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
Trending Today
Caitlin Moran's Posthumous Advice for Her Daughter
Caitlin Moran26,515 views today ·
I Know Islamic State. What They Fear More Than Bombs Is Unity
Nicolas Hénin19,046 views today ·
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad18,466 views today ·
On the Wildness of Children: The Revolution Will Not Take Place In The Classroom
Carol Black8,093 views today ·
Paramedic's Response to "Burger Flippers" Making an Equal $15/Hour is Beautiful
Craig Carilli7,946 views today ·
I Promise, It's Not Lame to Ask a Woman for Permission
Dave Booda7,311 views today ·
The Self-Defeating Concept of “Resistance”
Caitlin Johnstone3,358 views today ·
The Wrongs of Counter-Violence
Paul Rogers1,998 views today ·
Manchester Arena Attack: Amid the Horror, the Strength of an Incredible City Took Hold
Caroline Cheetham1,933 views today ·
Load More
What's Next
Jews And Arabs Refuse To Be Enemies
2 min
Eyewitness to Israeli Occupation: Time to Call a Spade a Spade
Kerry-anne Mendoza
Palestine Is Still The Issue (2002)
53 min
Like us on Facebook?
As Attacks on Gaza's 'Besieged Civilians' Continue, US Gov't Rallies Behind Israel