Israel’s Onslaught on Gaza November 2012
174 dead and more than 1000 men, women and children wounded
According to the United Nations, 174 Palestinians were killed in Gaza during the crisis. At least 168 of them were killed by Israeli military action, of whom 101 are believed to be civilians, including 33 children and 13 women. Hundreds of persons were injured (UNHCR S-9/1 and S-12/).
Israel conducted over 1500 air strikes on Gaza, seven strikes by the Israeli Navy and 360 mortar shells were fired by Israel on Gaza (UNHCR S-9/1 and S-12/1). The UN report is a litany of appalling indiscriminate attacks by the Israelis against civilians in Gaza and their homes, for example (verbatim)
"The IDF targeted residential buildings and properties during the last few days of the crisis, with some reports estimating that a total of 382 residences were destroyed or sustained severe damages due to Israeli attacks (p6) ... On 18 November, an Israeli air strike without prior warning hit a three-storey house belonging to the Al-Dalou family in Al-Nasser neighbourhood, central Gaza City. The airstrike killed 12 people, five of whom were children and four were women. Ten of those killed belonged to one family (p6) ... In a similar case, on 19 November an Israeli airstrike hit a four-story house belonging to the Azzam family in Al-Shojayaa, east of Gaza City. This airstrike killed four persons, two women and two children, and injured at least 25 civilians, including 22 children (p7)".
One of the most damning paragraphs from the report makes the Israeli intention clear:
"On 17 November, a woman was killed by a missile while she was at home in Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis. On 18 November in Al-Shojaaya, east of Gaza City, a rocket hit a house killing a 19-year-old woman and seriously injuring her mother. A further three people who were in the area when the attack occurred were killed, while at least 14 people, including five children, were injured. The targeted house is located in a heavily populated area that is also full of commercial activities. On 19 November, a father and his two children were killed when an Israeli missile hit their house, which was located in the centre of Jabalia, north of Gaza City. Seven members of the same family were injured. Also on 19 November, an airstrike hit a house east of Rafah City, southern Gaza Strip, killing one child and one adult. In these four cases, the houses were either completely destroyed or sustained serious damages, and no advance warning was given. OHCHR, while gathering information, was not able to identify any military objective that the IDF might have had in these cases, thus raising concerns with regard to possible violations of the principle of distinction and potentially also the right to life."
" ... according to various sources, 13 primary health care centres were partially damaged due to indirect shelling. Nine of these centres were administered by the DFA Ministry of Health (MoH) and four by UNRWA. The Palestine Red Crescent Society Emergency Medical Services station, the Central Archive of the MoH, and the DFA Department of the Medical Commission also sustained damages ... At least three hospitals, including the Jordanian Military Field hospital in Gaza City, the Gaza European hospital and the Beit Hanoun hospital were hit in attacks by the IDF. On 19 November at 22.20, a missile hit the roof of the Jordanian Military Field hospital and penetrated two floors"(p8) And so it goes on ...
Israel and Hamas agreed to a truce on the 21st November 2012 after eight days of attacks.
(Text of the ceasefire)
The truce officially came into effect at 1900 hours on the 21st November 2012, however Ma’an News reported further deadly airstrikes across the Gaza Strip. Around 1930 an unmanned drone slammed into Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip killing a teenager and critically injuring another. Medical sources identified the teenager as 14-year-old Nadir Abu Mugheiseeb. The eight day Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip has killed around 174 Palestinians and injured over 1,000 men, women and children.
As for the ‘understanding’ itself, it is essentially the same as the June 2008 ‘understanding’, also brokered by Egypt, which Hamas implemented faithfully. As a result, southern Israel was almost entirely free from firing out of Gaza for the following four and a half months, until Israel broke the understanding on 4 November 2008, when the world was watching the election of Barack Obama. In other words, the approx 2,000 Palestinian deaths in Operation Cast Lead, in the intervening years, and in recent days in Operation Pillar of Cloud – has done nothing other than restore the status quo which preceded the 4th November 2008.
The lives that have been lost and the utter devastation that has been caused to Gaza – again – could all have been prevented had the international community acted in the intervening years. How many deaths does it take before lessons are learned?
News, opinions and articles:
List of victims of Israel's assault on Gaza (Ma’an News, 21 November 2012)
Israeli mayor: expel Palestinian citizens of "hostile" Nazareth to Gaza for opposing war (Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, 21 November 2012) 'The Israeli mayor of Upper Nazareth, a town in the Galilee, has demanded that the adjacent city of Nazareth be declared "hostile " to the state of Israel, and its predominantly Palestinian population, who are citizens of Israel, be expelled to Gaza.'
Stop pretending Israel's massacre in Gaza is part of an even battle with Hamas and the Palestinians
(Mark Steel, Independent, 20 November 2012)
The US-Israeli Attack on Gaza (Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 20 November 2012)
Israel defends air strikes that hit media building (YouTube, 20 November 2012)
38 aid agencies warn of humanitarian disaster in Gaza (Action Aid, 20 November 2012)
Letter to Abbas: Visit us in Gaza (Issam Younis, 20 November 2012)
Erdogan: Israel carrying out ‘terrorist acts’ in Gaza (Ma'an News, 20 November 2012
Hanan Ashrawi of the Palestinian Legislative Council talks to CNN's Piers Morgan about the Israel- Gaza conflict (CNN, 19 November 2012)
5 Lies the Media Keeps Repeating About Gaza (Omar Baddar, Huffington Post, 19 November 2012)
Reigniting Violence: How Do Ceasefires End? (Nancy Kanwisher et al, Huffington Post, 6 January 2009)
It’s Time to Stop the Ferocious Israeli Attacks on the Civilians of Gaza (Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Palestine Monitor, 19 November 2012)
A decisive conclusion is necessary (Jerusalem Post, Gilad Sharon (Ariel’s son), 18 November 2012)
"There is no justification for the State of Gaza being able to shoot at our towns with impunity. We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too".
Why Gaza must suffer again :the four guilty parties behind Israel’s attack (Jonathan Cook, 18 November 2012)
"IDF must learn from the Syrians how to slaughter the enemy," says prominent Israeli rabbi (Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, 18 November 2012)
Palestinian Civil Society Organisations Call on the International Community to Stop the Offensive on Gaza (PCHR, 18 November 2012)
Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks (Phan Nguyen, Mondoweiss, 17 November 2012) " Total fatalities in the history of rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza into Israel: 26"
Another Superfluous War (Uri Avnery, 17 November 2012)
World Methodist Council statement on violence in Israel and Gaza (World Methodist Council, November 2012)
Another Ceasefire, Another Assassination (Mark Perry, Daily Beast, 16 November 2012)
Living By The Sword (Daniel Levy, Daily Beast, 16 November 2012)
Ten Things You Need to Know About Gaza (Mehdi Hasan, Huffington Post, 15 November 2012)
Assassinating The Chance For Calm (Gershon Baskin, Daily Beast, 15 November 2012)
Israeli peace activist: Hamas leader Jabari killed amid talks on long-term truce (Nir Hasson, Haaretz, 15 November 2012)
How Israel shattered Gaza truce leading to escalating death and tragedy: a timeline (Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, 15 November 2012)
Interview: Ali Abunimah on the situation in Gaza (Shakuntala Santhrian, Al Jazeera, 15 November 2012)
Journalist’s 11-month-old son killed in Gaza strikes (Washington Post, 15 November 2012)
Bodies for Ballots (Yousef Munayyer, Daily Beast, 15 November 2012)
Netanyahu and Barak have decided to deliberately violate a cease-fire which had just been stabilized (Uri Avnery, MWC News, 14 November 2012)
Timeline: Israel's latest escalation on Gaza (Institute for Middle East Understanding, 14 November 2012)
Meanwhile, some of the attitudes espoused by Israel:
Israel’s Minister of Home Front Defense, Avi Dichter, called for Israel to "reformat Gaza" to wipe it clean like a computer hard drive, except using bombs.
Transport minister, Israel Katz, called for Israel to "bomb Gaza so hard that the population would flee into Egypt, and for Israel to cut off water and electricity supplies."
Eli Yishai, the Interior Minister and the head of the Shas party said the goal of the current assault is "to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages".