Israel’s murder of Gazans continues

There is no other word to describe what is happening in Gaza other than to call it the willful murder of innocent people by a rampaging Israeli army that is using indiscriminate force as never-ending revenge for the attacks on October 7. Almost 30,000 Gazans have now died. The sheer scale of the killings of ordinary people is evidence that these actions are deliberate policy of the Israeli government, not those of a few rogue soldiers. This extremely sad story about one family captures the sheer horror of what is happening.

A six-year-old girl who went missing in Gaza City last month has been found dead, along with several of her relatives and two paramedics who tried to save her.

Hind Rajab was fleeing the city with her aunt, uncle and three cousins when the car they were travelling in appears to have come face to face with Israeli tanks, and come under fire.

Audio recordings of calls between Hind and emergency call operators suggest that the six-year-old was the only one left alive in the car, hiding from Israeli forces among the bodies of her relatives.

Her pleas for someone to rescue her ended when the phone line was cut amid the sound of more gunfire.

Paramedics from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) managed on Saturday to reach the area, which had previously been closed off as an active combat zone.

They found the black Kia car Hind had been travelling in – its windscreen and dashboard smashed to pieces, bullet holes scattered across the side.

One paramedic told journalists that Hind was among the six bodies found inside the car, all of which showed signs of gunfire and shelling.

We are told that desperate families are starving to death or trying to barely stay alive by eating whatever they can find, even animal food.

People living in the isolated north of Gaza have told the BBC that children are going without food for days, as aid convoys are increasingly denied permits to enter. Some residents have resorted to grinding animal feed into flour to survive, but even stocks of those grains are now dwindling, they say.

People have also described digging down into the soil to access water pipes, for drinking and washing.

The UN has warned that acute malnutrition among young children in the north has risen sharply, and is now above the critical threshold of 15%.

The UN’s humanitarian coordination agency, Ocha, says more than half the aid missions to the north of Gaza were denied access last month, and that there is increasing interference from Israeli forces in how and where aid is delivered.

It says 300,000 people estimated to be living in northern areas are largely cut off from assistance, and face a growing risk of famine.

People may quibble about whether what is happening in Gaza meets the definition of genocide but what happened to Hind Rajab and her family is murder.


  1. says

    They keep arguing that Hamas is hiding behind human shields like we’re supposed to be fine with the death of both thanks to that old Hollywood canard where the bad guy takes a hostage so the good guy lobs a grenade at the both of them.

  2. Katydid says

    Regarding the hostages: if the entire population is simultaneously starving and being assassinated, what makes anyone think the hostages are any safer or better off? This to me is the biggest sign that Netanyahu couldn’t care less about the hostages. This is Israel’s long-held desire to eradicate the Palestinians to give the settlers more illegally-gotten land.

  3. John Morales says

    The Guardian and the BBC have provided some good coverage; of course, it’s all subject to guidelines to eliminate the visual horror and uses sanitised language.

    Take this recent piece:

    “The destruction is massive,” said one noncommissioned officer (NCO) who was in Gaza for two months with an infantry unit. “What really blew my mind was that there is nowhere for anyone to come back to. There aren’t even three walls connected. It looks like a scene of a zombie attack or something. It’s not a war zone. It’s a disaster area, like out of Hollywood.”


    Reservists described fighting an enemy they barely saw for more than “a few milliseconds”.

    “They don’t show themselves. They avoid contact. You see the targets for a milliseconds. It’s kind of weird. You are walking through this smashed up city but it is empty. You have all this destructive power – attack helicopters, tanks, artillery that you can call for – so you feel almost omnipotent. But then at the same time you feel vulnerable,” the NCO said.


    When asked what tactics the unit employed in such situations, the soldier laughed.

    “There are no tactics. We take some fire and identify a target. For an hour we unload everything we’ve got, our own weapons, tanks, anything we can get. Then we advance and find dead terrorists,” he said.

    Another special forces soldier said that advances were “done properly” during the early stages of the war.

    “We had everything we needed and all in the right order. First airstrikes and artillery, then the tanks, and only then the foot soldiers. By the time we got somewhere, there wasn’t much left,” he said.

    The soldier said that more recently, following US pressure to minimise civilian casualties, tactics had changed. “Now the infantry are going in alongside the tanks and that’s why they are getting killed,” he said.

    A third described how a relatively light injury to a fellow soldier triggered a “massive response”.

    “We just took down the whole area where we thought the shooter was,” he said.

    Senior officers have confirmed the use of its huge firepower to minimise IDF losses. Maj Gen Eliezer Toledano, the head of the IDF general staff’s strategic division, told ministers earlier this month: “We spare no munitions [when fighting] and we do everything necessary to protect the lives of our soldiers.”

    Everything possible short of stopping the slaughter, of course.

  4. billseymour says

    Marcus beat me to it @2:

    Why aren’t they talking about the vast numbers of hamas killed and captured?
    Could it be there aren’t any?

    That’s been my question for quite a while now.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that Israel is actually avoiding destroying Hamas so that they don’t lose the excuse for killing off Palestinians.  It would be in character.

  5. anat says

    Well, this was a recent headline on ynet’s English edition: 3 senior Hamas police officials assassinated in IDF airstrike in Gaza’s Rafah. The Israeli press is talking about it. (ynet is very mainstream in Israel) Same story from The Times of Israel IDF kills senior Hamas official in Rafah; security chiefs visit Khan Younis. Now the story of the 2 rescued hostages has claimed the headlines. If you want Israeli journalism that is critical of the government, there is Ha’aretz, but it is paywalled. You can at least see the headlines. (Haaretz leans center-left, used to have about 10% of Israeli readership, always had good investigative journalism).

    Reading the Israeli press is so depressing. Other than Haaretz, it is all about rallying around ‘our heroes’ (even when there is objection to Netanyahu himself), and how old-time leftists have ‘sobered up’.

  6. Katydid says

    The problem with Israeli news sources is that the Israelis have been caught lying over and over and over again. Like the claim to have found a cache of weapons in the hospital next to the only working MRI. This “news” broke around the time the news in the USA featured a gun-fondler who brought her comfort weapon into an MRI with disastrous results. Or their claim that they just HAD TO desecrate cemeteries because…something something just shut up and hand us more billions and weapons.

    The civilized world realizes the outrageous war crimes Israel is committing against the Palestinians.

  7. Katydid says

    @11, yes, that’s the go-to for people noticing the brutality; DARVO.

    The whole idea of giving a group of Europeans the land and homes in Palestine where people had been living for generations never made any sense to me. For the USAians, it was as nonsensical as it would be to give a group of people living in Venezuela being given full leave to take over San Francisco, California because their ancestors had once lived there. If after driving the native San Franciscans into Oakland, the Venezuelans would then build a wall around Oakland, control the electricity, water, and food…and randomly assassinate people in the walled prison for asking for basic rights.

  8. lanir says

    @7 I think we can safely say they aren’t specifically avoiding killing Hamas. That would imply a degree of honesty in their excuses that simply isn’t useful if you’re already engaged in an active genocide campaign. Which they clearly are. I think it would also imply they don’t suddenly “find Hamas” the way other people “find religion.” Ie, it’s wherever they want or need it to be. Corpses have a way of remaining conveniently silent about their political affiliations.

  9. Holms says

    #17 WMDKitty
    anat’s statement is true -- a large proportion of Israeli Jews are not Europeans in any sense. Wiki:

    The Jewish population in Israel comprises all of the communities of the Jewish diaspora, including Ashkenazi Jews [central European], Sephardic Jews [Iberian European], Mizrahi Jews [Middle Eastern / North African], Beta Israel [Ethiopian], Cochin Jews [Indian], Bene Israel [Indian], Karaite Jews [Middle Eastern originally I think, unsure], and many other groups.

    Among Israel’s Jewish population, over 25 percent of schoolchildren and over 35 percent of all newborns are of mixed Ashkenazi and Sephardic/Mizrahi descent, and these figures have been increasing by approximately 0.5 percent annually. Over 50 percent of the entire Israeli Jewish population is of at least partial Sephardic/Mizrahi descent.

    You denounce quickly and aggressively, but it would be nice if you checked first.

  10. Katydid says


    Historically, and to a significant extent still, Ashkenazi Jews have populated Israel’s upper class while Mizrahi Jews have been poorer as a whole, with discriminatory policies from Israel’s early years to blame for the inequality. This pattern maps onto Israel’s electoral landscape, shaping the country’s politics.

    Researchers have been able to estimate the level of inequality among Jews in Israel through proxies such as education, with findings that Ashkenazi Jews are vastly overrepresented in university faculties and among academic degree holders. These studies try to inform a public arena that becomes regularly inflamed when politicians and celebrities comment on Ashkenazi-Mizrahi relations.

  11. sonofrojblake says

    @14: you seem to have confused me with someone who didnt, just two weeks ago, angrily call for effective international sanctions against Israel and their enablers, the US. Your anti-semitism has flared up again, pop a bit of ointment on it.

  12. anat says

    John Morales, I see you are focusing mostly on recent immigration trends. Despite that, Jews of Moroccan and Iraqi ancestry are among the largest Jewish ethnicities in Israel. Accurate statistics are more difficult to obtain these days because the Central Bureau of Statistics only collects information about place of birth of people’s fathers (and for some purposes paternal grandfathers) so there are no official statistics about origins of third or fourth generation Israelis, but there are estimates.

  13. John Morales says

    anat, here:

    Russia/Ukraine (Former USSR) 1,747,250
    Morocco, Algeria & Tunisia 364,745
    Romania 276,985
    Poland 174,119
    Iraq 131,065
    United States 120,223
    Ethiopia 94,733
    France 80,232
    Iran 81,154
    Argentina 63,935
    Turkey 64,299
    Yemen 51,551
    Bulgaria 44,513
    Egypt and Sudan 38,046
    Libya 36,120
    United Kingdom 37,299
    Hungary 32,961
    India 29,524
    Czechoslovakia (Former) 24,728
    South Africa 22,371
    Germany 20,995
    Brazil 15,563
    Canada 12,950
    Georgia 12,269
    Yugoslavia (Former) 10,923
    Syria 10,254

  14. sonofrojblake says

    “Anti-zionism is not anti-semitism”. Yes, true.

    Conversely, the statement “Jewish actors are hardly “deprived” of roles, and it’s simply a fact that the dude had a large-ish nose. Rarely have I seen a group so bent on being the victim…” is NOT anti-Zionism. It’s very clearly and explicitly directed against Jewish people (and in this instance specifically Jewish people not even faintly connected to the Israeli government) specifically because they’re Jewish.

    So, y’know… quit lying. Also, I note you’ve simply chosen to ignore my demolition of your lie that I’m in some way a fan of the Israeli government or their leader. Good choice, there’s nothing good for you in that direction.

  15. John Morales says

    Conversely, the statement “Jewish actors are hardly “deprived” of roles, and it’s simply a fact that the dude had a large-ish nose. Rarely have I seen a group so bent on being the victim…” is NOT anti-Zionism. It’s very clearly and explicitly directed against Jewish people (and in this instance specifically Jewish people not even faintly connected to the Israeli government) specifically because they’re Jewish.

    Such a stupid claim!

    (I’d elaborate, but sonofrojblake has decided to cope with me by — allegedly — running a script so that he can’t actually see my comments)

  16. anat says

    John Morales @24: that list isn’t counting the Israeli-born offspring of said immigrants. There are now several generations of offspring from the mass immigration in the early days of Israel, whereas most of the Russian immigration is from more recent times. Also fertility was higher among Asia-Africa immigrants vs Russian immigrants.

    See Israel’s mosaic of Jewish ethnic groups is key to understanding the country

    The largest Jewish ethnic group in Israel, about 40% to 45% of the country’s total population, is called Mizrahi, which means “Eastern” in Hebrew. Mizrahi Jews’ ancestors hailed from Jewish communities in the Middle East, including Israel itself.

    The word Mizrahi often describes Jews from North Africa, too. However, these Maghrebi Jews descend from different groups than other Mizrahi Jews. Some North African Jews’ ancestors came from local communities. Others migrated there from the Iberian Peninsula after Spain expelled its Jewish population in 1492.

    The article links to Ethnic origin and identity in the Jewish population of Israel which has a lot of methodological detail.

  17. KG says

    (I’d elaborate, but sonofrojblake has decided to cope with me by — allegedly — running a script so that he can’t actually see my comments) -- John Morales@27

    Maybe you could elaborate for the rest of us, John, because I’m having trouble seeing how:

    Jewish actors are hardly “deprived” of roles, and it’s simply a fact that the dude had a large-ish nose. Rarely have I seen a group so bent on being the victim…

    comes under the heading of anti-Zionism. Or maybe WDMKitty could explain that, since it was originally her comment.

  18. John Morales says

    John Morales @24: that list isn’t counting the Israeli-born offspring of said immigrants.

    Because Israeli-born offspring of immigrants are not immigrants; they are native-born.
    That’s to what the concept of immigration refers!

    KG, what?
    Look: the first quotation refers to sonofrojblake using the Stylus filter to avoid seeing my comments, and
    the second statement was not mine — that’s me quoting him quoting WMDKitty.

  19. John Morales says

    [Almost put this in the other current Biden thread, but it fits better here, I reckon]



    As one pastor in the swing state of Georgia stated, “It’s going to be very hard to persuade our people to go back to the polls and vote for Biden.” This comes on the heels of polling that reveals that Black voters’ approval rating for Biden in recent months is down nearly 20 percentage points. It is more and more difficult to view the mounting number of civilian deaths and worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza as being in line with the human rights commitments Biden ran on in 2020.

    The dip in enthusiasm for Biden is in part related to a feeling of Black-Palestinian solidarity among some of these disaffected Black voters. For others, lackluster support for Biden could also be a function of a limited appetite for yet another U.S. entanglement in the Middle East. For instance, the same Carnegie survey revealed that a quarter (24 percent) of Black respondents felt that the United States should not be involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict and that only 33 percent would be willing to send troops to the region if Israel is attacked by a neighboring state.

    It is fair to assume that the death of three Black service members in a drone attack near the Syria-Jordan border will conjure strong feelings about Biden’s Middle East posture and the perennial human and material costs placed upon the Black American community in wartime.

  20. anat says

    John Morales @30, I suppose the question is who are the people to whom the land in Palestine was given (see Katydid @12). But if this includes Jews who immigrated to Israel in the 1990s, then it also includes Jews who were living there at the time, regardless of whether they were born there or elsewhere.

    But in short, ever since the Holocaust, a large proportion of Jews (once again) either came from or descended from people who from MENA countries.

  21. John Morales says

    This may be upsetting.

    In the news:


    But in short, ever since the Holocaust, a large proportion of Jews (once again) either came from or descended from people who from MENA countries.

    My earlier links had a citation: “Source: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics.”

    If you think that’s wrong, fine. But that’s the source of those figures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *