Israel’s Gaza Siege: One of History’s Great Crimes
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Israel’s land, sea, and air blockade of Gaza since mid-2007 has nothing to do with national security — one of many Big Lies the Netanyahu and other Jewish state regimes use to justify what’s unjustifiable.
Isolating two million Gazans from the outside world has everything to do with apartheid viciousness — illegal collective punishment solely for political reasons.
The world community and its leaders are complicit in what’s going on for failing to intervene against it.
The same goes for the UN and its secretary general, supporting what demands denunciation for failing to condemn what no one should tolerate — how he always operates, disgracing the office he holds like most of his predecessors.
Gaza is an Israeli-made humanitarian disaster, punctuated by naked aggression at its discretion for invented reasons because legitimate ones don’t exist and didn’t earlier.
Conditions in the Strip are untenable. Safe water is unavailable for the vast majority of its people, nutritious food availability way inadequate, food insecurity a way of life, electricity functioning only a few hours a day, some days not at all.
Israel banned free movement in and out of the Strip. Fishermen are assaulted and arrested for the “crime” of fishing in their own waters.
Israeli border guards shoot farmers in the fields and children for target practice.
Unemployment is over 50%, much higher for youths and women.
Hospitals lack what’s essential to treat serious illnesses and injuries, coping as best they can with shortages or unavailability of virtually everything needed for patient care.
Israeli snipers use live fire against nonviolent protesters, killing and wounding them with impunity — the world community complicit with the bloodbath by not intervening to stop it.
B’Tselem addressed the issue, saying at least 21 Gazans lost vision in one eye during peaceful protests since 2018.
At least one teenager was blinded in both eyes. Hundreds of Gazans were killed, over 20,000 injured, many seriously, the world community silent about what’s going on.
B’Tselem explained that blockade conditions “severely impaired local health care.”
“As Gaza’s collapsing healthcare system is grappling with a shortage of medicine, physicians, equipment and medical training, it is unable to offer many forms of treatment.”
“Israel abuses its control over Gaza’s border crossings and denies residents passage to medical treatment elsewhere, including in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, other than in exceptional cases it deems ‘life saving.’ ”
“Wounded persons have to make do with the limited treatment options available within Gaza or try to make it to another country – assuming they manage to get a permit to leave via Rafah crossing and shoulder the high costs.”
“Meanwhile, just several dozen kilometers away, hospitals (can) provide the critical care they need.”
Israel uses live fire against non-threatening Palestinian demonstrators throughout the territories.
According to Strip doctors, over 80% of Gazans wounded by Israeli snipers during Great March of Return demonstrations “were shot in their lower limbs with intent to maim.”
Gazan Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta earlier said Israeli soldiers know “exactly where (they’re) putting the bullet(s). This is not random. This is very intimate. This is very planned.”
“When you have such a huge number of almost identical injuries, where many of the patients were 150 meters away, not in direct contact with the Israeli soldiers, you realize that this is an intentional policy” to seriously wound and main.
Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) representative in the Occupied Territories Marie-Elisabeth Ingres earlier called Israeli violence in Gaza “unacceptable and inhuman,” adding:
“It is unbearable to witness such a massive number of unarmed people being shot in such a short time. (MSF) medical teams are working round the clock…providing surgical and postoperative care to men, women and children.”
“This bloodbath is the continuation of Israeli army’s policy (of) shooting with live ammunition at demonstrators” because no one intervenes to stop the carnage.
Ingres called shooting to maim Gazans “obvious. When you have almost 90% of the people injured in the lower limbs, it means that there is a (deliberate) policy to target the(m)” in their lower extremities.
Israel’s open-fire policy only permits live ammunition use if soldiers or other security personnel face life-threatening danger.
Yet it’s used indiscriminately against Palestinian protesters throughout the Territories, flagrantly breaching international law principles of distinction and proportionality.
The former permits attacks against participants in hostilities, not nonthreatening civilians.
The latter prohibits attacks against combatants if harm to civilians could be greater than any military objective achieved.
On March 31, 2018, an IDF statement said the following:
“Nothing (against Gazan protesters) was carried out uncontrolled. Everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed” – the statement later deleted.
Like the US, Israeli rules of engagement permit anything goes, rule of law principles flagrantly breached, accountability for high crimes of war and against humanity never forthcoming.
The IDF claiming it “uses live ammunition only as a last resort and in accordance with regulations that comply with international law” is a bald-faced Big Lie.
B’Tselem called Israeli use of lethal force against nonviolent Palestinians a flagrant “disregard for (their) lives and bodily integrity,” adding:
“So long as Israel persists in implementing it despite the horrific outcomes, demonstrators will continue to be killed and seriously injured.”
“The ordeal suffered by the wounded, who have to receive treatment and rehabilitation in the Gaza Strip while better care is available elsewhere, is yet another horrifying facet of Israel’s callous policy towards the residents of Gaza.”
Palestinian lives and welfare don’t matter — proved time and again by world community indifference to their suffering at the hands of a ruthless occupier.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”
“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”