Civilians Are Paying the Price in Gaza and Southern Israel

As the third day of deadly airstrikes by Israeli forces in Gaza comes to a close, civilians are paying a high price.  More than 1,400 Palestinians have been injured and more than 315 killed, many of whom are civilians.  In addition, Hamas attacks on Southern Israel have left two civilians dead.

(c) AFP

(c) AFP

This is the highest level of Palestinian fatalities and casualties in four decades of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  The escalation of violence comes at a time when the civilian population already faces a daily struggle for survival due to the Israeli blockade which has prevented even food and medicines from entering Gaza.

In March 2008 Amnesty International reported that more than 80% of Palestinians in Gaza rely on humanitarian assistance, with UN food aid going to about 1.1 million people – three quarters of the population. The report also stated that the number of families dependant on the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has increased tenfold since 1999.

To make matters worse, the death toll risks rising due to the lack of adequate medical care for the injured. The already under-resourced health sector in Gaza has been further weakened by the prolonged Israeli blockade and neighboring Egypt refuses to open hospitals to injured Palestinians seeking treatment. According to the New York Times, “one doctor said that given the dearth of facilities, not much could be done for the seriously wounded, and that it was ‘better to be brought in dead.’”

Both Israeli forces and Hamas militants bear responsibility for this tragedy.  Amnesty International is calling on Hamas and all other Palestinian armed groups in Gaza to stop firing indiscriminate rockets against towns and villages in southern Israel and reiterating its call for an end to reckless and unlawful Israeli attacks.

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10 thoughts on “Civilians Are Paying the Price in Gaza and Southern Israel

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  2. Pingback: Placing the latest Israel/Gaza violence into perspective… « Talk Radio is Stupid

  3. Where was the indignation of the mighty Amnesty International when rockets were being fired at Israel from Gaza during the 6 month cease fire? How long would Amnesty International be willing to sit back if tugs were firing daily rockets at its HQ and other facilities, killing it staffers and visitors?
    BTW, just to keep the record straight, Gaza has not been under Israeli occupation for years. The West Bank is, Gaza is under self rule. By the way, what kind of economy has Gaza developed since being under self rule, obviously besides rocket and bomb building? Besides international aide, what sources of income have they developed? No, thy are more concerned about turning their kids into Martyrs by strapping on bombs and killing Israelis. But lets just say that facts matter very little to your organization. Jewish blood is cheap and not worth while talking about.

  4. Where was the indignation of the mighty Amnesty International when rockets were being fired at Israel from Gaza during the 6 month cease fire? How long would Amnesty International be willing to sit back if tugs were firing daily rockets at its HQ and other facilities, killing it staffers and visitors?
    BTW, just to keep the record straight, Gaza has not been under Israeli occupation for years. The West Bank is, Gaza is under self rule. By the way, what kind of economy has Gaza developed since being under self rule, obviously besides rocket and bomb building? Besides international aide, what sources of income have they developed? No, thy are more concerned about turning their kids into Martyrs by strapping on bombs and killing Israelis. But lets just say that facts matter very little to your organization. Jewish blood is cheap and not worth while talking about.

  5. In 1994, Rabbi Yaacov Perin stated that "One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail." That's how cheap, the Jewish blood!
    Israel’s siege of Gaza began on 5 November, the day after an Israeli attack inside the strip, no doubt designed finally to undermine the truce between Israel and Hamas established last June.
    On 5 November the Israeli government sealed all the ways into and out of Gaza. Food, medicine, fuel, parts for water and sanitation systems, fertiliser, plastic sheeting, phones, paper, glue, shoes and even teacups were no longer getting through in sufficient quantities or at all.
    On 13 November production at Gaza’s only power station was suspended and the turbines shut down because it had run out of industrial diesel
    As the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has made clear, cooking-gas canisters are necessary for generating the warmth to incubate broiler chicks. Shortages of gas and animal feed have forced commercial producers to smother hundreds of thousands of chicks. By April, according to the FAO, there will be no poultry there at all.
    Banks, suffering from Israeli restrictions on the transfer of banknotes into the territory were forced to close on 4 December.
    The World Bank has warned that Gaza’s banking system could collapse if these restrictions continue. All cash for work programmes has been stopped and on 19 November UNRWA suspended its cash assistance programme to the most needy. It also ceased production of textbooks because there is no paper, ink or glue in Gaza. This will affect 200,000 students returning to school in the new year; that is, if any student is left alive by April.
    The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company said that most of the Gaza Strip will be without electricity for between four and 12 hours a day. At any given time during these outages, over 65,000 people have no electricity.
    Hamas’s home-made rockets have killed just 20 Israelis in eight years, including the 4 killed in the latest strike.
    The breakdown of an entire society is happening in front of us, but there is little international response beyond UN warnings which are ignored and every U.N. Resolution since 1948 that called for action against Israel has been vetoed by the U.S. While the Zionist infiltrated and Jew-owned medias in the West are portraying a "Muslim" global threat, the Jewish state of Israel continues to fill its depots with the most horrendous of weapons, without any insight and restriction and targeting these weapons against some of the biggest civilian population centres in the world.
    Israel constitutes by its mere existence, a complete defiance to all international laws, rules and principles and the open racism manifested in the Jewish State, is a violation of all ethics and morals known to Man.

  6. In 1994, Rabbi Yaacov Perin stated that “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” That’s how cheap, the Jewish blood!
    Israel’s siege of Gaza began on 5 November, the day after an Israeli attack inside the strip, no doubt designed finally to undermine the truce between Israel and Hamas established last June.
    On 5 November the Israeli government sealed all the ways into and out of Gaza. Food, medicine, fuel, parts for water and sanitation systems, fertiliser, plastic sheeting, phones, paper, glue, shoes and even teacups were no longer getting through in sufficient quantities or at all.
    On 13 November production at Gaza’s only power station was suspended and the turbines shut down because it had run out of industrial diesel
    As the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has made clear, cooking-gas canisters are necessary for generating the warmth to incubate broiler chicks. Shortages of gas and animal feed have forced commercial producers to smother hundreds of thousands of chicks. By April, according to the FAO, there will be no poultry there at all.
    Banks, suffering from Israeli restrictions on the transfer of banknotes into the territory were forced to close on 4 December.
    The World Bank has warned that Gaza’s banking system could collapse if these restrictions continue. All cash for work programmes has been stopped and on 19 November UNRWA suspended its cash assistance programme to the most needy. It also ceased production of textbooks because there is no paper, ink or glue in Gaza. This will affect 200,000 students returning to school in the new year; that is, if any student is left alive by April.
    The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company said that most of the Gaza Strip will be without electricity for between four and 12 hours a day. At any given time during these outages, over 65,000 people have no electricity.
    Hamas’s home-made rockets have killed just 20 Israelis in eight years, including the 4 killed in the latest strike.
    The breakdown of an entire society is happening in front of us, but there is little international response beyond UN warnings which are ignored and every U.N. Resolution since 1948 that called for action against Israel has been vetoed by the U.S. While the Zionist infiltrated and Jew-owned medias in the West are portraying a “Muslim” global threat, the Jewish state of Israel continues to fill its depots with the most horrendous of weapons, without any insight and restriction and targeting these weapons against some of the biggest civilian population centres in the world.
    Israel constitutes by its mere existence, a complete defiance to all international laws, rules and principles and the open racism manifested in the Jewish State, is a violation of all ethics and morals known to Man.

  7. Jean, your comment "Gaza is under self rule" is not exactly correct. Israel’s responsibilities to the people in the Gaza Strip did not end when they removed Jewish settlers in 2005. Israel retained control of land crossings and air and sea space. They control all imports/exports and flow of people into and out of the Gaza Strip. The welfare of the inhabitants of the strip remain Israel’s responsibility.

    Although Hamas took over complete control of the administration of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel still retained control of all crossings and air/sea space. Exports were stopped at that time;damaging the economy severely at that time and imports on cement, steel, fuel, etc … and other goods that are required to run a municipality and build an economy were increasingly restricted. It is difficult to grow and thrive an economy under these circumstances.

    Also, AI does condemn the rocket fire into southern Israel which indiscriminately kills civilians; it is unlawful under international law. Israel has the right and duty to protect it's citizens, but it must do so in a proportionate manner, discriminating between combatant and non-combatant and use the least intrusive methods to do so. Israel has failed to do so in responding to these rockets in this instance.

    AI has a long history of acting on behalf of individuals across the globe, regardless of color, religious, ideology, race or sexual orientation. AI's work is based on the UDHR and holds all individuals in equal regard.

  8. Jean, your comment “Gaza is under self rule” is not exactly correct. Israel’s responsibilities to the people in the Gaza Strip did not end when they removed Jewish settlers in 2005. Israel retained control of land crossings and air and sea space. They control all imports/exports and flow of people into and out of the Gaza Strip. The welfare of the inhabitants of the strip remain Israel’s responsibility.

    Although Hamas took over complete control of the administration of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel still retained control of all crossings and air/sea space. Exports were stopped at that time;damaging the economy severely at that time and imports on cement, steel, fuel, etc … and other goods that are required to run a municipality and build an economy were increasingly restricted. It is difficult to grow and thrive an economy under these circumstances.

    Also, AI does condemn the rocket fire into southern Israel which indiscriminately kills civilians; it is unlawful under international law. Israel has the right and duty to protect it’s citizens, but it must do so in a proportionate manner, discriminating between combatant and non-combatant and use the least intrusive methods to do so. Israel has failed to do so in responding to these rockets in this instance.

    AI has a long history of acting on behalf of individuals across the globe, regardless of color, religious, ideology, race or sexual orientation. AI’s work is based on the UDHR and holds all individuals in equal regard.