Gaza Assault Over, For Now

Editor Palestine Monitor, 11 April 2011
After a cease-fire, “all options are on the table” including targeted killings and Operation Cast Lead II, said Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom.

What many Israelis and Palestinians were calling the beginning of Operation Cast Lead II, has calmed down for now.

However, the Palestinian News Network warns that sources inside the Israeli military have predicted the fight is far from over, expecting violence to escalate soon.

After a direct appeal from Hamas, Israel agreed to a cease-fire. Israeli Foreign Minister called the move a mistake, and his Israeli Beitienu colleague Uzi Landau demanded the army “finish the job” of the 2009 brutal campaign which left 6,000 injured and 1,500 dead in Gaza.

So egregious was it’s violence, Israeli must be investigated by the International Criminal Court for Operation Cast Lead, according to Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

While Israel and newsrooms describe the effectiveness of Iron Dome missile-defense system, the Gazan Health Minister Basem Na’im announced that last Saturday that after four consecutive days of border closures, Gaza has run out of 150 different kinds of medicines. A week old, the closure and air assault continues.

After a week of air, land and naval attacks, 19 Palestinians are dead, 70 injured.

Yesterday, the Arab League asked from Cairo for a UN Security Council-imposed no-fly zone over Gaza. Decrying the collective punishment of the small, densely populated and impoverished coastal land governed by Hamas, the Arab League said a no-fly zone would keep civilian casualties low.

The Israeli missile attacks started a rocket fired from Gaza hit a school bus, critically wounding a teenager. Violence escalated when Palestinian groups fired more than 120 rockets into Israel, so far without wounding any Israelis.

Even before the assaults, despite the so-called lifting of the blockade earlier this year, Gazans’ lives were not significantly changed, according to a pre-bombing March 2011 report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories (OCHA). They still live in abject poverty, pushed by desperate hunger to tunnel to Egypt and work alongside dangerous border zones bristling with security towers, soldiers and remote-controlled machine gun turrets.