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U.S. Weapons Targeting Civilians Living Off Grass and Painkillers in Gaza

January 4, 2009

Gaza is on the threshold of becoming the first territory to be intentionally reduced to a state of abject destitution, with the knowledge, acquiescence and – some would say – encouragement of the international community.”
~The Head of the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) Karen Koning Abu Zayd (emphasis added)

Even before the December 27th “Black Sabbath” when 200 Palestinians were killed in 10 minutes, Ms. Abu Zayd alerted us all to the mass suffering of Gazans living under an increasingly tightened blockade of food, medicine, natural gas, and other basic necessities of life. Since Hamas was democratically elected in January 2006, Israel, backed by the United States, imposed a blockade that has reduced Gaza, as Amnesty International put it, to bare survival.

Now, UNRWA warns us that Gaza is on the verge of real starvation and death UNRWA has been unable to deliver food aid for the last 2 weeks because of a shortage of supplies and Israel’s aerial bombardment.

Many Gazans–the ones lucky enough to still be alive even before the latest Israeli blitzkreig–are living off grass and painkillers.

FACTS ON THE GROUND IN GAZA & ISRAEL (as of this writing)

*500 Palestinians have been killed, at least a quarter of whom the UN estimates are civilians. Israel has intentionally targeted civilian infrastructure on a massive scale, which is a war crime. Israel has attacked transportation, education, and police government buildings. The justification is that it is just attacking Hamas–not mentioning of course that Hamas is the (democratically elected) government of Gaza. I haven’t yet found Israel’s justification for bombing an American International School in Gaza.

*3 Israeli civilians and 1 Israeli soldier have been killed–all killed AFTER Israel broke the truce that had sharply decreased violence since June 19th. Not one Israeli civilian was killed during the truce. Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups have fired hundreds of rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians, which is also a war crime.

* Gaza has one of the highest unemployment rates in the entire world That was the unemployment situation last July. To put that in perspective, the highest unemployment rate during the Great Depression in U.S. was 25%. The unemployment rate of Weimer Germany was about 33%–that was the height of Germany’s economic depression before the Nazi takeover. It should be self-evident (but obviously it isn’t or the bombs would not be falling on Gaza today) that massive and particularly inflicted poverty leads people to take desperate measures.

* Gaza is densely populated. It is about the size of Detroit, or twice the size of D.C., with nearly 1.5 million people living there. (Mostly concentrated in Gaza City–Israel has been bombing A CITY.)

For more a great backgrounder on the recent attacks, see Adams Sheets on “The Facts about Israel’s War in Gaza”.

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