Posted by: nazli | November 14, 2006

At least it’s not terrorism …

On Wednesday November 8, 2006, at least 18 Palestinians civilians were killed and 40 wounded by Israeli tank fire in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. Anywhere else, this massive violation against humanity would have been decried as TERRORISM – but of-course these are not acts of terrorism because it is just sleeping Palestinians who are killed by uniformed armed soldiers in armored tanks who were hunting for the “real terrorists”.

People all over the place are offering words in their worldly wisdom …

UK Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett offers a very well-mannered rebuke (one has to be courteous), “it is hard to see what this action was meant to achieve and how it can be justified… Israel must respect its obligation to avoid harming civilians.”

Israeli PM Ehud Olmert said the strike, which hit a civilian area, was the result of a “technical failure”. He also added, “I’m very uncomfortable with this event. I’m very distressed. I checked it and I verified it. This is not the policy.”

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter told Israeli radio that the deaths were the result of an “operational mishap”. But he insisted that Israel’s military activities in Gaza were justified against a backdrop of continuing rocket attacks by Palestinian militants against Israeli towns.

In the US, the White House and the state department called for restraint from Palestinians, and President George Bush expressed his sadness at the deaths .

UN Special Co-ordinator for Mid-East Peace Process, Alvaro De Soto: “I’m appalled and shocked. It’s really condemnable. This has just gone too far. So [Israelis] need to take a long hard and very professional look at it. And also they need I think to step back, suspend this operation and look at the policy. This is not the way to stop Palestinian rocket fire. And to the Palestinians I have to say firing rockets is not the way to get the Israelis to stop this onslaught against them.”

In Palestine one man claims that if the blood shed in Beit Hanoun were wine spilled in the salons of the political Arab elite, then the anger would have been great and protest marches would have been organised. The shedding of Palestinian blood has become something only noted in passing, something which does not trouble the Arab and international conscience.UN Special Rapporteur, John Dugard: “This brutal collective punishment of a people, not a government, has passed largely unnoticed by the international community. The Quartet… has done little to halt Israel’s attacks. An Israeli lady contends, “a regrettable mistake, past and present politicians and army officers said yesterday. This is not a mistake. This is a disaster. A regrettable mistake is when you step on someone’s foot, not when you kill 11 members of one family. Someone has to stop this madness.”

Another Israeli reaction, “someone has to tell the people of Beit Hanoun, the citizens of the Gaza Strip, the Arabs of the occupied territories, the whole world, the one simple, poignant truth: He who fires thousands of Qassam rockets at the civilian [Israeli] population for years; he who hoards thousands of tons of explosive materials for months, should understand that it is impossible to hide behind women and children. Such behaviour has a price tag.”

source of the above: BBC.com

Click here for an editorial from Haaretz

*************************************
247 fatalities in Gaza from June 28 to October 27
155 civilian deaths
57 deaths of children
996 wounded, including 337 children (34%)
Source: Physicians for Human Rights

… but hey, at least it’s not “terrorism” …

 

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