
Israel’s army is “degrading” — or “mowing the lawn”, in even worse military parlance — Gaza’s ability’s to resist. Not Hamas’ abilities, but Gaza’s. Because the problem lies not with Hamas. Hamas is simply a symptom, of the people of Gaza’s determination to liberate themselves from Israel’s siege.
That is why the power plant was destroyed yesterday. That is why Israel has been starving Gaza for years through its siege, limiting the entry of basic foods and counting the minimum calories people need for bare survival — putting them on a diet, as one senior adviser jokingly termed it. That is why Gaza’s infrastructure is being trashed — the notorious Dahiya doctrine, devised by Israeli generals in 2006 as way to force hostile populations back into the Stone Age, keeping them preoccupied with the essentials of life rather than demanding, or fighting, for their rights.
Israel knows it cannot destroy Hamas’ will to resist without destroying Gaza’s will to resist too. And that is what it looks like we are seeing played out here day-in, day-out. Civilians, it seems, must die to teach Gaza a lesson: you will submit.
Israel’s Crimes as of July 27
Tony Seed / Global Research
(July 28, 2014) — Reports indicate that as of Sunday, July 27, 8:35 p.m., the death toll in Gaza as a result of Israel’s attacks stood at 1,032. On July 26, just before a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire agreed upon by Israel and the Palestinian resistance came into force, Israeli missiles hit a home in the town of Beit Hanoun killing an entire 18-member family inside.
Six thousand two hundred and thirty three Palestinians have been injured since the assault began, including 1994 children, 1169 women and 257 elderly.
According to al-Qudra, 189 Palestinians were killed in north Gaza, 297 in central Gaza, 129 in al-Wista, 306 in Khan Younis, and 111 in Rafah. From the 6233 injured, 1912 were injured in north Gaza,1853 in central Gaza, 851 in al-Wista,906 in Khan Younis, and 711 in Rafah.
Al-Qudra also posted the latest Gaza casualty statistics. From the 1032 killed, 236 were children, 93 were women, and 47 were elderly. From the 6233 injured, 1994 are children, 1169 are women, and 257 are elderly.
Medics said eight Palestinians were killed on Friday in incidents near the West Bank cities of Nablus and Hebron — the sort of death toll reminiscent of previous uprisings against Israel’s prolonged military rule there.
On another note, Hamas agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce with Israel in the Gaza Strip that should start within the hour, the group’s spokesman said on Sunday.
“In response to UN intervention and considering the situation of our people and the occasion of Eid, it has been agreed among resistance factions to endorse a 24-hour humanitarian calm, starting from 2:00 pm on Sunday,” Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters. Israeli artillery guns also fired barrages into the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported.
However, Israeli strikes continued to hit Gaza past 2:00 pm, including inside Gaza City. One senior minister said Israel must step up its offensive. “After what we saw this morning, it is clear we need to resume fighting with even greater force,” Communications Minister Gilad Erdan told Army Radio.
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees reports that the numbers of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in 83 UNRWA schools continue to increase, now exceeding 167,269, an increase in one day from 167,269 displaced Palestinians.
Since June 1, 93 UNRWA installations have been targeted on multiple occasions.
In addition, an estimated 20,000 displaced persons are sheltering with relatives and in public schools, mosques, churches, unfinished buildings and open areas bringing the total to almost 183,000 internally displaced people of a population of 1.86 million. The number of displaced people is now more than triple the peak number from the 2008/9 Israeli attack.
The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights said 81.5 per cent of those killed were civilians and 24 per cent of them children.
“One child has been killed each hour in Gaza over the past two days,” said Kyung-Wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator on July 23.
Forty-three per cent of the territory in Gaza has been subject to Israeli evacuation warnings or designated “no-go areas” by the Occupation Forces, the UN said. However, no place is safe from Israeli attack in the besieged coastal enclave. Shelling from land and sea as well as air strikes have not left any region untouched.
Israel claims that it has given advance warning to all residents to leave their homes prior to a bombing raid. “Where in the world can they go?” many have responded, pointing out that Israel’s “border” with Gaza is shut tight while Egypt too has kept its border closed.
Israel Is Bombing Hospitals and Ambulances
The Israeli crimes have reached untold proportions. The military “targeted specific sites” in the al-Wafa rehabilitation hospital compound, the Gaza strip’s only rehabilitation hospital, “in light of several occasions in which fire was opened” and “despite repeated warnings against such activities,” it said; it was fired on because it was within 100 meters of a rocket site, but they knew the hospital itself was clean of munitions.
“The military said that they were not only going to shell the facility, but that it would be fired upon so heavily that they recommended all people in the hospital evacuate.” Doctors were forced to leave the premises with their patients, including 14 of whom were paralyzed or in a coma.
Furthermore, on July 11, 2014 the army fired five missiles at el-Wafa, taking out part of the hospital’s fourth floor. The first blast was a smaller “warning strike,” followed by four significantly larger blasts.
On July 21, Israeli shells left four dead and 60 wounded at the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah.
The Zionists repeated their claim on July 23 that the attacks were justified as military targets and that warnings were given for civilians to vacate the hospital. “(W)arnings have been conveyed directly to the hospital administration and other Palestinian officials,” they said.
A spokesman for the Palestinian Minister of Health reported that one of their ambulances was targeted by airstrikes on its way to Gaza European hospital from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis. The driver, doctor and nurse were injured after being hit by one missile, but were able to flee before the ambulance was hit by another two strikes that destroyed it.
Hospitals were also facing continuous power outages, as electricity has fallen by more than 70 per cent as a result of Israeli shelling and the siege itself, which even prior to the assault had reduced availability to eight-hour stints.
A Norwegian doctor working at the Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical facility, has written an open letter urging American president Obama to visit and spend a night among its workers.
“I invite you — spend one night — just one night — with us in Shifa. Disguised as a cleaner, maybe,” wrote Dr. Mads Gilbert. “I am convinced, 100%, it would change history.”
“Nobody with a heart and power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people,” he added.
“The food needs in Gaza are urgent,” says UN World Food Program Country Director Pablo Recalde. “We are seeing the effectiveness of WFP’s food assistance programmes, which provides the opportunity for a rapid response and flexibility to scale-up emergency food assistance if the need arises.”
Since the latest wave of fighting began, the agency has provided emergency food rations and vouchers to more than 20,000 displaced people. It has appealed for $20 million to continue its food assistance programs to more than 600,000 of the most vulnerable people in the area.
UNRWA, Middle East Monitor, Ma’an Agency, english.al-akhbar.com, TML Weekly Information Project
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