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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Israel's massacre in Gaza

The sheer callous bloodiness of it is mindblowing.

Over 100 bombs rained onto schools, offices, police stations in the centre of densely populated civilian areas. From The Times Online:

At the Rafah hospital on the Gaza Strip, chaos followed the carnage. Families desperate to find missing children screamed for help. The attendant guarding the entrance to the morgue was mobbed by women begging to be allowed to examine the bodies brought in after the raids.

Relatives who were admitted to the chilly morgue pulled out stainless steel drawers containing the bodies of four teenagers among 27 newly arrived corpses.

One of them was identified as Ahmed Abed Jazer, a 14-year-old pupil whose body had been wrapped in a white sheet by doctors. Shrapnel wounds in his head and stomach were still seeping blood as his distraught relatives confirmed his name.

One Gaza City man brought the body of his seven-year-old son to hospital but, finding no place in the morgue, took him home in a cardboard box. He said the boy would be buried in the back yard.

The morgue had overflowed at Shifa hospital, and the stench was overwhelming because the electricity was cut throughout the city. “In every corner, there are bodies,” said a doctor. “The stink of death is overwhelming. We are throwing bodies on the floor because the morgue is full.”

I can't even dredge up rage - just a numb despair.

I recall the anguish of Edward Said, writing in The Nation on the annihilation visited by Israel on Ramallah and Jenin:

Are Palestinian civilian men, women and children no more than rats or cockroaches that can be attacked and killed in the thousands without so much as a word of compassion or in their defense?

I read Yonatan Mendel on How To Be An Israeli Journalist:

Last month, as a measure against Qassam militants, Israel decided to stop Gaza’s electricity for a few hours a day. Despite the fact that this means, for instance, that electricity will fail to reach hospitals, it was said that ‘the Israeli government decided to approve this step, as another non-lethal weapon.’ Another thing the soldiers do is clearing – khisuf. In regular Hebrew, khisuf means to expose something that is hidden, but as used by the IDF it means to clear an area of potential hiding places for Palestinian gunmen. During the last intifada, Israeli D9 bulldozers destroyed thousands of Palestinian houses, uprooted thousands of trees and left behind thousands of smashed greenhouses.

When, when, when, will it stop?


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