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Protective Edge – MSF report from Gaza

I have long written about the withholding of aid to Gaza and the West Bank.

But one of the major problems is we keep saying that the information coming out of Gaza is solely in the hands of non-Israeli sources and so is suspect as propaganda. The Facebooks have been aflood with images of London and France with missiles above asking “what would you do”. The  answer is “Not This”.

Protective Edge’s name alone clouds the fact it is a “pre-emptive strike”, defence by offence. 

Since it’s start the majority of casualties in Gaza have been civilians. The Israeli government’s stances of “warning shots” sadly don’t cause people to run. I have a rational reason for that. Firstly? It takes more than a minute or so to evacuate a house. Secondly? A missile hit is disorientating. Soldiers who have undergone shelling mention how disrupting that is to TRAINED professionals. Imagine civilians responding. And thirdly? if you are being shelled would you stick to cover or would you run into the open where those weapons are just a bit more deadlier.

So far the Medicin Sans Frontier reports the majority of dead and wounded are civilians. Israeli intelligence’s faulty info is killing hundreds. Now medical workers are under fire with MSF staff running a variety of services out there.

The majority of wounded on Sunday at the Al Shifa Hospital in Ash Shuja’iyeh are women and children. Hundreds of people flee the region and the shelling effectively has cut off people’s escape. It is a massacre. And what’s worse is that MSF and Palestinian hospitals and staff have seen casualties. The safety of medical workers and health facilities is not being respected. The unpredictability of the attacks hass made it impossible for staff to move freely and assist the civilians.

Or should we say refugees.

The hospital is packed to the brim and is over capacity with many specialist wards over capacity such as burns and trauma. Some of the victims are eight and four. In one neighbourhood? A strike on a clinic killed 24 people of the same family.

50% of cases are dead on the table, 50% require emergency surgery. And there are reports of flechette rounds being used in civilian areas and white phosphorous burns. Both considered war crimes. As always? There is a fear of cluster munitions. 40% fail to explode immediately and form a problem of area denial as seen in the Lebanon conflict where to this day, children accidentally wound and kill themselves with the duds.

So far the Israeli government has agreed to provide secure movements for MSF. To provide safe passage to clearly marked medical units as per the Geneva Convention. One MSF ambulance was nearly hit though with an airstrike landing within 500 metres of the vehicle. There are reports of other hospitals that have been targetted for shelling.

Since Israel launched its ground offensive the number of victims is increasing exponentially. “

While official claims that the objective of the ground offensive is to destroy tunnels into Israel, what we see on the ground is that bombing is indiscriminate and that those who die are Civilians.

The UN refugee shelters themselves are overcrowded and hygiene conditions are worrying. With progress a lot of people will die to diseases.

MSF is currently in Gaza with a full Surgical Team, Medical Equipment and Supplies at Al Shifa while donating emergency stock to the pharmacy stores. The MSF post-op clinic was under ferocious shelling and is operating at just 10 to 30% of it’s capacity. Naseer Hospital in Khan Yunis is heavily disrupted.

All this does is create more pain and suffering. Something Hamaas thrives on. How can you expect Palestinians to sue for peace when all you give them is war and starvation? The fears are if an “accident” occurs and a hospital or a shelter is hit. The death toll could be catastrophic as seen in the destruction of the clinic. Gaza is around 50 by 11 Km and is one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. The high death toll is due to the fact Israel is using weaponry with high area of effect around civilian targets often citing the excuse that it’s targeting Hamas.

Doesn’t look like it. Looks like a lot of eggs are getting broken to make this omelette.

I remember Dawkins and other atheists asking question once. Why does Israel produce so many people who are smart and productive while Palestinians do not.

And to that I have a simple answer.

There are no mathematics lessons in a fox hole.

Comments

  1. Al Dente says

    Israel created Hamas and is the main cause of people and money going to Hamas. Israel should not complain about what their creation is doing. Nor should Israel retaliate against their own creation.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    And it looks like any US reporter telling anything approaching the whole story gets yanked out of the area immediately.

    My so-easy-anybody-this-side-of-Chris-Matthews-could-make-it prediction: Hamas and other Palestinian militants will strike back; the effects of their counterattack will get sensationalized coverage across the US; Netanyahu will receive even more money and weaponry.

    Some may say the same thing will happen mutatis mutandis on the Muslim side, ignoring the fact that no one covering the Palestinian casualties will need to exaggerate the atrocities to produce widespread outrage.

  3. says

    I did want to ask… if I (slowly) wrote a piece about Palestine and Israel’s history and perspectives of both sides would that be something useful?

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    You might educate a few USAnians – I don’t know if any other populations live in a comparable smog of disinformation about “the Holy Land™”.

  5. RJW says

    @3 Avicenna,

    Yes, if you start at the beginning, that is, the origins of the Zionist project in the late 19th century, and particularly the agenda in regard to the Palestinians.

    @4 Pierce,

    One of the great foreign policy mysteries is the USA’s continued and unconditional support for Israel.

  6. says

    It’s an old lie that’s repeated until it’s believed: Israel “confirms”, Palestinians “allege”.

    Israel “confirms” something is true, such as “go back to Auschwitz” on an audio recording…which the Israeli government admitted faking, when they were forced to admit the crew of the Rachel Corrie never said any such thing.

    Meanwhile, Palestinians “allege”, even when there’s video proving it’s true, such as Israeli terrorists deliberately bombing the unarmed people at the Rafah refugee camp.

    Avicenna (#3) –

    I did want to ask… if I (slowly) wrote a piece about Palestine and Israel’s history and perspectives of both sides would that be something useful?

    Please do. Few know even the periphery of the story, never mind the details. All that most hear is the sanitized historical revisionism saying “nobody lived there” until jews arrived in the 1930s, denying the existence of Palestinian towns and villages which have been bulldozed (much like Rachel Corrie was bulldozed) and completely wiped from the map.

    Reputable historians like Norman Finkelstein have written extensively about this history, but propagandists like Alan Dershowitz and others mounted campaigns to prevent Finkelstein and others from being heard, vis-a-vis the harassment and intimidation of Finkelstein to deny him tenure at DePaul University.

    http://academeblog.org/2012/06/08/the-tenure-denial-of-norman-finkelstein/

    In Dershowitz’s (and others’) fetid mind, if you criticize Israel you’re either an anti-semite or “self hating jew”. There is an interview with Dershowitz posted on Finkelstein’s website:

    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2009/norman-finkelstein-is-a-sock-and-a-deeply-disrobed-self-heating-jewhe-constantly-invokes-anti-semen-stereotypes-of-the-kind-that-were-found-in-der-stutterer/

    “Norman Finkelstein is a sick and deeply disturbed, self-hating Jew”
    – Alan Dershowitz

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