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Israeli forces launch criminal attack on Gaza

Published Mar 16, 2012 9:49 PM

The U.S.-backed Israeli war machine has launched a new criminal attack on the beleaguered people of Gaza. As of March 11, Israeli bombs and rockets had killed 16 people, including a 12-year-old boy, and the Israeli government apparently plans to continue the violence.

“This round in Gaza is far from being over,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a visit to southern Israel. “They will pay a heavy price, and no one will have immunity.” (AP, Mar 11)

An eyewitness reported hourly on the carnage underway:

“The hospitals in Gaza are already in dire need of medicine and equipment, blood supply runs shorter, the water is polluted, the fuel has all but finished, the electricity is intermittent at best, the siege is strangling the people and now this.

“The drones fly low over the night sky, the explosions are now less frequent but nobody is relaxing or being lulled in to any false sense of security, Gaza is awake and will not sleep tonight. Two more loud explosions to the west, medics report difficulty reaching the injured and possible dead because of the power outage.

“12.30 am, the Area close to Palestinian Legislative council building has just been targeted, three dead, many more injured. Gaza City under repeated attack Warplanes now attacking northern Gaza.” (Irishingaza’s blog, Mar. 9)

The Israelis chose to disregard international law when the Palestinians showed they had the temerity to resist their oppressors. In the latest episode, Palestinian militants fired rockets into southern Israel following Israel’s illegal assassination of two Palestinian leaders on March 9. This recent Israeli outrage occurred immediately following a highly publicized meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with President Barack Obama.

The attack, which used U.S.-supplied drone aircraft, also occurred the day after Israeli Defense Forces sprayed tear gas at Palestinian women near the West Bank town of Ramallah. The women were celebrating International Women’s Day, March 8, and protesting the illegal detention of Hana Shalabi, who has been on a hunger strike since Feb. 16..

Shalabi had spent more than two years in administrative detention before she was released in October 2011 as part of the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas. Less than four months later, Israeli authorities again arrested her at her home near Jenin, and an Israeli soldier beat her with his rifle butt. She was then beaten again, blindfolded and later forcibly strip-searched and assaulted by an Israeli male soldier.

Ordered to spend six months in administrative detention, Shalabi spent the first three days of her internment in solitary confinement. She was later sentenced to solitary confinement for a further seven days as punishment for her continuing hunger strike. (Al Haq.org, Mar. 11)