Last week I noted in a post that according to “a report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council” the “so-called Gaza buffer zone imposed by Israel” – essentially anything close to 300 meters from the northern fence area – is like no man’s land.
In 2010, 40 boys and 4 girls were allegedly injured by Israeli fire in or near the buffer zone. Of those, 26 boys, some as young as 13, were shot while collecting gravel within 800 metres of the fence. In cases where sworn affidavits were taken, 19 children were shot in the leg, 2 in the arm and 1 child was shot in the head.
A much newer report from the spokesperson of the Higher Committee for Medical and Emergency Services In Gaza, now says that “in 2011, Israeli soldiers killed 19 children, and injured more than 200, in Air strikes and bombardment targeting the Gaza Strip.” Some details:
Abu Salmiyya added that the youngest of the slain children were identified as Malak Shaath, 2, and Islam Qreiqe’, 3, adding that most of the slain children faced horrific deaths as Israeli military shells mutilated their bodies.
He further stated that more than one-third of the wounded Palestinians in 2011 are children, adding that Yousef Bahjat Az-Za’lan, 10, is still in the intensive care unit after a shell fired by the Israeli army on Thursday killed his father, Bahjat, 42, and his brother Ramadan, 12 years old; at least 17 residents were wounded in the shelling, seven of them were children.
Abu Salmiyya accused the Israeli Army of deliberately targeting the civilians during the illegal and random bombardment of civilian areas in the Gaza Strip, especially during late night hours and at dawn.
He added that the repeated offensives against the Gaza Strip are impacting the psychological conditions of the children in Gaza, and called on different international humanitarian groups to ensure the protection of the Palestinian children and civilians in the coastal region in particular, and in Palestine in general.
This is not just another brutal regime America supports. This is the preeminent American ally. And this is only one aspect of a much larger story, of course; as this WAFA report explains, “About half of the Palestinian households were directly exposed to violence by occupation forces and settlers before July 2010, the highest in Gaza Strip, 49.1% compared to 47.8% in the West Bank.” This is the status quo Republican candidates last week squabbled to praise higher and louder than each of their counterparts. These are the policies of the highest priority judging by U.S. aid (over $16 billion dollars since 2007, if we include their allotted aid for 2012). When it comes to the various dictatorships the U.S. government avidly supports, political elites at least some of the time pay gentle lip service to an improved future: “We’re working with the Bahraini government on issues of democracy and human rights” and so on. They’re lies, but at least its acknowledged these places are hell holes. In contrast, Israel is a haven of democracy and human rights, a lone advocate of these principals in a sea of tyranny and extremism.
Ron Paul (R-TX) was excluded last week from making a speech in front of the Republican Jewish Coalition, as every other candidate for president did. The reason, the Coalition explained, was that Paul has “misguided and extreme views,” regarding Israel-Palestine. Unwavering support for a government which commits, according to findings from U.N. Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices just last month, “systematic human rights violations against the Palestinian people, including ‘countless acts constituting war crimes and State terrorism‘” is mainstream, fair-minded diplomacy. Advocating we pull that support is “extreme” and “misguided.”