Palestine: Israel kills Gazans, threatens full-scale war

April 9, 2011
Israeli airstrike on Gaza, March 22.

“As Palestinians were preparing for their weekend this Thursday afternoon,” said on April 7, “all of a sudden barrages of Israeli artillery fire and air raids by warplanes struck several regions of the Gaza Strip”.

“Five Palestinians were killed and about thirty more injured. Israeli shells struck farm land, homes, a mosque and an ambulance.”

Israel has threatened to escalate its military assault on the Gaza Strip. said on April 4 that more than 20 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli attacks since the start of March.

Israel’s public security minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch warned on April 5 that Israel may launch another war on the besieged Palestinian territory along the lines of is 2008-09 “Operation Cast Lead”, Chinese news agency Xinhua said on April 6.

In that war, Israel killed 1400 Palestinians, most of them civilians.

Citing increased mortar and rocket fire from Gaza, Aharonovitch told the Jerusalem Post on April 5: “the Palestinians need to be hit hard.”

His words echo other members of the Israeli government. Vice-Premier Silvan Shalom said on March 23 the current situation was similar to the lead-up to Operation Cast Lead.

Shalom said: “We may have to consider a return to that operation.” said the increase in mortar and rocket fire from Gaza was a result of “deliberate provocation and escalation by Israel”.

On March 22, four Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli shelling. The next day Israel launched an air attack on a Hamas base in Netzarim, killing two people.

An Israeli airstrike was used to execute three Hamas members on April 2. Israel accused those killed of plotting to kidnap Israelis.

One person was killed and two others wounded when Israeli soldiers opened fire on them for trying to collect gravel near the Eretz crossing in north Gaza, said on April 5. said: “It is difficult to believe ... that Israeli leaders did not know that killing Palestinians would prompt further retaliation from the Palestinian side. It seems very likely this was their intention.”

Israel also launched a series of bombing raids on Palestinian tunnels on April 6 which injured several people.

In a further escalation, Israeli security forces closed the only open crossing into Gaza on April 6, a move likely to make the humanitarian situation worse, Ahram Online said that day.

Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh told Ahram Online that Israeli security repeatedly stops 50% of imports to Gaza for reasons that were “unsubstantiated and unconvincing”.

He said Israel banned at least 700 types of goods from entering Gaza.

Israel’s war effort received a public relations boost on April 1, when the author of a United Nations report on Israel’s 2008-09 assault on Gaza renounced his conclusion that Israel intentionally targeted civilians.

After 18 months of intense pressure and personal attacks from the Israeli government and its supporters, South African Judge Richard Goldstone said in the Washington Post on April 1: “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”

The Israeli government and its supporters wasted no time in claiming Goldstone’s apology vindicated Israel’s actions in the Gaza war.

Jonathan Cook said in an April 6 article that this is despite the fact that the “original accusation that Israeli soldiers committed war crimes still stands, as does criticism of Israel's use of unconventional weapons such as white phosphorus, the destruction of property on a massive scale, and the taking of civilians as human shields”.

Goldstone said he would not withdraw the report.

Goldstone said new “evidence” — from belated Israeli Defence Force (IDF) investigations — had convinced him that deaths caused by the Israeli military were not part of an intentional policy, and were merely battlefield errors.

“I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such [Israeli] evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted,” Goldstone said, “because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes”.

However, Adam Horowitz pointed out at on April 2 that the small amount of new “evidence” Goldstone offers was not consistent with the findings of the independent experts’ report that monitored the Israeli investigations.

While moderating his criticism of Israel, Goldstone criticised the Palestinian group Hamas, which governs Gaza, more strongly: “That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying.”

Goldstone’s backdown was not enough for the Israeli government, however.

Israel is desperately trying to repair its reputation after its high-profile war crimes in the 2008-09 Gaza war and its deadly attack on an aid flotilla to Gaza in May 2010.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Jerusalem Post on April 2: “The fact that Goldstone backtracked must lead to the shelving of this report once and for all.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told on April 3 his ministry had worked hard to undermine the report. He said: “Today it is clear to everyone that the IDF is the most moral army.”

Goldstone’s apology, which praised the flawed IDF investigations, may help Israel keep the report from being used against it in the International Criminal Court.


This is a link to an interview with Omar Barghouti on DemocracyNow. Some may find it interesting. Cheers.
Why are Palestinian missile barrages fired at Israeli civillians never mentioned by the left
The Palestinian rocket fire was mentioned in this very article. Also mentioned was the fact that Israel deliberately provokes it to justify its plans for another war on Gaza. If Zionists posting on this site want to be taken with any degree of seriousness, perhaps they could begin by actually reading the articles they criticise.
The reason why these apologists for Israeli apartheid are not bothering to really engage and debate what is said in articles supportig Palestinian rights is because their aim is not to win people over with reasoned argument but to silence through intimidation, abuse and false charges of anti-Semitism. An example of the depths to which this sort if intervention has stooped is this post by Daily Telegraph blogger Joe Hildebrand. Look at the graphic on it: the Marrickville Council logo with the words "Jew-free since 2003". It is an outrageous slander suggesting that Marrickville Council is carrying out a Jewish eradication campaign. Meanwhile in occupied Palestine a real ethnic cleansing program, condemned by numerous UN resolutions is taking place against the Palestinians. It is carried out by the government of Israel. So in the hysterical "debate" about the decison by Marrickville Council to support the non-violent resistance campaign called the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israeli apartheid, the apologists for Israeli apartheid are trying to label the oppressed Palestinians as the oppressor and the oppressing Israeli state as their oppressed victim. We should not but this lie and we must not be silenced from speaking the truth about Israeli apartheid and the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people for their national self-determination.

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