On this day in 2008, Israel commenced its massacre of the Gaza Strip, which killed more than 1400 Palestinians, including at least 318 children. A further 5,000 were injured, 400,000 left without running water, 4,000 homes destroyed and tens of thousands of people left homeless.
Israel's justification for the massacre was that the bombings were in retaliation for rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel. What they don't mention is that the rockets were fired in retaliation for Israel breaking a cease fire and bombing Gaza. This cease-fire had been honoured by Hamas, yet Israel claims it was Hamas who broke the cease-fire. Israel, as usual, misrepresents the facts and rewrites history.
The 22 day Operation Cast Lead was a war-crime, in which no-one has been punished or held accountable. Israel used nuclear and chemical weapons on densely populated civilian areas. The weapons included missiles with depleted uranium, phosphorous bombs, and DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive). DIME is a carbon shell which splinters and shoots out tungsten dust, burning and destroying everyone and everything within its radius.
Doctors treating victims of Operation Cast Lead have found people with injuries that they have never seen before and which they do not know how to treat. This has raised the question of what other unconventional and unknown weapons are being used by Israel on civilians. Refer to this article published by the UK's The Independent : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/tungsten-bombs-leave-israels-victims-with-mystery-wounds-1418910.html
Human Rights Watch released a report in March 2009 which cited the indiscriminate and repeated use of white phosphorous as evidence Israeli war crimes. White phosphorous is traditionally used in open areas to screen troop movements, however, during Operation Cast Lead it was used in areas in which Israel had no troops. It wasn't used as a screen, it was used to deliberately maim and kill.
A United Nations review of Operation Cast Lead was headed by Jewish Justice Richard Goldstone (http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=32057). He handed down a 575 page report which accused both Israel and Hamas of war-crimes. In a press conference, Justice Goldstone said "the mission concluded that actions amounting to war crimes and possibly, in some respects, crimes against humanity, were committed by the Israeli Defence Force". Goldstone found that the use of rockets by Hamas was deliberately aimed at killing Israeli civilians and so also constituted a war crime. However, Hamas's weapons are primitive and certainly are not Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Whilst a crime, Hamas was not aiming to obliterate an entire civilian area or trying to destroy their infrastructure. Hamas killed 13 Israelis. If Israel wants to punish Hamas, and Palestinians collectively, then who punishes Israel? Israel killed over 1,400 Palestinians and many are suffering permanent injury from the use of WMD.
There is no excuse for use of these weapons in Gaza.
Israel has consistently used WMD in Palestine. When accusing Palestinians of crimes, Israel will use military aircraft to bomb the residential area in which the suspect lives, often killing the suspect and their family members. Israel does not make an effort to simply arrest and charge their suspect. Even in the cases where they do arrest suspects, they rarely charge them with any crime, but instead hold them indefinitely. Israel's definition of crime is very loose. Simply being Palestinian is enough for Israel to suspect a person of a crime and to hold them indefinitely.
Where was the international uproar when Israel massacred the 1400 people in Gaza? Where was the uproar over Israel's use of WMD on civilians? Who will be held accountable? Israel has done such a good public relations job of demonising Palestinians that no-one cares for them or pleads their case. Yet, how many of us would stand by as our country was invaded and we are forced from the land at gun-point, as many of our people are murdered or raped. Would we fight back? As the world condemns Palestinian aggression, it then wages illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan based on "pre-emptive" strikes; a policy which has been responsible for massacring hundreds of thousands of people who never committed a crime, and never would commit a crime, against the invading nations. The last country invaded for its alleged use of WMD was Iraq. A charge which was shown to be false. Yet there is ample evidence of Israel's possession and use of WMD on civilians and no country is speaking up against it. Why not?
The hypocrisy shown towards Israel is disgraceful. It is time that the world stood up against Israel's decades of propaganda, rewriting of history and it's ethnic cleansing of Arab identity and presence in Palestine. It is time that Israel was held accountable.
RIP the victims of Operation Cast Lead and victims of all other war-crimes committed by Israel.