Saturday, December 02, 2023

Pause over, the assault on Gaza continues

The pause is over, as Amy Goodman (DEMOCRACY NOW!) explained Friday, "Dozens of Palestinians have been killed after Israel resumed its bombardment of the Gaza Strip, ending a weeklong pause to facilitate the exchange of captives. Hamas responded by firing a salvo of rockets toward southern Israel. The U.N. says the resumption of violence puts thousands of innocent lives at risk."  Talks broke down again today regarding extending the pause.  And with the pause gone and attacks returning, CBS NEWS notes, "The International Rescue Committee, an aid group operating in Gaza, warned the return of fighting will 'wipe out even the minimal relief' provided by the truce and 'prove catastrophic for Palestinian civilians'." AP adds, "Bombardments on Saturday destroyed a block of about 50 residential buildings in the Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza City and a six-story building in the urban refugee camp of Jabaliya on the northern edge of the city, said the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs."

 CNN's Lina El Wardani, Kareem El Damanhoury and Mohammed Tawfeeq note, "At least 193 Palestinians have died since the truce expired on Friday and Israel resumed its offensive in the enclave, the ministry said." Among the dead today?  ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports, "An Israeli air strike targeting the town of Al-Faluja, 30 km (18 miles) northeast of Gaza City, has killed prominent Palestinian scientist Sufyan Tayeh and his family, the Palestinian Higher Education ministry announced on Saturday."  ALMAYADEEN adds, "Dr. Tayeh was a leading professor in theoretical physics and applied mathematics and a globally prominent figure in the two fields. He was also the President of the Islamic University of Gaza, the Strip's top academic institution, which was destroyed by the Israeli occupation military during its aggression on Gaza."  THE SUN notes, "According to the local Quds News Network, Tayeh was classified in 2021 being in the 2 per cent of the best researchers in the world.  Born in 1971 in northern Gaza, Tayeh was a researcher in physics and applied mathematics."


So, as  CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."  ABC NEWS notes, "In the Gaza Strip, more than 15,000 people have been killed and over 36,000 have been wounded by Israeli forces since Oct. 7, according to the Hamas Government Media Office."  In addition to the dead and the injured, there are the missing.  AP notes, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."  Max Butterworth (NBC NEWS) adds, "Satellite images captured by Maxar Technologies on Sunday reveal three of the main hospitals in Gaza from above, surrounded by the rubble of destroyed buildings after weeks of intense bombing in the region by Israeli forces. "


Today, US Vice President Kamala Harris met with Jordan's King Abdullah II, UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed and Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.  The White House issued statements (plural) noting: 

  

The Vice President discussed U.S. ideas for post-conflict planning in Gaza, including efforts on reconstruction, security, and governance.  She emphasized that these efforts can only succeed if they are pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people, toward a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority and backed by significant support from the international community and the countries of the region. The Vice President reiterated the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to a two-state solution, and noted it is the best path to durable peace and security. She emphasized the Palestinians’ right to dignity and self-determination and that Israelis and Palestinians must enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, and prosperity.




Josh Meyer (USA TODAY) reports:


Harris, in her most extensive public comments to date about the war in Gaza, stressed that Israel had a right to defend itself from attacks by Hamas, which killed about 1,200 people and kidnapped another 240 in a brutal Oct. 7 cross-border attack. She acknowledged that the U.S.-designated terrorist group wants to wipe out its existence, but added that Israel “must do more to protect civilian life” in its military response.

 

AP notes the speech:

 “Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating.’’

She added that as Israel “pursues its military objectives in Gaza, we believe Israel must do more to protect innocent civilians.”


REUTERS adds:

She also sketched out a U.S. vision for post-conflict Gaza, saying the international community must support recovery and Palestinian security forces must be strengthened.

“We want to see a unified Gaza and West Bank under the Palestinian Authority, and Palestinian voices and aspirations must be at the center of this work,” she said, adding that Hamas must no longer run Gaza.


While Kamala pretends that this is somehow just happening, the world knows that the Israeli government is carrying out the plan they intend.  Ralph Nader (COMMON DREAMS) observes, "Biden knows that the Israeli government is implementing what its ministers ordered on October 8th – a total siege with no food, no water, no electricity, no fuel, and no medicine which meets the definition of the crime of genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Israeli videos provide the grisly evidence of over 20,000 bombs and missiles striking homes, apartment buildings, schools, markets, water mains, bread bakeries, hospitals, clinics, ambulances and places of worship. After many days, the terror-stricken civilians, fleeing from one place to another in Gaza while being attacked, are also dying of disease, hunger, thirst, and a lack of critical medicines, such as insulin, with the bodies of infants and children still under the rubble in numbers too many to be counted."

While Harris is an elected leader, another US leader, of the military, spoke today on the topic.  THE NEW ARAB reports:


US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday urged Israel to protect civilians as it bombed Gaza in a bid to target Hamas, saying that shielding noncombatants is necessary for victory in its fight against the group.

Israel's indiscriminate bombing resumed the day before after a week-long truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed, with both sides blaming the other for the breakdown of the deal and the resumption of violence.

Austin told the Reagan National Defense Forum in California that he had "learned a thing or two about urban warfare" while fighting in Iraq and leading the campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group (ISIS).

"Like Hamas, ISIS was deeply embedded in urban areas. And the international coalition against ISIS worked hard to protect civilians and create humanitarian corridors, even during the toughest battles," Austin said.

"The lesson is not that you can win in urban warfare by protecting civilians. The lesson is that you can only win in urban warfare by protecting civilians," he said.

Harris and Austin weren't the only leaders on the world stage discussing Gaza today.  THE GUARDIAN notes the remarks of the President of France:


French President Emmanuel Macron warned Saturday that Israel’s aim of eliminating Hamas risked unleashing a decade of war.

“I think we’re at a point where the Israeli authorities are going to have to define their objective and desired end state more precisely,” Macron said at a press conference on the sidelines of the UN’s COP28 climate talks in Dubai.

Israel has vowed to eliminate Hamas in response to the 7 October attack, and has unleashed an air and ground campaign that has killed more than 15,000 people, also mostly civilians, the Hamas authorities who run Gaza say.

“What is the total destruction of Hamas, and does anyone think it’s possible? If it is, the war will last 10 years,” Macron said on Saturday.



Friday, on DEMOCRACY NOW!, Amy Goodman explained:

Israeli government officials knew Hamas was planning a large-scale attack on Israel more than a year ago, but failed to respond to specific warnings about the plot after dismissing it as “aspirational.” That’s according to an explosive report in The New York Times, which says Israeli officials intercepted a 40-page battle plan by Hamas detailing how its attack would play out — a blueprint Hamas closely followed on October 7.

Meanwhile, another explosive new report by +972 Magazine details how Israel is using artificial intelligence to draw up targets in Gaza, and how Israel has loosened its constraints on attacks likely to kill civilians. One former intelligence officer described the plan as a “mass assassination factory.” After headlines, we’ll go to Jerusalem to speak with Israeli investigative reporter Yuval Abraham, who broke the story.


Also noting the NYT report, Sharon Zhang (ZNET) writes:


For over a year, Israeli officials had detailed knowledge of the plan for the October 7 attack by Hamas forces — but, despite knowing about the devastation the incursion would cause, Israeli leaders declined to act, a new bombshell New York Times investigation reveals.

Documents, emails and interviews conducted by The Times show that Israeli military and intelligence officials possessed a 40-page blueprint for the attack. The document laid out specific plans for the attack, detailing which of Israel’s security measures Hamas forces planned to take out, including security cameras and automated machine guns around the border, and the points of the border wall Israel erected to sanction off Gaza that Hamas fighters would breach.

As the investigation finds, Hamas forces carried out the plan for what Israeli officials code-named “Jericho Wall” with “shocking precision.” It would result in the deadliest day for Israelis in the country’s history, with 1,200 people killed — and then, a genocide in Gaza that has killed over 15,000 Palestinians so far, which Israel has used the October 7 raid to justify at length.


Andre Damon (WSWS) looks at the report and offers


On Friday, the New York Times published a report establishing conclusively that Israel was fully informed, in detail, of plans by Hamas to attack its border that were executed on October 7. These revelations make clear that Israeli officials, knowing full well where and how Hamas would strike, made a deliberate decision to stand down in order to facilitate the attack.

These revelations mean that the Israeli government allowed and abetted the killing of their own citizens and that the Israeli government is responsible for the deaths that took place that day. This criminal conspiracy was aimed at establishing a pretext for a long-planned genocide against the people of Gaza.

Moreover, it is impossible to believe that the United States was uninformed of Hamas’s plans, under conditions where not only Israeli intelligence, but also Egypt had advance warnings of the attack. Everything points to a plot that involved Israel, the Biden administration and likely British and European intelligence agencies.

The Times published this report Monday as Israel launched a new wave of attacks on Gaza during a visit by Antony Blinken. The presence of the US secretary of state was meant not only to express the United States’ support for the renewed onslaught, but to manage the response to the exposure of this conspiracy.

[. . .]

Ultimately, a choice was made to allow Hamas’s operation to go ahead, in order to provide Israel with a pretext for a massive, long-planned military assault on Gaza. Only Netanyahu could make such a decision. The United States, meanwhile, instantly sent a massive military force to the region, announcing the deployment of its largest aircraft carrier and escort ship to the region within 24 hours of the attack.

The Times’ claim that Israel’s stand-down was an “intelligence failure” makes no sense because it is a lie from beginning to end. No, the events of October 7 were not an intelligence failure: Israel was remarkably successful in exactly predicting Hamas’s military operation. Instead of acting on this intelligence, Israel orchestrated a stand-down of troops and intelligence-gathering at the precise moment when the attack took place.

Kyle and Krystal discuss the NYT report in the video below.




Amy Goodman also noted the reporting of 972+ and, on Friday, devoted a segment to that.




 AMY GOODMAN: Israel has resumed airstrikes on Gaza after a weeklong truce ended. The strikes have reportedly killed at least 70 Palestinians. Israel is dropping leaflets ordering Palestinians in Khan Younis, the largest city in southern Gaza, to head further south toward Rafah. Since the October 7th Hamas attack, the Israeli bombardment has killed over 15,000 Palestinians, including 6,100 children. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has described the resumption of attacks as “very troubling.”

RAVINA SHAMDASANI: The resumption of hostilities in Gaza is catastrophic. We urge all parties and states with influence over them to redouble efforts immediately to ensure a ceasefire on humanitarian and human rights grounds. Recent comments by Israeli political and military leaders indicating that they are planning to expand and intensify the military offensive are very troubling.

AMY GOODMAN: Talks are reportedly continuing for a new truce and the release of more captives. Israel says it believes Hamas still holds 137 hostages kidnapped during the October 7th attacks.

We turn now to look at a stunning new exposé on how Israel is using artificial intelligence to draw up targets and how Israel has loosened its constraints on attacks that could kill civilians. One former intelligence officer says Israel has developed a, quote, “mass assassination factory.”

In one case, sources said the Israeli military approved an assassination strike on a single Hamas commander despite knowing the strike could kill hundreds of Palestinian civilians. Another source told +972 Magazine, quote, “Nothing happens by accident. When a 3-year-old girl is killed in a home in Gaza, it’s because someone in the army decided it wasn’t a big deal for her to be killed — that it was a price worth paying in order to hit [another] target. … Everything is intentional. We know exactly how much collateral damage there is in every [home],” unquote.

+972 also reports the Israeli military knowingly attacked civilian targets, including apartment complexes, universities and banks, in an effort to exert, quote, “civil pressure” on Hamas.

We’re joined in Jerusalem by the Israeli investigative reporter Yuval Abraham. His latest report for +972 Magazine and Local Call is headlined “'A mass assassination factory': Inside Israel’s calculated bombing of Gaza.”

Yuval, thanks for joining us again from Jerusalem. If you can talk about who your sources are and what exactly they’re using — the Israeli military is using AI for? Explain this idea of a “mass assassination factory.”

YUVAL ABRAHAM: Sure, yeah. So, I’ll start by saying, Amy, that, you know, there are some things that I can say and other things that I cannot say. You know, we, as Israeli journalists, are subjected to the military censors, so everything that I have published had to be vetted by the military. And also my knowledge is partial.

So, I’ve spoken to seven Israeli intelligence officers, some of them current, some of them former intelligence officers. All of them took part in wars against Gaza, in bombing campaigns, whether right now or in 2021, 2022 and 2014. And the use of artificial intelligence is an increasing trend that the army is adopting to mark targets in Gaza.

And I think a good year to look at to understand its beginning with relation to Gaza is 2019, when the Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi introduced this new division in the military called the Targets Division. And its idea was to bring together hundreds of soldiers and basically start to develop these AI algorithms and automated software to accelerate the target creation for strikes with life-and-death consequences in Gaza. And, you know, a source that actually took part in this division center said that they were being judged not by the quality of the targets that they were producing, but by the quantity, that the idea here was that if you want to create a certain shock effect, if you are fighting against a guerrilla group, like Hezbollah in Lebanon and/or Hamas in Gaza — this is the source saying — then — so, the source said that this shock effect is the way Israel views its war tactic against these organizations, and part of that is trying to accelerate the creation of targets.

Now, in 2014, which was the previous biggest Israeli assault on Gaza, according to sources that I’ve spoken with, the Israeli military ran out of targets after roughly three weeks. And that operation lasted for 50 days. And sources have described a sense that in previous operations, that the military just runs out of targets to bomb, and alongside that there is some political pressure or some need to continue the war, to create a victory image for the Israeli public, to work, you know, to apply more pressure. And I think this increasing use of artificial intelligence, this acceleration of target creation, in part, is a response to that problem, to running out of targets.

And what we know now from sources is that target production using these programs — one of them is called “The Gospel,” and according to sources, it does facilitate this mass assassination factory that I can get into in a moment. But the rate of creating the targets is now faster than the rate that Israel is able to bomb the targets. And in this Targets Division, according to the army’s sources, already 12,000 targets were created during this war in this Targets Division, using these artificial intelligence tools, which is too much — two times as many targets as were bombed in the entirety of the 2014 war, which lasted for 51 days.

AMY GOODMAN: Yuval Abraham is a journalist based in Jerusalem who writes for +972 Magazine and Local Call. He’s just written a piece called “'A mass assassination factory': Inside Israel’s calculated bombing of Gaza.” We’ll be back in 30 seconds.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: Students at the Ramallah Friends School in the occupied West Bank singing a solidarity song for the children of Gaza with their teachers Safia Awad and Issa Jildeh. In just a moment, we’ll be speaking with Elizabeth Price, the mother of one of the three Palestinian college students in the United States who was shot in Burlington, Vermont, Saturday night. But right now we’re continuing with Yuval Abraham, journalist based in Jerusalem, who writes for +972 Magazine. His most recent piece”:https://www.972mag.com/mass-assassination-factory-israel-calculated-bombing-gaza/, “'A mass assassination factory.'” Yuval, explain what a power target is.

YUVAL ABRAHAM: Sure, yes. So, power targets is a concept that was developed, according to intelligence sources in the military, first in 2014. And the military defines power targets as residential high-rise buildings. So they have eight floors, 12 floors, 14 floors. And the official military’s claim is that in each of these buildings there is military target that merits, that legitimizes bombing down the entire building. However, according to three sources in Israeli intelligence that I’ve spoken with who have deep knowledge of this tactic, who have been involved with bombing power targets, they say that the idea of power targets is to purposely attack buildings that have all of these civilian apartments in them in order to put pressure on Palestinian civilian society in Gaza, which is then translated to pressure on Hamas, civilian pressure on Hamas. I’ve heard this term several times in my conversations with intelligence sources.

Now, in 2021, Amy, the Israeli military bombed the Al-Jalaa building in Gaza, which — you know, it caused an international uproar because this was a building that hosted the AP, AFP and Al Jazeera media outlets. It was one out of nine high-rises that were bombed in 2021. I have managed to confirm from sources within Israeli intelligence that this was, in fact, a power target. One source said that there was this idea that if we bomb the high-rises, it causes the civilians to feel like Hamas is not sovereign, like they have lost control. One source said that he felt this was a form of a terror tactic.

Now, very importantly, the sources that I’ve spoken with have dealt with these power targets before 2023, before the current Israeli assault in Gaza. So I know less about the specifics of power targets that are currently bombed; however, we do know from official army statements that Israel, during the first five days, so up until October 11th and October 12th, has bombed 1,329 power targets. The military says that half of the targets that were bombed were identified as power targets in the military.

Now, during these five days, we know, of course, that hundreds of children have been killed. We have managed to find indications of these buildings that were bombed without an evacuation protocol. And this is a very important point, because, according to sources that I’ve spoken with, in the past the internal protocol in the military was that you can only bomb power targets, which are high-rise buildings or governmental buildings inside neighborhoods, after you’ve evacuated all the families from the building. This was a principle that was in place in 2021, where they bombed nine high-rises, nine power targets. And no civilian Palestinians were killed, because they did put in place an evacuation protocol. They call, you know, the guard in the building. It’s quite horrific. You know, there is little missiles. But at the end of the day, the goal was to put pressure on civilians by destroying their apartments, from what I’ve heard from sources, and not by killing them.

Now, I don’t know — again, I haven’t spoken to sources that have bombed power targets in this operation, but there are clear indications that I am finding in Gaza — for example, the Al-Mohandessin Tower, which was bombed, on top of all the families inside of it, or Babel Tower or Al-Taj Tower — that they were bombed while the families were inside. And I think — I am assuming, since these are high-rises, and since the military has said that it bombed over a thousand power targets, that these were power targets. So this is a shift. I mean, the evidence suggests there is a shift here of not only striking targets that are primarily intended to cause civilian shock or to put civilian pressure on Hamas — again, according to intelligence sources — but, apparently, in some of the cases, the evidence suggests that such targets have also led to the killing of families.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking Thursday at a news conference in Tel Aviv.

SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN: Israel has the most sophisticated — one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world. It is capable of neutralizing the threat posed by Hamas while minimizing harm to innocent men, women and children. And it has an obligation to do so. … The way Israel defends itself matters. It’s imperative that Israel act in accordance with international humanitarian law and the laws of war.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Yuval Abraham, if you can respond to what Blinken is saying? You know, at the beginning, after the October 7th attack, President Biden said that the support for Israel was unconditional, they could do anything they wanted. Now, clearly, with massive pushback in the United States with protests of people all over the country and around the world, you have both Biden and Blinken stepping back and saying you have to protect civilians. One of your sources suggested that the scale of this attack, with an unprecedented number of civilian casualties in Gaza, has to do in part with the Israeli military’s wish to redeem itself after the catastrophic failures of October 7th. And now you have this big New York Times exposé that Israel clearly knew a year ago the blueprint for this attack. And there are other reports, in Haaretz and other places, that say — I think they were called — the women surveillance soldiers along the Gaza border, I think they’re called spotters, were repeatedly telling their supervisors in the last weeks, in the last months, “We see this escalation here. It looks like Hamas is about to attack.” And they would be told they’d be brought up on insubordination charges if they kept pushing this issue. Yuval?

YUVAL ABRAHAM: Yes, Amy. It’s very important for me to respond to Blinken’s statements. And I have three things that I really want to say, and I really want people to listen to them.

The first is that the very real war crimes that Hamas has committed, you know, killing people — some of them I knew — massacring people, do not justify Israeli war crimes in Gaza that are being committed. That’s number one.

Number two, this idea that the military is doing whatever it can to keep civilians in Gaza safe or that it is using its technology to not harm civilians in Gaza is false. It’s not true. And I know this not only from looking at the catastrophic killing of so many civilians in Gaza, but also by speaking to intelligence sources who have told me that now all of the previous restrictions, that were already permissive, into harming civilians have been dramatically loosened. For example, one source spoke about how you get sort of this approximation of where a target is, and it’s not pinpointed. And yet soldiers will still strike it, knowingly killing families and civilians, to save time, to save time in getting a more accurate pinpointing of the target. It’s very important that people understand that — and this according to five sources that I’ve spoken with in Israeli intelligence — in all of the target files that Israel is bombing right now, the amount of civilians that are likely to be killed is written down. So, again, it’s not a mistake. As you’ve quoted in the beginning of the piece, in the beginning of the narration, Amy, when a child is killed in Gaza, it’s because somebody made a decision that this killing was worth it to hit another target. And there are internal regulations that the army has created that regulate this. And so it’s very clear to me that after October 7th there is a total disregard for Palestinian civilian life, even when hitting targets that are either not distinctly military in nature.

The third and final thing — and this goes back to the idea of a mass assassination factory — is that there is a systematic policy, according to sources, of targeting private residential homes of Hamas or jihadi operatives when they are in these private homes, when they are in these buildings or private residences. And just so you understand, I mean, what this means is that the military is knowingly dropping a bomb, that weighs a ton, or often more, on a residential building in order to assassinate one person, knowingly killing that person’s family and neighbors in the process, when, according to sources, in the vast majority of cases, these buildings are not places where there is military activity that is being conducted. It is an assassination against somebody who is in Hamas or Jihad’s military brigades, but they are not in a military place. One source who was particularly critical of this policy said that he thought it was like if Israel would bomb — sorry, if a Palestinian militant group would bomb the homes of Israelis, not when they are wearing their army uniform, but when they are going back home in the weekend, and essentially assassinating them through the bodies of their families or their neighbors, and then saying that they use those families as human shields.

Now, I think that we’ve talked about these power targets, and we’ve talked about these assassination targets, and, of course, there are many different types of targets that could be considered, under international law, more legitimate — for example, militant cells, for example, ammo warehouses, for example, you know, rocket launcher pits. And I think that to look at the civilian devastation that is happening right now in Gaza, you have to understand that it’s a consequence of a particular Israeli war policy. It is a war policy that has a very loose interpretation of what a military target is, also attacking people in civilian spaces. It is a war policy that centers on deterrents and hitting these power targets that are intended to place civilian pressure on Hamas. And it is a war policy that is increasingly being helped by the use of big data, automation software and AI. And again, I don’t know everything; I’ve only spoken to several sources. But my evidence suggests that many, many of the civilians who are being killed in Gaza are being killed as a result of these policies, that I do not think are justifiable policies. International law experts would call them war crimes. And that’s why I don’t think that what Blinken is saying is true, honestly.

AMY GOODMAN: And we’re going to talk more about war crimes later in the program. Yuval Abraham, I want to thank you for being with us, Israeli Jewish journalist based in Jerusalem, who writes for +972 Magazine and Local Call. We’ll link to your new piece, “'A mass assassination factory': Inside Israel’s calculated bombing of Gaza.”


ALJAZEERA notes:

The UN has shared data from the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) confirming the besieged territory has had no electricity since October 11.

The data shows that Israeli electricity supply to Gaza ceased on October 8 and that the Gaza power plant stopped supplying power on October 11.

Even before its electricity was cut off, Gaza only averaged 13.3 hours of electricity per day from January to September 2023, the data shows.

“For the past decade, the Gaza Strip has suffered from a chronic electricity deficit, which undermined already fragile living conditions,” the UN update said.


 The following sites updated:


t



 

George Santos Expelled Cold Open - SNL

 

Diana Ross - Shine [ Edited by Nandy ]

Diana Ross Enters In The Guinness Book Of World Records 1993

Alicia Keys - How Come You Don't Call Me/A Woman's Worth/Fallin' (Sessions at AOL)

Israel arrests, tortures Gaza doctors while world watches

Rickie Lee Jones - Live 1979 - Young Blood - New HQ Audio

UNDER SIEGE: Republicans ATTEMPT CLOSURE Of Black-Owned Business In Baton Rouge | Roland Martin

Judy Collins - (Song For Judith) Open The Door

Harris makes remarks in Dubai on diplomacy efforts (THE NEWSHOUR)

Tracy Chapman - Sing For You (Live Acoustic 2009)

Crazed Islamophobe SHOOTS Three Innocent College Kids

Diana Ross - Mirror Mirror (Live from Central Park '83)

"Everything's running out" — Refaat Alareer live from the Gaza Strip

Aretha Franklin Live at WDR Studio L, Cologne (Köln), Germany - 1968.

Aretha Franklin/Love all the hurt away: Aretha invents "glamour funk"

Rickie Lee Jones April 1985 late night TV performance (of "The Magazine")

New Poll Most Americans Don't Favor Their State Banning Trans Affirming Healthcare

Beyoncé - Be With You

Blood Money: Why the West Wants Crisis in the Congo

ERYKAH BADU Covers BEYONCE CLASSIC & YELLS AT MAN That HIT A WOMAN @ Thanksgiving R&B Fest 2023

CHER | CHICKEN SHOP DATE

DIANA ROSS i need a little sugar in my bowl (LIVE!)

How Will the Israel & Hamas Conflict Impact the 2024 Election?

 

Cher - DJ Play a Christmas Song (The Graham Norton Show)

Displaced Palestinians live in fear: Bombing forces families back onto the streets

 


 Since they pulled that one, let's try this one.

Bobbi Storm - We Can't Forget Him (Official Video)

Dionne Warwick and Jennifer Hudson Sing ‘A House Is Not a Home’

04.22.2022- Rickie Lee Jones Chuck E.s in love

Dionne Warwick Says She Hasn’t Accomplished Everything After 62 Years in Music

Ms. Lauryn Hill "Doo Wop (That Thing)" on Austin City Limits

Dionne Warwick Called Out Snoop Dogg For Rap Lyrics

Erykah Badu: "Tyrone" (North Sea Jazz 2001)

Dionne Warwick - A House Is Not Home Live 1964

Dinah Washington ...Send me to the electric chair

Mehdi Hasan - “Win Every Argument” & Humanizing the Israel-Hamas War | The Daily Show

Bessie Smith - Need a Little Sugar In My Bowl

Occupied West Bank violence: Israeli settlers ramp up attacks against Palestinians

Judy Garland & Gene Kelly - Ballin' the Jack

Pro-Palestinian protester sets self on fire | FOX 5 News

Diana Ross & The Supremes | Reflections {Live On The Tennessee Ernie Ford Special, 1967}




Brazil's Lula: Biden has no 'sensitivity' to stop war on Gaza | Talk to Al Jazeera

Europe’s reaction to Israel’s war on Gaza | The Listening Post

How Rosario secured her green card | Will & Grace

War Is Back On After Pathetic “Humanitarian Pause”

Friday, December 01, 2023

George Santo Expelled, Jussie Smollett Loses Appeal, Menthol Ban: Pros & Cons, World AIDS Day

Canada’s Complicity in Genocide: Palestinian Activist Rips ‘Nice Neighbor’ Facade

Resistance Axis: Israel Can’t Fight All Fronts at Same Time, w/ Al-Jazeera Correspondent

Celebrities Are Ruining Their Reputations Posting Zionist Freakouts

Resumed Bombing of Gaza Will Be Crushing to Palestinian Students Shot in U.S., Says Victim's Mother

George Santos EXPELLED In Historic Vote

"Mass Assassination Factory": Israel Using AI to Generate Targets in Gaza, Increasing Civilian Toll

Cher Lands Her Seventh Decade No. 1, 1960s - 2020s | Billboard News

Rep Santos Expelled, Can Cornel West Grow His Reach, GA Bill Empowers Black Student Entrepreneurs…

Ilhan Omar’s Democratic Primary Opponent Makes Outrageously Sexist Comments About Her

Israel's Psychological War on the US, with James Bamford

 

Iraq snapshot

Friday, December 1, 2023.  The pause has ended, the resumption of War Crimes has begun.



The pause is apparently over.  THE WALL STREET JOURNAL notes, " Israel said it had restarted airstrikes in Gaza. Footage broadcast by Al Jazeera showed plumes of smoke in the enclave and carried the sound of gunfire."  CNN adds, "An earlier statement from the ministry said that strikes had landed in southern Gaza, in the areas of Khan Younis and Rafah. The ministry also noted earlier that Israeli military vehicles were firing in northwest Gaza minutes after the truce expired."  ALJAZEERA reports:


Yousri Alghoul, who lives in northern Gaza, said he heard “shelling and shooting” at the Shati refugee camp (also known as Beach camp) while he was fleeing with his 17-year-old son to the Jabalia refugee camp at 7am today.

“Unfortunately, we found dead bodies in the streets and roads. You cannot imagine how miserable the situation is when we just escape to another place searching for a secure place,” Alghoul told Al Jazeera.

“That is what’s happening right now, and just 15 minutes ago, we also heard a new explosion, which is next to us in Jabalia. It seems that Israeli occupation forces got legitimacy from the United States last night,” he added.


BBC and BLOOMBERGE NEWS video reports below.



As the horror continues and the world watches, Joshua Frank (COUNTERPUNCH) details some changes that need to be seen:

It’s time we flipped the script.

How about before one mentions Hamas, they must first oppose Israeli terror and the murder of children?

They must call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the occupation?

They must first voice disgust for Israel’s ongoing war crimes?

Only after this can we address how Hamas rose to power, how Israel propped them up, and the dehumanizing conditions that led to those horrific, indiscriminate murders on October 7th.

The analysis of Israel and Palestine must change.




UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed his deep regret at the resumption of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

“I deeply regret that military operations have started again in Gaza. I still hope that it will be possible to renew the pause that was established. The return to hostilities only shows how important it is to have a true humanitarian ceasefire,” Guterres said in a post on X on Friday.

Separately, James Elder, a spokesperson for UNICEF, the UN's Children's Fund, decried what he called a "war on children" in a video message recorded inside one of Gaza's last functioning hospitals.

“We cannot see more children with the wounds of war. With the burns, with the shrapnel littering their body, with the broken bones. Inaction by those with influence is allowing the killing of children. This is a war on children,” he said.

Elder also said that bombing in the area could be heard from inside the hospital and that one strike had landed approximately 50 meters away.


When Israeli forces begin shooting and dropping bombs, what happens?  People get injured and killed.  Ibrahim Dahman (CNN) notes at least 32 people are dead from the bombings with  even more left injured.  Updating minutes ago, ALJAZEERA explained the death toll has already risen to a hundred.    Faris Tanyos and  Haley Ott (CBS NEWS) note:

After a strike in the southern Gaza city of RafaFaris Tanyos, Haley Ott h on Friday, CBS News' Marwan al-Ghoul found a boy at the scene in tears.  

"We were there collecting water to wash our clothes. The bombing started and the rocks came flying at us," the teen, Omar Hahrous, told CBS News. "I looked around me and I could not find anybody. Some were injured... some were martyred."




Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, says medics are dealing with “large numbers” of wounded people seeking treatment in overcrowded hospitals following the resumption of Israeli air strikes.

“The wounded are lying on the floor in emergency departments and in front of operating rooms as a result of the accumulation of cases,” al-Qudra added.


THE WASHINGTON POST notes, "Several airstrikes were reported across Gaza on Friday morning; a Post photographer witnessed a strike 200 meters from a hospital in Khan Younis in the south."  For those who don't use the metric system, that's about six-hundred-and-fifty-six feet. They're targeting hospitals again.  Having destroyed so many hospitals in the north, the Israeli government is violating international law yet again to destroy the medical facilities in southern Gaza.  Yesterday, DEMOCRACY NOW! spoke with Avril Benoît, executive director of Doctors Without Borders.




NERMEEN SHAIKH: Israel has agreed to extend its truce with Hamas for a seventh day to facilitate the exchange of captives. The extension was announced just minutes before it was set to expire on Thursday morning, prolonging a reprieve for Gaza’s 2.3 million residents after 47 days of relentless attacks by Israel spawned a massive humanitarian crisis. On Wednesday, Hamas released 16 hostages. In exchange, Israel released another 30 Palestinian women and child prisoners.

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank, two Palestinian children were shot dead by Israeli forces during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp on Wednesday. Fifteen-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu al-Wafa died in a hospital after he was shot in the chest. And 8-year-old Adam al-Ghoul was shot in the head as he ran from Israeli forces, in a killing captured on video. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said Israeli soldiers blocked medics from reaching the camp to treat the wounded.

In Khan Younis, in the south of Gaza, Doctors Without Borders surgeon Dr. Hafez Abukhussa described how his hospital is overwhelmed.

DR. HAFEZ ABUKHUSSA: The patients that we see, the majority of patients, they are female and children. But what hurts me a lot, when I see a child, an innocent child, injured, and he need a major surgery. He lost his limb. And he’s the last child. He’s the only remnant of his family. And when he woke up from anesthesia, he asked to see his family. So, this is really a heartbreaking situation.

The difficulties that we face here is the lack of supplies, the lack of instruments. In the hospital on normal days here, there’s 300 patients. Now it’s more than 1,000 patients. The patients, they are homeless, because many of them are refugees within Gaza, and the other people, they have — their houses were destroyed. They don’t have the access to potable water, or there’s a lack of food, a lack of [electricity]. And some of them just get out from their houses with the clothes that they are wearing. We know that we are in danger, in danger anytime, but we will keep doing the same.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re joined by Avril Benoît, executive director of Doctors Without Borders.

Welcome back to Democracy Now! If you can talk about what is happening right now in Gaza? I mean, as we are broadcasting, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken is meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, and he just met with Netanyahu. There is a ceasefire, not clear it was going to be extended even one more day. Minutes before the end of that ceasefire, it was announced it would continue. What have you learned about the devastation?

AVRIL BENOÎT: Well, thanks for having me.

From the medical humanitarian perspective of what we have seen from the beginning, after the appalling attack on October 7th, has been a collective punishment of the people in Gaza. And that’s why you’ve seen such a disproportionate number of civilians killed. The devastation on the hospitals is near complete. There are a few hospitals in the north that are really not much more than shelters right now, with still medical personnel trying to stay with patients, but they have no more equipment, they have no electricity, they have no water. They’re holed up.

And it’s a very high-risk evacuation route. We know from our own experience of our team that was stuck there with their families, after having made the decision for the medical doctors to stay with some of the patients in the hospitals, that they came — they were subjected to crossfire. A couple of the members of the evacuation group, the family members were killed in that. Our vehicles were destroyed, the ones that we were intending to use to be able to evacuate these staff and families after they retreated from what seemed to be imminent risk of death, that proved to be fatal in the end.

And so, what we’re seeing is this surge of patients in the south. As you just heard, hospitals, from the beginning, have been completely overwhelmed, but now they’ve got patients who really require much more complex medical care. They require, really, referral — ideally, medical evacuation in a safe way to a third country, for example, where they can receive the level of care that will save their lives and prevent further damage.

Just to mention another thing, because of the lack of antibiotics, medicine, wound dressing equipment, we have a very high risk of high numbers of people dying of infections. And that is something that should never happen under international humanitarian law, the norms of war. People should have access to medical care in a conflict like this. And that is just not being guaranteed in terms of the way this war is being conducted.

AMY GOODMAN: Can I ask you if you’ve heard about this report of al-Nasr pediatric hospital in northern Gaza and the premature babies, five of them, discovered, the remains of the babies? The reports were that they were left to die after Israeli forces blocked access to the intensive care unit.

AVRIL BENOÎT: I don’t have the details on that, I’m sorry. What we do know is that it was a harrowing decision for the medical staff when ordered to evacuate, knowing that sometimes you’re only given a couple of hours, which is completely unacceptable. Even in the context of this pause, this truce — which we certainly hope will continue and become an actual ceasefire — it’s very complicated to transfer a patient that is in a vulnerable state, in a machine that no longer has any electricity — as you probably know, the lack of fuel has meant it’s near impossible to run ambulances — and because of the violence, all these checkpoints, where it seems that people are waiting for hours and hours. You can imagine you’ve got people who are transferred from an intensive care unit stuffed into an ambulance because it’s one of the only ones running, and then at the checkpoint they’re stopped for up to seven hours. And then there’s violence, and they feel they have to retreat. It’s a very harrowing, high-risk kind of thing to organize.

And that’s one of the reasons that we’re calling for this killing to stop, for there to be a proper ceasefire, and, furthermore, for there to be medical evacuations, so that people can receive the care they need in a safe way, with, of course, the right to return if they so wish, and then also for there to be unconditional humanitarian aid that is allowed to enter, because we know people are in places where the aid cannot reach, and they cannot reach the hospitals. They don’t feel it’s safe. And so they are at risk of dying and suffering lifelong consequences if they don’t receive the medical care right away.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Avril, could you speak about the — during this pause, how much medical equipment, supplies, medicine, as you were speaking about earlier, the acute shortage, which many people have mentioned — how much medication is coming in, medication and equipment is coming in, during this pause, into Gaza?

AVRIL BENOÎT: The specifics are unclear, to be perfectly honest. We see that every day there are a certain number of trucks. They move at a snail’s pace. What we would really like to see, of course, is for that to be faster and of greater volume. Before this conflict, before October 7th, there were 500 trucks that would cross daily into Gaza, and that was during a blockade, so not enough. The hospitals were already at a deficit of the equipment that they needed, of the replenishing supplies. All the stocks were always threadbare. And so, then compounded with the fact that we have an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 wounded people, not to mention those that are now coming in with fevers, gastrointestinal situations, acute watery diarrhea — maybe it’s cholera; we don’t know, because we don’t have the testing facilities and labs available to check — what we’re seeing with this truce is that there is no way to be able to support the hospitals that continue to stand. Of course, many of them have been damaged in the fighting. They have been attacked systematically. The World Health Organization has been tracking this.

And for us, this is such an obvious violation of international humanitarian law, to attack hospitals, to attack medical staff, to kill them while they’re at the bedside of patients — and our own colleagues have been killed — and to just go after these facilities as if there’s some excuse that is legitimate, when it’s not, and there’s no evidence that’s been offered to really prove that they should be targets, really nothing — nothing — to substantiate that at all. They are protected spaces.

And so, the truce has allowed perhaps some stocks to go in for us to facilitate to do some movements, to check on some hospitals and clinics to see what their stocks are like. But what you really needed was to pre-position everything, to have it already in place at the starting blocks, in a warehouse, ready to be distributed to the places that need it most, that still have medical staff. And that wasn’t done because of the total siege over the last many weeks.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Avril, I’m not sure — I’m sure you’ve heard that the World Health Organization earlier this week warned that more people in Gaza could die from disease than have already died from the bombing. If you could talk a little bit about that?

AVRIL BENOÎT: Yes. Well, certainly, I mentioned infections earlier. When you have children coming in who have more than 50% of their bodies burned from explosions, they are, in the best-case scenario, in the fully equipped hospital with all the means to control the infection, really it’s a life-or-death situation. So, now we have so many of these children that we cannot treat properly. We don’t even have the proper gauze in the stocks to be able to do it.

The other thing that the World Health Organization was pointing out, which is entirely plausible, is this whole question of dehydration. So, young children, infants are coming in severely dehydrated. And where is the water? Since the siege began, this is one of the things that this collective punishment has honed in on to say, “We’re not going to give you access to water or food or medicines” — all the things that are needed just to stay alive. So, that’s a huge problem right now.

Then you just think of the people with chronic illnesses. And this is always a concern for us. Somebody who’s on heart medication, or they have diabetes, they have any number of chronic illnesses — think of all the cancer patients — where are they supposed to go to replenish? The hospital system that is barely functioning at all in the south, for example, their focus is on the severely wounded that are coming in, trying to keep people alive, patch them up, do the amputations really quickly, not in the proper way even to allow for prosthetic devices after. They’re just trying to do the most triage very urgently. And the ones who need safe place to give birth, the ones who need their heart medication, the children who are severely dehydrated, and there’s nowhere really to look after them in a hospital like that, these are the ones that are likely to be the other casualties of this war, not only the ones who are killed by the direct violence that is seemingly affecting civilians so much more than anyone else.

AMY GOODMAN: Avril Benoît, if you can talk about Netanyahu’s threat to — in resuming the bombardment? You’ve got Blinken, who reportedly is urging more surgical strikes. But they’re talking about bombarding the south. This is where they forced — what is it? — a million Gazans, Palestinians, to go from the north. So, talk about what this would mean if this temporary ceasefire ends.

AVRIL BENOÎT: It’s a horror show for us. Just think about it. A third of the injured people already were injured in the south, which was the place that everyone was told to go. That was the place. You were supposed to leave the north, go to the south. And then they got killed there.

So, for us, this is the worst, because what we have is, on the one side, the talk of “We would like humanitarian law to be respected. We would like civilians to be considered. Limit the collateral damage of civilians,” and yet, what we have seen time and again is there are no consequences evident for not doing that. And so, we have, with the looming end of this truce — and, it seems, not enough political will to really have a ceasefire — what we would regard as a kind of talking one thing but no consequences. So we can tell the Israeli forces, the Netanyahu government, “Please try to limit the killing of civilians, start doing that,” but we’re not really seeing any consequences if they don’t.

And we do know that the United States is providing billions in aid, its military aid. And so, you know, it seems that that aid could well be used, with no consequences, to violate international norms, the Geneva Conventions, international humanitarian law. And for us, that’s just unacceptable.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And finally, Avril Benoît, MSF International President Christos Christou posted this update on Tuesday, that while he was visiting the MSF team at the Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin, the Israeli army conducted an incursion on the refugee camp.

AVRIL BENOÎT: Yes. And one of the most difficult things about that is that —

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to play a clip. We’re going to play a clip — 

AVRIL BENOÎT: OK.

AMY GOODMAN: — of Christou right now.

AVRIL BENOÎT: Sounds good.

CHRISTOS CHRISTOU: It’s been already two-and-a-half hours that we are trapped in our hospital here in Jenin, while the Israeli forces are operating in another incursion in Jenin camp. There is no way for any of the injured patients to reach the hospital, and there’s no way for us to reach these people. There’s nothing worse for a doctor to know that there are people there needing our care, and they cannot get it.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Avril Benoît, if you could comment on that and also the fact that two children were killed in Jenin just today?

AVRIL BENOÎT: Yes. Well, as Dr. Christou, our international president, said, if people cannot access a facility in the West Bank, already you can see the grave concern that we have. Under humanitarian law, anyone should be able to reach a hospital. And to have a hospital surrounded, blocked, so that no one can actually bring their injured children, bring their wounded to that hospital, for us, is a complete outrage. It’s been happening systematically in Gaza. And for us to now see it elsewhere is something that we, as the international community, should never accept.

And that is one of the reasons that we are speaking so loudly and in a united voice with the humanitarian aid agencies for a ceasefire, a proper ceasefire, to stop the killing, stop the siege, and allow aid to come in unconditionally and for the people to be helped, saved, and to be able to resume their lives in some shape or form.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you, Avril Benoît, for joining us. This ceasefire, we will see, goes day by day, those children in Jenin killed yesterday. Avril Benoît is executive director of Doctors Without Borders.

Coming up, we’ll be speaking with the acclaimed Gazan human rights attorney Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. He’s going to be joining us from Cairo, after his house was bombed in northern Gaza. We will find out about his journey south. Then we’ll speak with the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Greg Grandin about the death of Henry Kissinger. Stay with us.



  Robert Mardini, director general of the International Committee of the Red Cross, toldAgence France-Presse that the resumption of bombing drags Gazans "back to the nightmarish situation they were in before the truce took place," with millions of people in desperate need of food, medicine, clean water, and sanitary living conditions.

"People are at a breaking point, hospitals are at a breaking point, the whole Gaza Strip is in a very precarious state," said Mardini. "There is nowhere safe to go for civilians. We have seen in the hospitals where our teams have been working, that over the past days, hundreds of severely injured people have arrived. The influx of severely wounded outpaced the real capacity of hospitals to absorb and treat the wounded, so there is a massive challenge." 

"Gaza Strip is in a very precarious state."  That's is exactly correct.  Zoe Magee, Sami Zayara, and Ruwaida Amer (ABC NEWS) report:


Winter is coming to the Gaza Strip and with it, fears that living conditions for the 1.8 million internally displaced people will get significantly worse.

It’s been nearly two months since a war broke out between Gaza’s militant rulers, Hamas, and neighboring Israel. About 80% of Gaza’s population is now homeless, with many people forced to live in make-shift shelters, largely exposed to the elements, according to the United Nations.

Over a million people in Gaza have fled to United Nations Relief and Works Agency shelters set up there, the U.N. said. These shelters cannot cope with the influx, according to Dr. Adnan Abu Hasna, spokesperson at UNRWA in Gaza.

“The circumstances in our shelters is very tough actually,” Abu Hasna told ABC News. “People are suffering a lot. For example, there is one toilet for 125 persons and one shower for 700 people. There is a lack of cleaning water, a lack of drinkable water also, lack of food, lack of everything.”







There is no question that Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu is employing overwhelming military power to terrorize 2.3 million Palestinian civilians in Gaza in the name of defeating Hamas military forces.  This would be consistent with an Israeli policy that began in 1948 to use every military engagement with Arab states to displace as many Palestinians civilians as possible from their homes, and to never acknowledge a right of return for Palestinian refugees.  No U.S. administration has ever put pressure on Israel to allow the return of Palestinians to their homes in Israel.

Meanwhile, mainstream media support Israel’s contention that the Israel-Hamas War began on October 7th, which ignores Israel’s punishment of Palestinian civilians over the past 16 years.  Israeli policy has limited the usage of electricity in Gaza, which has created the need to dump sewage into the Mediterranean Sea, making the water undrinkable.  Israeli-imposed fuel shortages caused sanitation plants to be shut down.  Netanyahu, who once boasted that I “stopped the Oslo accords,” never indicated any interest in lessening these punishments, let alone pursuing a diplomatic or political solution to the Palestinian tragedy.

Sadly, U.S. administrations have paid lip service to the idea of a two-state solution, but have never pressed an Israeli government to move toward Palestinian statehood.  At the very least, the Biden administration should recognize Palestine as a member state in the United Nations, and press Israel to enter talks with Palestinians regarding borders, Jerusalem, and security from Israeli settlers on the West Bank.


From yesterday's DEMOCRACTY NOW!




This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: As we continue our coverage of Gaza, we’re joined by Raji Sourani, the award-winning human rights lawyer and director of the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights. He’s a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. We last spoke with Raji Sourani after Israel bombed his home in Gaza City. He joins us today from Cairo, Egypt.

Welcome back to Democracy Now!, Raji Sourani. If you could begin by talking about how you managed to leave Gaza and how you got to Cairo?

RAJI SOURANI: Well, it was very hard and very heartbreaking for me, I mean, to leave Gaza, I mean, the place I lived all my life, one-way ticket in it. And that was very hard and very tough. But really, I mean, after I was targeted for the second time, after we talked, I was advised very strongly, I mean, not to be at that place and to leave the northern of Gaza. And I left with my family, who didn’t want to leave me alone. I mean, so we left together to the south for a few days, and thanks for the help of great friends, I mean, who managed to get me there, because in two previous attempts it was mission impossible, when tens of people died either on the beach road or at Salah al-Din Street in front of our eyes, when the Israelis shot and bombed, I mean, people who were advised to leave to the safe haven in the south. But that wasn’t, I mean, the case. So I managed to leave to the south, finally, on my third attempt. And from there, I managed to move to Egypt.

There was, I mean, quite a lot of friends who wanted, in a way, the voice, I mean, of Gaza, the voice of the voiceless, about the horrendous genocide taking place at [inaudible] to be reported to the outside world. And there is quite a lot of things to do with the ICC, which greatly disappointing us, and there’s quite a lot of work to do with the ICJ. And there is quite a lot of work to talk, speak to power in European countries about this new Nakba, which is in process, and Israel creating it, and to stop their complicity, their absolute political, legal, military support for belligerent criminal occupation, who’s doing suicide — genocide at the daylight, who’s doing ethnic cleansing, war crimes, broadcasted there live at the real time. But it seems deep in their mind and hearts, the colonial, racist Western governments don’t want to see, don’t want to know, and they are insisting, I mean, in supporting blindly the Israeli belligerent occupation in the crimes they are doing in Gaza and the Occupied Territories at large.

AMY GOODMAN: Raji, if you could look straight into the camera lens as we speak to you now in Cairo? Thank God you’re OK. When we were speaking to you the day after your house was bombed, you described your son moving you and your beloved wife from one room, saying, “Let’s going into the hallway,” and then the place was destroyed. If you could say in more detail what it was like to make your way north to south, what you saw along the way? We also had reports that those who wanted to return to their homes north — so much of the bombing, it may surprise people, is happening actually in the south, where people are directed to go, before this ceasefire. Is it true that people were shot trying to go home in the north? The Israeli military had said, “Don’t do this.”

RAJI SOURANI: Well, we have to understand the context, the context of what the Israelis really want. In simple words, Prime Minister Netanyahu, the criminal Netanyahu, said in simple words, “Gazans should leave Gaza.” He said, “Gaza should be deserted.” And the Minister of Defense Gallant, in a clear, simple way, he said, “For Gazans, there will be no food, no electricity, no fuel.”

And so, what does that mean? I mean, if you say Gazans should leave Gaza, to go where to? It’s obvious and clear. If you are starving and cutting electricity, food, medicine, you are bombing shelters, hospitals, ambulances, if you are killing hundreds of entire families, I mean, being erased, if you are bombing bakeries, if you are bombing water infrastructure and desalination plants, if you are, you know, bluffing, I mean, the entire streets in the Gaza, if you are not allowing people even to reach hospital, if you bomb the civil defense system and the people who are working on it, what do you want from that? If you make no safe haven in entire Gaza, what’s the purpose of that?

They want to push the north to the south. This is the first stage. And they pushed many as a million people, I mean, to the south — Gaza already one of the most densely populated areas on Earth. And they push them while Gaza suffers 17 years of blockade, suffocated the life socioeconomically, passed through five wars against them, and in the eye of the storm the civilian and civilian targets. And now you are doing all that. You are killing almost 30,000 people, because many, many, Amy, still, I mean, under the rubbles, many still under their destroyed houses, and civil defense unable to recover. You are talking about thousands of people. You are talking about thousands of people in the streets in some areas nobody can get to.

The rationale, the behavior of the Israeli guidelines, the outcome of this pushing people to the south, and then from the south toward Sinai, that’s a new Nakba. As simple as that. They want us out, out of Palestine, out of Gaza, out of the West Bank. This is, I mean, the ultimate goal, Amy, for the Israeli government. And this coalition of Netanyahu and the right wing, the basis of their governmental agreement, the coalition agreement to do that, this was said at day one of this war, of this genocide war. And I think yet the Israelis so determined, so willing, and they want to do that. They want to do that.

They finished, I mean, the first stage, and now they want to go to the second stage. And after they finish up with Gaza, it won’t be a new brand of apartheid in East Jerusalem and West Bank. They will do the same, I mean, there. So, what was lack of their plan in 1948 in the Nakba, they want to implement it completely now, so Eretz Yisrael would be clean, and they will have the purity of the Jewish state. And by that, they will accomplish, I mean, their mission. This is simple, clear for any who want to see beyond the details. This is really what Israel want to do.

And that’s why we call it, from the second day, this is genocide, this is ethnic cleansing, and these are first-class war crimes. It’s against A, B, C of international law, international humanitarian law. And it’s against Geneva Convention. It’s against Rome Statute. And we see, from the wall to wall, support by many European countries, doing that willingly and giving full legal, political and military support for the state of Israel, plus U.S.

AMY GOODMAN: Raji, as you talk about international law, can you make that comparison between what happened in Ukraine, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, immediately the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opening an investigation, especially against children — I think there were something — against what happened to the children. Five hundred children have died in Ukraine over almost two years, up to a thousand dead or maimed. And you compare it to the few weeks of the bombardment of Gaza, 5,000 to 6000 children alone dead, over 15,000 people dead. What do you want Karim Khan to do? And finally — and we just have a few minutes — right now Blinken just met with Mahmoud Abbas. He just met with Herzog on his, like, fourth trip to the Middle East, the U.S. pushing hard to give more weapons aid to Israel. Your response to that? What do you want Biden to say to Netanyahu? And how much power does he have?

RAJI SOURANI: I don’t think yet there is decision by U.S. to stop what is going on. They can simply stop all these crimes. We are bombed with F-35, F-16s, the American tanks, the American artillery, the American ammunition. We are killed with that, with some small amount of European arms. Now, if U.S. want to stop that, they can do that. And they can do that simply. But they are supporting, Amy, really, what Israel is doing. And if we are talking about the next stage that — attends. Hello?

AMY GOODMAN: We can hear you fine. Just if you can just look up into the camera. We see you. Ah, we may have just lost Raji Sourani. Raji Sourani is the world-renowned, award-winning human rights attorney, won the RFK, Robert F. Kennedy Award, won the Right Livelihood Award, has lived in Gaza for decades, speaking to us from Cairo, Egypt. He just got out of Gaza. His home was bombed, with this wife and his son and him it.

Next up, we’re going to talk about Henry Kissinger. He has died at the age of 100. We’ll speak to the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Greg Grandin, author of Kissinger’s Shadow. Stay with us.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: “The Right to Live in Peace” by Víctor Jara, the great Chilean musician who died in the days after the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet came to power, U.S.-backed, Nixon-backed, Kissinger-backed Pinochet, leading to the death of thousands.



The following sites updaed: