it’s unbelievable really. i literally just shut down my computer to go to my friend mohammad’s house. he lives about 10 minutes away from my other friend’s house where i stay when i’m in amman. i had just finished blogging about last night’s israeli terrorist attack on an unrwa school where 13,000 palestinians, many of whom are already refugees from jewish (there were no israelis until 1948) terrorists’ ethnic cleansing operations during an nakba, who had fled their homes because of israeli terrorists’ murderous rampages had forced them to flee and because they are locked in the gaza concentration camp, they sought shelter in unrwa schools. this is not uncommon: when the lebanese army (in cahoots with saudi arabia and the united states) destroyed nahr el bared refugee camp in lebanon where did most palestinian refugees flee to (many of whom fled the lebanese forces attacks on tel al za’atar refugee camp in 1976 and also an nakba in 1948)? they fled to unrwa schools in other palestinian refugee camps in lebanon. the united nations, like hospitals, the media, ambulances are supposed to be protected. under international law, under international rules of war you do not target repeatedly such sites. and yet year after year the zionist regime does just that. look at their record it is not difficult to see the piles of evidence. and yet they did it again: now israeli terrorists have targeted not 1, not 2, but 3 unrwa schools–united nations schools–with palestinian internally displaced people (idps) fleeing from war seeking refuge inside.
where is the outrage over these clear violations of the geneva conventions? of international law? of humanity?
there are now 660 palestinian martyrs. there are now 2,950 palestinians injured, many in critical condition. 214 of these palestinians who were killed are children; 89 are women.
John Ging, Director of Operations in Gaza of UNRWA, said that 30 people died and 55 others were injured when three Israeli artillery shells landed at the perimeter of the school.
Ma’an spoke with witnesses who saw two shells exploding at the school. Medical officials at Gaza hospitals said 42 were killed.
Palestinians displaced by the Israeli military onslaught had taken shelter in the school.
Witnesses reported ambulances and private cars evacuating the dead and wounded, some of whom appeared to have been blown to pieces. Many women and children are said to be among the dead. Hundreds of people were reported to be in the area of the school at the time of the shelling.
Ma’an’s reporter said that dozens more, all civilians, were injured in the attack on the Al-Fakhoura School. The death toll is expected to rise as a number of the wounded are said to be in critical condition. Ambulances were initially unable reach the school.
The school is operated by UNRWA, the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees. UNRWA has been using its schools to house some of the 15,000 Gazans who have fled their homes due to Israel’s ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, which began on Saturday.
UNRWA says it handed over the GPS coordinates of all UN installations throughout the Gaza Strip to the Israeli military. The school was clearly marked as a UN facility.
Earlier on Tuesday, the United Nations confirmed that three refugees had been killed at 11:30 on Monday night when Israeli forces fired directly on a UNRWA school in Gaza City.
According to the UN, Another UNRWA school also came under fire in the city of Rafah. An UNRWA health clinic in Al-Bureij Refugee Camp was also damaged when an Israeli missile hit an adjacent building, injuring ten medics and patients.
“There’s nowhere safe in Gaza. Everyone here is terrorized and traumatized,” said John Ging, the top UN official in Gaza. He also said that people in Gaza are “entitled” to action by the international community to stop the Israeli invasion.
“I am appealing to political leaders here and in the region and the world to get their act together and stop this,” he said, speaking at Gaza’s largest hospital. “They are responsible for these deaths.”
ma’an news gives you a good overview of the facts. israeli terrorist newspapers like ynet, however, offer a great counterpoint to show you not only how they spin their propaganda, but also how they do this to justify the outright murder, massacre of civilian populations in a united nations facility–layer upon layer of war crimes. but the united states chimed in with complicity in these attacks with their weapons, rationalizing, legitimizing the slaughter of innocent civilians by repeating israeli terrorist propaganda that hamas uses human shields (when in reality it is israeli terrorists who nightly kidnap youth in the west bank and force them out of their houses as they make their nightly kidnapping rampages using these youth as human shields–i have a number of students who have told me harrowing stories about their experiences being forced to be human shields for israeli terrorists):
Dana Perino, spokeswoman for the White House, said: “I saw the reports about the school. I don’t have any information about that. I think that we should not jump to conclusions and we should wait to find out what the evidence says.
“What we do know is that Hamas often hides amongst innocents and uses innocent people, including children, as human shields.”
if you would like a truthful representative of what happened here is the report from al jazeera:
and here is unrwa’s john ging making strong statements about how palestinians in gaza are terrorized and holding the international community responsible for its inaction:
a reminder, as i mentioned earlier today, the israeli terrorist forces had all of the gps coordinates for all of the united nations facilities in gaza thereby rendering it a targeted attack:
But well before the current fighting, the UN says it had given Israeli authorities the GPS coordinates of all its installations in Gaza, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency school, which was struck by an Israeli missile on Monday.
“These tragic incidents need to be investigated, and if international humanitarian law has been contravened, those responsible must held accountable,” said UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory Maxwell Gaylard in a statement.
“There are no safe places to flee. We call on all parties to uphold international humanitarian law and protect civilians,” he added.
israeli terrorists not only assault refugees fleeing the fighting–albeit limited fleeing as they are enclosed in a concentration camp (what is that line in israeli terrorist propaganda about jews always worried about being pushed into the sea? what exactly are the israeli terrorists doing right now?)–they also assault the medical workers, ambulances, medical clinics and facilities trying, desperately to care for the wounded:
The Chair of the Palestinian Health Care Committees, Nihal Al-Akhras, called on the international community and human rights groups to pressure Israel to stop firing on medical facilities and workers in the Gaza Strip, a day after the Committees’ offices were destroyed.
Al-Akhras said that Ad-Dura Hospital was bombarded, and that a building in the Ar-Rimal neighborhood in Gaza City the Health Care Committees was completely destroyed. Three mobile clinics provided by a Danish aid agency were also destroyed.
He said that the world must place pressure Israel to comply with the Geneva conventions governing the conduct of war.
According to DanChurchAid, which donated the mobile clinics, the vehicles were parked by the Union of Healthcare headquarters and all were clearly marked with red crosses and the marked “Mobile Clinic.”
“We’ve been able to help the wounded and suffering so far, because our vehicles have been present and ready inside Gaza. This possibility of emergency aid is now in ruins. We are deeply shocked that the Israeli air strikes directly prevent the humanitarian aid effort.”, says Henrik Stubkjær, Secretary General of DanChurchAid.
and here is a report that includes statements about these attacks on the medical sector from the international red cross:
Meanwhile the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which has declared a “full-blown humanitarian crisis” in Gaza, said it is investigating reports that a Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) ambulance station in Jabaliya refugee camp was targeted Monday night.
In an earlier attack last Friday, the ICRC reported that two clearly marked ambulance medics from the PRC, evacuating the dead and wounded from an earlier Israeli attack, were targeted by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) fire.
The paramedics were wearing fluorescent jackets and their ambulances had flashing lights visible from a considerable distance.
“I have no doubt that one missile was aimed at us. I do not know for certain whether it was meant to kill us or warn us to keep away, but it was definitely aimed in our direction,” said Palestinian ambulance driver Khaled Abu Saada.
Sammy Hassan, a spokesman from Shifa Hospital said in the last week that four ambulance personnel had been killed in Israeli strikes. “One was a doctor and the other three were medics. We are very worried about our ambulance staff,” Hassan told IPS.
for readers interested in really understanding the origins of terrorism in the region: it began when the jews started to colonize palestine (again, i am using the word jew here because there were no israelis then). angry arab offers a very small and partial listing of such key events, though there are hundreds, if not thousands more over the last sixty-one years:
Who Started Terrorism in the Arab-Israeli Conflict?
Bombs in Cafes: first used by Zionists in Palestine on March 17th, 1937 in Yaffa.
Bombs on Buses: first used by Zionists in Palestine Aug. 20th-Sep. 26, 1937.
Bombs in Market Places: first used by Zionists on July 6th, 1938 in Haifa.
Bombing of Hotels: first used by Zionists on July 22nd, 1946 in Jerusalem.
Bombing of Foreign Embassies: first used by Zionists on October 1st, 1946 in Rome (against the British).
Mining of Ambulances: First used by Zionists on October 31st, 1946 in Petah Tikvah.
Letter Bombs: first used by Zionists in June 1947 against British targets in UK.
(for documentation, consult The Arab Women’s Information Committee and The Institute for Palestine Studies, Who Are the Terrorists? Aspects of Zionist and Israeli Terrorism, (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1972).
this is why people must organize to make the israeli terrorist state a pariah state by halting all forms of normalization with israel NOW. some people–clearly not americans, clearly not american academics–are on this now. in canada, for instance, in response to this caranage a bold new proposal has been drafted:
Ontario’s largest university workers’ union is proposing a ban on Israeli academics teaching in the province’s universities, in a move that echoes previous attempts to boycott goods and services from the Jewish state.
The resolution, proposed by CUPE’s Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee, is in protest against a Dec. 29 bombing that damaged the Islamic University in Gaza.
“In response to an appeal from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, we are ready to say Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general,” said Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario.
in a smaller gesture today, but one no less important (recall the significance of the sports boycott during apartheid south africa!) turkey halted a basketball game between israeli terrorists and turkey:
A referee suspended the game between Turk Telekom and Bnei Hasharon, part of a European basketball championship, and ordered the players back to the dressing room after hundreds of Turkish fans began chanting “Israel, killers!” in an Ankara sports centre, SkyTurk broadcaster reported.
and…of course, you gotta love hugo chavez. always. the man has cajones. while i heard that mauritania did the same today, coming from venezuela means so much more and i hope both of these countries’ attempts at halting normalization with the zionist terrorist regime has a tremendous domino effect around the world:
Venezuela has expelled the ambassador to Israel in protest over the offensive in the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 500 Palestinians, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
and here is what chavez had to say about the zionist terrorist regime today, a regime that is imprisoning 1.5 million palestinians and slaughtering them every day:
“The Holocaust, that is what is happening right now in Gaza,” Chavez said in televised comments. “The president of Israel at this moment should be taken to the International Criminal Court together with the President of the United States.”
and the rhetoric from jordan seems to be continuing on a path that suggests the same–god i hope!–will happen in jordan. king abdullah gave a speech tonight and spoke on al jazeera and used language such as “there is a conspiracy against the palestinians” and i suspect we can see the zionist terrorist ambassador to jordan leaving very soon. and don’t let the door hit you on your way out! it is such a hopeful possibility that i must cling to so that these martyrs who have been massacred in gaza do not die in vain. people in jordan are really motivated, getting out and doing things, even people who are not normally activists. people are forming new networks and trying to create change here. and the protests here are unprecedented, especially that the government even allows them to happen in the first place. there is also a tremendous relief operation going on, though it does not seem to be coordinated among the people. the blood bank refrigerators seem to be full and i don’t think blood has been taken to gaza yet. however, it seems that the hashemite kingdom has been getting some of its aid into gaza. though israeli terrorists seem to have an odd secret list about what they will and will not let in–which they do not inform people of here who are collecting the aid. for instance, goods made in syria or iraq are forbidden. as are used blankets; israeli terrorists are only allowing brand new blankets into gaza it seems. so jordanian activists are having to deal with figuring out what can and cannot go in. of course, if jordan kicks out the israeli terrorist ambassador its aid convoys will likely be forbidden to enter, at least through 1948 palestine. but i would argue that the larger good: halting all normalization in order to liberate palestine completely is for the larger good. this is the more important way to go. the moral way to go. doing so honors the steadfastness and patience of the palestinian people who will remain, who will not allow this to be another nakba as fida’ qishta writes about um muhammad, who just lost her sons by israeli terrorists:
“It’s true that I lost two of my sons but when I see other people’s misery I feel that my misery is small.”
“I’m like any person living here. I could die any night, killed by an Israeli attack. They just attack the area. I could be killed, who knows. I will die today or tomorrow or now. All the Palestinians here are threatened. I say every day, tomorrow I could die.”
“They want us to leave our homes, but it is in their dreams. They are wrong. We will not leave our homes. We will always stay here. It will not be like the 1948 war. We will stay in our homes, and we prefer to die in our homes. It’s an honor to die in our country rather than to escape. They will not evacuate our land and take it. They occupied our land and they came to us. Why did they come to us? We didn’t go to their homes but they came to ours. I don’t know what they want from the Palestinian people, or why they occupied us? We are strong in our faith, and God will always help us.”