June 27, 2006

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.

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14 Comments:

At 9:42 PM, Anonymous iman said...

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.
Well yeah, it is rather a big joke ... which not that many politically mature person really fell for!

israel can do anything it wants to Gaza without having to worry about harming their own people - since Gaza is free of them!

Anyway,

My prayers are with the people of Gaza.
Palestine TV coverage is more up to date than Al-jazeera...I've been flipping back and forth between the two.. Seeing those little kids walking barefoot, holding hands, some hanging on to their toys as they're fleeing for their homes to take shelter is heart breaking. May God be with the people of Gaza and all Palestinians in Palestine!

 
At 9:52 PM, Blogger moi said...

Iman-- Like you said, Israel is less constrained about attacking Gaza now that settlers have been removed. I remember that fellow blogger Laila once said that they did not use the sonic booms when the settlers were present in Gaza.
Unfortunately, I don't have the Palestinian channel anymore, so Aljazeera is the best I've seen so far. Please feel free to leave updates here or on your blog.

 
At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

poor hamas. i'm sure hamas is just playing by the rules -- like the geneva convention since the palestinians are always whining about the geneva convention. so i'm sure that the israeli prisoners they are holding (including a civilian, which is against the geneva convention itself) have full access to the international red cross and i'm sure hamas is treating them in accordance with the geneva conventions.

just kidding. we know hamas isn't abiding by the convention.

you f--- with the bull, you get gored.

i hope israel smashes hamas.

 
At 11:46 PM, Blogger الفلسطينية said...

aljazeera coverage has been real good- ive also been glued to the tv for most of the night too.

 
At 1:31 AM, Anonymous Andy said...

Just as I said: IDF had cut electicity off in S. Gaza.

 
At 3:30 AM, Anonymous Nas said...

A "bull" is a metaphor for "Israel" now?

well I guess that explains a lot about the crap they spew.

 
At 9:06 AM, Blogger Abed. Hamdan said...

We should be aware of the fact that this "Summer Shower" was going to happen whether we kidnapped a soldier or not, I've seen many Arab ignoratns whom are blaming the Palestinian resistant to kidnap a soldier terrorist. The kidnapping and the whole attack done by Qassam/Naser sala7 el dain/ Jaish el Islam is a normal response to the lare massacres , and a powerful message to Israel that your wall is doing nothing, and the truce is over.

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger Abed. Hamdan said...

Massacres are happening everyday, with or without Qassam rockets...so let the massacres be a little bit expensive this time...

 
At 9:21 AM, Blogger Christopher Brown said...

Thank you for the post Moi, the World needs to know what is going on in Gaza.

 
At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

The World cares nothing about Gaza. The World watches football.

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger moi said...

الفلسطينية--I managed to pull myself away from the tv. It's very hard to just sit and watch these crimes being committed without being able to do much.

Anon--The settler captured is not a civilian. He is studying to be a solider in a military institute. He willingly chose to live on occupied territory. If you knew someone was studying and planning to come rob you of your home and threaten the lives of you and your family, then he came and kicked you out of your home, settled in it, while you slept on the street, would you just sit back and watch?

Andy--I thought you wanted them cut off water? And sadly, you're right, the world doesn't care much about Gaza.

Nas-- lol, yep, explains all the BS.

Abed-- Can't add much to that. I fully agree.

Chris--It's the least we can do. Your interview with Sam Bahour is excellent, I encourage everyone to check it out.

 
At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Joachim said...

I'm having a hard time following along. Perhaps I'm a little slow, or just misinformed. But as I understand it, after the unilateral Israeli withdrawl, the Palistinians fired hundreds and hundreds of rockets over several months designed to inflict indiscriminate casualties, all with the official blessing of the Palistinian Government. What do know -- the Israelis fired back. Now the Palistinians launch a military raid from Gaza into pre-67 Israel. A soldier is taken hostage and presumably held in Gaza. Your only response is that the disengagement was a "joke?" That Israel would have re-occupied Gaza even had there been no rockets or military incursions launched from Gaza? What the hell is wrong with you people?

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger ryan said...

You may not like the comparison, but I wish that Hamas would treat their Palestinian brothers like the Israelis treat their soldiers. While Israel has mobilized its army to rescue one of its own, Hamas is provoking an attack we could've seen coming a mile away. And who suffers the most? The Palestinians. Don't they deserve better?

 
At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Pierre Bizette said...

Hi,

Just a French perspective on this blog. It took you Americans long to understand that Israeli occupation was a sad thing. It looks like it will also take you long to understand that Hamas is a piece of shit. Those who really care about the lives of the Palestinian people, and there aren't many in your great American democracy, should hear me. We should judge government on what they can deliver. I don't care that these guys are less corrupted than Fatah. They failed to deliver. You need a strategy. A strategy to improve the lives of your people. Not just bullshit about Allah and women going around looking like ghosts. Lets hope for a change of direction. And understand that it won't come from Israel...

 

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