Saturday, January 17, 2009

'This is a war of extermination'

Israel strikes Gaza ahead of unilateral ceasefire vote
AFP: At least 1,205 Palestinians, including 410 children, have been killed since the start of Israel's deadliest-ever assault on the territory on December 27, according to Gaza medics, who said another 5,300 people have been wounded. Those slain in the war also include 108 women, 113 elderly people, 14 paramedics, and four journalists... 

Hamas remained defiant: 'This unilateral ceasefire does not foresee a withdrawal' by the Israeli army... As long as it remains in Gaza, resistance and confrontation will continue.' Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who had been trying to broker a bilateral truce between Hamas and Israel, also said troops must leave Gaza immediately.

LA Times: Dr. Iss el-Deen Aboul Aish, who gave frequent interviews to the Israel media, was minutes away from giving another when he called Shlomi Eldar, screaming and weeping with grief... 'O God, oh my God, my daughters have been killed. They've killed my children... Could somebody please come to us?' ... Aboul Aish was a single father. His wife had died of cancer. He made his daughters sleep close to the walls of their home in hopes that would keep them safe if airstrikes or artillery collapsed the ceiling.

'I don't know how this man will stand on his feet again after this tragedy,' Dr. Liat Lerner-Geya, an Israeli who worked with Aboul Aish, told the Hebrew-language news website Ynet. 'He would come to Israel and sleep at friends' houses for three nights. Even though he had all the necessary permits, they always gave him trouble at the crossings. But he believed there should be coexistence and practiced this in his work.' 

After the newscast, Eldar met with reporters. He said the doctor told him that evening 'that since his wife's passing, the girls had been his entire life. He said his eldest daughter wanted to study at Haifa University. Just today another one of his daughters told him that evening that she had gotten her period. "In the middle of war you get your period. You are a woman now."' She and her sisters are dead.

The news spread across Israel's websites; the video of the doctor's broadcast quickly made it to YouTube. 'They were girls, only girls. I want to know why they have killed them. Who gave the order to fire?'


Ahdaf Soueif, The Guardian: Everyone says something new is going on here; something different... They describe bombs which break into 16 parts, each part splintering into 116 fragments, the white phosphorus which water cannot put out; which seems to die and then flares up again... 

The doctors speak of a disproportionate number of head injuries -- specifically of shrapnel lodged in the brain. They also speak of the extensive burns of white phosphorus. These injuries are, as they put it, 'incompatible with life.' They are receiving large numbers of amputees... Damage done to the bone by explosive bullets is so extensive that the only way the doctors in Gaza can save lives is by amputating.

One of the nurses said to me that the nurses and paramedics were horrified by what they were seeing. 'We deal with cases all the time,' she said. 'But what we're seeing these days we've never seen before or imagined.' ... 'Look!' On a rubble-strewn street lay the body of a roasted and charred child. Two bones were sticking out where her thighs had been. 'The dogs ate her legs.'
Image source here.