Over a period of 22 days, covered by the complicit apathy of the U.S., which is leading a disgraceful war in Iraq which it started illegally, the Israeli military operation in Gaza had claimed over 1300, at least half of them are civilians.
Thousands are wounded and traumatized. The attacks were meant to destroy the “infrastructure of terror,” yet they are ruining the social and cultural infrastructure of a community that has already been suffering under a harsh blockade Egypt and Israel imposed nearly 18 months ago.
Similarities between the current onslaught and the Lebanon War are evident. More than two years ago, Israel concocted a casus belli to attack Lebanon, half the size of Israel, with overwhelming air power, in utter contempt for civilian life and international institutions. Remember the deadly bombing of the apartment building in Qana and the destruction of the U.N. post that killed four U.N. observers.
And yet this small, relatively prosperous land, Lebanon, has nearly 30 times the landmass of the Gaza Strip, where desperate population is hiding and trembling between shattered walls, waiting for the next fatal blow, unable to sleep, drink clean water, eat or seek refuge in mosques or hospitals.
Even clearly marked international buildings are intentionally shelled. More than 40 people died after an Israeli attack on a U.N. school in the Jabalya refugee camp, where there were no fighters. In the Shifa and other hospitals, the situation is disastrous.
The recent mass executions by the Israel Defense Forces (IDFs) were not meant to destroy a well equipped enemy, as Israeli commanders suggest, but they knocked down an impoverished population administrated by Hamas, a political organization with a militant ideology, which was elected democratically in January 2006.
What are the underlying reasons for Israel’s assault on Gaza? Mark Regev, spokesman for the prime minister of Israel, repeatedly claims that the IDFs want to stop the firing of rockets, which fly out of the Gaza Strip everyday, flying deeper and deeper into the south of Israel.
If so, why is the best equipped army in the Middle East, which receives billions of dollars in military aid and uses the latest weapons from its American ally (including precision-guided munitions, phosphor bombs and depleted uranium shells) incapable of preventing these crude, homemade, and mainly inaccurate rockets from firing?
The IDFs, therefore, seem to pursue other aims: restoring their prestige, damaged by the Lebanon war, by demonstrating their strength regardless of civilian causalities.
More likely, the hidden agenda of this operation is aimed at removing Hamas from the Gaza Strip and finally, as the Canadian economist Michel Chossudovsky puts it, terrorizing and expelling the Palestinians from their land. read article