*Note, as of 12 January, 2009 SBS Australia has removed video footage of the phosphorous bombs from its site, as well as the interview with Benjamin Rutland, as detailed below. Therefore the video above is from January, 11 from Al Jazeera English. Al Jazeera have a good reputation for balanced reporting, and have reporters in Gaza. And here is news story from the day I wrote this story regarding the phosphorous.
By the way, the official explanations given by the Israeli forces on its use of phosphorous bombs in that SBS Australia video above (no longer available*), ring hollow. You might want to watch the video following the one posted above (no longer available*). It seems that the IDF still thinks that the United Nations are liars regarding their bombing of civilians in schools set up as refuges from the bombing. It seems Australian-Israeli, Captain Benjamin Rutland, is reading from an auto-cue. I think the expression on the journalist's face says it all.
* Note, SBS no longer has this video on their news site as of January 12, 2009. It's original address was http://player.sbs.com.au/naca/#/naca/wna/Latest/playlist/Benjamin-Rutland-speaks/ In fact a lot of its videos do not seem to be availabale any more.Whether that is due to time passed or some other reason I do not know.
People were already starving, medical sources were already scarce as detailed many times over. Hamas keeps saying that a condition of any agreement is that the sanctions should be lifted. Actually, it was agreed that they would be with the last negotiations, but they never were. I wonder, if you and your children were eating grass whether you would not try to fight for your life. Now the tunnels are to be bombed, or have been bombed. Weapons do get smuggled through them, but obviously not in the numbers that Israel has painted, or we would surely be seeing the death of more Israeli forces. They are also the only way that many Gazans can actually get food and vital resources. The Vatican, who have been very conservative on this issue, have said that Gaza has been turned into a big concentration camp.
I believe it to be true. From this blog from a Palestinian journalist who is doing his best to get news out to the world. Remember, foreign journalists have been expelled from Gaza:
Skype: Gazatoday, Facebook: Sameh A. habeeb
He has a list of 34 events which he reported on yesterday. Here are a few of them.
14-Around 80 trucks and vans of medical and food areas allowed by Israel into Gaza.
The trucks not enough at all as Gaza needs thousands of trucks to respond for
Humanitarian crisis. In the normal day Gaza was having 6-7 hundreds of all
15-Around 450 thousand liters of Solar get into Gaza though Gaza crossings. Gaza
needs. Gaza needs over a million liter a day for the key power planet!
27-Medical sector is completely paralyzed.
29-All Gaza strip with 90% percent in deep darkness now.
Did you see 27 and 29? The medical sector is completely paralyzed and 90% of the Gaza strip is without electricity. The tunnels are being and have been blown up. I guess once people like Sameh cannot post any more, once doctors cannot operate any more (not that they seem to be able to effectively at all anyway, through no fault of their own), well, you can draw your own conclusions. On Tuesday, only five of 75 people killed were confirmed militants. The death toll as of my Thursday stands at more than 700, and a large percentage are civilians. And under international law, policemen do not count as militants (one of the first targets was a police graduation ceremony. Hamas run - but civilian nonetheless, and the building in place a long time before Hamas was elected. Hamas is the elected government, after all).
I think if someone looks at the death toll on either side of the equation, they really must have to do some serious thinking. Amongst the Israelis, four people have died from Hamas missiles, and "dozens have been wounded", apparently six Israeli soldiers have also been killed in combat. Most of the soldier's deaths have been from "friendly fire ".
Oh, and this little snippet by the way from Sameh's blog:
26- Funeral of 45 victims of United Nations massacre perpetrated by Israel exposed
to Israeli fire during time of ceasefire and many people wounded.
I recently read of a Labor minister in Australia, Julia Irwin and a Liberal minister, Sussan Ley, both who have spoken out against Israeli actions at other times, both going against their own parties' official lines. Currently, there has also been a group of Australian Jews who held a counter demonstration to the official Australian line. There is this petition also, and there are outraged voices out there, which means there are people who can recognise injustice when they see it. Is it really so hard for more of us to speak? Or do we feel that even if we speak, we probably will not be heard. Our governments and mainstream media are certainly silent.