*photo on left: Hussein Amody; photo on right “Samar”
UPDATE: please check RT Gaza under Israeli attack: LIVE UPDATES
I spoke with Joe Catron (@jncatron), who is in Gaza City and gave a summary of what has been happening in the last week and just how these Zionist attacks on Palestinian civilian and children began.
Israel is talking about a protracted operation, primarily airial. I’ve heard anywhere from 6 to 9 casualties in the last hour alone.
Bombs are falling everywhere, at least 20 targets have been hit since around 4 pm (said at 6:40 pm). I heard the first airstrike today, which was an assassination of Ahmed Al Jabari, (the leader of Hamas’ military wing) somewhere up the coast… I heard it very distinctly from here.
Ranan Arafat, a 4 year old girl was killed, that’s confirmed, also heard possibly a 7 year old but don’t know if that is confirmed or the same girl.
It’s worth remembering that this exchange began over a week ago with the (Zionist army’s) murder of a 13 year old boy who was playing football, and continued with murder of 2 more children playing football and 2 men who came to their rescue
Now after every major resistance faction in Gaza has offered a ceasefire, the occupying power has decided instead to escalate things.
British activist, Adie Mormech, wrote this:
Dear All. I am calling on all your support for the besieged people of the Gaza Strip.
Scanning Facebook updates from Palestinians throughout the Gaza Strip, updates report bombings all over Gaza:
Fadi F. Hamada
F16s warplane jet just lunched 2 heave missiles to the west of my neighborhood.O Aallah save my family and all Gazans
10 minutes ago ·
Another huge airstrike on Nusirat camp just now
bombing continues, explosions shake our house, my kids screaming, I am trying to lull them, but infact I am so scared !
A car in Shoekh Radwan
airstrike on Shajaaya.
Abo Jarad military site in central Gaza strip
Alqadisia site west khanuones
A car in Rafah
a car in /zaytoon area
We now are seeing multiple reports that Israeli warships are firing from the Mediterranean into Gaza, which has a densely packed population of about 1.5m people living inside 140 square miles.
The IDF confirms the Israeli Navy is striking Gaza.
As many commenters have noted, the latest assault on Gaza coincides with early campaigning for Israel’s parliamentary elections, planned for 22 January.
The IDF says the current assault was provoked by hundreds of missile strikes out of Gaza. Political observers note the attack reflects on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who was to meet with his senior security cabinet “after sundown” tonight, as a strong leader.
Israel has again attacked Gaza. In its aerial and ground assault that began on Saturday, November 10th, at least 7 Palestinians have been killed, 5 of them civilians, 3 of whom were children. Up to 52 others, including 6 women and 12 children, have been wounded.
One of the wounded is carried into a hospital in Gaza City following Israel’s shelling (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
As in every vicious military offensive Israel carries out in Gaza, the dominant narrative is that it is a response to rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel. This is how it’s being reported in the US, and this is how virtually every American understands it.
And it’s a lie.
It’s true that on Saturday, prior to the expanded Israeli bombardment, the military wing of the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine shot an anti-tank missile at an Israeli Defense Forces vehicle near the Gaza border, wounding four Israeli soldiers. But what prompted the firing of the anti-tank missile?
First, on Monday, November 5th, Israeli forces shot and killed 23 year old Ahmad Nabhaniwhen he “approached the border fence with Israel.” According to at least one account, Nabhani was mentally challenged.
Then, on Thursday, November 8th, the Israeli Occupation Forces – eight tanks and four bulldozers, to be exact – invaded southern Gaza, shooting and killing a 13-year old boy. Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (via):
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 16:30 on Thursday, as a result of the indiscriminate shooting by IOF military vehicles that had moved into the ‘Abassan village, 13-year-old Ahmed Younis Khader Abu Daqqa was seriously wounded by a bullet to the abdomen. At the time he was shot, Ahmed had been playing football with his friends in front of his family’s house, located nearly 1,200 meters away from the area where the IOF were present.
So, even if honest observers brush to the side the cruel and inhumane Israeli blockade on Gaza and refuse to let it influence the equation of exactly which side started this flare up of violence, it is clear Israel started this latest clash. And in response to the response, Israel has waged a harsh, disproportionate military assault.
This would be a simple thing to understand if, for example, Western media bothered to ask the other side what happened. Palestinian news media immediately reported that the anti-tank missile Israel was supposedly responding to was admitted to by the Popular Resistance Committees, who described it as “revenge” for preceding Israeli violence on Gaza. But that basic task of honest journalism is apparently out of the question.
Every single Israeli incursion or attack on Gaza is accompanied by the same narrative: Israel fairly responded to unprovoked Palestinian rocket fire. The last major war on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead in December ’08-January ’09, also carried this narrative. Israel committed war crimes in that one-sided conflict, targeting and killing hundreds of civilians, using indiscriminate weapons, and intentionally destroying civilian infrastructure. It has become an accepted fact – even among critics of Israel – that the offensive was a response to Hamas rocket fire. The rocket fire did indeed occur immediately before the assault, but it was in response to Israel’s breaking of the six-month cease-fire, which even Israeli officials in WikiLeaks cables admitted Hamas had kept to.
Al Jazeera’s Gaza Live Blog
After Israeli operation, Gazans brace for the worst
Gaza residents stock up on gasoline and cooking gas; some say they believe the Israeli attack will be a unifying factor backing the Hamas government.
Immediately after the identity of the dead man became known, about half an hour after the Israeli aircraft hit Ahmed Jabari, panic-stricken residents of the Gaza Strip starting preparing for the worst. They gathered at gas stations to get gasoline and cooking gas, and at bakeries to make sure they had enough bread for the days to come. Some of them said over the phone that everyone was hurrying home while the Israel Defense Forces was bombing different sites in the Strip, and they could see that Israeli aircraft movement was brisk.
Some people said the Hamas police seemed confused and panicked, and armed men from various factions were firing in the air as a sign of mourning. The mosques were broadcasting eulogies and praise for Jabari.
As of Wednesday night at about 8 P.M., at least four Palestinian civilians had been killed in the Israeli air raids, among them a 7-year-old girl and a baby a few months old, according to Palestinian reports. About 55 people had been injured, eight of them seriously. The hospitals went on emergency footing, and the Economics Ministry in Gaza warned merchants against price-gouging.
The assassination came as residents were preparing for a long, quiet weekend. November 15 is a day off for two reasons: It marks the Palestinian independence day declared by Yasser Arafat in 1988, and the Muslim New Year falls this year on that date. Schools were to have been closed in any case.
Over the past week the IDF, as of Wednesday morning, had killed six Palestinian civilians, among them three children. Fifty-three people were injured, including 12 children and six women. Gaza residents who are not Hamas supporters said that in closed conversations and on the social media there had been criticism of Palestinian rocket fire and questions as to whether it had been necessary. Nevertheless, everyone accepts the position that the shooting came in response to Israeli aggression.
People in Gaza say they believe that the Israeli attack will be a unifying factor backing the Hamas government. Opponents of Hamas in the Strip say that the escalation suits the political aims of both Hamas and Israel: It dwarfs the importance of the PLO initiative to bring to a vote the Palestinian bid for observer status in the United Nations.