The Acts of the Democracies

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2008

Palestine Under Siege

The Israeli blockade of Palestine (backed by the USA and, under pressure from the USA, by the UK and Europe) results in the only power station in Gaza to be shut down. This causes problems with hospitals not being able to run their medical equipmnent.

In March, Israel bombs Gaza killing over 120 people in a week, 25 of them children. Israel states that the attack is in response to the firing of rockets at Israel. These home made rockets have killed 14 people in seven years.

The attack left at least 370 children injured. Hospitals in Gaza had to treat hundreds of seriously injured people without reliable electricity and with shortages of drugs, spare parts for medical equipment, and surgical supplies. Ambulances came under Israeli fire, three medical workers were injured and one killed. The crowded refugee camps in Gaza City were hit by two bombs from a USA-provided F-16 jet which destroyed the headquarters of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, seriously damaging several nearby apartments.

The United Nations attempts to condemn the Israeli attack but the resolution is watered down by the USA. In addition, during 2008 the USA government provides Israel with $ 2,550 million in arms shipments, a 9% increase over actual spending in 2007. This is part of a $30,000 million total over ten years. Israel will spend 25% of this money on its own arms manufacturers. The remaining 75% will go mainly to USA companies including Motorola, Caterpillar (who provide bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian houses), Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Dynamics. The USA Congress voted 404-1 to support Israel and condemn Palestinian rocket attacks on civilians.

KryssTal Opinion: The 120 or so dead Palestinian civilians apparently do not count for USA rulers.

A report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur John Dugard (Israeli Occupation Causes Terror) states that Palestinian terrorism is the "inevitable consequence of Israeli occupation. While Palestinian terrorist acts are deplorable, they must be understood as being a painful but inevitable consequence of colonialism, apartheid or occupation."

Although Israel insists that it has withdrawn from Gaza, the report states that "it is clear that Israel remains the occupying Power as technological developments have made it possible for Israel to assert control over the people of Gaza without a permanent military presence." The report and its implications are unmentioned by mainstream media outlets in the USA and UK.

The human rights group the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) publishes evidence of Israel security forces using psychological torture by bringing in detainees' families during questioning of suspects.

Gheith Nasr, an 18 year old student, was arrested and kept in the police station for several days. His mother was brought in handcuffed and paraded in front of him:

"When I saw my mother being brought into the cell with handcuffs, I tell you, I would have told them anything just to save her, anything."

The website of the UK based BBC marks the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel with a story detrimental to the Palestinian people by its subtle use of quotation marks:

Abbas marks Israel "catastrophe". Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas recalls his people's "suffering", as they mark Israel's creation 60 years ago.

KryssTal Opinion: We would rightly condemn a story that ran: 'Israel commemorates Jewish "suffering" under the Nazis.' The use of quotation marks questions whether the word in question is true and is a form of propaganda.

An Israeli missile fired into a house in the Gaza village of Beit Hanoun kills an entire family including four children. The report appeared on the BBC web site which completed its article: "The militant group Hamas has run the Gaza Strip since June 2007, when its fighters drove out the forces of Mr Abbas's Fatah movement.". The BBC failed to mention that Hamas had won democratic elections, the results of which Israel, the USA and Europe had opposed.

More than 400 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip in the first five months of 2008, many of them civilians.

The siege of Gaza by Israel (and supported by the USA and Europe) which has restricted access to food, water and medicine begins to affect unborn children and newborn babies. According to Dr Salah al-Rantisi, head of the Women's Health Department of the Palestinian Ministry of Health:

"Many babies are born suffering from anaemia that they have inherited from their mothers. Premature babies born dangerously underweight is a daily and increasing phenomenon in Gaza's hospitals. There are many cases of pregnant women who need medicines that are not available in Gaza."

Between 2007 and 2008, 146 people in Gaza died directly as a result of the Israeli siege and border closures. This is apart from the 564 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the same period (92 were children).

One such victim was teacher, Wafer Shaker, killed by an Israeli explosive that blasted her door as she was about to open it to Israeli soldiers. Her children (aged 2 to 13) were then confined to the premises for five hours while the headless body lay nearby.

In May, former USA President, Jimmy Carter, visits Gaza stating that the Israel blockade is "one of the greatest human rights crimes on Earth". He describes the siege as the "imprisonment of 1.6 million people, 1 million of whom are refugees". He continued: "Most families in Gaza are eating only one meal per day. To see Europeans going along with this is embarrassing".

The South African anti-Apartheid campaigner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, also visits Gaza as part of a United Nations fact finding mission and calls the siege and "abomination" criticising the international community for its "silence and complicity".

Both men are accused of being anti-Semitic by the Western media who fail to ask the question why the European Union special envoy, former UK Prime Minsister, Tony Blair, failed to visit Gaza in his first year in Israel.

Most media describe the siege as being imposed after the ruling party, Hamas, "siezed power" in Gaza failing to mention that they won democratic elections requested by the USA and then ignored as the "wrong" party had won.

In Israel the Association of Civil Rights (ACRI) accuses the Iraeli government of using checkpoints in the occupied West Bank to prevent Palestinians from reaching Dead Sea resorts being run by Israeli settlers. Vehicles turned back include school buses. The ban on Palestinians was revealed when two Israeli reserve soldiers working at the Beit Ha'arava checkpoint were informed that the checkpoint was to "prevent Palestinians coming from the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea beaches".

The Israeli siege prevents sewage works from being maintained. After heavy rains, one stagnant pool overflowed killing a 9 month old baby and a grandmother.

Leaked documents and memos from the USA indicate that the USA attempted to engineer a coup against Hamas, who won elections in Palestine in 2006. Measures included sending $80 million of arms to Fatah, the party that lost the elections. Memos encouraged the Palestinian Presedent, Mahmoud Abbas to drive out Hamas.

A report by the Red Cross is leaked to the UK newspaper, The Independent. The report states that the blockade of Gaza is causing a humanitarian catastrophe including chronic malnutrition to over a million people.

"The Israeli blockade of Gaza has led to a steady rise in chronic malnutrition among the 1.5 million people living in the strip."

The report notes that the dramatic fall in living standards has triggered a shift in diet that will damage the long-term health of those living in Gaza and has led to alarming deficiencies in iron, vitamin A and vitamin D. 70% of the population is being affected.

Figures of Palestinian deaths between September 2000 and February 2008.

Extra-Judicial Killings by Israel705
Targetted Victims 478
Innocent Civilians 227
Children68
Total Palestinian Deaths4419
Children Killed794
Women Killed152
Medical Personnel Killed25
Journalists Killed10
Total Palestinian Injuries in Gaza11,700
Total Palestinian Injuries in the West Bank13,550

The USA votes against all United Nations General Assembly resolutions concerning the Palestinians, their refugee status, the status of the occupied territories, property and Israeli practices.

© 2014, KryssTal


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