“During a brief Red Cross-brokered lull, paramedics entered the neighbourhood to retrieve the dead, pulling bodies from the rubble of homes. Dozens of houses over several blocks were destroyed or badly damaged, a scene reminiscent of Israel’s last major incursion into Gaza… Israeli military casualties also spiked in the fighting, with 13 killed Sunday, raising the total number of dead soldiers to 18. Two civilians have also died in mortar and rocket attacks.” (Emphasis added).
The above quotes are taken from the AP story “Thousands of Palestinians flee as Israel steps up Gaza ground offensive” published in the Toronto Star today.
It seems that every two or three years Israel attacks Gaza on flimsy pretexts, (well over 1,000 rockets fired and only two Israeli deaths attributable to them even now?), and when they are finished, houses, schools, public infrastructure and economic targets have been destroyed en masse.
Terms we have heard euphemistically used by Israeli politicians in reference to Gaza in the past include “Mowing the grass” (the disproportionate killing of civilians), and “Putting Gaza on a diet” (limiting the amount and types of food allowed into Gaza).
Israel is a powerful occupying military force, and holds all the aces. If Israel wanted peace, then peace there would be. But, that is not what they want. The ultimate objective is to force the Palestinians into exile or into the sea, and that is perhaps why Israel is so coy about defining precisely where its borders are.
As I said in a letter published in the Toronto Sun on April 14th 2002, “It’s no wonder the Palestinians fight back, and more power to them”.
See “Thousands of Palestinians flee as Israel steps up Gaza ground offensive” here.
See “Hopes of Gaza cast in lead” (Richard Falk, Jan. 4th, 2011) here.