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Posted by wmmbb in Israel-Palestine.

The asymmetrical violence between Greater Israel and Lesser Palestine has escalated. The West Bank is considered part of Israel. The last part of Palestine is Gaza, which Israel and Egypt have blockaded by air sea and land.

Now Israel, which might attributed as an act of desperation on the part of the Israeli Government to save face, have destroyed the sole power station within Gaza, and destroyed the last remnant of autonomy. This might be judged another war crime along with the attacks on hospitals.

ABC News reports:

Israel has knocked out Gaza’s only power plant, flattened the home of its Islamist Hamas political leader and pounded dozens of other high-profile targets, with no end in sight to more than three weeks of conflict.

Health officials said at least 30 Palestinians were killed in some of heaviest bombardments from air, sea and land since the Israeli assault began three weeks ago in response to Hamas rocket fire.

The Israeli offensive intensified following the deaths of 10 Israeli soldiers in cross-border attacks on Monday, with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning of a long conflict ahead.

Thick black smoke rose on Tuesday from blazing fuel tanks at the power station that supplies up to two-thirds of Gaza’s energy needs.

The local energy authority said initial damage assessments suggested the plant could be out of action for a year.

Electricity was cut to the city of Gaza and many other parts of the Hamas-dominated territory after officials say Israeli tanks shelled diesel tanks containing some 3 million cubic litres of fuel.

“The power plant is finished,” its director, Mohammed al-Sharif, said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

Gaza City municipality said damage to the station could halt many of the area’s water pumps, and it urged residents to ration water consumption.

The ABC does not report war crimes, although attributing the missile fire from Gaza, successful only to intensify Israel’s ongoing violence and dispossession against the Palestinians, as the cause of the violence. Context can be illustrated by consideration of incremental genocide. Michael Ratner puts the case:

Michael Ratner referred to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

Rosslyn Ross , in New Matilda, sets out a passionate position in which she calls on democratic people everywhere to take responsibility:

Why does Palestine matter more than any other conflict at present? Why is it so important that anyone of conscience condemns Israel?

Because, beyond the fact that Israel rampaging around the Middle East, armed to the teeth, acting like a lunatic in a bid to maintain its occupation of Palestine has the potential to throw the entire region into conflagration, and, as a nuclear-armed state, the capacity to harm millions around the world, freeing Palestine is important because their suffering and senseless slaughter at the hands of their occupier matters more desperately than most, because this injustice is our doing.

Because this travesty, this injustice, these war crimes, these human rights atrocities are our creation. Every one of us who is an adult and a citizen of a democratic nation which does not and has not spoken out against the barbarity of Israel as an occupier, coloniser and apartheid State is responsible.

The world allowed the immoral and illegal partition of Palestine. And the world has allowed nearly 70 years of Israel’s continued theft of Palestinian land and its continued abuse of a helpless indigenous people, and encouraged – in fact aided and abetted and enabled – Israel on its path to becoming something even more evil – an apartheid State which uses deadly and destructive military power to punish the Palestinians if they dare to resist.

Israel could not have become the monster that it has nor committed the evil that it has and does without the support, first and foremost of the Americans, who manage to put aside their pious and pompous talk about freedom and democracy when it goes against their interests, and when it is only ‘inferior’ brown and black ‘guys’ who are being slaughtered.

And then the support of every other craven, gutless, cowardly country like our own, Australia, which backs the evil that the US and Israel do to the Palestinians, either by omission or commission.

Toss in the corrupt, cowardly, craven, gutless, profit-driven press which in the main has ignored the suffering of the Palestinians and supported Israel’s war crimes and human rights atrocities and you have a perfect recipe for the rise of a nation, or rather the reducing of a nation, to that which equates with pure evil.

Enter stage left, Israel, the rogue state and pariah which has been brought to birth, aided and abetted, by the international community over the past seven decades. There have been a few lone ‘voices’ but generally Israel has been allowed to call itself victim while ‘crowing’ over the Palestinians it has dispossessed and murdered.

Why have we done this to Israel? Because what we have done to Israel in support of its barbarism and brutality is far worse than what it has done to the Palestinians.

Much of this is true. As Michael Ratner also observed Israeli Governments have an impunity from international sanctions because of the support of the USA and the exercise of the Veto power. It is useful to remember that it is human beings and human behavior, along with institutional and cultural framing, we are observing. So too, it is equally true of the “fascist behavior” demonstrated by Israeli crowds.

From Gaza, Paul Mason, Channel Four News (UK), reports in part:

If Israel stops now, Hamas wins a massive moral victory. Netanyahu said as much, on US TV. A poll today says 89 per cent of Israelis want their army to carry on fighting until they “topple Hamas”. It’s a fantasy – and a sick one because, to make it happen, you would have to fill these streets with civilian corpses, and on a scale far in excess of the 1,062 deaths so far.

Ameera, aged 15, has lived through night after night of bombing. “I am not frightened,” she says. Why not? “Because I am Palestinian. Palestine will be free, and I say again Palestine will be free, and I am not afraid of any Israeli.”

Outside the mosque, I meet a man in his 50s. “My home’s destroyed and I have lost two children, three and five years old, and my wife. Two other children are in the hospital. One lost his arm.”

He has that slightly hazy smile people wear when they feel things around them are unreal. What will you do now I ask him?

“I will blow myself up. I will wear a suicide belt and I will blow myself up. I have nothing to live for.”

When you see the rubble of a Palestinian house you have to understand what it means to men like that. People here don’t keep their money in banks: the wives buy gold, and the gold is used to finance children’s education, the family health bills. Everybody I’ve met who’s lost their home has lost some or all of their gold as well.

The property itself, the cinder blocks and wire and mortar, has been built floor by floor – often by extended families. Their entire live savings have gone into what is now a pile of rubble. And there will be no compensation: there’s no effective state and due to the Israeli blockade not even the right to import cement.

Of course violence gives rise to further violence, whether that be in Sarajevo in 1914, Eastern Ukraine or Gaza we are probably not seeing the tipping points or the cultural significance of events. Whatever happens in Gaza, it is not going unnoticed in the Muslim world from Algeria to Indonesia. At this time there is no just and peaceful outcome in prospect, and we might all give pause to what that might imply and take upon ourselves to such a outcome is made possible and is realized.

On Democracy Now, Sharif Abdel Kouddous reports that Israeli soldiers are shooting civilians in revenge for the death of fellow soldiers. Again, if true, not simply crossing red lines, but perpetration of war crimes.

The Mass Media, in the face of systematic propaganda, have a responsibility to ask critical questions and to keep in mind often they are passing on second hand reports. On Democracy Now, Gaza journalism, Mohammed Omer, reports from his home.



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