Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Israeli Terror Attacks: Day 8


Israeli Terror Attacks: Day 8

by Stephen Lendman

What can't go on forever, won't. As long as world leaders let Israel get away with murder, killing Palestinians won't stop.

Wednesday marks Operation Pillar of Cloud day 8. Ceasefire deals don't stop Israel's killing machine. It's a weapon of mass destruction.

It specializes in slaughtering civilians. On November 21, The International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) headlined "Israeli air force bombs government buildings, media overnight; Israel refuses truce terms" after accepting them.

Overnight bombing targeted civilian sites. Pipelines delivering gas from Egypt were bombed. Gaza City's Yarmouk sports stadium was struck.

Tuesday afternoon, leaflets were dropped. Gaza City area residents were warned to leave their homes. Over 10,000 Palestinians sought shelter in UNWRA schools.

Gaza has no safe havens. During Cast Lead, UN facilities were bombed. On January 6, 2009, missiles and shells targeted a UN school. Hundreds of Palestinians sheltered there. Over 40 were killed. Many others were injured.

UN officials said the school was clearly marked. Its location was reported to Israeli authorities. It had no military significance. Israel deliberately targeted civilians. Most were children. Israel called them terrorists.

Separate same day attacks struck another UNWRA school and a civilian home. Twelve Daya family members were killed. Seven children and three women died. Israel called them Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters.

On November 21, Gaza City's AFP headquarters was hit. Al Jazeera's office was damaged. Press TV correspondent Akram al-Sattari was injured.

Civilians were targeted near Shafi mosque. No one's sure how many died. Around midday Wednesday, numbers approach 160. Many missing haven't been accounted for. 

Dozens more for sure are dead. Others gravely injured will die. Many Palestinians will be maimed for life. Numbers injured top 1,000. It's hard keeping up with total casualties. One by one they mount.

IMEMC said, "only six" Palestinians were "identified as being resistance fighters." Others are civilians. Many are women, children infants, and the elderly.

Al Shifa Hospital staff said most victims admitted are women and children. Nurses never saw so many bombing casualties over an eight-day period. 

They're stressed to the limit treating them. Medications and other supplies are running out fast. Life-saving ones have been exhausted. Catastrophic describes conditions they're dealing with.

Israel hijacked the Al-Quds Palestinian satellite channel. Propaganda reports told viewers that Hamas leaders were hiding in sewers like "mice and rats."

Israel bombed media sites multiple times. On Sunday, two buildings were struck. At least six journalists were injured. Al-Quds TV cameraman Khader al-Zahhar lost a leg. Severe injuries required amputation.

On Wednesday, more attacks followed. Israel wants truth silenced. On November 21, the Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) said Israel killed Aqsa TV cameramen Salamah and Al-Komi.

They were traveling in a clearly marked Al-Aqsa TV car. Israel willfully targeted them. MADA called killing them a "heinous crime." Over the past decade, Israel murdered 20 regional journalists. Four were killed during Cast Lead. So far, three died during Pillar of Cloud.

MADA demanded an international investigation. It wants Israel held accountable. Impunity encourages more crimes.

Bombing destroyed a Khan Younis police headquarters and nearby buildings. Gaza's Interior Ministry building was destroyed. So was a major bridge linking Gaza City with southern Gaza.

Cyber attacks target Israel. A massive campaign continues. Israel admitted war is being waged on three fronts: on the ground, social networks and cyberspace. Add scoundrel media reports. They're consistently pro-Israeli.

Since November 14, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said over 60 million cyberattacks targeted government web sites. Countermeasures foiled most of them, he claimed.

The online activist group Anonymous said it hacked dozens of Israeli state agency sites and a major bank. It claims 650 were disabled or defaced.

Anonymous #OpIsrael declared cyberwar. It retaliated against Israel's "barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of the Palestinian people" and for "publicly threaten(ing) to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza."

"NO ONE shuts down the Internet on our watch," it added. A YouTube video said:

"We call on the Anonymous Collective to hack, deface, docks, hijack, database leak, admin takeover, four oh four and DNS terminate the Israeli Cyberspace by any means necessary."  

"To the Israeli Government, Anonymous has grown tired of your bullying, and now you will see the result of your actions. Cyber war has been declared on Israel cyber space and you will see exactly what we are capable of."

Pre-dawn Wednesday, Anonymous hijacked Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom's Twitter account. It tweeted "END THE OCCUPATION. FREE PALESTINE. PALESTINE WE LOVE YOU."

On November 20, Mondoweiss published a letter from Khan Yunis to the world. Maissa Abdul-Halim wrote it. She's an Al-Aqsa University student. She could die any moment, she said. She wanted others to hear her words and act.

"Our blood is being shed every day," she said, "and the world has yet to learn that we are human beings."

November 20 was UN Children's Day. It was day 7 of Israeli terror bombings. Innocent civilians are dying. Many are children. "What crime have they committed to deserve what is happening to them?!!"

"For all the world: we don't need your tears. We can cry all the day ourselves. We need you to act, to act against your governments which support Israel, act now against your silence."

"WE ARE NOT NUMBERS….We are human beings. We have feelings and passions. We have blood. We have hearts in our chests. We have families. We deserve to live just as you do."

Palestinian deaths don't matter. Media scoundrels don't keep count.  One Israeli fatality makes headlines. Terrorism, they scream.

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined "Day 8: Terrorists bomb Tel Aviv bus, again miss Jerusalem." 

When Israel terror bombs Gaza, kills civilians, and ruthlessly threatens an entire 1.7 million population, it's called self-defense. When counterattacks kill Jews, it's "terrorism."

On November 21, a Tel Aviv bus was struck. An explosive device may have been placed on board. Haaretz reported at least 21 hurt. Maan News said at least 10. DF said 25, "five seriously." A later DF report said 27, "three" seriously.

IDF spokesman, General Yoav Mordecai, said Cairo talks haven't slowed Israeli attacks and possible ground operation preparations. 

Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz said military priorities will continue no matter what happens politically. In other words, diplomacy won't deter Israel's belligerency and occupation harshness.

Peace isn't won on battlefields. It's when both sides prefer dialogue to belligerence. Israel shuns it. Violence and instability serves its imperial agenda. 

Peace defeats it. Strategy calls for assuring it doesn't erupt. Bombing continues conflict. Ground operations sustain it longer. On November 20, Israel National News gave Efraim Inbar and Max Singer op-ed space.

Both urge invasion. "A thorough terrorist cleanup is necessary to ensure the Jewish state’s ability to stand against the rising tide of Islamist militancy," they said. "Let the international community oppose it as much as they want to."

Confront Hamas "head-on." Do it sooner, not later. Wipe out resistance. Ignore criticism about civilian casualties. Expand the current offensive. "Clear-cut victory needs boots on the ground."

Deterrence will be achieved if Hamas and Islamic Jihad "are decimated….The bottom line is that Israel is surrounded by enemies who will spare no efforts to kill as many Israelis as possible."

It bears repeating. Conflicts beget more of them. An endless cycle of violence is self-destructive. It benefits no one. Peace depends on prioritizing diplomacy over confrontation.

Inbar teaches at Bar-Ilan University. His students should think twice before enrolling in his courses. Singer is Hudson Institute (HI) senior fellow/trustee emeritus. HI is hawkish, neoliberal, and pro-Israeli.

Policies perhaps benefitting them harm most others. Their "bottom line" is one peace advocates should resolutely oppose. 

The choice is simple. Get along or risk destroying ourselves. Odds so far look grim.

A Final Comment

Here we go again. At minutes past noon EST, Reuters headlined "Hamas, Israel agree truce: Palestinian source," saying:

An unnamed Palestinian close to Egyptian mediators provided no details. Official confirmation didn't follow. Haaretz said Clinton will announce it.

The Financial Times reported that an unnamed Egyptian official said terms were agreed. It's to take effect at 2PM EST.

Minutes past 1PM EST, Maan News said Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and Clinton jointly announced it. It's to take effect within the hour.

"These efforts….have resulted in understandings to cease fire and restore calm and halt the bloodshed that the last period has seen," said Amr.

An Israeli statement said:

Netanyahu "spoke a short while ago with President Barack Obama and agreed to his recommendation to give the Egyptian ceasefire proposal a chance, and in this way provide an opportunity to stabilize the situation and calm it before any more forceful action would be necessary."

In other words, Israel reserves the right to resume hostilities any time for any reason or none at all. It'll take full advantage.

Expect little more for Palestinians than short-term conflict cessation. For over 64 years, belligerence has been official Israeli policy. Occupation harshness exceeded 45 years. 

Cairo talks changed nothing. Short-term relief excludes fundamental long-term injustices. Palestinian liberation depends on resolving them.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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