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Israeli Slaughter of Protestors Kills 2, Injures 82 – 32 Children Amongst the Wounded

Michael East, Red Revolution

Israeli forces have unleashed a new wave of terror on protestors in Gaza, killing two and injuring scores more. 32 of the injured are said to be children, with three medics and two journalists also amongst the wounded.

Opening fire with live ammunition and gas at the weekly Great Return March, Israeli forces are said to have fired indiscriminately​ on protestors who were nowhere near the partition fence. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights has accused Israeli forces of using excessive force against unarmed protesters.

One the deceased was Ra’ed Khalil Abu Teir, 19, who died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Abu Teir is said to have been located near tents far from the partition fence when he was killed and was already suffering an injury after being shot last week. The second death was Ramzi Rawhi ‘Abdo, 31, who died from a gunshot wound to the head, east of al-Boreij in central Gaza.

Injuring 82 in all, amongst the injured were 32 children and five women. Four of those injured, including one girl, have suffered life-threatening injuries.

In a particularly vile act, Israeli troops also carried out an attack on a Palestinian ambulance using a high-velocity gas bomb east of Rafah. The attack was just one of several during the march where Israel ignored international law, injuring two journalists and three medics who were attempting to provide assistance to the many injured.

Data from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights shows that Israel has so far killed 204 Palestinians since the beginning of the Great March of Return just over a year ago, 44 of them children. The numbers killed also include two women, three medics, two journalists and eight people with disabilities.

Amongst the wounded, 548 remain in serious condition and 137 have had their lower or upper limbs amputated. 25 of those undergoing amputations are children. Thousands of others have suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation and sustained severe bruising.

In wider statistics, approximately 10,000 Palestinians have been killed since 2000 by Israeli actions, 2,200 of them children, five times as many people as lost their lives during the September 11 attacks in the United States. During that same period, an astonishing 100,000 Palestinians have been wounded.

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Method and Madness: The Hidden Story of Israel’s Assaults on Gaza

By Norman Finkelstein

In the past five years Israel has mounted three major assaults on the 1.8 million Palestinians trapped behind its blockade of the Gaza Strip. Taken together, Operation Cast Lead (2008-9), Operation Pillar of Defense (2012), and Operation Protective Edge (2014), have resulted in the deaths of some 3,700 Palestinians. Meanwhile, a total of 90 Israelis were killed in the invasions.

On the face of it, this succession of vastly disproportionate attacks has often seemed frenzied and pathological. Senior Israeli politicians have not discouraged such perceptions, indeed they have actively encouraged them. After the 2008-9 assault Israel’s then-foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, boasted, “Israel demonstrated real hooliganism during the course of the recent operation, which I demanded.”

However, as Norman G. Finkelstein sets out in this concise, paradigm-shifting new book, a closer examination of Israel’s motives reveals a state whose repeated recourse to savage war is far from irrational. Rather, Israel’s attacks have been designed to sabotage the possibility of a compromise peace with the Palestinians, even on terms that are favorable to it.

Looking also at machinations around the 2009 UN sponsored Goldstone report and Turkey’s forlorn attempt to seek redress in the UN for the killing of its citizens in the 2010 attack on the Gaza freedom flotilla, Finkelstein documents how Israel has repeatedly eluded accountability for what are now widely recognized as war crimes.

Further, he shows that, though neither side can claim clear victory in these conflicts, the ensuing stalemate remains much more tolerable for Israelis than for the beleaguered citizens of Gaza. A strategy of mass non-violent protest might, he contends, hold more promise for a Palestinian victory than military resistance, however brave.


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