In Israel’s latest attack on Gaza, the Tel Aviv government warned hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of the north of the Gaza Strip to abandon their homes, as the zone would be attacked by aircraft bombers from Tel Aviv.
This has caused an exodus towards the south of the Gaza, worsening the already catastrophic conditions in which the Palestine population live, with thousands of wounded, over-crowded hospitals, scarcity of vital medicines, water and food shortages and only one access point, on the border with Egypt, from which Gaza can communicate with the rest of the world. Over the days of the military offensive called Operation Protective Edge, over 200 people have died; hundreds of homes and buildings destroyed; with the Israeli air force choosing – among its targets – a hospital, a school and a mosque.
According to UN and Palestinian accounts, the majority of victims – dead and injured – are civilians, 25-30 per cent of whom are children. But, after bombing more than 600 targets and dropping hundreds of tons of high impact explosives over Gaza, Israeli soldiers have not killed a single leader of Hamas or the Islamic Jihad – the supposed targets of the Tel Aviv government – which has not even been able to significantly reduce the pace at which homemade missiles are launched from the Gaza border into Israeli territory.
Dozens of these missiles – which cause fear in Israeli neighborhoods bordering Gaza, but posses an insignificant destructive capacity – continue to be launched daily. They are the only possible defensive response available to Palestinians.
After two previous grand scale military offensives against Gaza (2008-2009 and 2012), based on the same pretexts, Tel Aviv authorities have been obliged to admit that the massive bombardments and military raids on Gaza will not stop the manufacture or use of rudimentary arms by Palestinians.
The only real objective of the current attack seems to be to kill civilians, as journalist Gideon Levy commented in his article published in Haaretz, “Israel’s real purpose in Gaza operation? To kill Arabs,” given that overthrowing the Hamas government is an illusory and illegitimate objective, as well as undesirable, since the alternative could be far worse. Israel sincerely believes that if it kills hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, calm will be restored.
This strategy, as well as the destruction of homes “is a war crime, even if the Israeli solders label them control and command centers or conference rooms,” stated Levy, renowned for his critical stance toward the Tel Aviv government.
The brutality and cruelty perpetrated against the defenceless population of Gaza are unfathomable, but the passivity and indifference of the United States and European Union in the face of a genocidal military operation is also incomprehensible. The Western powers have mounted campaigns against the Syrian government and intervened militarily in Libya to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, for a lot less.
The suffering of the Palestinian population clearly demonstrates the obscenity and hypocrisy of the U.S. and Europe, both accomplices overlooking the war crimes perpetuated by Tel Aviv in martyred Gaza.
Source: La Jornada, slightly edited for this publication