As all can plainly see, just as the US used inhuman sanctions to weaken the will of Iraqis just prior to their invasion, Israel used their blockade to weaken the Palestinian will to resist. This attack and invasion were planned no less than 6 months ago. The ceasefire, which Israel alone is responsible for violating, just served to give Israel time to weaken and demoralize the Palestinian civilian population.
Appalled that fighting was still continuing in Gaza despite a Security Council’s ceasefire resolution, senior United Nations officials said today they were horrified at the human costs amid reports that over 40 per cent of the nearly 900 Palestinians killed in the Israeli offensive, and almost half of the 3,860 wounded, were women and children.
“Behind those statistics that we read out every day is really profound human suffering and grave tragedy for all involved and not just for those who are killed and injured but for their families as well,” UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Director of Operations John Ging told a news conference in New York, speaking by video link from Gaza, where he had just visited the main Al Shifa hospital.
“(It) is the place of course where you see the most horrific human consequences of this conflict. Among the tragic cases that I saw were a child, six years of age, little or no brain activity, people don’t have much hope for her survival; multiple amputee – another little girl; and a pregnant woman who’d lost a leg,” he said, as the Israeli offensive went into its 17th day with the stated aim of “ending Hamas rocket attacks into Israel.”
“The hospital is full of patients whose lives have been in many instances really destroyed, and they’re alive.” Mr. Ging paid tribute to “the heroes,” the Palestinian hospital staff who have been working round the clock and have lost track of time, and the 40 expatriate medical staff who have joined them from Norway, the Netherlands, Egypt and Jordan, among other places.
He said the sense of fear in Gaza was all pervasive among a population of 1.5 million. “In my three years here I have never witnessed anything like the scale of fear that is there,” he stressed. “We have to recognize that there’s no safe place in Gaza and that continues to be the case and the casualty figures speak to that.”
On a more positive note, the two officials reported that UN food delivery and other operations, suspended after a fatal attack on an UNRWA driver by Israel last week, have resumed following Israeli reassurances and aid is now moving around Gaza as much as possible.
Mr. Holmes said some food supplies were finally getting through and the power supply had improved because of infrastructure repairs being made and some fuel is getting through, but the situation was still far from satisfactory even if better than before. Some 500,000 people still lack water as Israel’s daily three-hour lull in fighting was insufficient for carrying out repairs and other UN operations, he added, urging Israel to extend the time period.
It is estimated that 35,000 Gazans have fled their homes for shelter in 38 UNRWA locations, and many more had sought refuge with relatives in other parts of the Gaza Strip.
The UN states that, “the solution here is to stop the fighting, stop creating the casualties, that’s what we want.”