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GAZA

by Dorothy Friday, Jul. 14, 2006 at 7:20 PM

Dear All, The Israeli media has diverted attention, almost entirely, from Gaza to Lebanon since yesterday's events there. So that you will know that Israel's war on Gaza has not ended, below are 2 reports on Gaza, followed by statistics (from Mona's blogg). Lastly is an analysis by Tanya Reinheart of why the IOF is in Gaza and what the government intends the IOF to do there. Best, Dorothy



http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5175002.stm

Israel hits Palestinian ministry

Israeli jets have attacked the Palestinian foreign ministry building in Gaza, wounding at least 10 people living nearby.

Israel said the pre-dawn raid was aimed at Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahhar, who it accused of complicity in the capture of an Israeli soldier two weeks ago.

Earlier, Mr Zahhar said negotiations were the only way to end the crisis.

The latest attacks in Gaza came as Israel stepped up action against the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

Hezbollah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers on Wednesday, and killed eight when Israel sent troops into southern Lebanon on a rescue mission.

Overnight Israeli jets hit targets across southern Lebanon and struck Beirut's international airport, forcing it to close. By Thursday morning a land and sea blockade was in force.

In Gaza, where militants have held Cpl Gilad Shalit captive for two weeks, at least 23 civilians have died since Wednesday morning, including nine in one family whose Gaza City home was bombed.

The leader of Hamas's military wing was among the injured in that attack.

Mixed messages

The strike against the foreign ministry occurred at 0130 local time (2230 GMT Wednesday), when the building was likely to have been empty.

Parts of the five-storey building were destroyed, and there was widespread damage to nearby areas.


Everybody here is wanted by Israel, everybody is a target, every house is a target and every tree is a target.
Mahmoud Zahhar
Palestinian Foreign Minister


There were no reports of injuries inside the ministry, but at least 10 people, including several children, were injured in nearby homes, Palestinian medics said.

Israel confirmed the air strike on the Palestinian foreign ministry, and accused Mr Zahhar and Hamas of direct involvement in "terrorism and violence".

"He had knowledge of the recent hostage taking, and he is part of a leadership that has orchestrated rocket attacks, countless rocket attacks, countless missile attacks against Israeli urban areas," said government spokesman Mark Regev.

But the BBC's Wyre Davies, in Gaza City, says that before the attack Mr Zahhar gave a series of media interviews suggesting both sides needed to make a deal.

Speaking after the attack, Mr Zahhar, who has survived previous attempts on his life, appeared unfazed.

"Everybody here is wanted by Israel, everybody is a target, every house is a target and every tree is a target. This is the destructive system built in what is called Israel," he said.

Home destroyed

The family of nine killed on Wednesday were hit in an Israeli air strike which targeted the Gaza City home of Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif.

Hamas denied he was in the house at the time, but the BBC has learnt that he was in fact injured in the attack.

Some 80 Palestinians and one Israeli have died since Cpl Shalit, 19, was seized at a border post.

Israel says its offensive is designed to free Cpl Shalit and end rocket attacks on southern Israel by Palestinian militants.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/5175002.stm

Published: 2006/07/13 12:32:59 GMT

© BBC MMVI

----------------------------------







9 Qassams fall in south

Since midnight Palestinians fired 9 Qassams at Ashkelon, Sderot; Red Dawn system not activated; Sderot residents demand tough military action



http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3275335,00.html



Shmulik Haddad



If Katyusha attack in the north were not enough, Palestinian gunmen on Thursday fired nine Qassam rockets towards Ashkelon and Sderot.

For unknown reasons, the Red Dawn alert system was activated intermittently, leading residents to complaint to security officials.

Military officials said the rockets were small and could not be identified by the system.

In a protest tent set outside the municipality building in Sderot protesters hanged a banner reading: "Our hearts are with northern residents."

Ariyeh Cohen, who is leading the protest, said that residents are refraining from criticizing the security forces, but added that the Palestinians are using the situation in the north to fire rockets at Israel.

Cohen said southern residents hope the Israel Defense Forces will step up operations in Gaza. "That's the time to act firmly and decisively against rocket fire and of course to return kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit who is in the Gaza Strip."

The tent hosted a Sderot resident whose wife suffered from shock in rocket attacks on the city.

She has been receiving medical treatment for anxiety. Her husband suggested she moves to his parents' in the northern town of Ma'alot, where she is staying.

Cohen said of the couple: "When rockets fell in the Ma'a lot area, she panicked and left for Nahariya to her parents and today a Katyusha fell 10 meters away from the house in which she was staying. She became anxious especially being a Sderot resident. What’s absurd is that she suggested her parents accompany her to Sderot until the situation calms down in Sderot."

------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, July 13, 2006
ministry of health statestics,injured and dead in Gza
Yesterday the Palestinian Mininstry of health officially declared that the number
of martyrs is 82 people and 271 injured from 30 - 6 - 2006 to 12 - 7 - 2006. Among
the martyrs 22 children. The number is expected to increase because there are
still casualties in the intensive care units.


2am 13 july 2006
2 successive big explosions wakened me up,sondos jumped quickly to my bed , frightened, shivering and covered her head,with the blanket,it was too big explosion,but not sonic booming , i am an expert now , the power was of, it was great blessing last night we had it for 5 hours ,i switched on the local radio,the Islamic university building was hit ,as well as the Fireign Ministry building ,200 meters from my place ,i decided to write in the morning , my daughter was too frightened , i felt strong enough to stay by her side.


in love peace and solidarity
Mona

posted by Mona_Elfarra at 10:33 AM | 0 comments

My visit to Attar Family 11.7.2006
Dear all
I feel emotionally strained, after visiting the Attar family, in Beit Lahia village North of Gaza, it was my second visit, I went there with 2 of my colleagues with some little presents for the kids, 50 kids received little parcels donated from MECA for peace (USA people).
The Israeli army reoccupied the village, for continuous 3 days, it was part of its military operation in Gaza, during these three days, the army made great damage into this family 3 storey building, before occupying it, to use the roof as a base for snipers, 40 members of this extended family were kept in one room, unable to go out for 3 continuous days, with no water no electricity, I was told, that the whole family were forced to get out of their house, they stayed in the very hot afternoon sun, for 4 hours at least,infront of their house, then they were kept in that room, for three days, I met 40 children ,5 at least are infants and a twins, feeding those babies was big problem(you can see some of the photos in previous bog).
I met 7members of this family, with visual impairment disability,
It broke my heart, when I asked the grandfather of this extended family, why do you think they have chosen your home? He answered me simply, I only have children and people with special needs, I am soft target, he did not know that his house position is strategic location for snipers, it lies on a hill that overview the whole village, it is just right place for snipers,
One of the small girls hold my hand, and said: look there, we were in the sun for long period, next to the donkey place, it was hot I was thirsty, my baby brother was crying, and I was terrified, I wet my pants,
What happened with this family is happening everyday in Gaza, with different shapes, those children will suffer from PTSS, and waiting for years ahead to be healed, as an outcome the hatred will grow, inside themselves, with painful memories, I
I handed the gifts to the kids, telling them it is from American people who care, and thinking of you, they are not the American government that helps this army to have free hand in our country,

I always think of the safety of the Israeli kids and civilians, and I am totally against hurting civilians, but I do believe that the comparison of suffering is unfair, and not objective, I have an offer for Israel to send 1.5 million Israelis to live in Gaza, under those circumstances!!!!!!!
, Any way both of us suffer, it is an outcome of injustice and occupation

In love and solidarity
Mona



Thursday, July 13, 2006
ministry of health statestics,injured and dead in Gza
Yesterday the Palestinian Mininstry of health officially declared that the number
of martyrs is 82 people and 271 injured from 30 - 6 - 2006 to 12 - 7 - 2006. Among
the martyrs 22 children. The number is expected to increase because there are
still casualties in the intensive care units.


2am 13 july 2006
2 successive big explosions wakened me up,sondos jumped quickly to my bed , frightened, shivering and covered her head,with the blanket,it was too big explosion,but not sonic booming , i am an expert now , the power was of, it was great blessing last night we had it for 5 hours ,i switched on the local radio,the Islamic university building was hit ,as well as the Fireign Ministry building ,200 meters from my place ,i decided to write in the morning , my daughter was too frightened , i felt strong enough to stay by her side.


in love peace and solidarity
Mona

posted by Mona_Elfarra at 10:33 AM | 0 comments

============================



Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 09:55:15 +0300

From: Ran HaCohen <hacohen@post.tau.ac.il>

Subject: [alef] FW: Reinhart: What are they fighting for



WHAT ARE THEY FIGHTING FOR

Tanya Reinhart

A shorter version of this article was scheduled to appear Thursday, July

13 in Yediot Aharonot, but postponed to next week because of the

developments in Southern Lebanon. (*)

Whatever may be the fate of the captive soldier Gilad Shalit, the

Israeli army's war in Gaza is not about him. As senior security analyst

Alex Fishman widely reported, the army was preparing for an attack

months earlier and was constantly pushing for it, with the goal of

destroying the Hamas infrastructure and its government. The army

initiated an escalation on 8 June when it assassinated Abu Samhadana, a

senior appointee of the Hamas government, and intensified its shelling

of civilians in the Gaza Strip. Governmental authorization for action on

a larger scale was already given by 12 June, but it was postponed in the

wake of the global reverberation caused by the killing of civilians in

the air force bombing the next day. The abduction of the soldier

released the safety-catch, and the operation began on 28 June with the

destruction of infrastructure in Gaza and the mass detention of the

Hamas leadership in the West Bank, which was also planned weeks in

advance. (1)

In Israeli discourse, Israel ended the occupation in Gaza when it

evacuated its settlers from the Strip, and the Palestinians' behavior

therefore constitutes ingratitude. But there is nothing further from

reality than this description. In fact, as was already stipulated in the

Disengagement Plan, Gaza remained under complete Israeli military

control, operating from outside. Israel prevented any possibility of

economic independence for the Strip and from the very beginning, Israel

did not implement a single one of the clauses of the agreement on

border-crossings of November 2005. Israel simply substituted the

expensive occupation of Gaza with a cheap occupation, one which in

Israel's view exempts it from the occupier's responsibility to maintain

the Strip, and from concern for the welfare and the lives of its million

and a half residents, as determined in the fourth Geneva convention.

Israel does not need this piece of land, one of the most densely

populated in the world, and lacking any natural resources. The problem

is that one cannot let Gaza free, if one wants to keep the West Bank. A

third of the occupied Palestinians live in the Gaza strip. If they are

given freedom, they would become the center of Palestinian struggle for

liberation, with free access to the Western and Arab world. To control

the West Bank, Israel needs full control Gaza. The new form of control

Israel has developed is turning the whole of the Strip into a prison

camp completely sealed from the world.

Besieged occupied people with nothing to hope for, and no alternative

means of political struggle, will always seek ways to fight their

oppressor. The imprisoned Gaza Palestinians found a way to disturb the

life of the Israelis in the vicinity of the Strip, by launching

home-made Qassam rockets across the Gaza wall against Israeli towns

bordering the Strip. These primitive rockets lack the precision to focus

on a target, and have rarely caused Israeli casualties; they do however

cause physical and psychological damage and seriously disturb life in

the targeted Israeli neighborhoods. In the eyes of many Palestinians,

the Qassams are a response to the war Israel has declared on them. As a

student from Gaza said to the New York Times, "Why should we be the only

ones who live in fear? With these rockets, the Israelis feel fear, too.

We will have to live in peace together, or live in fear together." (2)

The mightiest army in the Middle East has no military answer to these

home-made rockets. One answer that presents itself is what Hamas has

been proposing all along, and Haniyeh repeated this week - a

comprehensive cease-fire. Hamas has proven already that it can keep its

word. In the 17 months since it announced its decision to abandon armed

struggle in favor of political struggle, and declared a unilateral

cease-fire ("tahdiya" - calm), it did not participate in the launching

of Qassams, except under severe Israeli provocation, as happened in the

June escalation. However, Hamas remains committed to political struggle

against the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. In Israel's view, the

Palestinians elections results is a disaster, because for the first time

they have a leadership that insists on representing Palestinian

interests rather than just collaborating with Israel's demands.

Since ending the occupation is the one thing Israel is not willing to

consider, the option promoted by the army is breaking the Palestinians

by devastating brutal force. They should be starved, bombarded,

terrorized with sonic booms for months, until they understand that

rebelling is futile, and accepting prison life is their only hope for

staying alive. Their elected political system, institutions and police

should be destroyed. In Israel's vision, Gaza should be ruled by gangs

collaborating with the prison wards.

The Israeli army is hungry for war. It would not let concerns for

captive soldiers stand in its way. Since 2002 the army has argued that

an "operation" along the lines of "Defensive Shield" in Jenin was also

necessary in Gaza. Exactly a year ago, on 15 July (before the

Disengagement), the army concentrated forces on the border of the Strip

for an offensive of this scale on Gaza. But then the USA imposed a veto.

Rice arrived for an emergency visit that was described as acrimonious

and stormy, and the army was forced to back down (3). Now, the time has

finally came. With the Islamophobia of the American Administration at a

high point, it appears that the USA is prepared to authorize such an

operation, on condition that it not provoke a global outcry with

excessively-reported attacks on civilians.(4)

With the green light for the offensive given, the army's only concern is

public image. Fishman reported this Tuesday that the army is worried

that "what threatens to burry this huge military and diplomatic effort"

is reports of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Hence, the army would

take care to let some food into Gaza. (5) From this perspective, it is

necessary to feed the Palestinians in Gaza so that it would be possible

to continue to kill them undisturbed.



==============

*Parts of this article were translated from Hebrew by Mark Marshall.

(1) Alex Fishman, Who is for the elimination of Hamas, Yediot Aharonot

Saturday Supplement, June 30, 2006. See also Alex Fishman, The

safety-catch released, Yediot Aharonot June 21, 2006 (Hebrew), Aluf

Benn, An operation with two goals, Ha'aretz, June 29 2006.

(2) Greg Myre, Rockets Create a 'Balance of Fear' With Israel, Gaza

Residents Say. The New York Times, July 9, 2006.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/world/middleeast/09rockets.html?ex=131

0097

(3) Steven Erlanger, "U.S. Presses Israel to Smooth the Path to a

Palestinian Gaza", New York Times, August 7 2005.

The planned July 2005 offensive is documented in detail in my The Road Map

to Nowhere - Israel Palestine since 2003, Verso, September 2006.

(4) For a detailed survey of the U.S. administration's present stands,

see Ori Nir, U.S. Seen Backing Israeli Moves To Topple Hamas, The

Forward, July 7, 2006. <http://www.forward.com/articles/8063>

http://www.forward.com/articles/8063

(5) Alex Fishman, Their food is finished, Yediot Aharonot, July 11,

2006.



http://www.tau.ac.il/~reinhart

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This Mail Was Scanned By Mail-seCure System

at the Tel-Aviv University CC.









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