Monday, January 5, 2009
Casualties rise in Gaza offensive
Casualties have been pouring into over-stretched hospitals in the Gaza Strip as Israel presses on with its offensive against Palestinian militant groups.
The Palestinian health ministry said 90 people, mostly civilians and including 26 children, had been killed since Israeli forces went in on Saturday. Dr Khamis al-Essi, an emergency doctor at Gaza's biggest hospital, al-Shifa, said they were struggling to cope with the huge numbers of casualties. He said they had received "all sorts of casualties, from shattered bodies, beheaded individuals and patients with superficial cuts and lacerations". "Most of the injuries affected civilians, especially women and children," he told the BBC. Among the dead was a family of seven killed by an Israeli air strike in a refugee camp east of Gaza City, health officials said. Dr Essi said many families were in need of ambulances, but medical workers were struggling to reach casualties because they were being shot at.
Let’s be clear, I think we can all appreciate the fear these rocket attacks create on the Israeli psyche. For a race who have been as despicably persecuted throughout history to live under the constant fear of a sky rocket dropping on their head and killing them with all the sirens going and the reminders that stress creates for those old enough to have been effected by the Holocaust, all shivering together in bomb shelters must all add up to be a very daunting and frightening experience.
But that daunting and frightening experience in no way justifies the Israeli response, especially when Israel has been so responsible for creating the righteous grievance with their 42 year brutal occupation of what are now the largest open aired prisons on the face of the planet. Glorified sky rockets that steer like a drunk cow and which have only killed 4 people (or 15 TOTAL prior to this massacre) is a problem that can be solved by ending the economic strangulation Israel imposed upon Gaza because Hamas won a democratic election and start a serious dialogue about lifting air, sea and land blockades on Gaza AND start immediate withdrawal from the West Bank. The solution to glorified skyrockets that steer like a drunk cow IS NOT the American made laser guided Hellfire missile’s fired into one of the most densely populated regions on Earth, all that does is create more fury and radicalizes even more young Palestinians, Israeli aggression simply exacerbates the horror story that is Gaza and serves only to create another generation of suicide bombers.
The attempt to redefine the word ‘disproportionate’ by Israel and her proxies in the media is so intellectually bankrupt it would be funny if so much Palestinian blood wasn’t bathing most of downtown Gaza. You cannot hold the high ground when you arrive at a blunt knife fight with a fully automatic machine gun, the attempt to paint the victim as the aggressor is the same thinking that blames women for being raped because she’s wearing make up and is the same reasoning that attempts to justify putting a tank shell through a child for throwing stones at armored vehicles.
There is no military solution in Gaza and those choosing to defend this need to reflect beyond their partisan bias to see where the real suffering is occurring.