At least 100 dead in 24 hours in Rafah
|2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin|
Now that the authorities have established that 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin was in fact killed in action, rather than being "kidnapped" by Hammas or any of the other Palestinian resistance fighters in Gaza, will we now see some sort of apology from Obama, Ban Ki-Moon, Cameron or any of the western leaders who were so quick to leap onto the band wagon of "condemning in the strongest terms" or "demanding the immediate unconditional release", or any of the other frenzied clamour which filled our media and news reports for most of yesterday? Somehow, I doubt it, as the purpose of the hysteria has now been fulfilled. Obama, Cameron and the other pro Israel leaders, were able to divert attention, if only for a short period, away from the carnage being inflicted on the civilian population of Gaza , to again, demonise Hamas as being a barbaric "terrorist organisation". Ban Ki-Moon echoed the rhetoric of the others to disguise the fact that with a few exceptions on the ground in Gaza, the United Nations has again been exposed as an impotent lumbering talking shop where words are far more important than imposing a solution to problems regardless of veto's or the threat of them.
|Rafah.attacked yesterday. It was as if they were very angry.|
Israel of course, was able to resort to an even greater assault, if that is possible, on the people of Rafah using tanks, artillery and airstrikes in order to "find their missing soldier". In fact the IDF was taking revenge, pure and simple. As one Palestinian doctor put it "It was indiscriminate. It was as if they were very angry. We have not had this until now.
The behaviour of the Israelis have been very bad this time, worse than any of the other wars we have had in Gaza. They are much more vicious; in the past we could at least transfer prisoners, but this time they are shooting at ambulances. But everywhere, so much of the shooting is random. That's one of the reasons why we have so many casualties who are children."
Last night, amongst great media speculation,Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on television for a news conference.It was speculated that Netanyahu would announce at least, a partial withdrawal of IDF forces from Gaza as some tanks had been moved back towards the border, albeit only a distance of some 500 meters and only in some districts in the northern suburbs. Alas, such conjecture proved to be wildly optimistic as Netanyahu launched into a speech, heaping praise on the IDF and their work in Gaza and the difficulties of their task. He went on to stress that Hamas would pay an "intolerable price" and the 27 day would be re assessed when Israel had completed its task. A task which now includes the disarming of Hamas as well as the destruction of tunnels and "rocket sites". Netanyahu also called on the "international community" to join Israel in its war against the terrorists of Hamas and the threat of jihadists groups in the region.
|Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel|
Following this press conference it became clear that it was "business as usual" for Israel. Overnight, more airstrikes and artillery bombardment slammed into most suburbs of Gaza particularly in Rafah, where yet another school being used as a UN shelter for civilians was hit several times. It is reported that 10 civilians have been killed and scores more injured.
Clearly, Israel has no interest in a truce or ceasefire or any other form of negotiation. Delegations from Hamas, the United States, Qatar and other parties have assembled in Cairo ostensibly for discussions on how to end this crisis in Gaza. The Israelis will not attend and have made this decision abundantly clear.
Israel is obviously working, through the rubble of Gaza and the dead bodies of its civilian population, towards a position where they can unilaterally declare that their mission is completed and create a cease fire.
There will be no discussion on the lifting of the blockade or the ending of the occupation. It will be a return to the status quo of 4 weeks ago and the world can expect the same slaughter of civilians as Israel launches another invasion of Gaza in 12 or more months time.