Israel Extends Terror War to Gaza
by Stephen Lendman
Large parts of Gaza remain in ruins following Israel’s summer 2014 premeditated war of aggression - hundreds of families still reeling from loss of or serious injuries to loved ones, along with their homes destroyed.
Poverty haunts the Strip. Unemployment is around 43% - for youths 60%. Israel’s war never ended. Ceasefire terms agreed to in Cairo were breached straightaway.
Intermittent air attacks continue, the latest on Wednesday. According to witnesses, Hamas infrastructure targets were struck in western Gaza City and central Gaza.
Civilian homes were damaged. Casualties so far are unknown. Israel creates pretexts to attack the besieged Strip - this time an alleged rocket fired, harming no one, causing no damage.
Israel holds Hamas responsible for what it calls “any act of terror” in territory it controls. No individual or group claimed responsibility for the alleged rocket launch. Perhaps none occurred.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel launched 49 incursions against long-suffering Gazans since January alone.
Last month, an Israeli airstrike hit a Palestinian home, killing a two-year-old and her pregnant mother. An IDF statement lied, claiming “two Hamas weapon manufacturing facilities in the northern Gaza Strip were struck” - ignoring cold-blooded murder committed, continuing daily, civilians alone killed.
In October, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of endless “war crimes,” saying Palestinians “will defend themselves by any means possible.”
On November 17, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported the horrific toll since Israel effectively declared war on Palestine six weeks ago: 89 extrajudicially assassinated Palestinian civilians, including 18 children and four women, as well as over 10,000 others injured, many seriously.
“On average, the army kills two Palestinians and injures around 217 every day,” the ministry explained. At least 1,450 victims were shot with live fire, over 1,000 others with potentially lethal rubber or plastic-coated steel bullets.
Around 6,500 Palestinians suffer from toxic tear gas inhalation. Over 250 had bones broken or bruises inflicted by soldiers, police or extremist settlers. Dozens were burned by Israeli stun grenades and gas bombs.
In late October, Yesh Din Volunteers for Human Rights reported settler attacks against Palestinians doubled in the past year, almost always unaccountably. Investigations are whitewashed when conducted.
Settlers have virtual carte blanche to commit violence and vandalism with impunity, including cold-blooded murder.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu suggested possible Israeli annexation of West Bank areas - without elaboration, saying “(t)here’s all sorts of unilateral moves and sorts of directions. Wait and see. And they’re not necessarily in the direction that people think.”
Annexation would mean mass displacement of Palestinian residents, confiscating their land and property, creating more exclusive Jewish areas, perhaps new settlements.
Separately, Israel banned the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel (NBIM). A Foreign Ministry statement lied, stating:
“For years, the northern branch of the Islamic Movement has led a mendacious campaign of incitement under the heading ‘Al Aqsa is in danger’ that falsely accuses Israel of intending to harm the Al Aqsa Mosque and violate the status-quo.”
The organization “established a network of paid activists (Mourabitoun/Mourabitat) in order to initiate provocations on the Temple Mount. This activity has led to a significant increase in tension on the Temple Mount. A significant portion of recent terrorist attacks have been committed against the background of this incitement and propaganda.”
“Outlawing the organization is a vital step in maintaining public security and preventing harm to human life.”
The organization “headed by Sheikh Raad Salah, is a sister movement of the Hamas terrorist organization. The two movements maintain a close and secretive cooperation…and a common goal - the destruction of the State of Israel.”
Following the move, Israeli security forces conducted overnight police state raids, targeting 17 branch locations, closing them down, confiscating computers, documents and other property, freezing bank accounts.
Police states operate this way. Netanyahu took full advantage of Friday’s false flag Paris attacks, likely caused by France complicit with Washington and Israel.
Netanyahu and likeminded officials accuse NBIM of “incitement” for outspokenly supporting Palestinian rights and denouncing Israeli lawlessness - despite Shin Bet head Yoram Cohen indicating no evidence linking the group to terrorism.
He opposed banning it. Three of its members are PA parliamentarians. Perhaps their arrests will follow along with NBIM officials. Its leader, Raed Salah, is a former Umm al-Fahm major. He’s been jailed before. He now faces an 11 month sentence for alleged “incitement to violence” based on an earlier speech, after his appeal was rejected.
Maybe Arab political parties will be banned next, their members targeted. Israel’s war on Palestine shows no restraint, fully supported by Washington.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.