Gaza: the reckoning

Fr Manuel Musallam, the Parish Priest of Gaza, has told Caritas Jerusalem:

"There are dead bodies lying on the streets. The clinics are carrying out operations on the floor and women have no place to give birth.

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"There is extreme fear everywhere here. The phosphorous gas being thrown in by Gaza is causing horrible reactions and the bombs the Israelis are dropping are literally cutting through people and through homes. You can hear children crying constantly. They don’t sleep. They have lost everything. 70,000 people are living in schools and they are very cold. The ones who haven’t gone to schools are living in their bathrooms or stairwells because they are afraid of shattering glass from bombs.

"The children are lacking medicine and are literally incontinent with fear. There is no water here. We are almost out of diesel for our generator that we have allowed people to come and cook from. When the diesel runs out we will have nothing."

Among the targets of Israeli shells:

 -- A medical clinic in Gaza run by Caritas Jerusalem, destroyed by an Israel F-16 fighter jet on Friday. The clinic, in the Al Maghazi district of Central Gaza, was completely destroyed in the bombing, that also razed four homes.

 -- On Saturday, a clinic run by the Middle Eastern Council of Churches in Al-Shuja’ia, east of Gaza City, was completely destroyed by another fighter jet. A telephone warning was given to evacuate the building within 15 minutes; the building was emptied, just before a warning shot was fired. That was followed by a direct hit from missiles fired by an Israeli air-force jet. This completely destroyed the building and its contents, including hundreds of thousands of pounds of medical equipment. There were no injuries in the attack. Nor was any reason for the attack given.

-- The Al-Quds hospital.

-- A mosque.

-- A U.N. compound which was today subject to shelling by white phosphorus shells, incinerating food and medicines. White phosphorus is an incendiary weapon which a 1983 international convention bans in the use against civilians. Phosphorus carries on burning, even if you throw water on it. The compound belonged to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

-- Two buildings used by international media.

In a statement, the Israeli military said it targets only locations used by Hamas "for terrorist purposes," or to fire at Israeli troops or civilians.

Palestinians killed in Israel’s offensive: 1,095. Nearly half are civilians. More than 330 are children. Wounded: 5,100.

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9 years ago
I have frequently said and written that I am not an uncritical and unquestioning supporter of Israel. Israel has done some terrible things in its history. But let us not forget, in the flood of horrifying images from Gaza, that Hamas is not without blame in this affair. Where it could have striven to improve the lot of the Palestinians in Gaza, it chose instead to relentlessly (if ineptly) attack Israel and to refuse any attempt at peacemaking except on terms Israel could never accept. Both sides have bloody hands, and both are foundering in a moral swamp of their own making; however, until there is criticism of the actions of Hamas to equal the criticism of Israel, I don't think any objective observer needs to listen. A plague on both their houses.
9 years ago
Q: The greatest violation in the UN's history? A: This is the multi-state arab attack on the UN established state of Israel in '48. This attack flaunted the UN, which conducted a vote whereby all the world's nations voted, and the attacking Arab states even participated in the voting motion. When the votes favoured Israel, the Arabs declared open genocide. Why is there still no UN Resolution of this single greatest violation in the UN's history? Why is the world now aplouding Hamas - who voices the same declaration of Genocide - in open and blatant view of the UN? The UN is acting like a Madarassa - and should be taken to task here - it is legitimising terrorism and genocide - but this will not be limited only to Israel tomorrow.
9 years ago
End this civil war, either by giving Palenstinians full rights as Israeli's or giving Gaza back to Egypt, which was only kept due to long since ended Jewish settlement.
9 years ago
First, since when do Catholics fail to distinguish between aggression and defense? Second, how can one discount Hamas's implacable intent to destroy Israel? Why have they attacked Israel by suicide bomber, rocket and mortar when the border was open before and after Israel left Gaza? What responsible leadership immerses its militants among children and provokes the world's most technologically capable military into attacking by years-long attacks on their children? Why does Hamas refuse any ceasefire that implies they will refrain from such attacks even as its children die? Third, one can understand Fr. Musallem's despair, and every heart breaks at the pictures of the pitiable, bloody innocents who have been killed and maimed by the ferocious Israeli assaults. Every heart, even Israeli hearts but the hearts of Hamas's leadership. Why are they so stony, so steadfast in their stubborn lust to continue attacking Israel? Every Catholic should read the new collection of Islamist writings called "Islamism". Hamas are stony ideologues who believe it is God's will that they spread the beneficence, justice, freedom and peace of authentic 7th century Islam to the whole world by persuasion or by sword, starting with Israel and not ending with Rome. Weep for the Palestinians who had to choose such leadership to rid themselves of oppressive, corrupt Fatah.
9 years ago
How do you respond to this video and protect the innocent from Hamas? You Tube- Children of Hamas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTGbP55HGi8

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