Jul 24, 2006
The results of operation “Summer Rain” launched by the Israeli government on June 28, under the pretext of rescuing one Israeli captured by a Palestinian commando squad, are appalling.
After the first 22 days of Israel’s offensive, 106 Palestinians were killed as a result of bombings, the incursion of armored personnel carriers and so-called targeted shots. The population is almost totally besieged, deprived of electricity most of the day as the result of the destruction of the main power plant in the Gaza Strip, and lacks food and water. Many homes and basic parts of the infrastructure have been destroyed by Israeli bulldozers, under the pretext of searching for tunnels and explosives.
The state of health of the 1.4 million inhabitants is so much worse that the U.N. and the World Health Organization issued alerts concerning hospital conditions. Supplies of sugar and milk, which normally are imported from Israel, have fallen low, while food processing companies and flour mills have reduced production due to power failures. The price for staples like powdered milk, sugar and flour has gone up so much that many families can no longer afford them.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stands firm on his position, rejecting until now each Palestinian proposition for the exchange of prisoners; Olmert excludes any negotiation with Hamas, which he calls a “bloodthirsty organization.” Under the pretext of preventing rockets from being fired, Olmert and his Labor Party Minister of Defense, Amir Peretz, authorized the army to enter new parts of the Gaza Strip. They have sent in armored personnel carriers and infantry units. Murderous air raids continue and intensify, with no end in sight. Despite polls saying that Israeli public opinion is not favorable, the Israeli government once again assumes its military superiority can keep other people imprisoned permanently. Its only dialogue is through bombs, tanks and continual shelling, with the entire population taken hostage.
In fact, these deaths and the insane destruction can only add still more to the despair and frustration of all Palestinians, and pushing the entire population of Israel into a trap with no way out.