USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

The Grim Aftermath

Posted by uscsjp on January 22, 2009

From a hill just outside the Gaza Strip, Israelis watch the air assaults on Gaza and dance in celebration of the attacks, 8 January 2009. (Newscom, link to Electronic Intifada)

From a hill just outside the Gaza Strip, Israelis watch the air assaults on Gaza and dance in celebration of the attacks, 8 January 2009. (Newscom, link to Electronic Intifada)

Ex-Carter Admin Official: Israel Ignored Hamas Offer Days Before Attacking Gaza; Violated Ceasefire With Attacks, Blockade

“Robert Pastor is a senior adviser to the Carter Center and a professor at American University who met with exiled Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal in Damascus on Dec. 14, along with former President Jimmy Carter. Pastor says Meshaal indicated Hamas was willing to go back to the ceasefire if Israel would lift the siege on Gaza. He says he passed along the statement to the Israeli military but he never heard back. Two weeks later, Israel launched its three week assault that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians, most of them civilians, at least a third children…”

–Democracy Now!, 22 January, 2009

See also the latest headlines from Democracy Now!:

“Obama to Name Middle East Envoy

President Obama made some of his first calls to foreign leaders to discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict. Obama called President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel, King Abdullah of Jordan and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. He did not reach out to leaders of Hamas, who rose to power in democratic elections three years ago. Meanwhile, Obama plans to announce the selection of former Senate majority leader George Mitchell as Middle East envoy. Mitchell is expected to travel to the region within days.

2 Palestinians Wounded in Israeli Attack on Gaza Shore

Meanwhile, in the Occupied Territories, the toll from Israel’s three-week assault on the Gaza Strip continues to rise as more bodies are found beneath the rubble of destroyed homes and buildings. More than 100 corpses have been recovered since Israel declared a ceasefire on Saturday. Despite the official ceasefire, Israeli gunboats continue to shell areas of Gaza. Earlier today, a Palestinian man and girl were wounded when an Israeli gunboat shelled the shores of Gaza City. The Israeli military said it opened fire to fend off a Palestinian fishing boat that it says went too far offshore.

Israeli Supreme Court Rejects Humanitarian Plea

Meanwhile, the Israeli Supreme Court has rejected a petition from two human rights groups seeking the evacuation of Gaza’s wounded and the immediate delivery of electricity to power Gaza’s crumbling infrastructure. Gaza’s health, water and sewage systems all suffered extensive damage in the Israeli attack after already barely functioning before the invasion. The court rejected the petitions without even waiting to hear the arguments against it by the Israeli government.

Hamas Political Leader Urges Talks, End to Boycott

The exiled political leader of Hamas is urging the US and European nations to end its boycott and negotiate. Speaking in Syria, Khaled Meshaal said, ‘Three years of trying to eliminate Hamas is enough. It is time for you to deal with Hamas, which has gained legitimacy through struggle.’ Meshal also hinted that Hamas would still be open to a political settlement with Israel, saying, ‘This battle has proved that force alone will not provide security for [Israel] and that peace will not be at the expense of Palestinian rights.’

Israel to Probe Own White Phosphorus Use

The Israeli military, meanwhile, says it will probe allegations of illegal use of white phosphorus during the Gaza assault. Israel has been accused of illegally firing white phosphorus over crowded refugee camps in Gaza. Bill Van Esveld of Human Rights Watch said he fears Israel’s probe will cover up its actions.

Bill Van Esveld: ‘The problem is that you can’t use it over a densely populated area in a legal way, because it continues to burn when it hits the ground. It can set buildings on fire. It can stick to the skin and burn all the way down to the bone and kill you. It can be deadly when you inhale it. And it can’t discriminate between a civilian and a military object…We’re glad the IDF is going to investigate, but we’re also concerned that this investigation not be a whitewash’…

–Democracy Now!, 22 January, 2009

Why Israel won’t survive

“The merciless Israeli bombardment of Gaza has stopped — for now — but the death toll keeps rising as more bodies are pulled from carpet- bombed neighborhoods.

What Israel perpetrated in Gaza, starting at 11:30am on 27 December 2008, will remain forever engraved in history and memory. Tel al-Hawa, Hayy al-Zeitoun, Khuzaa and other sites of Israeli massacres will join a long mournful list that includes Deir Yasin, Qibya, Kufr Qasim, Sabra and Shatila, Qana, and Jenin.

Once again, Israel demonstrated that it possesses the power and the lack of moral restraint necessary to commit atrocities against a population of destitute refugees it has caged and starved.

The dehumanization and demonization of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims has escalated to the point where Israel can with full self- righteousness bomb their homes, places of worship, schools, universities, factories, fishing boats, police stations — in short everything that sustains civilized and orderly life — and claim it is conducting a war against terrorism.

Yet paradoxically, it is Israel as a Zionist state, not Palestine or the Palestinian people, that cannot survive this attempted genocide…”

–Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 19 January 2009

Also from The Electronic Intifada:

Up to 200 still missing under Gaza’s rubble

“GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) – A pillow, a belt, a child’s school bag and pages of a torn copy of the Quran lie in the wreckage of the al-Daa family home in al-Zeitoun, a neighborhood of Gaza City. Twenty-four members of the family were killed when an F-16 fighter jet dropped a bomb on their house. Nine bodies still lie under what is now just a massive pancake of concrete, metal wires and death.

‘There were no Hamas fighters here,’ said Zohair al-Raay, a neighbor of the al-Daa family. ‘Where are the weapons? Where are the missiles? The al-Daa family had nothing to do with that.’

Eyad al-Daa, father of 32, was found clutching three small children in the stairwell.

As the ceasefire continues to hold, the sheer scale of the destruction in the Gaza Strip is finally emerging. The deadly, three-week assault by Israel has been devastating….”

Erin Cunningham, The Electronic Intifada, 21 January 2009

And finally, from Al Jazeera English

UN pictures show what appears to white phosphorus wedges raining down on one of its compounds in Gaza

UN pictures show what appears to white phosphorus 'wedges' raining down on one of its compounds in Gaza (Al Jazeera)

“The United Nations has released images of what it believes are white phosphorus munitions raining down on one of its compounds during Israel’s war on Gaza.

The pictures, broadcast by Al Jazeera on Thursday, show what appears to be flame-generating munitons, thought to be white phosphorus ‘wedges,’ falling into a UN compound in Gaza where hundreds of people were sheltering…”

–Al Jazeera, 22 January, 2009

“]”] Demonstrators in Belgium accused Israel of war crimes, as the Israeli foreign minister visited the headquarters of the European Union [AFP, link by Al Jazeera]

Demonstrators in Belgium accused Israel of war crimes as the Israeli foreign minister visited the EU headquarters (AFP, link to Al Jazeera)

“As the UN and human rights groups demand independent investigations into the conduct of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, the world’s attention is focusing on whether Israeli or Hamas officials could face prosecution for war crimes.

Whatever the inquiries find, bringing suspected war criminals to court will be far from straightforward…”

–Al Jazeera, 22 January, 2009


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