As Attacks on Gaza's 'Besieged Civilians' Continue, US Gov't Rallies Behind Israel
As Attacks on Gaza's 'Besieged Civilians' Continue, US Gov't Rallies Behind Israel
By Sarah Lazare / commondreams.org
Aug 2, 2014

Bombardments continued Friday night and Saturday, bringing the Palestinian death toll to at least 1,650—80 percent of them civilians.

As Israel continues to pummel Gaza, and more Palestinian deaths pile up, the United States is placing "unequivocal blame" on Hamas for the crumbling of the "humanitarian ceasefire" on Friday.

Israel's heavy military attacks in and near Rafah continued Friday night, following earlier strikes on Rafah's main hospital. Heavy civilian casualties in the area are reported, and medical officials said Saturday at least a dozen homes were destroyed in the fresh round of attacks, according to Reuters. Israel bombed numerous other targets on Saturday, including the Islamic University and several mosques in Gaza City.

Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesperson for the Gaza Health Ministry, reported on Saturday that the Palestinian death toll is now at 1,650, with 8,900 wounded. Over 80 percent of Palestinians killed are civilians, according to UN estimates, and more than 300 of them are children. In Israel, 63 Israeli soldiers have died and three civilians have been killed over the past month.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency spokesperson Chris Gunness reported on Twitter Saturday: 

 

UNRWA estimates that a quarter of Gaza's population is displaced. Disease is breaking out in UN shelters, which have been targeted by deadly airstrikes, in addition to Gaza's only power plant. This has led to electricity shortages throughout Gaza, cutting of households from basic services, including water. 

Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer reported Friday in Al Jazeera English that Israel is 'tightening the siege' on Gaza by declaring a buffer zone within Gaza's borders that "represents 44 percent of Gaza's territory." He writes, "To the east, Palestinians in Gaza are fenced in by Israeli artillery tanks, mortars, cannon shells and snipers. On Gaza's western side, Israeli warships form a blockade and allow only a three-mile fishing zone. To the north resides more military checkpoints and soldiers. To the south, the Egyptian military has closed off the Rafah border."

Both the United States and the United Nations blamed Hamas for breaking the 72-hour"humanitarian ceasefire" Friday by allegedly killing two Israeli soldiers and capturing one. "We have and I have unequivocally condemned Hamas and the Palestinian factions that were responsible for killing two Israeli soldiers and abducting a third," Obama said at anews conference on Friday.

But Max Blumenthal and Allison Deger write on Mondoweiss that there is insufficient evidence that Hamas alone is to blame. They argue that "the more likely explanation is that Washington has sought to frame Hamas as the aggressor to enable Israel to intensify military operations disproportionately directed against a besieged civilian population."

3.5 ·
1

Support Films For Action

Films For Action empowers citizens with the information they need to help create a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.

We receive no government or corporate funding and rely on our supporters to keep us going. Donate today.

Trending Today
Why You Should Take Your Kids Out of School
Ben Hewitt4,001 views today ·
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn2,949 views today ·
How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’
George Lakey2,613 views today ·
Dreaming Beyond Capitalism: a Culture Without Fear
Martin Winiecki2,080 views today ·
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga1,824 views today ·
This Facebook Comment About the UK Election Is Going Viral
Chris Renwick983 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min719 views today ·
8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance
Bruce E. Levine698 views today ·
Changing How We Think About Change
Ash Buchanan674 views today ·
Load More
Join us on Facebook
As Attacks on Gaza's 'Besieged Civilians' Continue, US Gov't Rallies Behind Israel