ISRAELI forces are pounding the Palestinians as their deadly ground, sea and air assault on the Gaza Strip enters its second week. Over a thousand Arabs have been killed and thousands more wounded, mostly civilians like the 42 killed when a UN school was shelled by Israeli artillery on Tuesday.
Palestinian doctors say many families are in need of ambulances, but medical workers were struggling to reach casualties because they were being shot at by the Israelis. Iyad Nasr of the Red Cross in Gaza City said that the military operation has worsened the hardships created by the Israeli blockade over the last 18 months.
The United Nations says 13,000 people, over 2,000 families, have now been internally displaced because of the fighting, and that is just in the north of the Strip.
Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, says that there is no crisis and that aid is getting through, but Christopher Gunness, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spokesman, said her denials were absurd. “The organisation for which I work – UNRWA– has approximately 9,000 to 10,000 workers on the ground. They are speaking with the ordinary civilians in Gaza... people are suffering,” he said. “A quarter of all those being killed now are civilians. So when I hear people say we’re doing our best to avoid civilian casualties that rings very hollow indeed.”
Israel commandos backed by tanks and helicopter gunships are spreading terror across the towns and refugees camps in the enclave that shelters over a million and a half Palestinians but there’s no real plan to this invasion and their troops are acting in chaos and confusion. Hamas militiamen and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) commandos are putting up a fierce resistance in the streets and they say their fighters now control the agenda on the battlefield.
Palestinian partisans are trying to inflict as many casualties as they can on the Zionists while hoping to take some Israelis prisoner to use as bargaining chips when the guns eventually fall silent.
PFLP officer Abu Jamal said that the resistance movements are in a high state of unity and close communication and they are operating in full confidence of victory.
The resistance say they have taken two Israeli soldiers captive and Hamas fighters claim to have destroyed seven tanks and downed one helicopter gunship.
They put Israeli losses at 11 dead and 48 wounded in the fighting so far. Palestinian rockets are continuing to land deep into Israel hitting Israeli military bases and towns including Gedera, just 30 km south of Tel Aviv.
The resistance warn that others will be aimed at the Israeli nuclear research establishment in Dimona if the fighting continues.
The Israelis put their losses at six soldiers dead and 31 wounded including Colonel Avi Peled, the commander of the crack Golani Brigade who was seriously injured in fighting Monday night. They say nothing about prisoners but they admit that they have “lost contact” with one of their men.
The Americans blocked a Libyan-backed ceasefire proposal at the UN Security Council last weekend. But international efforts to stop the war are growing following the latest Israeli atrocities. Israel has agreed to halt the fighting for three hours a day to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and Hamas is now studying an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire backed by the Americans and the European Union. deep concern
But most Arabs believe that the Israelis will carry on fighting until the new American president is sworn in later in the month and Barak Obama is saying nothing apart from expressing his “deep concern” until he enters the Oval Office on 20th January.
Once again the world sees the true face of Zionism in action against the heroic and long-suffering Palestinian masses. In Britain and throughout the world people are taking to the streets to demand an immediate end to the slaughter in Gaza and for the complete restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian Arabs. Only then will the peace return to the Middle East.