UN Aid Convoy Attacked by Israel – US Senate Accomplice to Atrocities

Israel continues to contravene international law in Gaza, commiting yet more horrendous atrocities in the prosecution of its detestable collective punishment of Gaza’s citizens.

A UN agency halted operations in Gaza after a deadly strike on an aid convoy on Thursday that prompted UN chief Ban Ki-moon to issue his second call in a week for an Israeli investigation.

“Operations will remain suspended until Israeli authorities can guarantee the safety and security of our staff,” said Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that had been distributing food aid to about half of Gaza’s 1.5 million population.

The decision came after one man was killed and two others were wounded when a UN-flagged convoy of trucks was hit by two tank shells en route to the border with Israel to pick up humanitarian assistance.

The Israeli military said it was investigating the incident.

Later two UN armoured vehicles that escorted an ambulance to recover the body of a local staff member in Gaza City came under small arms fire during the daily three-hour humanitarian lull Israel has declared in its Gaza offensive, a UN official said.

“The secretary-general condemns the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) firing on a United Nations aid convoy in Gaza,” a spokesman for Ban Ki-Moon said in a statement.

“The UN is in close touch with the Israeli authorities about full investigation of this and other incidents,” the statement said.

US senate complicity in genocide

Pretty picture courtesy of our perceptive Auntie Ziona

Despite large public protests across the US, the Israel-owned US Senate has unanimously voted in one-sided ignorance and perfidy to explicitly back America’s colonialist accomplice in war crimes with no mention of the suffering of the people of Gaza caused by Israel’s aggression. The American people have shown they are not party to the slaughter of Gazans, yet their elected representatives choose to vote with those who funded their campaigns rather than those whom they are supposed to represent – the ordinary, decent American even when Israel’s attacks “are in direct violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, and even when the attacks have been condemned by the United Nations.”

Critics have challenged the wording of the bill for its misrepresentation of the conflict, given that the democratically-elected Hamas party had abided by an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire for nearly six months, even through numerous Israeli violations and the Israeli-imposed siege warfare that resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 Palestinian patients due to the lack of medical care.

The US Campaign to End the Occupation also challenged the notion of Israel as a ‘Jewish and democratic state’, saying that the Jewish nature of the state of Israel has resulted in an inherent apartheid system that privileges those of Jewish origin above non-Jewish residents, including the indigenous Palestinian population. They say that this makes the state of Israel inherently undemocratic, in that its entire legal system discriminates against non-Jews.

No Senator chose to address the reports of Israeli targeting of Palestinian civilians (human rights groups have estimated that 90% of casualties over the last three days have been civilians), the censorship of the media by Israel, the Israeli military’s use of unconventional weapons against civilians, the targeting of schools, hospitals, mosques, ambulances, journalists and humanitarian aid convoys by the Israeli military during the current aggression against Gaza.

Did Israel take this Senate approbation as an implicit carte blanche to flaunt its impunity by perpetrating its latest attack on UN humanitarian aid vehicles?

The extent of regard affluent Israel exhibits for life and dignity in Gaza is miniscule, its coverups and shallow justifications monstrous. Civilians and international aid agencies are being treated as troublesome insects. Israel’s behaviours to its hapless neighbours, who happen to be sitting on supplies of gas Israel would like, is on par with some of the worst human rights violatons in modern history.

It is difficult to read information as below and not cry out to America – why are you allowing Israel to get away with this? is Israel really so important to you that you must acquiesce to the interminable persecution of the wretched of the earth? why do you supply your weapons to Israel in support of its counter-productive aggression against its neighbours?

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday accused Israel of failing to help wounded people in one area after rescuers found four small children too weak to stand up and huddling next to their dead mothers.

It said Israeli soldiers tried to force the rescuers to leave when they finally reached the wounded in Gaza City’s shell-blasted Zeitun neighbourhood on Wednesday, four days after safe passage had been requested.

“This is a shocking incident,” said Pierre Wettach, who heads the ICRC’s delegation for Israel and the Palestinian territories. “The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded.”

The ICRC said that more wounded people are sheltering in destroyed houses.

@Gazamom Samuni Family #Gaza lose 12 more after Red Cross recovers decomposing bodies; 4 children found alive next to dead mother Btselem

How can this be happening? Israel, a country which wishes to join the EU community, has moved into a dark zone, a place where malevolent outrages outside all human decency are acceptable.

The US Congress is due to vote today on a heinous bill approving Israel’s impunity from war crimes in lock step with the Senate.

The House bill “expresses vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders and recognizes its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against Hamas’ unceasing aggression.”

Child's Toy in Rafah

Photo courtesy of Rafahkid

Will the US Government only be satisfied when Israel has flattened all the homes in Gaza and killed the entire one and a half million population?

Do not the people of Gaza deserve defence from Israel’s ethnic cleansing?

View the latest video coverage of the effects of Israel’s attack on the Gazan people.

Following one of the heaviest air strikes on Rafah so far, many homes were destroyed or severely damaged yesterday, especially in the neighbourhoods along the border with Egypt. Residents reported mass leaflet drops in these neighbourhoods by Israeli ‘planes yesterday afternoon ordering thousands of people to leave their homes. This resulted in a mass evacuation. Below is a translation of the leaflet dropped yesterday:

“Citizens of Rafah

Due to Hamas using your houses to smuggle and store ammunition, the Israeli Defence Force will attack your homes from Sea Street to the Egyptian border. To the people who live in these areas: Block O, Al Brazil camp, Al Shora area and Qishta area, all homes beyond Sea Street must be evacuated. You have from the time you receive this leaflet until 7.00am the following morning. For you and your children’s safety follow what this leaflet says.

The leadership of the Israeli Defence Force”

And how do people beleive this is true that all the famiilies houses are Hamas houses….the lies are crazy but not as crazy as those who believe them.

Jimmy Carter speaks with Obama and calls Israel’s attack “disproportionate”.

765 people have now been killed by Israel in Gaza, the majority of them civilians.

While the UN Security Council has called for an immediate, durable cease fire, the US abstained from voting.

Fourteen of the council’s members voted in favour of the compromise resolution worked out in three days of intense bargaining involving several Arab foreign ministers, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

The call for a ceasefire comes after the main UN agency operating in the Gaza Strip halted its operations after an attack on a truck convoy and amid mounting calls for Israel to abide by international humanitarian law.

But aid agencies complain relief workers and medics are at high risk and that civilians have nowhere to flee.

From the Washington Post:

The 15-nation council adopted the resolution by a 14-0 vote. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cast the sole abstention but said the United States supports the text and objectives of the resolution.

The resolution demands an “immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza,” according to U.S. and Arab officials. It marked a sharp reversal by the Bush administration, which had refused to allow passage of a cease-fire resolution without binding assurances that Hamas would halt its rocket attacks against Israel.

The resolution expresses “grave concern” over the “deepening humanitarian crisis” in Gaza, and it calls for more international aid and “unimpeded” distribution of food, fuel, medical treatment and other humanitarian assistance. The text makes no mention of Hamas’s practice of launching missiles into Israeli territory. Instead, it “condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism.”

@AJGaza: Resolution 1860 calls for an immediate and durable ceasefire and for unimpeded access for humanitarian aid workers

@AJGaza: #Gaza resolution does not contain a timetable for withdrawl of Israeli troops from Gaza strip

@AJGaza: Before the UN Security Council adopted the resolution, Israel had said the ground offensive in #Gaza would be widened and deepened

@AJGaza: Palestinian FM: “We fear … that Israel will delay it’s acceptance and implementation of the ceasefire”

Laila El-Haddad looks at Israeli propaganda techniques used to minimise public relations fallout and reaffirm Israel as an innocent victim.

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