FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

In Gaza, Children Are Pawns of War

by

In one of its latest attacks, the Israel Defense Forces killed ten people in a Gaza park, nine of them children. As the number of Palestinian dead soars over one thousand, most of them civilians -of which at least a quarter are children- one wonders how this kind of behavior can continue withoout a serious response from the US. That huge numbers of children should die in these attacks is a serious indictment of the Israeli military’s behavior, which has been condemned around the world.

The Israeli Broadcasting Authority has banned a radio advertisement by B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization, which listed the names of some of the children killed since the start of the conflict. B’Tselem’s appeal against this decision was rejected. In its appeal, B’Tselem wanted to know the reasons for the rejection and said, “Is it controversial that the children aren’t alive? That they’re children? That those are their names? These are facts that we wish to bring to the public’s knowledge.”

While the Israeli media refuses to cover the extent of children’s deaths, more than 800 people have already been killed in Gaza, of which more than 160 of are children. “The shocking number of children being killed, injured, or displaced in Gaza demands an unequivocal international response to stop the bloodshed. Entire families are being wiped out in seconds as a result of targeting of homes,” stated Save the Children, an independent charity for children in need.

In the meantime, hospitals are overwhelmed as the Israeli offensive in Gaza continues unabated, and emergency room medical supplies are running out fast. There has also been a significant increase in premature births, reaching levels double the average daily rate. “We have witnessed many premature births as a result of the fear and psychological disorders caused by the [IDF] offensive,” said Dr. Yousif al Swaiti, director of al-Awda hospital, the largest and the most important facility for Union of Health Work Committees.

Pernille Ironside, a UNICEF officer in Gaza, stated on PBS, “We’re now over 1,100 children who have been seriously injured, maimed and even terribly burned. The physical and psychological toll that this is having on people is –it’s truly- it’s almost indescribable…The fact of the matter is that there is no safe place here.”

The UN Human Rights Council has voted to create an independent commission to investigate potential war crimes by Israel and Hamas. According to the Palestinian human rights group Mezan, 477 civilian houses have been destroyed since the beginning of the conflict, and 332 people have died in their homes. The attacks on Palestinian homes and hospitals raise a “strong possibility that international law has been violated,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

On July 24, 15 people were killed by an IDF airstrike at a United Nations school converted to house displaced families. Robert Turner, director of operations in Gaza for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said that no warning was given by the IDF before the missile strike.

Aahed Bakr, a fisherman whose four sons were killed by a rocket strike while playing hide and seek on the beach said, “We can’t understand what’s happening around us. Every day there is a new massacre. It’s really something my brain can’t take anymore.” Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, said that the IDF should have been able to tell that four boys it killed on a Gaza beach last week were not Hamas operatives.

The IDF assault on Gaza has killed more children than Hamas fighters, according to children’s rights groups like Defence for Children International and World Vision. The IDF’s latest operation in Gaza is called “Operation Protective Edge.” Given the number of children killed so far a more appropriate name would be “Operation Targeting Children.”

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

More articles by:
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
Stephanie Van Hook
The Time for Silence is Over
Ajamu Nangwaya
Toronto’s Bathhouse Raids: Racialized, Queer Solidarity and Police Violence
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail