Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, December 2008
Initial Assessment of the Israeli Terrorist War on Gaza
By Hassan El-Najjar
ccun.org, January 20, 2009
The 22-day Zionist Israeli terrorist war on the Gaza Strip resulted in killing 1,350 Palestinians and injuring more than 5,450 the overwhelming majority of whom were civilians. Among the martyred (killed unjustly in a war of aggression) Palestinians residents were 417 children, 108 women, 120 elderly, 14 medics, 4 reporters and 5 internationals.
The human suffering by subjecting 1.5 million people to a continuous war for 22 days cannot be expressed in words. in addition to deaths and injuries, Gaza has been subjected to extensive campaign of destruction of its buildings, stores, schools, mosques, and utilities.
By the end of the war, more than 80% of Palestinians in Gaza are living now below the poverty level. Billions of dollars are needed for reconstruction and starting the economy. Immediate relief and aid of food, medicine, fuel, and building materials are needed.
Al-Qassam Brigades announced that 48 of their fighters were martyred, including one self-sacrificing martyr, who attacked an Israeli tank with his bomb. Palestinian resistance fighters also managed to confront the Israeli invading forces with fierce fighting which stopped them from entering innercity Gaza neighborhoods. They also managed to launch about 900 rockets and missiles at Israeli targets, 60 of which were grads reaching cities of Isdood, Asqalan, and Be-er Al-Saba'a. One of the Grad missiles hit a chemical factory in Isdood, causing explosions and fires. Another hit a major military air base in Be-er Al-Saba'a.
Al-Qassam Brigades announced that their rocket power is still intact despite the 22-war by 8 Israeli army brigades, or one-third of Israeli forces. They demonstrated their steadfastness and determination by launching 8 Grad missiles at Israeli targets after the Israeli unilateral ceasefire announcement. The Israelis themselves admitted that Hamas still has 10,000 fighters and 5,000 rockets. This means that the main announced objective of the Israeli war has not been accomplished. The democratically-elected Hamas government is still in control of the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian resistance is still intact. However, the Israeli brutality is most likely to force them to seek to acquire far more fire power for their rockets and missiles, in preparation for the future inevitable confrontations imposed on them by the Israelis.
Despite all the casualties and destruction of property, the Israeli brutality does not deter Palestinian fighters. Actually, Israelis have still demonstrated a miserable lack of understanding of their enemies. Devoted Muslim fighters cannot be deterred by death. Period. Death in the battlefield means martyrdom, which leads to Paradise. They know that they are oppressed by the Israelis, who evicted their parents and their grandparents from their homeland. As a result, they have a just cause, which is gaining support all over the world, particularly from Arabs and Muslims.
These are simple facts, Israelis and their Zionist supporters need to understand. They also need to understand that they need to leave Palestinians alone to establish their own independent state, which will then negotiate coexistence with Israel through giving Palestinians their inalienable rights, as stated in UN resolutions.
The Israeli terrorist forces used US-made weapons, particularly F-16, Apache helicopter, DIME bombs, phosphorus bombs, and other military equipment, together with EU-made equipment and naval vessels to commit their war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip.
Without this US-EU military and financial support, the Israeli aggressors could not have launched all those wars against Palestinians and other Arab neighbors. That's why US-EU governments share the responsibility with the Israeli terrorists for the innocent Palestinian blood shed by their weapons.
Official Israeli military casualties included 10 deaths and 130 injuries. However, Palestinian resistance sources announced that there were 33 deaths among Israeli soldiers and about 320 military injuries.
Are we going to hear wise voices in Israel and the US speaking about an end to the conflict, through enabling Palestinians to establish their state and realizing their rights?
I'm not holding my breath!
Bodies of 95 residents located under rubble in Gaza Strip
Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Sunday that medics and residents located the bodies of 95 Palestinians who were killed during the Israeli offensive; buried under the rubble of shelled homes and facilities in several different areas in Gaza.
The sources added that 1,305 Palestinians have been killed in the offensive, and more than 5,450 were wounded. Among the killed residents were 417 children, 108 women, 120 elderly, 14 medics, 4 reporters and five internationals.
Medics and civil defense teams started a search campaign on Sunday morning in areas that they were unable to enter during the Israeli shelling, and located the bodies of 35 residents during early morning hours.
Dr. Mu'awiya Hassanain, of the Palestinian Ministrer of Health, reported that by the end of the day on Sunday, the bodies of 95 residents were found under the rubble in al-Tuffah area, Jabal al-Rayyis, al-Kashif, al-Atatra, al-Qarm, al-Zaytoon and Jabalia.
Dr. Hassanain added that dozens of residents are still missing and are believed to be dead, and added that the search campaign would continue for several days.
In spite of the ceasefire, Israeli war jet were seen flying over the Gaza Strip and fired at a number of homes in eastern Gaza on Sunday morning.
Eyewitnesses reported that Israeli tanks and armored vehicles withdrew from some areas in southern and northern Gaza. The tanks did not fully withdraw from Gaza, but only pulled out to areas away from the civilian homes, especially in al-Zaytoon neighborhood, al-Sha'af and al-Tuffah.
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