Summer Showers: Israel Begins Pounding Gaza (updated)
For any individual out there who thought the Gaza "disengagement" plan meant any inkling of freedom for Gazans, please think again. The occupation of Gaza is alive and well. When Israel is allowed to run its tanks in and out of Gaza whenever it wants, begins shelling power plants, destroying bridges, and targeting civilians, how are we supposed to believe that Gaza was given any independence in the first place?! Not that I fell for the "disengagement" joke, but sometimes I try to play devil's advocate with myself in favor of the IOF line, and I'm consistently unconvinced.
Over the past few hours, Israeli tanks, F-16, and Apachi helicopters began an expected assault on the 1.4 million residents of the Gaza Strip after an Israeli soldier was taken prisoner by Palestinian fighters on Sunday. Aljazeera is reporting that the IOF has called the operation "Summer Showers".
Aljazeera journalists reporting from different parts of the Gaza said that a main bridge connecting the norther part of Gaza to the central and southern parts has been attacked by the Israeli airforce, as well as a central power plant which has resulted in the absence of electricity in many parts of the Gaza Strip. Shelling has also begun in Rafah, Khan Yunus, and in other parts of southern Gaza. The AP has also confirmed the same information.
Israeli planes attacked two bridges and a power station, knocking out electricity in most of the Gaza Strip early Wednesday and stepping up the pressure on Palestinian militants holding captive a 19-year-old Israeli soldier.Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children are now sitting in the darkness of Gaza, waiting for their homes to be shelled, their men to be detained, and their relatives to be killed by a 20-something Israeli sniper. Patients in Gaza's hospitals will find themselves in the dark, their respirators and other necessary medical equipment suddenly shut down, and will lie in bed waiting to see if the world will so much as utter a whimper in the face of Israeli aggression. Nobody should be surprised if they are left to die in those hospital beds.
On the other side of the world, I sit in the comfort of my suburban Washington home, slightly annoyed by the heavy rains and thunderstorms that have disrupted my daily outings. When we lost power for an hour last night, my biggest worry was that I could not watch the soccer matches on tv, access the Internet on my laptop, microwave my dinner, or enjoy a night's sleep with my precious A/C pumping cool air into my bedroom. There were no F-16's flying over head, or tanks rolling into my street, or snipers stationed in the house across mine. They were just summer showers; the wet type, not the burning type.
May God be with you, Gaza.
[Israeli soldiers cheer as they prepare to move into the Gaza Strip at an army base outside Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, near the border with the southern Gaza Strip, early Wednesday June 28, 2006. AP photo]
UPDATE: Aljazeera's live coverage has been very informative, and I'm glued to the tv for the most part. Members of a resistance group in the West Bank have claimed responsibility for taking an Israeli settler hostage through a phone call made to Aljazeera. The spokesman said that the settler is a military trainee. He said their requests from the Israeli government are the same as those who captured the other Israeli soldier: the release of all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
The reporters scattered throughout Gaza are saying that the IOF is using a well known technique of faking an air strike by breaking the sound barrier through sonic booms. This is mainly used as psychological warfare as it scares the residents (mainly young children) who assume that an air attack is imminent.
[technorati tags: Israel, IDF, terrorism, Palestine, Gaza, human rights, resistance, occupation, international law]