According to UNRWA, the population of Gaza numbers around 1.9 million, of which 1.4 million (73%) are refugees. In what amounts to collective punishment and the denial of basic human rights, Israel denies freedom of movement to the inhabitants of the enclave, including the refugee majority, who are prevented from travelling within their own homeland. The Zionist regime‘s military forces come and go there, as they please, of course. This year, Israel had already made 18 incursions into the territory before a single missile had been fired from Gaza. Accompanied by reconnaissance aircraft, the invading Israeli forces laid waste to Palestinian land and agriculture. From 1 January until 14 April, there were no Palestinian missile-firings towards the Green Line and, when they did finally begin, the total of Israeli Gaza ceasefire violation attacks had already reached 315.
On the morning of the day the present ceasefire was agreed (21 May), the body of a three-year-old girl was recovered from under her home, destroyed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza City‘s Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood. Up to and including 26 May, another 19 bodies were uncovered under the ruins caused by Israeli air strikes. Two more people died of their air strike injuries on 23 and 24 May.
Incursions aside, as Haaretz journalist Noa Landau notes: “Israel is present in almost all aspects of life, as far as the residents of Gaza are concerned, including permission to wear camouflage-patterned clothing, or hiking boots (defined as “dual-use goods”, which can be used for military purposes). Even foreign journalists (and Israelis of course) are not allowed to cover what is going on there as they wish.”
Oh and, with regard to Israel’s one-sided view of so-called Gaza ceasefires, the Zionist regime simply couldn’t wait to return to ‘normal’. The very next day after the ceasefire announcement, on 22 May, and knowing that the mainstream news media would keep quiet, Israeli gunboats opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats, at sea off Khan Yunis. Three days later the Israeli Navy did the same off Gaza City and again the following day, off al-Sudaniya. Of course, Israel’s inhumanities only seemed to increase in the Occupied West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem, during and since its recent aerial blitzes on Gaza.
The world community has an urgent duty to defend the shamefully betrayed Palestinian people. It is imperative that Israel and its leaders be brought to account for their glaringly obvious war crimes.