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
“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
Later that Friday at 11pm:
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Pillar of Cloud
Guardian of the Walls
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.