An eye witness describes what happens in Gaza
Posted by Fredsvenn den januar 2, 2009
An eye witness describes what happens when the world’s fourth most heavily armed nation rains down such devastation on the civilians of the world’s most densely populated area: ”People are going through the dead terrified of recognizing a family member among them. The streets are strewn with their bodies, their arms, legs, feet, some with shoes and some without… Hospitals and morgues cannot cope and some of the dead are still lying in the streets with their families gathered around them, kissing their faces, holding on to them. Outside the destroyed buildings old men are kneeling on the floor weeping. Their slim hopes of finding their sons still alive vanished after taking one look at what had become of their office buildings.”
Richard Falk, United Nations Human Rights Council, stated: The Israeli airstrikes, and the catastrophic human toll that they caused, challenge those countries that have been and remain complicit, either directly or indirectly, in Israel’s violations of international law. That complicity includes those countries knowingly providing the military equipment including warplanes and missiles used in these illegal attacks, as well as those countries who have supported and participated in the siege of Gaza that itself has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.
I remind all member states of the United Nations that the UN continues to be bound to an independent obligation to protect any civilian population facing massive violations of international humanitarian law – regardless of what country may be responsible for those violations. I call on all Member States, as well as officials and every relevant organ of the United Nations system, to move on an emergency basis not only to condemn Israel’s serious violations, but to develop new approaches to providing real protection for the Palestinian people.
Hours after Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the border crossings with the Gaza Strip opened to allow the passage of humanitarian aid, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni warned on Tuesday that the consequences of renewed Palestinian rocket into Israeli territory may be much tougher than yet another closure.
”A [military] response is important; even if it doesn’t automatically end the Palestinian rocket fire, there is something important in the impression, and Israel’s deterrence ability,” she said during a conference in Tel Aviv.
With the death toll in Gaza now over 400, with 2000 more injured, and with the United Nations saying the population are on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe, Gordon Brown has cloaked himself in Tony Blair’s mantle. Brown says he supports the call for a ceasefire but, just as Blair did in the Lebanon war in 2006, Brown has slavishly tied himself to George Bush in blocking a move by the United Nations to call on Israel to stop bombing Gaza immediately.
Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister: «There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and therefore there is no need for a humanitarian truce.»
Robert Fisk i The Independent: «And always Mr Bush Snr or Mr Clinton or Mr Bush Jnr or Mr Blair or Mr Brown have called upon both sides to exercise «restraint» – as if the Palestinians and the Israelis both have F-18s and Merkava tanks and field artillery. Hamas’s home-made rockets have killed just 20 Israelis in eight years, but a day-long blitz by Israeli aircraft that kills almost 300 Palestinians is just par for the course.»
Norman Solomon på Common Dreams: ”An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” Gandhi said. What about a hundred eyes for an eye?
Ali Abunimah i The Guardian: ”the bombs dropped on Gaza are only a variation in Israel’s method of killing Palestinians. In recent months they died mostly silent deaths, the elderly and sick especially, deprived of food, cancer treatments and other medicines by an Israeli blockade that targeted 1.5 million people – mostly refugees and children – caged into the Gaza Strip. The orders of Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, to hold back medicine were just as lethal and illegal as those to send in the warplanes.
Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, pleaded that Israel wanted «quiet» – a continuation of the truce – while Hamas chose «terror», forcing him to act. But what is Israel’s idea of a truce? It is very simple: Palestinians have the right to remain silent while Israel starves them, kills them and continues to violently colonize their land.»