Multiple Israeli missile strikes on the densely populated Jabaliya refugee camp has been a new source of division between Israel, the U.S., and much of Europe, and the rest of the world.
The first round of airstrikes last Tuesday killed at least 80 and injured hundreds. (Hamas put the death toll at 195.) The UN said the strikes could amount to war crimes.
The devastation was sudden.
“Children were carrying other injured children and running, with grey dust filling the air. Bodies were hanging on the rubble, many of them unrecognized. Some were bleeding and others were burnt,” one witness told CNN.
Politico, citing U.S. and Israeli officials, reported on Friday that the Pentagon requested an explanation for the attack from Israel, which has said the refugee camp was housing some of the top Hamas fighters who organized the 7 October attack.
TRENDPOST: It is worth noting that the bombing of Jabaliya sparked a tense exchange on CNN between Wolf Blitzer and Lt. Col. Richard Hecht of the Israeli Defense Forces.
Hecht said there was “a very senior Hamas commander in that area.”
“Sadly, he was hiding, again, as they do behind civilians,” he said.
Blitzer, who is Jewish and once worked for AIPAC before taking top anchor job at CNN, asked: “But even if that Hamas commander was there amidst all those Palestinian refugees who are in that Jabaliya refugee camp, Israel still went ahead and dropped a bomb there, knowing that a lot of innocent civilians, men, women and children presumably would be killed?”
Hecht called the deaths a “tragedy of war.” (See “HAARETZ NOTES THAT NEARLY HALF OF THOSE KILLED DURING HAMAS ATTACK WERE ISRAELI SECURITY FORCES” 31 Oct 2023, “U.S. CALLED OUT BY DEVELOPING WORLD FOR BLATANT HYPOCRISY OVER ISRAEL AND RUSSIA” 31 Oct 2023, and “ISRAEL ATTACKS UN CHIEF FOR SAYING THEIR SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENTS AND DESTRUCTION OF GAZA ARE ‘CLEAR VIOLATIONS’ OF INTERNATIONAL LAW” 31 Oct 2023.)
Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, echoed Israel’s comment that Hamas uses civilians as human shields.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told CNN that there is no amount of Palestinian casualties that would make him question Israel.
“No. If somebody asked us after World War II, ‘Is there a limit, what would you do to make sure that Japan and Germany don’t conquer the world?’ Is there any limit what Israel should do to the people who are trying to slaughter the Jews? The answer is no. There is no limit,” he said.
The New York Times, citing experts and an analysis conducted by the paper, reported on Saturday that Israel used two 2,000-pound bombs during the Tuesday airstrike. The paper said the bombs themselves are the second-strongest in the Israeli arsenal and has raised new questions about “proportionality.”
Israel carried out new strikes on the refugee camp just a day after the major blow.
Hamas denied that any senior commander was present in the refugee camp and deemed the claim an Israeli excuse for killing civilians, Al Jazeera reported.
Andre Damon, the WSWS writer used the Jabaliya attack as evidence that the U.S. and Israel finally knows what to do about the Palestinian problem.
“Israel, with the support of the imperialist powers, is waging a war of mass annihilation and ethnic cleansing aimed at killing as many Palestinians as possible and driving whoever is left alive out of Gaza – either scattered around the world as stateless refugees or driven into the Sinai Desert.”
Damon quoted Galit Distel-Atbaryan, a Knesset member and former information minister, who called for “erasing all of Gaza from the face of the Earth” and making it so “the Gazan monsters will fly to the southern fence and try to enter Egyptian territory—or they will die….Gaza should be erased.”
Craig Mokhiber, the outgoing director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, mentioned how the world body has failed the Palestinians.
“This is a textbook case of genocide,” he said in a parting note. “The European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase, toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous Palestinian life in Palestine. What’s more, the governments of the U.S., the UK, and much of Europe, are wholly complicit in the horrific assault. Not only are these governments refusing to meet their treaty obligations ‘to ensure respect’ for the Geneva Conventions, but they are, in fact, actively arming the assault, providing economic and intelligence support, and giving political and diplomatic cover for Israel’s atrocities.”
Indeed, American commandos were reportedly on the ground and the U.S. military has been flying drones above Gaza under the auspices of finding hostages.
Israel’s biggest cheerleader has been the U.S. and U.K. Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson made it his first order of business to approve new funding for Israel and quickly passed $14.3 billion in support – while cutting IRS funding. AntiWar.com noted that just 80 British MPs out of 650 have called for a ceasefire in Gaza.
The report noted that Israel has been assisted by a friendly media in the West that continually presents Gazans as terrorists, while Israelis are the “good guys” who not only have the right—but the obligation to defend itself from these Palestinian monsters.
The New York Times ran a story last week on how Fox News has essentially refused to present the Palestinian plight, and thus, has endeared itself to new Jewish viewers. The Times noted that Fox News has wrapped itself in the Israeli flag and its coverage “tends to emphasize the radical and antisemitic elements of the pro-Palestine opposition, particularly on college campuses, while playing down the civilian casualties from Israeli strikes.”
The phrase “Israel has the right to defend itself,” is the official line from both American officials and their British allies, and “serves as western cover for, and complicity in, the crimes against humanity Israel has been committing: mass killings and wanton destruction; a ‘complete siege’ of Gaza, starving it of food and water; and attacks on community infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, mosques, and UN compounds,” AntiWar wrote.
Blinken met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday to discuss the ongoing war. Blinken’s motorcade was met with protesters with signs: “Blinken blood is on your hands.” The Associated Press noted that the meeting ended without any public comment.
The AP, citing WAFA, the Palestinian news network, reported that the two discussed post-war Gaza that could mean giving control to the Palestinian Authority. Abbas said he would only consider such a plan if there is a “comprehensive political solution.” He said there will be no military solution for the conflict. He said Israel needs to end its occupation and the Palestinian state should be formed with the pre-1967 borders in mind.