The Aftermath of Israel's Latest Assault on Gaza
Scroll down to see charts depicting the tragic outcomes of Israel's 7-week assault on Gaza titled "Operation Protective Edge" (July 8, 2014 - August 26, 2014).
From the London Review of Books blog: On August 26, a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was agreed upon, bringing a fragile end to a war that killed 2,191 Palestinians (mostly civilians) and 71 Israelis (mostly soldiers). Since then Hamas has not fired a single rocket, attacked an Israeli target, or done anything to break the terms of the ceasefire. Israel has done the following:
- Annexed another 1500 acres of West Bank land
- Seized $56 million of PA tax revenue
- Not lifted the illegal blockade (as required by the ceasefire)
- Broken the ceasefire by firing at fishermen on four separate occasions
- Detained six fishermen
- Killed a 22-year-old, Issa al Qatari, a week before his wedding
- Killed 16-year-old Mohammed Sinokrot with a rubber bullet to the head
- Tortured a prisoner to the point of hospitalisation
- Refused 13 members of the European Parliament entry into Gaza
- Detained at least 127 people across the West Bank, including a seven-year-old boy in Hebron and two children, aged seven and eight, taken from the courtyard of their house in Silwad – and tear-gassed their mother
- Continued to hold 33 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in prison
- Continued to hold 500 prisoners in administrative detention without charge or trial
- Destroyed Bedouin homes in Khan al Ahmar, near Jerusalem, leaving 14 people homeless, and unveiled a plan to forcibly move thousands of Bedouin away from Jerusalem into two purpose-built townships
- Destroyed a dairy factory in Hebron whose profits supported an orphanage
- Destroyed a family home in Silwan, making five children homeless
- Destroyed a house in Jerusalem where aid supplies en route to Gaza were being stored
- Destroyed a well near Hebron
- Set fire to an olive grove near Hebron
- Raided a health centre and a nursery school in Nablus, causing extensive damage
- Destroyed a swathe of farmland in Rafah by driving tanks over it
- Ordered the dismantling of a small monument in Jerusalem to Mohamed Abu Khdeir, murdered in July by an Israeli lynch mob
- Continued building a vast tunnel network under Jerusalem
- Stormed the al Aqsa mosque compound with a group of far right settlers
- Assisted hundreds of settlers in storming Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
- Prevented students from entering al Quds University, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at those who tried to go in
- Earned unknown millions on reconstruction materials for Gaza, where 100,000 people need their destroyed homes rebuilt. The total bill is estimated at $7.8 billion
Contrary to U.S. media spin, this assault was not defensive. Israel had blamed Hamas for the June kidnapping and murder of three Jewish settlers in the West Bank, although there was evidence to the contrary, using that as a pretext to attack the Gaza Strip. Israel then bombed the homes of three families and killed two Palestinians (one of whom was 10-years-old) in Gaza before a single Hamas rocket was launched back.
For our additional context and commentary published last month, please scroll down past the charts.
During Israel's offensive in Gaza titled "Operation Protective Edge" (July 8, 2014 and August 26, 2014) 2,191 Palestinians and 71 Israelis were killed. Although the media largely portrayed Israel's actions as defensive, violence in the region did not begin with the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli settlers on June 12, 2014. In fact, Israel has been kidnapping and murdering Palestinian adults and youth on a regular basis for decades (read about how the conflict was started), yet this is rarely covered in U.S. news.
It's also important to recognize that rocket attacks from Gaza began decades after Israel had already been militarily occupying Palestinian territory. The first rocket (largely home-made projectiles that rarely caused any death, injuries, or even damage) was fired from Gaza in April 2001 – after Israeli forces had already killed 35 Gazans that year, and had repeatedly shelled Gazan neighborhoods. From April 2001 through July 2014, rockets killed approximately 27 Israelis. During the same period, Israeli forces killed over 4,700 Gazans.
Here are the facts not being reported:
- From January 1 to May 31 of this year, Israel kidnapped 2,330 Palestinians and held them in Israeli prisons. During these months, there were an average of 203 Palestinian children in Israeli jails on any given day. Palestinians held captive by Israel can be denied access to a lawyer for up to 90 days, and torture is routine. But the media only expresses outrage when Israelis are kidnapped and held prisoner by Palestinians.
- From January 1 to June 12 of this year, Israelis killed approximately 30 Palestinians, 4 of them children. None of the Israeli killers were held accountable for the murders. Mainstream media outlets almost never reported on any of these killings. Yet everyone was made aware of the names of the three Israelis abducted and murdered in June.
- Since "Operation Protective Edge" began (July 8 through August 11), Israeli forces have killed 2,191 Palestinians, 527 of them children. During this time, Palestinian resistance forces killed 71 Israelis, one of whom was a child. Approximately 77 percent of the Palestinians killed during this period were civilians, while approximately 9 percent of the Israelis killed were civilians.
- Hamas did not attack Israel first. Israel bombed the homes of three families and killed two Palestinians (one of whom was 10-years-old) in Gaza before a single Hamas rocket was launched back. Additionally, Israel killed 186 Palestinians from July 8 to July 14 before the first Israeli was killed on July 15.
- Israel actually rejected legitimate ceasefire offers throughout this crisis, not Hamas. The ceasefire Hamas has offered Israel would ensure that Gazans have the same freedoms that most people view as basic human rights (right to trade with other nations, right to travel freely, right to worship at Holy places, etc).
Click to view full infographic:
Sources: Palestinian fatalities: Gaza Health Ministry, Israeli fatalities: Israeli Defense Forces Blog
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