by Stephen Lendman
Israeli terror attacks continue. They're merciless. Defenseless civilians are targeted. It's official policy in all Israeli conflicts. Besieged Gazans are sitting ducks.
Where can they go? How can they hide? What can they do but pray they'll survive? Many won't. Through midday Monday, Haaretz reported 95 Gazan deaths. Another report said 97. These numbers will rise.
Nearly 700 were injured. The great majority are civilian men, women, children, infants and the elderly. Many others are missing. They're presumed buried under rubble. Dozens of Israeli sorties are flown daily. Devastation is left in their wake.
A single Israeli strike killed three generations of one family. Eleven Palestinians died. All were civilians. Israel targeted their home. It was totally demolished.
Jamal Dalu was away when it happened. He lost his wife, two daughters, a sister, a daughter-in-law, four grandchildren aged two to six, and two neighbors.
IDF spokesman General Yoav Mordechai contemptuously said military officials were "examining the event."
Targeting was deliberate. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called it a "massacre." It was cold-blooded murder. So is Israel's entire campaign.
Senior Hamas spokesman Salama Maroof said:
"Israel has killed a family of eleven people this evening, and many, many more. If Israel wants to stop its aggression, then we can talk. But before then, how could we consider any deal?"
Haaretz covered what happened. It headlined "As IDF kills entire family in Gaza, Israel is starting to get in trouble."
Contributor Avi Issacharoff compared what happened to Israel's massacre of 57 Kafr Qana village civilians during its 2006 Lebanon war.
Thirty-seven children died. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora called bombing Kafr Qana a "heinous crime" committed by "Israeli war criminals."
The atrocity enraged people worldwide. Israeli state terror made headlines. Then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lied, saying:
"The village and its surrounding areas were a source for launching hundreds of rockets."
Israeli UN ambassador Dan Gillerman's vicious lie mocked the victims, saying:
Hezbollah was responsible for "using women and children as human shields."
During Cast Lead and other times, Israel was caught redhanded using Palestinians as human shields. Israeli soldiers broke the silence. They admitted what goes on.
Many Kafr Qana victims fled there to escape Israeli terror bombing. Tyre and surrounding areas were targeted. In many parts of Lebanon, no place was safe.
Israel's blitzkrieg killed over 1,000, injured thousands more, and displaced one-fourth of Lebanon's four million people.
The Kafr Qana massacre especially backfired. It turned world public opinion against Israel. Scars remain. Cast Lead highlighted them. So did massacring nine Mavi Marmara activists and attacking other Gaza humanitarian missions.
Murdering Jamal Dalu's family is Israel's latest atrocity. Live regional television showed dead bodies in Gaza's Al Shifa Hospital.
Haaretz said this attack and other civilian casualties get Israel in trouble. It should get responsible officials imprisoned for war crimes.
Haaretz editorials and commentaries largely support Israel's aggression. Issacharoff perhaps reluctantly admitted that the great majority of Gazan victims are civilians. He stopped short of explaining that targeting them is official Israeli policy.
"(H)arsh pictures from Gaza of small children who are wounded or killed arouse very unpleasant feelings," he said.
They "help to create especially supportive Palestinian and Arab public opinion for Hamas."
Social networks urge "revenge." Expect world outrage to grow the longer Israel's slaughter continues.
Israel is a rogue pariah state. Terrorism is official policy. Netanyahu is a world class thug. He's more mad dog than leader. He threatens the region and humanity. He heads Israel's most extremist ever government. Reelection in January looks likely.
Killing Palestinians is popular. Poll numbers suggest over 90% of Israeli Jews support attacking Gaza. Only 30% favor ground war.
Al Haq accused Israel of "indiscriminate attacks." Nothing deters Israeli lawlessness. World community pressure is absent. Israel has carte blanche to kill.
Al Mezan accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians. Israel committed "grave breaches of international law."
"Al Mezan condemns with the strongest terms the deliberate targeting of houses and other civilians objects in Gaza."
"These violations, along with other disproportionate attacks and extra-judicial executions, may amount to acts of war crimes and must be investigated and punished without delay."
"Attacks on homes and the murder of whole families call for immediate international intervention to stop IOF's aggression and provide effective protection for civilians in Gaza."
"Al Mezan highlights that the prevalent culture of impunity, which is the result of decades of failure to bring any perpetrators of war crimes to account, has encouraged such crimes to occur, and, as feared, it is children, women, and the elderly who are bearing the brunt of it."
On November 19, Russia Today said "Israel gives Hamas 36-hour ultimatum before starting major offensive." Thousands of troops, tanks, and heavy armor are positioned on Gaza's border. Invasion could happen any time.
Conflict shows no signs of abating. Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) said Israeli officials are weighing a possible ground operation "under strong Obama pressure" to hold off.
Truce talks in Cairo are ongoing. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi hopes to broker peace. Progress reports are mixed. Hamas said they failed. Egypt said they continue.
DF said Morsi "failed in his task (and) made matters worse." He bought time for Hamas. Israel sent senior military and intelligence officials to Cairo. "Hamas turned down all the truce proposals on the table."
DF didn't say they're entirely one-sided. Israel demands surrender. It also wants unilateral Gazan disarmament.
Hamas wants Gaza's lawless siege lifted. It also wants international community guarantees to stop Israeli assassinations and other attacks. Israel categorically won't agree.
A ground operation looks likely. Israel National News headlined "Intelligence Expert: Ground Move Required," saying:
Former deputy Shin Bet intelligence head Doron Weiss said there's no reason to fear international pressure. He called it "groundless."
"There is no reason why the IDF cannot carry out a limited operation in Gaza and leave in time," he said. Consensus seems building toward this conclusion or something similar.
DEBKAfile said Israel's ground operation was planned for Sunday. It's now delayed one or two days. It's unclear whether Cairo talks will resolve things. According to Hamas, they failed.
From Bangkok on his Asian tour, Obama said:
"We are fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself from missiles landing on people's homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians. And we will continue to support Israel's right to defend itself."
He ignored Gaza's siege, Israel's overall occupation harshness, and that Palestinian rockets and missiles respond defensively to Israeli attacks.
Washington supports Israel's worst crimes. Palestinian rights don't matter. They never did and don't now. Israeli aggression is called self-defense. Gazans are accused of terrorism for defending themselves.
Relentless Israeli attacks continue. Civilians remain most vulnerable. Electronic Intifada (EI) contributor Rami Almeghari lives and teaches in Gaza. He said "Gaza families huddle together." They hope doing so provides a measure of safety.
Fifteen Dalloul family members sleep in one room. They live in Gaza City's densely populated al-Zaytoun neighborhood.
Naeema Dalloul, a mother of seven, told EI:
"All the children and elder members of our family squeeze onto these mattresses when night falls."
"When the air strikes began on Wednesday I was on the phone with my husband, who is now traveling. I was concerned about my seven children, so I moved here to stay with them."
"But as you see the attacks are widespread and no one seems safe."
Israel has been heavily bombing al-Zaytoun. Other civilian neighborhoods are struck. Israel claims only militants are targeted. Israeli officials lie.
Days are terrifying. Nights are worse. Naeema added:
"My little four-year old daughter, Tala, just hides behind me whenever there is a loud Israeli airstrike heard in the background."
"This time is rather scary and no one can predict how things will turn out. But we are trying to cope as best as we can."
Almeghari said "children are so scared at night, even the older ones, that when they want to get up to use the bathroom at night they insist that their mother goes with them."
In a separate article, Almeghari discussed Omar Masharawi's death. He was 11-months old. An Israeli missile murdered him at home.
Doing so "left an aching hole in the home and hearts of" his family. He was "fatally burned all over his little body." His grandfather Ali said, "My children are not terrorists. They are not devils. They are good people."
The attack killed his daughter-in-law. One of his sons was seriously injured. Ali said he's always been peaceful even when he worked in Israel years earlier. Now he wants to "explode."
Omar's mother, Ahlam, said he "came to life and now he has left (us) so early….his little words are silenced."
Omar's father, Jihad, said he "hold(s) all of Israel, including politicians, military and ordinary people responsible for such atrocities that led to the death of my son, who was burned completely."
What kind of terror weapon incinerates babies? Israel uses them and others in all its conflicts. Neighbors said "a mass of fire hit the roof of the Masharawi" home.
Nothing justified attacking it. No militants were nearby. Things were calm, said Jihad. There was no "suspicious activity." He never imagined Israel would target his home. "Why," he asked?
A Final Comment
On November 19, Haaretz headlined "Israeli official: Chances 50 - 50 between Gaza truce and invasion," saying:
Netanyahu, Barak, and Lieberman met until 4AM Monday morning. They discussed an Egyptian ceasefire proposal. They decided talks should continue.
Egypt is trying to negotiate a comprise between what both sides want. If resolution isn't reached, the unnamed Israeli official said "we'll go into Gaza. There is no other way."
It's clear what Hamas and Israel want. It's not known what Egypt proposed. Halting Israeli attacks short of ending Gaza's siege and assuring the safety of 1.7 million people resolves nothing.
Hopefully, Hamas will hold firm for what's right and essential. The alternative is continued conflict.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.