Gaza rebuild ‘to cost billions’
Jan 04 2009
Today, the news reports that Israel has moved beyond its land/air/sea bombardment of Gaza, which has killed hundreds, including many civilian men, women and children. Tanks, motorized forces and troops have virtually cut the territory in half. While four Israelis have died from Hamas rocket attacks since the invasion began, BBC reports:
According to Hamas officials and witnesses, the main fighting is now centred on four areas: east of the Jabaliya refugee camp; in the Zeitoun neighbourhood to the east of Gaza City; on the coastal road close to the site of the former Jewish settlement of Netzarim, south of Gaza City; and in an uninhabited area in the centre of Gaza.
Hamas said its fighters were in some cases engaged in “face-to-face battles” with Israeli soldiers.
Earlier, the Israeli military said the militants were not engaging its troops in close combat but using mortars and improvised bombs.
The Palestinian health ministry says more than 500 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have now been killed since the Israelis began their assault on Gaza eight days ago. A further 2,500 have been wounded.
Dec 26 2007
Okay, so yesterday was Christmas and much merriment was had by all. Except, as the media were determined to remind us, by Palestinian Christians suffering persecution by Muslim extremists. While the persecution certainly exists, it is plainly a sideshow to the Israeli occupation, which not only persecutes but kills Palestinians of all religious persuasions. It’s perfectly egalitarian in that sense: men, women, children, Muslims, Christians – no Palestinian is safe. But that story doesn’t fit with the “evil Muslims taking away Christmas” or the “war on terra” memes, and has therefore been marginalised.
In any event, ’tis the season to be jolly, so let’s look at the bright side: this will all be over within a year, as agreed upon at Annapolis. Both sides will work tirelessly and sincerely to achieve a final settlement. The Palestinian Authority will make real attempts to crack down on militant groups while Israel will freeze all settlement construction and dismantle all outposts, and will in no way attempt to use the structure of the roadmap to delay and obfuscate progress, as it has done in the past. Good, now that’s sorte – huh?: