Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Prayer By William S. Burroughs And Truce Between Gaza and Israel & 165 Gazans Killed & Israel Blockade Of Gaza Continues

Update Israel using social media to spread its propaganda.
Twitter Warzone: Israel losing battle of words on social media

The ceasefire between israel and Gaza is just another lull in the violence and does not resolve any substantive issues such as Israel's inhumane, psychopathic hatred of all Palestinians and it illegal, immoral draconian blockade of Gaza.
Truce Hurts: Gaza gutted after Israeli attacks, Iran next?

CrossTalk on Gaza: Pillar of Hypocrisy

also see from Human Rights and World Health Organization and UNICEF for examples of outrage expressed by aid and human rights organizations and other NGOs. Of course the appeals from such organizations land on deaf ears in Israel and the USA since they reject the United Nations resolutions passed over the years especially those passed since the Israeli/Arab six day war in 1967. Both nations argue that their sovereignty can not be affected by the UN or the international Community whether its bombing civilians or the illegal use Napalm or other incendiary weapons ie white phosphorus on civilian populations or the abuse of prisoners from indefinite detention to the use of torture or the use of targeted assassinations in other nations by American or Israeli operatives or by drone strikes.

Israel/Gaza: Avoid Harm to Civilians
No Justification for Unlawful Attacks; Palestinian Groups Need to Halt Rocket Attacks on Civilians November 15, 2012

(New York) – Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza need to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians as hostilities between the two sides intensify.

Palestinian rocket attacks into civilian areas violate the laws of war prohibition against targeting civilians, and Israel should ensure it is only targeting military objects, Human Rights Watch said.

A rocket launched by an armed group killed three Israeli civilians on the morning of November 15, 2012. Strikes by Israeli forces on November 10 and 14 killed at least nine civilians in Gaza.

“Israeli and Palestinian forces alike need to make all feasible efforts to avoid harming civilians,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “There is no justification for Palestinian armed groups unlawfully launching rockets at Israeli population centers.”

The occupied Palestinian territory - archive

22 November 2012 -
Shifa hospital patient, Gaza City 20 November 2012. Photo: Mustafa Haabi OCHA
Following eight days of violence in Gaza, a cease-fire was declared effective 21:00, 21 November 2012, between Israeli and the Hamas authorities in Gaza. The cumulative casuality figures preorted by the Ministry of Health in Gaza are (as of 22 November, 13:00):
163 persons killed (139 males; 22 females; 2 not yet identified) of whom 42 (26%) are children; 17 children are less than 5 years old.
1269 persons injured (911 males; 358 females) of whom 431 (34%) are children; 134 children less than 5 years old. Shifa hospital in Gaza city has received 80% of the injured cases.
WHO oPt Situation Report No. 2| Gaza Strip, 22 November 2012

Situation reports archives
World Health Organization concerned over the emergency situation in the Gaza Strip
17 November 2012 – The World Health Organization (WHO) is deeply concerned about the escalating situation in the Gaza Strip and Israel and its impact on the health and lives of civilian populations in the area.

and :

Beit Hanoun hospital, a 36-bed Ministry of Health facility in the north of the Gaza Strip, suffered a direct hit in the late afternoon today (November 21) which penetrated the roof and damaged an internal stairwell; some injuries were reported but no details were available.

A 40-bed Jordanian field hospital, which has operated in Gaza City since 2009, was hit by a missile November 19 which penetrated two floors of the hospital, damaging the in-patient department nursing station in the centre of the hospital. Patients had been evacuated only 10 minutes earlier following attacks in the surrounding area. The hospital was partially functioning today with the reopening of a second ward department.

Hospitals operated by the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip are functioning but are reporting difficulties due to severely depleted medical supplies. 46 patients were transferred via Erez checkpoint since November 17 (including two sets of twins) and 34 patients via Rafah to Egypt

Also see from UNICEF

2012 reports

Children Affected by Armed Conflict Israel & the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) July 2012

In May and June 2012, four Palestinian children were reported killed (3 boys and 1 girl) and 190 Palestinian children were reported injured (184 boys and 6 girls). No Israeli children were reported killed or injured during this reporting period. This represents a significant increase in the number of Palestinian children injured compared to March and April 2012. In the first half of 2012, ten Palestinian children were killed and another 300 injured. No Israeli children were killed and one was injured.

Children Affected by Armed Conflict Israel & the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) May 2012

In March and April 2012, 6 Palestinian boys were reported killed and 84 Palestinian children were reported injured (82 boys and 2 girls). No Israeli children were reported killed and one Israeli girl was reported injured during the same reporting period. This represents a significant increase in the number of children killed and injured compared to the first two months of the year, when no Palestinian children were reported killed but 26 were reported injured, and no Israeli children were reported killed or injured.

Children Affected by Armed Conflict Israel & the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) March 2012

In the first two months of 2012, no Palestinian children were reported killed but 26 were reported injured ((22 boys and 4 girls). No Israeli children were reported killed or injured during the same period This represents a decrease in the number of children killed and injured compared to the same period last year when three Palestinian children were killed and 61 Palestinian children injured. Seventy-seven per cent of the injuries reported took place in the West Bank, including fifteen per cent in East Jerusalem and fifteen per cent in Hebron Old City. Twenty-three per cent took place in Gaza.

also see more recently from UNICEF:

UNICEF calls for children protection in Gaza, Israel , Nov. 17, 2012

UNITED NATIONS - The Untied Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Friday voiced its deep concern about the deteriorating situation in Gaza and Israel and its impact on children, calling for efforts to protect children in the conflict area.

UNICEF's appeals came at a time when both Israeli and Palestinian militants have brushed aside international calls for restraint on Thursday and engaged in more violence over the Gaza Strip.

"UNICEF calls on all parties to do everything to exercise the utmost restraint and to protect the rights and well-being of all children," UNICEF said in a press release.

"In the past two days, six Palestinian children aged 10 months to 15 years have been reported killed in air strikes on Gaza, and 60 injured," said the press release. "Another Palestinian child was reported killed by a rocket which fell short. Gaza is under closure making it difficult for civilians to flee."

In southern Israel, schools within 40 kilometers of the Gaza Strip remained closed due to indiscriminate rocket fire, it said.

"Both rocket attacks and air strikes are putting children and their families at risk, leaving them exposed to physical harm and mental distress," said the press release.

and here is another detailed article about what Israel has been doing to the people of Gaza and why the Israeli policies are criminal , unjustified, immoral , outrageous and inhumane though the Isreal's government and the IDF and their partner in crime the USA believe that they are justified in killing or starving the people of Gaza.

Israel’s starvation diet for Gaza
Jonathan Cook The Electronic Intifada Nazareth 24 October 2012

Six and a half years ago, shortly after Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections and took charge of Gaza, a senior Israeli official described Israel’s planned response. “The idea,” he said, “is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

Although Dov Weisglass was adviser to Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of the day, few observers treated his comment as more than hyperbole, a supposedly droll characterization of the blockade Israel was about to impose on the tiny enclave.

Last week, however, the evidence finally emerged to prove that this did indeed become Israeli policy. After a three-year legal battle by an Israeli human rights group, Israel was forced to disclose its so-called “Red Lines” document. Drafted in early 2008, as the blockade was tightened still further, the defense ministry paper set forth proposals on how to treat Hamas-ruled Gaza.

The fine print

Health officials provided calculations of the minimum number of calories needed by Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants to avoid malnutrition. Those figures were then translated into truckloads of food Israel was supposed to allow in each day.

The Israeli media have tried to present these chilling discussions, held in secret, in the best light possible. Even the liberal Haaretz newspaper euphemistically described this extreme form of calorie-counting as designed to “make sure Gaza didn’t starve.”

But a rather different picture emerges as one reads the small print. While the health ministry determined that Gazans needed daily an average of 2,279 calories each to avoid malnutrition — requiring 170 trucks a day — military officials then found a host of pretexts to whittle down the trucks to a fraction of the original figure.

The reality was that, in this period, an average of only 67 trucks — much less than half of the minimum requirement — entered Gaza daily. This compared to more than 400 trucks before the blockade began.

To achieve this large reduction, officials deducted trucks based both on an over-generous assessment of how much food could be grown locally and on differences in the “culture and experience” of food consumption in Gaza, a rationale never explained.

Chronic malnutrition

Gisha, the organization that fought for the document’s publication, observes that Israeli officials ignored the fact that the blockade had severely impaired Gaza’s farming industry, with a shortage of seeds and chickens that had led to a dramatic drop in food output.

UN staff too have noted that Israel failed to factor in the large quantity of food from each day’s supply of 67 trucks that never actually reached Gaza. That was because Israeli restrictions at the crossings created long delays as food was unloaded, checked and then put on to new trucks. Many items spoiled as they lay in the sun.

And on top of this, Israel further adjusted the formula so that the number of trucks carrying nutrient-poor sugar were doubled while the trucks carrying milk, fruit and vegetables were greatly reduced, sometimes by as much as a half.

Robert Turner, director of operations for the UN agency for Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, has observed: “The facts on the ground in Gaza demonstrate that food imports consistently fell below the red lines.”

It does not need an expert to conclude that the imposition of this Weisglass-style “diet” would entail widespread malnutrition, especially among children. And that is precisely what happened, as a leaked report from the International Committee of the Red Cross found at the time. “Chronic malnutrition is on a steadily rising trend and micro-nutrient deficiencies are of great concern,” it reported in early 2008.

Collective punishment

Israel’s protests that the document was merely a “rough draft” and never implemented are barely credible — and, anyway, beside the point. If the politicians and generals were advised by health experts that Gaza needed at least 170 trucks a day, why did they oversee a policy that allowed in only 67?

There can be no doubt that the diet devised for Gaza — much like Israel’s blockade in general — was intended as a form of collective punishment, one directed at every man, woman and child. The goal, according to the Israeli defense ministry, was to wage “economic warfare” that would generate a political crisis, leading to a popular uprising against Hamas.

Earlier, when Israel carried out its 2005 disengagement, it presented the withdrawal as marking the end of Gaza’s occupation. But the “Red Lines” formula indicates quite the opposite: that, in reality, Israeli officials intensified their control, managing the lives of Gaza’s inhabitants in almost-microscopic detail.

Experiments in social engineering

Who can doubt — given the experiences of Gaza over the past few years — that there exist in the Israeli military’s archives other, still-classified documents setting out similar experiments in social engineering? Will future historians reveal that Israeli officials also pondered the fewest hours of electricity Palestinians in Gaza needed to survive, or the minimum amount of water, or the smallest living space per family, or the highest feasible levels of unemployment?

Such formulas presumably lay behind the decision to bomb Gaza’s only power station in 2006 and subsequently to block its proper repair; the refusal to approve a desalination plant, the only way to prevent over-drilling contaminating the Strip’s underground water supply; the declaration of large swaths of farmland no-go areas, forcing the rural population into the already overcrowded cities and refugee camps; and the continuing blockade on exports, decimating Gaza’s business community and ensuring the population remains dependent on aid.

It is precisely these policies by Israel that led the United Nations to warn in August that Gaza would be “uninhabitable” by 2020 (“Gaza in 2020 - A livable place?,” 27 August 2012).

Doctrines for destruction

In fact, the rationale for the Red Lines document and these other measures can be found in a military strategy that found its apotheosis in Operation Cast Lead, the savage attack on Gaza in winter 2008-09.

The Dahiya doctrine was Israel’s attempt to update its traditional military deterrence principle to cope with a changing Middle East, one in which the main challenge it faced was from asymmetrical warfare. The name Dahiya derives from a neighborhood of Beirut Israel leveled in its 2006 attack on Lebanon.

This “security concept,” as the Israeli army termed it, involves the wholesale destruction of a community’s infrastructure to immerse it so deeply in the problems of survival and reconstruction that other concerns, including fighting back or resisting occupation, are no longer practicable.

On the first day of the Gaza offensive, Yoav Galant, the commander in charge, explained the aim succinctly: it was to “send Gaza decades into the past.” Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai may have been thinking in similar terms when, months before Operation Cast Lead, he warned that Israel was preparing to inflict on Gaza a “shoah,” the Hebrew word for Holocaust.

Seen in this context, Weisglass’ “diet” can be understood as just one more refinement of the Dahiya doctrine: a whole society refashioned to accept its subjugation through a combination of violence, poverty, malnutrition and a permanent struggle over limited resources.

This experiment in the manufacture of Palestinian despair is, it goes with saying, both illegal and grossly immoral. But ultimately it is also certain to unravel — and possibly sooner rather than later. The visit this week of Qatar’s emir, there to bestow hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, was the first by a head of state since 1999.

The Gulf’s wealthy oil states need influence, allies and an improved image in a new Middle East wracked by uprisings and civil war. Gaza is a prize, it seems, they may be willing to challenge Israel to possess.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His new website is

A version of this article first appeared in The National, Abu Dhabi.

And so it goes,

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