Israeli air attack slaughters over 200 in Gaza


palestineAn Israeli air attack on Gaza, which has massacred over 200 people including women and children, has been portrayed by the global media as a “retaliation” for the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza (map source: Wikipedia). The Israeli air-strike comes at a time when Israeli politicians are campaigning for a general election.

Three key points that have not been highlighted in the corporate media:

  • It was the Israelis who broke the truce, as the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom points out.
  • The rocket attacks from Gaza onto Israeli territory have not killed or injured a single Israeli, reports Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada.
  • Gaza has been under a terrible and suffocating Israeli siege, which has caused immense suffering among the entire 1.5 million population. “Israel has not only banned food and medicine to sustain Palestinian bodies in Gaza but it is also intent on starving minds: due to the blockade, there is not even ink, paper and glue to print textbooks for schoolchildren,” says Ali Abunimah. It is vicious collective punishment.

According to the reknown Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery, peace between Israel and Palestine is not impossible to achieve. The terms of such a peace settlement would include:

  • A sovereign and viable state of Palestine to be established side by side with Israel.
  • The border based on the pre-1967 Armistice Line (the “Green Line”). Insubstantial alterations by mutual agreement on an exchange of territories on a 1:1 basis.
  • East Jerusalem and all Arab neighborhoods as the capital of Palestine. West Jerusalem and all Jewish neighborhoods as the capital of Israel.
  • All Israeli settlements will be evacuated
  • Israel will recognise in principle the right of the refugees to return. … The number of refugees who will return to Israeli territory will be fixed by mutual agreement, it being understood that nothing will be done that materially alters the demographic composition of the Israeli population.
  • The West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip constitute one national unit. An extraterritorial connection (road, railway, tunnel or bridge) will connect the West Bank with the Gaza Strip.
  • Israel and Syria will sign a peace agreement. Israel will withdraw to the pre-1967 line and all settlements on the Golan Heights will be dismantled. Syria will cease all anti-Israeli activities conducted directly or by proxy.
  • In accordance with the Saudi Peace Initiative, all member states of the Arab League will recognise Israel and establish normal relations with it. …

First the article by Gush Shalom, the Israeli peace group:

Saturday 27/12/08
The war in Gaza – vicious folly of a bankrupt government (and Amos Oz will soon regret having supported it)

The war in Gaza, the bloodshed, killing, destruction and suffering on both sides of the border, are the vicious folly of a bankrupt government. A government which let itself be dragged by adventurous officers and cheap nationalist demagoguery, dragged into a destructive and unnecessary war which will bring no solution to any problem – neither to the communities of southern Israel under the rain of missiles nor to the terrible poverty and suffering of besieged Gaza. On the day after the war the same problems will remain – with the addition of many bereaved families, wounded people crippled for life, and piles of rubble and destruction.

The escalation towards war could and should have been avoided. It was the State of Israel which broke the truce, in the ‘ticking tunnel’ raid on the night of the US elections two months ago. Since then the army went on stoking the fires of escalation with calculated raids and killings, whenever the shooting of missiles on Israel decreased.

The cycle of bloodshed could and should be broken. The ceasefire can be restored immediately, and on firmer foundations. It is the right of Israel to demand a complete end to shooting on its territory and citizens – but it must stop all attacks from its side, end completely the siege and starvation of Gaza’s million and half inhabitants, and stop interfering with the Palestinians’ right to choose their own leaders.

Ehud Barak’s declaration that he is stopping the elections campaign in order to concentrate on the Gaza offensive is a joke. The war in Gaza is itself Barak’s elections campaign, a cynical attempt to buy votes with the blood and suffering in Netivot and Sderot, Gaza and Beit Hanun. Also so-called peace seekers such as Amos Oz, who give this offensive their support and encouragement, could not afterwards shrug off responsibility.

Contact: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson, [email protected]

And this article from Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada:

Gaza massacres must spur us to action
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 27 December 2008

“I will play music and celebrate what the Israeli air force is doing.” Those were the words, spoken on Al Jazeera today by Ofer Shmerling, an Israeli civil defense official in the Sderot area adjacent to Gaza, as images of Israel’s latest massacres were broadcast around the world.

A short time earlier, US-supplied Israeli F-16 warplanes and Apache helicopters dropped over 100 bombs on dozens of locations in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip killing at least 195 persons and injuring hundreds more. Many of these locations were police stations located, like police stations the world over, in the middle of civilian areas. The US government was one of the first to offer its support for Israel’s attacks, and others will follow.

Reports said that many of the dead were Palestinian police officers. Among those Israel labels “terrorists” were more than a dozen traffic police officers undergoing training. An as yet unknown number of civilians were killed and injured; Al Jazeera showed images of several dead children, and the Israeli attacks came at the time thousands of Palestinian children were in the streets on their way home from school.

Shmerling’s joy has been echoed by Israelis and their supporters around the world; their violence is righteous violence. It is “self-defense” against “terrorists” and therefore justified. Israeli bombing — like American and NATO bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan — is bombing for freedom, peace and democracy.

The rationalization for Israel’s massacres, already being faithfully transmitted by the English-language media, is that Israel is acting in “retaliation” for Palestinian rockets fired with increasing intensity ever since the six-month truce expired on 19 December (until today, no Israeli had been killed or injured by these recent rocket attacks).

But today’s horrific attacks mark only a change in Israel’s method of killing Palestinians recently. In recent months they died mostly silent deaths, the elderly and sick especially, deprived of food and necessary medicine by the two year-old Israeli blockade calculated and intended to cause suffering and deprivation to 1.5 million Palestinians, the vast majority refugees and children, caged into the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, Palestinians died silently, for want of basic medications: insulin, cancer treatment, products for dialysis prohibited from reaching them by Israel.

What the media never question is Israel’s idea of a truce. It is very simple. Under an Israeli-style truce, Palestinians have the right to remain silent while Israel starves them, kills them and continues to violently colonize their land. Israel has not only banned food and medicine to sustain Palestinian bodies in Gaza but it is also intent on starving minds: due to the blockade, there is not even ink, paper and glue to print textbooks for schoolchildren.

As John Ging, the head of operations of the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), told The Electronic Intifada in November: “there was five months of a ceasefire in the last couple of months, where the people of Gaza did not benefit; they did not have any restoration of a dignified existence. We in fact at the UN, our supplies were also restricted during the period of the ceasefire, to the point where we were left in a very vulnerable and precarious position and with a few days of closure we ran out of food.”

That is an Israeli truce. Any response to Israeli attacks — whether peaceful protests against the apartheid wall in Bilin and Nilin in the West Bank is met with bullets and bombs. There are no rockets launched at Israel from the West Bank, and yet Israel’s attacks, killings, land theft, settler pogroms and kidnappings never ceased for one single day during the truce. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has acceded to all of Israel’s demands, even assembling “security forces” to fight the resistance on Israel’s behalf. None of that has spared a single Palestinian or her property or livelihood from Israel’s relentless violent colonization. It did not save, for instance, the al-Kurd family from seeing their home of 50 years in occupied East Jerusalem demolished on 9 November, so the land it sits on could be taken by settlers.

Once again we are watching massacres in Gaza, as we did last March when 110 Palestinians, including dozens of children, were killed by Israel in just a few days. Once again people everywhere feel rage, anger and despair that this outlaw state carries out such crimes with impunity.

But all over the Arab media and internet today the rage being expressed is not directed solely at Israel. Notably, it is directed more sharply than ever at Arab states. The images that stick are of Israel’s foreign minister Tzipi Livni in Cairo on Christmas day. There she sat smiling with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Then there are the pictures of Livni and Egypt’s foreign minister smiling and slapping their palms together.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported today that last wednesday the Israeli “cabinet authorized the prime minister, the defense minister, and the foreign minister to determine the timing and the method” of Israel’s attacks on Gaza. Everywhere people ask, what did Livni tell the Egyptians and more importantly what did they tell her? Did Israel get a green light to turn Gaza’s streets red once again? Few are ready to give Egypt the benefit of the doubt after it has helped Israel besiege Gaza by keeping the Rafah border crossing closed for more than a year.

On top of the intense anger and sadness so many people feel at Israel’s renewed mass killings in Gaza is a sense of frustration that there seem to be so few ways to channel it into a political response that can change the course of events, end the suffering, and bring justice.

But there are ways, and this is a moment to focus on them. Already I have received notices of demonstrations and solidarity actions being planned in cities all over the world. That is important. But what will happen after the demonstrations disperse and the anger dies down? Will we continue to let Palestinians in Gaza die in silence?

Palestinians everywhere are asking for solidarity, real solidarity, in the form of sustained, determined political action. The Gaza-based One Democratic State Group reaffirmed this today as it “called upon all civil society organizations and freedom loving people to act immediately in any possible way to put pressure on their governments to end diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel and institute sanctions against it.”

The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement for Palestine ( provides the framework for this. Now is the time to channel our raw emotions into a long-term commitment to make sure we do not wake up to “another Gaza” ever again.

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah is author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Metropolitan Books, 2006).

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Anthony Seawell
Anthony Seawell
8 Jan 2009 4.32am

Hamas is an illegally established government that should be remove so the democratic Palestinian government can secure a permanent peace agreement that will stabilize the region. But for some reason no one is talking about this option
With a strong Palestinian government in place lasting peace can be achieve

no name
no name
4 Jan 2009 11.18am

Lets look at the facts here. Hamas wants to wipe the jews and israel off the face of this planet. The Iranians want it also. The Arab states would love it and just about every other shallow minded person will like it. Now looked back a could of thousand years. This conflict has been going on for years ever since Abraham. ismail was born and we know he went on to father the 12 arab tribes. Issac was born with Gods blessing and we know the 12 jewish groups. This battle has been going on cause the arabs feel the… Read more »

1 Jan 2009 1.20am

Israel is supposed to do nothing and waiting to be slaughtered by Islamic terrorist Hamas used by Iran as proxy to destroy its statehood, many will want to see that to happen, sorry Israel is not like India even though it is small.

31 Dec 2008 6.19pm

What Is Palestine?
“What, then, is Palestine? Palestine is a national fiction.” u/q

31 Dec 2008 10.03am

Here are two passages from the Old Testament of the Bible which might explain why some people feel no mercy for the suffering Palestinians (Philistines):….drachen You`ve been had. Let us examine the truths here: Arab “Palestinian?” with Flag of “Palestine?”1) There never was a Palestinian state or a Palestinian nation. There are no Palestinian people, per se. Rather, these are Arabs living in a region that historically has been called many things, including “Palestine.” 2) Israel did not go to war against a Palestinian state and occupy its land. Rather, Israel was attacked by six Arab countries at once. She… Read more »

31 Dec 2008 9.51am

Liveblogging: The IAF renewed their air strikes early this morning, reportedly dropping at least 16 bombs on Hamas government buildings and security compounds, killing 10 and injuring more than 40. For their part, the terrorists are trying to draw Israel into a ground operation and “fight like men.” Yes, apparently this whole conflict is over a girl. For what it’s worth, they will likely get their way. Meanwhile, Hamas are intensifying their propaganda given they are losing the PR war. For a start, they are claiming that many of their casualties were “normal policemen” who did not fire rockets into… Read more »

31 Dec 2008 9.41am

Finally, they managed to get the oil price going up!

Now, may be with more Palestinians killed there won’t even be a recession in the coming year.

A midle East “crisis” has to be created whenever there is a lull in the markets of the world.

Unfortunately the proverbial lamb here happens to be the decendents of Ismaeal.

Happy New Year.

30 Dec 2008 11.11pm

Ahhh…..sick of this issue. Just brothers killing each other for land. Can’t reason with people who look up to the sky in hope for answers. History has shown us, this war will never end.

30 Dec 2008 10.56pm

Palestinians = Philistines? LOL! This denotes the level of study done! But if you must quote OT Scriptures, here’s a couple of lines there that’re intriguing to note: God purportedly said to Israel Genesis 12:3 (RSV) “12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.” ISHMAEL AND THE ARABS ““He will be a wild man; his hand (will be) against every man and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” – (Genesis… Read more »

30 Dec 2008 10.01pm

Here are two passages from the Old Testament of the Bible which might explain why some people feel no mercy for the suffering Palestinians (Philistines): Zephaniah 2: 4 For Gaza will be abandoned And Ashkelon a desolation; Ashdod will be driven out at noon And Ekron will be uprooted. 5 Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, The nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines; And I will destroy you So that there will be no inhabitant. Jeremiah 47: 4 On account of the day that is coming To… Read more »

30 Dec 2008 7.17pm

Glad to see a number of you guys are willing to defy PC and speak up for Israel. It’s a shame that Anil has swallowed the Arab propaganda hook, line and sinker.

30 Dec 2008 6.21am

“It was the Israelis who broke the truce, as the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom points out.” Izzat so? Hamas terrorists have only themselves to blame for Israeli retaliation Sunday, December 28th 2008, 8:46 PM There is terrible guilt to be ascribed in this weekend’s Israeli raids on Gaza – and it falls squarely and solely on the shoulders of the death-to-Israel fanatics of Hamas. It was rocket-firing, suicide-bombing Hamas that broke a six-month-long truce by raining missiles down on southern Israel, necessitating a stern – and remarkably precise – military response. The predictable cries of outrage across the… Read more »

30 Dec 2008 1.03am

The problem between Palestinian and Israelis are complicated daily by some foreign powers and also by their own unwillingness to fulfill the UN peace treaty and territorial agreement. Zionist want to expand it border over it smaller neighbor land through its military mights, while Hamas does not want to recognize Israel statehood and right to exist,it wants to destroy state of Israel and it civilian population by terror, both aim to kill as many civilians as possible in their attack to reach their goal. Until both start to grow up and behave in a civilized way, world community will be… Read more »

29 Dec 2008 11.05pm

Dear sir

For the benefit of some of your comentators.

Best regards


29 Dec 2008 11.02pm

Dear sir Can you please highlight the current massacre of the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip in your blog. Thank you very much for your kind-heartedness. Best regards. ————————————————– from Gaza today: ‘This is only the beginning’ By Ewa Jasiewicz – Free December 27, 2008 As I write this, Israeli jets are bombing the areas of Zeitoun and Rimal in central Gaza City. The family I am staying with has moved into the internal corridor of their home to shelter from the bombing. The windows nearly blew out just five minutes ago as a massive explosion rocked… Read more »

29 Dec 2008 3.43pm

Half a century ago there was no Israel. Today they have taken over half of Palestine. The Palestinians are being pushed into the sea inch by inch. To ask the Palestinians to stop resisting is like asking a woman being raped to stop fighting!

29 Dec 2008 1.43pm

Hutch, “Some people need to read the Hamas Charter..”

Yes, as if the PLO’s one isn’t bad enough!

29 Dec 2008 1.39pm

Dude Anil, you’re being a great disappoimment wrt this Mid-East issue which is something much older than most of us. If, by this time, after the advent and advantage of the InterNet, you have not discovered the truth about the whole matter, there remains little possibility of your doing so anytime in the future. It is a disservice to what is Truth and not a good idea to play the role of useful idiots – unless, perhaps, it might be for private fiscal reason. All presumption of sufficient overall soundness and astuteness simply cannot exist at this rate, as with… Read more »

29 Dec 2008 12.51pm

Gaza has been under a terrible and suffocating Israeli siege, which has caused immense suffering among the entire 1.5 million population. “Israel has not only banned food and medicine to sustain Palestinian bodies in Gaza but it is also intent on starving minds: due to the blockade, there is not even ink, paper and glue to print textbooks for schoolchildren,” says Ali Abunimah. It is vicious collective punishment.

So how come Hamas still has the resources to launch over 3000 rockets into Israel?

29 Dec 2008 12.48pm

Over 3000 rockets have been fired into Israel over the year of 2008. Shouldn’t such resources be better used providing infrastructure to the Gazans? As rocket attacks only achieve Israeli retaliation.

29 Dec 2008 12.47pm

It was the Israelis who broke the truce, as the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom points out.

Israel responded to continuing rocket attacks with air strikes on 27 December, 8 days AFTER the truce ended and Hamas resumed firing rockets.

This pro-Palestinian activist admits as much:

Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, speaking from Ramallah in the West Bank, accused Israel of ignoring the terms of the tenuous six-month cease-fire that expired December 19.

29 Dec 2008 12.45pm

It was the Israelis who broke the truce, as the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom points out.

Hamas was the one which ended the truce, on 19 December.

Hamas formally ends truce with Israel

29 Dec 2008 10.25am

Today`s victim when Qassam rocket hit a home in Netivot Saturday was Beber Vaaknin. He was 58 years old.

29 Dec 2008 10.18am

200 wounded or slaughtered, and who were they: Israel launched Saturday morning the start of a massive offensive against Qassam rocket and mortar fire on its southern communities, targeting dozens of buildings belonging to the ruling Hamas militant group. Palestinian medical sources said that at least 195 people had been killed in the strikes, which began with almost no warning at around 11:30 A.M. Medical personnel in Gaza said that more than 200 people were also wounded in the series of Israel Air Force strikes. Egypt has opened its long-sealed border with Gaza to allow in the wounded for medical… Read more »

29 Dec 2008 10.13am

If everyday I throw items with capacity for destruction, at any what time of the day, though I have not killed anyone, my action would be an act of terrorising my neighbor,
who would be very justified in getting his relatives from Bidor to come and help put an end to my madness.