world

Gaza dead tops 85 as Israel presses offensive

27 Comments
By KHALED KAZZIHA and JOSEF FEDERMAN

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“The moment you see a picture in The New York Times of an injured child, it’s horrific. And there’s no way you can come up with a legal explanation that will help us,” he said.

Precisely. Time to stop.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Disgusting.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As the quite goes " an eye for an eye and soon we are all blind!"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sad to see. When will this tit-for tat ever end? Or will their be an ultimate end someday down the road?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Such a different world, over there. How can you relax and sip a drink at a cafe when you know that at any moment, a rocket might be bearing down on you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The casualty toll is the best indicator of the misery inflicted, and Palestinian casualties always far outnumber Israeli casualties. While all deaths in such conflicts are tragic, the Palestinian casualties are always tens or hundreds of times greater than the Israeli toll. In the 2008/9 conflict, 1387 Palestinians died, vs. 9 Israelis. In the current conflict, an estimated 80 Palestinians have died, vs. 0 Israelis.

Militarily speaking, the conflict is grossly asymmetrical. The media coverage rarely reflects the military reality of the conflict. Israel is a military superpower, with F-15 fighter jets, AH-64 Apache helicopters, sophisticated missiles, an anti-rocket defence system (and nuclear arms.) Hamas and other militant groups have primitive and ineffective – often “home made” – rockets. Not a single Israeli fatality has resulted so far from the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza since the recent spate of violence began.

All violence directed against civilians violates international law. Firing rockets from Gaza violates international law, as they may well hit civilians rather than military targets. But the repeated Israeli strikes on Palestinian homes, apartments, cafés, and other civilian targets violate international law too. This, regardless of whether Israel fired “warning” shots, or phoned warnings to the inhabitants. While all such reckless acts should be equally condemned, the Canadian government has only seen fit to speak against the rockets from Gaza.

Israel unlawfully ignores the concept of proportionality as it responds to Gaza rockets. International law permits countries to respond militarily to threats, but such responses must be proportional to the threat faced. If none of the rockets shot from Gaza have hit their targets, or caused fatalities, the legality of Israel’s brutal response is highly questionable.

The Israeli assault on Gaza only deepens the “collective punishment” imposed by Israel since 2007. Under international law, it is unlawful to punish an entire community for the crimes of a few. Nevertheless, Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007, effectively punishing 1.5 million civilians in Gaza simply because Israel rejects the Hamas administration in Gaza. The latest Israeli military strikes only deepen this punishment.

The rocket attacks from Gaza are a desperate act by a people without hope. Unfortunately, the rockets shot from Gaza simply give Israel an questionable excuse to pound Gaza yet again. According to polls, most people in Gaza do not believe rockets are effective against Israel. Nevertheless, there is no broad outcry against them, as many view them as a symbol of resistance, albeit futile. The best way to minimize the influence of extremist Palestinian groups would be to give Palestinians real hope for their future.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I'm so glad to see the sterling efforts made by that great Middle East Peace Envoy, Tony Blair, are going so well.

Worth every penny, that chap.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Harald

Give him time... I hear he's got a great plan to privatise the conflict. ; )

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The problem is the Palestinians are defending themselves. Against an enemy which is better equiped, and is taking their land, homes and resources. They should stop that and just walk off into the Sinai Peninsula. Pesky people.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

To Yong Yang are you dreaming daydreams? The palestinians are defending themselves? they are terrorists attacking Israel with missiles and they are the ones kidnapping civilian BOYS and executing them, they are the ones aiming on civilian Israelis, Israel is just responding to terror. so wake up and open your eyes,

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

@Avi: You obviously do not know anything about what is happening or has happened since the end of WWII in the region mentioned in the article. I suggest you read up, step back and view from a stance of neutrality Avi. The situation in Gaza, even more so than the West Bank is akin to Apartheid. What will anyone do if you are subjected to such an idealogy? Sit down, have a cup of tea or throw yourself into fighting for some sense of justice, freedom, dignity?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Avi,

As someone who grew up in a brutal conflict, I feel your pain.

If there's one lesson, though, it's that no-one has a monopoly on suffering and there's no hierarchy of victimhood.

If you wish to play the victim card, however, kindly explain B'Tselem's statistics:

http://www.btselem.org/statistics/fatalities/after-cast-lead/by-date-of-event

Thank you

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's difficult to watch the Palestinians take such self-defeating actions. It's also difficult to see people encouraging them.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

ullul:

" The casualty toll is the best indicator of the misery inflicted, and Palestinian casualties always far outnumber Israeli casualties. "

No, it is not, and the only reason the Arab casualties outnumber the Israeli ones is the lack of accuracy of the Hamas missiles, not a lack of trying by Hamas. If Hamas could, they would kill as many Israelis is possible.

And I notice that the article does not even mention the phone calls --- before the IDF bombs a terrorist house, the call and tell the inhabitants to get out. Wonder if Hamas showed such courtesy, if they had any accuracy in their missiles? Don´t.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

WilliB

And I notice that the article does not even mention the phone calls --- before the IDF bombs a terrorist house, the call and tell the inhabitants to get out.

Perhaps Mr. Hamad did not have a phone

http://www.btselem.org/testimonies/20140709_gaza_protective_edge_muhammad_hamad

Tears.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To Yong Yang are you dreaming daydreams? The palestinians are defending themselves? they are terrorists attacking Israel with missiles and they are the ones kidnapping civilian BOYS and executing them, they are the ones aiming on civilian Israelis, Israel is just responding to terror. so wake up and open your eyes,

I agree and I feel, you guys have every right to do what is necessary to root out and crush terrorism, if the libs can't cope with it, then they can't. You know mideast politics, as do I and there is NO talking to these savages. They don't care or respect life. Hamas even told everyone to NOT hide from the rockets from Israel and have every man and woman on the street, essentially making them targets and trying to make them martyrs, which means, they just couldn't care less. Barbaric! If feel sorry for the innocent children in all of this, but we know Hamas will do anything to get sympathy and make it seem like they are the ones that are the victims.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Lib this Lib that, Hamas this Hamas that, Palestinians this and that.

This is WAY past a broken record. It seems that some here don't have a deep understanding of the Palestinian/Israeli issue.

There are 60 Palestinian refugee camps scattered across the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon containing a total of 4,944,948. Palestinians. They didn't go to these camps for the free food, they ran away or were expelled by Israeli terrorist actions starting before the 1948 war, and continue today.

Take a look at a map of the Israeli settlements. They've pretty much surrounded the Palestinian enclaves. These settlers are not your average Israeli. Some are very fanatical and hate everyone, including christians.

If you understand this history, there is no way one could call the Palestinians the "terrorists." At what point does someone become a freedom fighter or a terrorist?

So now the new terrorists are the East Russians in Ukraine, but it is Kiev that is bombing civilians.

Just ludicrous and illogical.

Maybe it would be best to talk to a Palestinian about their experiences dealing with the Israeli Army, then you might understand the reality on the ground.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Those who might reasonably shy away from direct encounters with Israeli armed forces in the Middle East can more easily witness Israeli soldiers in Thailand who are frequently there in numbers for R&R after their time in the field. Even casual observation of their intensely menacing interactions with locals or uninhibited soldier story bravado spoken in public places as if no one else knew their language can be tough to stomach. Not exactly the sort of visitors who give their fellow countrymen a good name.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are 60 Palestinian refugee camps scattered across the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon containing a total of 4,944,948. Palestinians.

Around the time of the 1948 war about 800,000 Arabs left or were expelled, and a similar number of Jews were expelled or fled from a host of Arab countries. The Arab refugees, unlike ALL other refugees in the world, came under the control of UNRWA, and unlike other refugees, no attempt has been made to help them start a new life. The Jewish refugees from Arab countries were settled in various places around the world and started all over again. Those 80,000 Arab refugees now number close to 5 milliion and they are the only refugees in the world to claim a right of return for the ones who actually left PLUS all their descendants. And I don't think I've ever seen anyone here criticise the Syrian, Jordanian or Lebanese governments for their treatment of Palestinian refugees. Only Israel.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The situation in Gaza, even more so than the West Bank is akin to Apartheid.

Oh. Right. Well, that certainly clears things up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We are all Palestinians now.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And I don't think I've ever seen anyone here criticise the Syrian, Jordanian or Lebanese governments for their treatment of Palestinian refugees.

Perhaps because Syria granted Palestinian refugees (though not actual citizenship) the same rights as Syrians. Jordan was similarly supportive.

Lebanon's treatment of Palestinians hardly exists in a vacuum. Even Israel's Kahan Commission (ועדת כהן), or Commission of Inquiry into the Events at the Refugee Camps in Beirut, found (then Defence Minister, and subsequent Israeli PM) Ariel Sharon personally responsible for facilitating the 1982 Phalangist massacre of Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila, an act promptly condemned by the UN General Assembly as genocide.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And I don't think I've ever seen anyone here criticise the Syrian, Jordanian or Lebanese governments for their treatment of Palestinian refugees. Only Israel.

That's true. The fellow muslim governments of these countries you mention have been playing their own game and left the Palestinians to the wind. All the more reason to organize a small group of fighters (Hamas) to do battle with Goliath since you can't count on your "comrades". That took me a minute to type that, and there goes another million $ to Israel.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Actually, I think the Israeli government and military should be commended for their restraint. Just imagine what would happen if they were the genocidal maniacs that so many people want to believe they are.

The Israelis have hundreds of F-15e attack aircraft and each one has a weapons payload of over 24,000 lbs. Fully loaded with cluster munitions they could depopulate Gaza in one afternoon. They also have quite a number of Multiple Rocket Launching Systems, which although are very inaccurate (like the Qassam), are capable of blanketing wide areas with cluster bombs and causing all kinds mayhem.

As mentioned in an earlier post the military capabilities of the antagonist in this conflict are “grossly asymmetrical” in favor of the Israelis; but if the intent was to kill as many Palestinian civilians as possible Gaza would have been reduced to an uninhabitable wasteland a long time ago.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fizzbit:

" There are 60 Palestinian refugee camps scattered across the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon containing a total of 4,944,948. Palestinians. They didn't go to these camps for the free food, they ran away or were expelled by Israeli terrorist actions starting before the 1948 war, and continue today. "

That is simply factually wrong. The number of Arabs who fled Israel when the state was founded was about 400,000. (And more Jews were expelled from Arab countries during the same time, but somehow that is never mentioned).

This 4 million plus figure includes all the descendants of refugees, plus a large number of immigrants who simply claim to be refugees. Muslim Arab Palestinians are the ONLY group of people in the world who claim a hereditary right to be called "refugees". And the UN only grants this strange privilege to them. No other group has ever made such an absurd claim; in fact if it was generally accepted, then we would all be refugees, since at some point in time some of all our ancestors must have fled from somewhere.

I wish people would think about these misleading labels before repeating them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Willib

"4 million plus"? Way to spin it. Why don't you just say "almost 5 million"? Anyway, it made me laugh.

About your latter comment, I just makes no sense at all. Would you care to rephrase it?

Personal story: I met an Arabic man here many years back. Met him at the bar actually. lol. I asked him where he was from and he said Jordan. After getting to know him a little better, at the bar, and because he was always so out spoken, I pressed him about where his family came from. He said Palestine. So, I think you might be thinking that the refugees have no pride. They just want to go home.

The number of Arabs who fled Israel when the state was founded

Fixed it for ya

The number of Arabs who fled Israeli terror campaigns when the state was founded

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We are all Palestinians now.

No, you mean to say, We are All Hamas now.

'Cause Palestinians are not opposed to dealing with Israel. Hamas is. This need only be a zero sum conflict if you think like Hamas does.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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