April 8, 2011 from http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=2957
Israel is again inflicting death and destruction using U.S.-supplied weapons against Palestinians in the besieged and occupied Gaza Strip, demonstrating the dramatic imbalance of power in this conflict. According to press reports, in just 24 hours, Israel has killed 13 Palestinians in Gaza and injured dozens; in Israel two people have been injured.
Israel appears to be deliberately escalating this pattern of strikes and counter-strikes, which began on March 16, when an unprovoked air strike by Israel killed two Hamas militants and injured another at the same time as Israel further tightened the siege on Gaza by closing the Karni crossing, the main entry point for goods into Gaza.
From March 16-30, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Israel killed 15 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including four children. See this timeline by the Alternative Information Center here.
Until Israels March 16 attack, an informal ceasefire had been in place since Israel’s devastating Cast Lead assault ended in 2009. Even the Israeli daily Haaretz wrote on March 24: Despite the escalation, Hamas does not seem to want large-scale clashes yet. The organization actually has good reasons to believe that Israel is the one heating up the southern front.
So what can we do?
1. Stay informed. This escalation may or may not be a prelude to a massive Israeli attack on Gaza. We should all be monitoring the situation as it develops. The Institute for Middle East Understanding already posted an interview from Gaza recorded last night on its website (www.imeu.net) and will be providing timely news updates and other resources. Check out other resources like www.electronicintifada.net (see especially Ali Abunimahs Another War on Gaza?) and The Palestine Center.
2. Challenge the Discourse. In the United States the clashes again are being framed in terms of Israels security, no matter what the cost in Palestinian lives and injuries. But only a ceasefire, along with an end to Israels illegal siege and occupation of Gaza, can bring security for all and a ceasefire was in place until Israel broke it.
Another point to make: It is no coincidence that Israel is escalating its actions against Gaza after Justice Richard Goldstones rethink of one aspect of the UN report. But lets be clear: Goldstone did not retract the report’s findings. Nor does he have the authority to do so: This is the report of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict that grouped four distinguished experts and is now the property of the UN.
3. Demand the lifting of the siege on Gaza: The collective punishment imposed on Gaza violates international humanitarian law. The United States should end its military aid to Israel because of its many violations of Palestinian human rights and U.S. laws. Get involved in our campaign to challenge military aid to Israel.
Together, we can end U.S. support of Israel’s violations of human rights and uphold international law.
Nadia Hijab, US Campaign Advisory Board
Josh Ruebner, US Campaign National Advocacy Director