Thursday, January 15, 2009

Children of Hamas or the Harvest of Bitter Fruit

The Toronto Star hosts a report on the ‘nightmarish’ situation in Gaza Strip hospitals and while I have no doubt medical personnel are operating in their worst case scenario this bit caught my eye.

The Lancet cited the Ministry of Health in Gaza as saying that as of Monday, 292 children and 75 women had been killed in the offensive, with 1,497 children and 626 women wounded.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, the death toll is somewhat lower: As of today, it said, 225 children and 70 women had been killed. However, the ministry defines children as 18 and under, the Palestinian Center 17 and under.
Israeli defence officials acknowledge the military has loosened its rules of engagement during the current round of fighting to prevent the killing or capture of soldiers.

But military officials note that Hamas fighters have worn civilian clothing while fighting Israeli troops, using schools, mosques and crowded residential areas for cover, making it hard to keep ordinary residents out of harm's way.Reacting to the Lancet articles, Israeli Cabinet Minister Isaac Herzog said his country has worked hard to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza throughout the fighting, and Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor sharply criticized one of the doctors quoted in the Lancet for "spreading vicious lies."

Paul Garwood, a Geneva-based spokesman for the World Health Organization, said the Gaza Health Ministry's figures had not been independently verified, but they seemed reasonable based on their staff's observations in Gaza. In a statement last week, WHO declared that health services in Gaza were "on the point of collapse." UNICEF called the situation "tragic" and "unacceptable."

The International Committee of the Red Cross said the Israeli army has failed to evacuate the wounded. "The violence launched on Gaza is taking an unjustifiable toll on civilian populations," the Lancet said in an editorial. "These actions contravene the fourth Geneva convention," it said, referring to the international agreement that civilians are to be protected in times of war.

Why? Well, let’s roll with this video aptly titled Children of Hamas.

There are those who suggest the Israeli Operation Cast Lead will only create more enemies and hardened the attitudes of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip/ I would counter that Hamas and Fatah have indoctrinated and incited, so well for so long, unencumbered by an vestige or pretense of humanity, that anything the Israeli state would do or did not do, is absolutely irrelevant in the face of this ideological pathology. There is only one counter - which is to allow those who preach and toil incitement, blood and hatred; to feel the full measure of sowing what they reap, and make no mistake, it is a harvest of the most bitter fruit a human heart can taste.

Meanwhile, as the calls for more worldwide pro-Hamas/Gaza Strip rallies are being staged, and I do mean staged, Ha'aretz reports on the lack of protests in Ramallah.

h/t - Shiloh Musings

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