Israel makes war on Gaza – again


Since September 2005, when Israel “withdrew” from Gaza, almost 6,000 Palestinians have been killed as a result of Israeli military incursions into Gaza.



At 4pm on Friday, 5 August 2022


“Israel launches airstrikes to assassinate Tayseer al-Jabari, the head of Islamic Jihad’s military wing in the northern Gaza Strip, and claims to kill 10 more militants from the organization.


“Over the course of the evening, the Israel Defense Forces proceed to attack Gaza City, Beit Hanoun and Khan Younis, as part of a new military operation code-named Breaking Dawn.  A 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman are among the civilian casualties from the bombing campaign.” ( Haaretz, 7 August 2022)


Operation Breaking Dawn is Israel’s fifth major military operation against Gaza since September 2005, when it withdrew its Jewish settlers (8,000 of them) from the strip along with its ground forces.


Later that Friday at 11pm:


“Following al-Jabari’s funeral, Islamic Jihad launches a score of rockets toward Israel, with border towns bearing the brunt of the barrage.  Most rockets are intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, and no injuries are reported. …


“Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh blames Israel for the escalation and threatens that ‘all options are open’ but no rocket fire is attributed to the ruling party in the Strip.”


48 hours later a ceasefire was established through the mediation of Egypt.


Operation Breaking Dawn caused the deaths of 49 Palestinians in Gaza, including 17 children (Al Jazeera, 12 August 2022).  In addition, according to Tor Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, speaking to the Security Council on 8 August:


“The Ministry of Health in Gaza reported 360 Palestinians injured, including at least 151 children and 58 women. At least 10 houses were completely destroyed and 48 severely damaged and rendered uninhabitable. According to the Gaza authorities, over 600 housing units were damaged, displacing 84 families.”


The rocket fire by Islamic Jihad into Israel in response caused no deaths in Israel and little or no damage.



Israel the aggressor


Clearly, Israel was the aggressor here and its armed aggression caused the deaths of 49 Palestinians.  Israel struck first and Islamic Jihad responded with rocket fire into Israel.  Without Israel’s armed aggression, there would have been no response from Islamic Jihad.


You wouldn’t have guessed that from the statement from UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on 6 August, which said


“The UK stands by Israel and its right to defend itself.  We condemn terrorist groups firing at civilians and violence that has resulted in casualties on both sides.  We call for a swift end to the violence.”


No reference there to the fact that Israel struck first.


Likewise, President Biden’s statement on 8 August said that “over these recent days, Israel has defended its people from indiscriminate rocket attacks” but failed to mention the fact that Israel had struck first.



Ireland’s response


The Security Council considered the matter on 8 August.  You might have thought that Israel would be widely condemned there for an unjustified act of armed aggression that caused the deaths of 49 Palestinians, but you would be mistaken.


Ireland’s contribution was typical.  The Irish Ambassador, Cait Moran, reserved her condemnation for Islamic Jihad, saying:


“Ireland condemns the launching of rockets from Gaza. Attacks and the threat of attacks on Israeli citizens are unacceptable.”


As for the Israeli aggression that provoked the launching of rockets from Gaza, Ms Moran said:


“The impact of Israeli strikes on civilians in the Gaza Strip is unacceptable. …. The impact on children, in an already difficult humanitarian situation, is especially


Worrisome?  The impact on children was a great deal more that “worrisome”.  It got 17 of them killed and injured another 150.


US saddened


Speaking for the US, Mrs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said she was “saddened by the reports of civilian casualties”.  Most likely, these casualties were brought about by weapons made in the US and paid for by the US taxpayer.  Under a deal between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2016, the US agreed to give Israel $38 billion of military aid over 10 years, the vast bulk of it to be spent with American arms manufacturers.


On top of this guaranteed $3.8 billion, Israel often receives additional military aid from the US.  For example, in March this year, the US Congress approved a billion dollars for Israel to pay for the Iron Dome interceptor missiles expended during Operation Guardian of the Walls, last year’s military assault on Gaza.


Mrs Thomas-Greenfield also remarked that the US believes that “Israelis and Palestinians equally deserve to live in safety and security” and “we are working assiduously to that end”.  Perhaps, the US should begin the work by ceasing to supply Israel with the military equipment with which they regularly kill Palestinians.


Israel’s five major military operations


The following table lists the five major military operations conducted against Gaza since September 2005 and the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza in each operation.









Dec 2008

Cast Lead


Nov 2012

Pillar of Cloud


July 2014

Protective Edge


May 2021

Guardian of the Walls


Aug 2022

Breaking Dawn






These figures are from a database maintained by the excellent Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem.  This database contains information about every individual killed during the conflict in Israel/Palestine since September 2000.


Just over 4,000 Palestinians were killed by Israel during these five operations, but this is by no means all the Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza since September 2005.  According to B’Tselem, that number is 5,986 up to the end of June 2022.




David Morrison

27 August 2022