As the Israeli government amasses its military might at the Gaza border for a full-scale ground offensive, the international community is trying to find a negotiated settlement. So far, nearly 100 Palestinians were mercilessly killed and numerous wounded in the six days of Israeli air strikes. The Gulf Today Political Team takes a close look at the unfolding situation.
HE American leadership, Black or White, when it comes to whipping the Palestinian cause, the intensity is black and blue.
In less than a week, the Israeli military, in the name of responding to rocket attacks, has killed a hundred men, women and children. Why children? They are beyond anger, they are beyond hate, they are beyond rockets. They are like flowers —no faith, no race, no nation.
The wiping out of an entire family’s children on Sunday morning is a reflection of the type of morality the Jewish political aggregate harbours (not that we ever had any doubts on that front). It indeed was a ‘Jewish’ deal.
Well, the American leadership, triumphant and high on the hooch of national interest and strategy, decided to almost justify the Israeli massacre.
It said, “Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory.”
It wouldn’t stop at that. It added, “An ever escalating number of missiles that were landing not just in Israeli territory, but in areas that are populated. And there’s no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.”
However, the leadership of the United States of America, which is for all practical purposes the leadership of the world because our world is not about geography but raw power, expects other nations on earth to tolerate missiles falling on their countries.
And why? Because the US wants it. The drones have been killing, again, not soldiers but men, women and children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Moreover, the self-defence argument on behalf of Israel has been the soul of the American mainstream political scholarship for decades.
Success poisons. The same American leader’s tone in Cairo four years ago was uncoloured and full of hope for the region. He doesn’t need to be reconciliatory anymore. He is already there. And in politics, like sports, only victory matters. Anyway for the hapless both are sports. But actual documents, declassified by the US administration, clearly indicate that Israel didn’t attack Palestine and Egypt in 1967 in self-defence.
The militaristic design was decidedly hegemonistic in colour. But lie has always been the strength of those in command. We know that there weren’t any WMDs in Iraq.
Success poisons. The same American leader’s tone in Cairo four years ago was uncoloured and full of hope for the region. He doesn’t need to be reconciliatory anymore. He is already there. And in politics, like sports, only victory matters. Anyway for the hapless both are sports.
Now, what is the solution as Israel continues to build settlements and goes on with these periodic murders as the world looks the other way?
A seriously united stand among Israel’s rivals, a meeting without the Blair types (his own people are still calling him a liar) and without preconditions. Any precondition would mean the surrender of Palestinian rights before even the talk for them begins.
Till then let’s hope one day those who walked to the grave last afternoon to bury their own children will get to see the fruits of that sacrifice.
Get to realise that they who carry their own in caskets can be oppressed, but not defeated.
Palestinians, have faith in God. He never ever allows even the smallest of sacrifices go waste. That’s his promise. Men go back on words, not Allah.
Israeli killing machine By Matthew Kalman and Rob Williams
Gaza suffered its bloodiest day since Israel launched a military offensive in the Hamas-controlled enclave, with a sharp escalation in the ferocity of attacks amid frenzied last-minute diplomacy to try and forestall an Israeli ground assault.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed a “significant expansion” of Israel’s military onslaught, even as an Israeli envoy was reported to be travelling to Cairo for ceasefire talks with Egyptian mediators.
Nabeel Shaath, a senior Fatah official, has been dispatched to Gaza by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to intercede with the leaders of the rival Hamas group.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has joined the chorus of prominent officials calling for a ceasefire as the pounding of Gaza entered its sixth day. He is expected to visit Cairo to join talks aimed at bringing an end to the current escalation of the ongoing conflict — which has already claimed the lives of nearly 100 Palestinians in six days.
The Israeli army said it had targeted 80 sites overnight, among them police stations, weapons facilities and militant-owned buildings.
At least 24 Palestinians were killed by Israeli air and artillery attacks during Sunday — and Palestinian sources said 18 people were killed in the raids overnight.
Sunday was the bloodiest since Operation Pillar of Defence began last Wednesday with the assassination of the Hamas military chief, Ahmed Al Jabari. Israel said the commander of the Hamas rocket unit was among Sunday’s targets.
Eleven Palestinian civilians were reported killed when an Israeli missile levelled their home in Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood in an apparent strike against the home of a senior Hamas militant. The Palestinian Maan News Agency said that four women and four children from the same family were among the dead.
Media under attack
The Israel Foreign Press Association, meanwhile, lodged an official complaint with the Israeli army after six journalists were injured, one seriously, when Israeli missiles destroyed the offices and studio of two television stations in Gaza City high-rises that also house Sky News Arabic and other international media bureaus.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Israel had bombed the Al Quds bureau “because it had enraged the Zionists by its coverage” of Israel’s “crimes in Gaza.” Both pro-Hamas networks continued broadcasting from other locations, but their programmes were interrupted by messages from the Israeli army warning Gaza residents to stay away from Hamas installations and personnel.
Cameron calls for de-escalationBy Joe Churcher and Alex Diaz
David Cameron has urged Israel to “do everything possible” to end the crisis in Gaza as its military continued to trade missile strikes with Hamas amid fears of a new ground war.
In a phone call with Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday night, he expressed sympathy for the continued “unacceptable” rocket attacks by militants which have reached occupied Jerusalem for the first time.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister expressed his sympathy for the unacceptable rocket attacks that Israel continued to suffer. He also expressed concern over the risk of the conflict escalating further and the danger of further civilian casualties on both sides.
“The Prime Minister said that the UK was putting pressure on both sides to de-escalate and urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to do everything possible to bring the conflict to an end.”
Hitting Hamas, hand-in-hand with Israel
By Nikhil Kumar
President Barack Obama cautiously waded into the first major foreign policy challenge of his second term at the weekend by saying it would be “preferable” if Israel avoided a ground invasion of Gaza, even has he reaffirmed American support for its ally.
The president said rocket attacks by Hamas, which the US considers a terrorist organisation, were to blame for the latest round of hostilities. He also made pointed remarks against Egypt and Turkey, where leaders have been critical of Israeli air strikes.
“Let’s understand that the precipitating event here … was an ever-escalating number of missiles that were landing not just in Israeli territory but in areas that are populated, and there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,” Obama said, speaking in Thailand at the start of a three-day tour of Asia.
No drugs, no healingBy Jeremy Laurance
Health authorities in Gaza warned Sunday night of a critical shortage of life-saving drugs and medical supplies as casualties threatened to overwhelm the main Al Shifa hospital in the city. The World Health Organisation said it was “deeply concerned” about the escalating situation and appealed for $10m of funding over the next three months. At the 700-bed Shifa hospital, where 80 per cent of casualties are taken, many have been admitted with severe burns or crush injuries from falling masonry.
All hospitals have cancelled routine surgery and on Sunday were discharging less urgent patients or moving them by ambulance to hospitals outside Gaza, including in Egypt. There were scenes of pandemonium at Al Shifa Hospital as children were brought in covered in blood, some of them dead. More children followed who looked like they had been “dug out of the rubble,” the BBC correspondent Paul Danahar reported.
“There is screaming and crying and chaos. A nurse has broken down and is crying in the corner. Her colleagues are trying to comfort her. Awful scenes here,” he wrote.
The Ministry of Health in Gaza said it had run out of 192 essential drugs — 40 per cent of the essential medicines list — and held zero stocks of 586 medical disposables — items such as dressings and syringes — accounting for 65 per cent of the essential list.