newspolitical

20 Aid Trucks vs. 12,000 Bombs

Over the course of its aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip, the Israeli regime dropped nearly 8,000 bombs on the Gazans. Humanitarian aid, however, came belatedly and much less than needed.

This post is also available in: Arabic

After two weeks of relentless bombing, Israel responded to global pressures by temporarily opening the Rafah border crossing, the only port connecting Gaza to Egypt which is coordinating international life-saving humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza.

Israel had bombarded the crossing in the early hours of its shelling campaign against the Gaza Strip, shutting down operations at the egress for travel and trade. Since October 7, Israel stubbornly rejected all calls for reopening the Rafah crossing, all while deliberately creating a humanitarian crisis by cutting off the flow of water, fuel, food, and electricity into the besieged enclave.

To make things even worse, Israel began intently bombing hospitals, schools, mosques, churches, and other civilian properties which served as a shelter for civilians fleeing heavy bombardment. On 17 October, Israel committed a heinous crime that shocked the world to the core, bombing a Christian hospital – Al Ahli- which resulted in the killing of hundreds of civilians, mostly injured and patients. The magnitude of the crime was so abhorrent that the Israeli authorities quickly walked back their statements confirming their bombardment of the hospital and ultimately blamed the targeting of the hospital on a Palestinian resistance group “misfired” rocket.

Even worse, the Biden administration appeared to be rubber-stamping the Israeli narrative, saying that the war crime was committed by the “other team.”

President Biden had visited Israel in a bid to show solidarity with the Israeli leadership, which is suffering from a historic lack of self-confidence as a result of the October 7 attack by the Palestinian resistance groups on Israeli targets.

In order to vent their anger, the Israeli authorities intensified their brutal campaign against the civilians in Gaza, producing “damning evidence” of committing war crimes against the Palestinian people, according to Amnesty International.

“As Israeli forces continue to intensify their cataclysmic assault on the occupied Gaza Strip, Amnesty International has documented unlawful Israeli attacks, including indiscriminate attacks, which caused mass civilian casualties and must be investigated as war crimes,” the human rights organization said in a statement on Friday.

“In their stated intent to use all means to destroy Hamas, Israeli forces have shown a shocking disregard for civilian lives. They have pulverized street after street of residential buildings killing civilians on a mass scale and destroying essential infrastructure, while new restrictions mean Gaza is fast running out of water, medicine, fuel and electricity. Testimonies from eyewitnesses and survivors highlighted, again and again, how Israeli attacks decimated Palestinian families, causing such destruction that surviving relatives have little but rubble to remember their loved ones by,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

 Callamard said, “Our research points to damning evidence of war crimes in Israel’s bombing campaign that must be urgently investigated. Decades of impunity and injustice and the unprecedented level of death and destruction of the current offensive will only result in further violence and instability in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

These crimes were the result of Israel dropping thousands of bombs on the Gaza Strip in a matter of two weeks. The Israeli military has said just in the first six days of their aggression, Israel dropped 6,000 bombs on Gaza. Estimates put that number at more than 8,000 now, which is more than the bombs the US dropped on Afghanistan in a year, according to US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

The Washington Post, citing Marc Garlasco, a military adviser at the Dutch organization PAX for Peace, reported that Israel is “dropping in less than a week what the US was dropping in Afghanistan in a year, in a much smaller, much more densely populated area, where mistakes are going to be magnified.”

Garlasco, who is also a former UN war crimes investigator in Libya, told the daily, citing records from the US Air Force Central Command, that the highest number of bombs dropped in a year for the war in Afghanistan was just over 7,423. According to the UN, during the entire war in Libya, NATO reported dropping more than 7,600 bombs and missiles from aircraft, the Daily reported, according to Anadolu Agency.

Despite Israeli continued atrocities, humanitarian aid started flowing into Gaza Saturday in very small quantities, with some describing it as a drop in an ocean of human suffering.

By Soheila Zarfam

First published in Tehran Times

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