UN School Bombed, 40 Killed – US calls for immediate cease fire

Israel crossed the line.

@KABOBFest A UN school in #gaza where people were taking shelter was just tank-shelled by Israel, killing 40 people there. http://tinyurl.com/777edx

@AJGaza US state department says it wants an “immediate” ceasefire in #Gaza, that is “durable, sustainable and not time limited”.

@tweetsfromgaza Israeli tanks fire on 2nd UN school killing and injuring dozens of refugees with nowhere else to go. #Gaza

RT: @syrianews: UN says it “gave the exact GPS co-ordinates” of the location of the UN school which Israel CHOSE to bomb

From the Guardian:

The UN, which said the school was clearly marked, said it was “strongly protesting these killings to the Israeli authorities and is calling for an immediate and impartial investigation”.

“Where it is found that international humanitarian law has been violated, those responsible must be held to account. Under international law, installations such as schools, health centres and UN facilities should be protected from attack. Well before the current fighting, the UN had given to the Israeli authorities the GPS co-ordinates of all its installations in Gaza, including Asma elementary school.”

Just prior to the announcement of the UN school massacre, the Israeli Consulate tweeted:

@IsraelConsulate New Post: How to End the Battle Successfully http://is.gd/eGKS #AskIsrael #Israel #Gaza

Bret Stephens writes in today’s Wall Street Journal on ways that Israel can achieve its military aims without imposing unnecessary hardship on the residents of Gaza.

Achieving this aim would not require Israel to take over large swaths of Gaza, but it would require an extended policy of smaller-scale counterterrorism operations, along the lines of the successful West Bank operations.

We shall have to wait and see which post conflict model is adopted, and how free an arm the US gives Israel to complete its balancing act, and whether international monitors will be involved as previously mentioned by Israel.

Khalid Mish’al, head of Hamas Political Bureau says in the Guardian:

“What is being visited on Gaza today was visited on Yasser Arafat before. When he refused to bow to Israel’s dictates, he was imprisoned in his Ramallah headquarters, surrounded by tanks for two years. When this failed to break his resolve, he was murdered by poisoning.

Gaza enters 2009 just as it did 2008: under Israeli fire. Between January and February of last year 140 Gazans died in air strikes. And just before it embarked on its failed military assault on Lebanon in July 2006, Israel rained thousands of shells on Gaza, killing 240. From Deir Yassin in 1948 to Gaza today, the list of Israel’s crimes is long. The justifications change, but the reality is the same: colonial occupation, oppression, and never-ending injustice. If this is the “free world” whose “values” Israel is defending, as its foreign minister Tzipi Livni alleges, then we want nothing to do with it.

Israel’s leaders remain in the grip of confusion, unable to set clear goals for the attacks – from ousting the legitimately elected Hamas government and destroying its infrastructure, to stopping the rockets. As they fail to break Gaza’s resistance the benchmark has been lowered. Now they speak of weakening Hamas and limiting the resistance. But they will achieve neither. Gaza’s people are more united than ever, determined not to be terrorised into submission. Our fighters, armed with the justice of their cause, have already caused many casualties among the occupation army and will fight on to defend their land and people. Nothing can defeat our will to be free.

Once again, Washington and Europe have opted to aid and abet the jailer, occupier and aggressor, and to condemn its victims. We hoped Barack Obama would break with George Bush’s disastrous legacy but his start is not encouraging. While he swiftly moved to denounce the Mumbai attacks, he remains tongue-tied after 10 days of slaughter in Gaza. But my people are not alone. Millions of freedom-loving men and women stand by its struggle for justice and liberation – witness daily protests against Israeli aggression, not only in the Arab and Islamic region, but worldwide.

Israel will no doubt wreak untold destruction, death and suffering in Gaza. But it will meet the same fate in Gaza as it did in Lebanon. We will not be broken by siege and bombardment, and will never surrender to occupation.”