The elections may be over but the carnage in Iraq and Israel continues unabated. In the last eight days another 57 Palestinian women, men and children have been slaughtered - hundreds more wounded. It is shameful that our government is using our tax money to send weapons to Israel to slaughter innocent civilians. Metal shrapnel dug out of their bodies was stamped “Made in USA.” The administration, Congress and media are displaying blatant partiality. This does not bode well for peace and justice in the Middle East. In a grotesque show of force (using US supplied weaponry), Israeli tanks and armored vehicles descended into the town of Beit Hanoun, mangling up the asphalt streets and crushing cars. 24 tanks surrounded the local hospital alone. To create more fear, helicopter gunships and warplanes flew overhead. Palestinian males ages 16 to 45 were rounded up, reminiscent of Nazi Germany, and hundreds loaded onto trucks and driven away for interrogation—some later released, others detained indefinitely. By November 3, at least 20 Palestinians had been killed. One of the local residents described the siege, “The situation is very, very bad. The Israelis have destroyed Beit Hanoun—they have destroyed the infrastructure. They’ve cut the water pipes and the telephone lines. They put explosives at the doors of the houses—.” Edible food, water and medical supplies quickly ran out. Paramedics who responded came were themselves targeted and a number killed.
The Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees called for world support to “End Gaza Carnage.” The group charged that Gaza’s health system was at “the breaking point” and that the indiscriminate attacks on civilians, including children, “represent a form of reprisals and collective punishment in violation of article 33 of Fourth Geneva Convention.”
Canadian television reported seeing missiles hurtling into neighborhoods. (CTV, Nov. 3).
Israeli soldiers opened fire on unarmed women. The army later claimed to have film showing that its troops were firing at men hiding among the women, who it said were being used as human shields by gunmen. Tel Aviv claimed that all 57 people killed by its troops in the town—which included a four-year-old child—were “gunmen.” Reuters aired film of the first shots being fired; no men were visible in that footage.
Tahrir Shahin, a 36-year-old with seven children, walked for an hour with her sister at dawn to the mosque. Troops shot her in the leg, which later had to be amputated above the knee.
The Israeli military used the opportunity to bulldoze more cultivated land and orchards of lemon and orange groves effectively destroying the livelihood of the farming community. The mayor reported 40 homes were demolished and 400 damaged. Utility poles, water pipes telephone and electricity wires were destroyed. Even tombstones were not spared!
On November 2, Israeli air strike wounded at least seven civilians, including six children. Several hours later eight more Palestinians were killed.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian Authority Chairperson Mahmoud Abbas denounced the bloody Israeli offensive as “acts of massacre.”
There is little doubt that the massacres will trigger reprisals and more innocent Israelis and Palestinians will perish. It is time for all Americans to call an immediate halt to unconditional aid to Israel. Failure to do so, will intensify the anger and put all Americans at risk for the failed policies of our government and the state sponsored terrorism of Israel.