A Massacre in Palestine - Responses & Developments
A Massacre in Palestine - Responses and Developments
The Palestinian Resistance has issued a general call for an all out response to the Israeli massacre of Gaza - military, political and diplomatic action is already underway. Popular mobilizations in solidarity with the Palestinian people are sprouting up everywhere, both organized and spontaneous: within Israel itself, and in every country of the world, communities are mobilizing for demonstrations and other solidarity actions.
US-supplied Israeli warplanes struck heavily populated areas of Gaza in Palestine today, killing more than 200 people and injuring more than 700. Gaza's population of a million and a half has been under an Israeli blockade and military siege for the last eighteen months.
Children who were on the streets heading home from school were among the dead and injured, while almost every single building of the democratically elected Government of Palestine was targeted in the airstrikes. Some sources report more than 100 bombings - and the operations are not yet finished.
Some buildings were struck repeatedly in second and third waves of airstrikes, so that medics who rushed on site to rescue the injured were caught in the subsequent bombings and were killed as well.
TV stations in the Middle East are showing scenes of the streets of Gaza filled with dead bodies were they fell among the rubble and the flames. Some images of mutilated and grossly butchered bodies are so gruesome that digital masking was used to spare the viewers. Ma'an News Agency reports that according to medical sources most victims are being brought to hospitals "in pieces". Also, that hospital corridors and morgues have run out of space.
Kristen Ess, writing for the Palestine News Network reported that local stations are providing live coverage of the attacks, showing "...bodies are blown apart, children’s heads are split, there is blood everywhere and the cameras are shaking from the explosions."
The photo that accompanies this article was taken by a viewer watching Al Jazeera on television and published by the International Middle East Media Center. The dead pictured are civilian Police; the willful targeting of civilians is a violation of the Geneva Convention.
Many Governments around the world are condemning the actions, calling for a cease-fire and protesting the disproportionate force exerted by Israel. Many European and Arab Governments have been calling for calm and an immediate end to the operations. Russia, the Vatican and the EU also joined in expressing deep concern over the slaughter of innocents. Only the US and UK Governments have refused to join the world community, siding with the Zionist Israeli regime and making inflammatory and provocative statements calculated to add insult to the massacres.
Protests in solidarity with Palestine are springing up all over the world in every major city. Many political parties in Europe are issuing condemnations of the Israeli massacre.
In Palestine itself, as soon as news of the attacks spread to the communities and the scale of the atrocities was beginning to be known, demonstrations broke out everywhere, leading to battles of youth armed only with sticks and stones against Israeli troops who fought them with chemical and many other weapons - there were also arrests. Demonstrations took place in every city in the West Bank and also in East Jerusalem and Hebron.
Three days of mourning are being called all over the country, and a general strike is being organized in protest for the massacre.
Palestinian militia and resistance groups have launched about 70 improvised rockets targeting locations in Israel. One person has died in these attacks. Most of the rockets hit empty areas, causing no damages or injuries. There is a high possibility that the airstrikes might lead to a ground war and all the resistance forces are preparing to defend the neighborhoods.
Within Palestinian society, there is now a renewed urging for unity among the many factions, with a special concern for unity between Hamas and Fatah, the two largest and most influential of the Palestinian organizations.
The political leadership of Hamas has called for a Third Intifada (uprising). The call is for a Military Intifada against Zionist forces, and for a Peaceful Intifada "internally", meaning that there is concern to keep minimizing the scale of conflict between Hamas and Fatah and especially to avoid bloodshed.
As the world mobilizes to oppose Israel's atrocities, the cause of Unity is going to be the most crucial factor that will determine the outcome of every effort.
Cyprus IndyMedia Collective