by Ayman Ahmed (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 53, No. 12, Rajab, 1445)
With its US-supplied weapons—military aircraft, missiles, and artillery and tank shells—the zionists are continuing their genocidal war on Gaza. At the time of compiling this report, more than 26,000 Palestinians have been murdered by the zionist war criminals. Nearly half of them are children. Add to that the women killed, and this figure climbs to 70 percent.
There are also 7,000 people buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings, all presumed dead now. So, the actual death toll in Gaza is much higher than the figures released by Gaza’s Health Ministry. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are also targeted to increase Palestinian suffering.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only 15 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are partially functional—nine in the south and six in the north. Of particular concern is lack of medicines to treat the badly injured. With no anaesthesia, doctors are forced to make the painful choice of amputating children’s limbs.
“No doctor wakes up in the morning and says: ‘I’m going to amputate a child’s leg without anaesthesia.’
“You don’t want to watch children suffer,” Dr Amber Alayyan with Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF, told Al Jazeera. According to UNICEF, between October 7 and December 21, 10,000 children had their limbs amputated without anaesthesia. This figure has now exceeded 11,000.
Dr Alayyan told Al-Jazeera how inconceivable it is for her, as a doctor and a mother, to cause pain to a patient and to a child. When children’s limbs are amputated, their parents are taken to an area where they cannot hear the screams. There was a particularly painful episode of a surgeon amputating his own son’s limbs and then watch him die of pain.
In addition to hospitals, schools, universities, mosques, churches, libraries, bakeries and warehouses are also targeted and destroyed. The zionists’ intentions are clear: kill as many Palestinians as possible and ethnically-cleanse the rest from Gaza.
At least two million Palestinians out of 2.3 million have been displaced through indiscriminate bombings and the razing of entire residential neighbourhoods. Israel has also imposed a total siege of Gaza. The tyrannical regime in Egypt led by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is complicit in Gaza’s siege. The US and European Union also support Israel’s genocidal campaign.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that Israel is blocking three out of four relief convoys to northern Gaza where virtually all the buildings have been destroyed. The situation in the rest of Gaza is no better. In Khan Younus in the south, for instance, Israeli tanks and snipers have besieged the city and shoot anyone who moves.
In addition to the ongoing genocide, prevention of food, water and medicines to Gaza threatens to kill through hunger and infectious diseases hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. A UN expert says Gaza may already be in a famine situation. People are forced to use animal feed to make bread because of lack of flour.
Numerous cases of Hepatitis A and B have been reported in Gaza. Similarly, skin diseases and stomach ailments due to lack of clean drinking water have erupted. With no medicine, these diseases will spread. This is precisely the purpose of Israel’s genocidal onslaught on Gaza.
Two barriers stand in the way of Israel’s genocidal policy. One is South Africa’s meticulously argued case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on January 11. The second is the valiant resistance of the Islamic movement—Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad—in Gaza.
The first is unlikely to deter the zionist war criminals from continuing their genocidal campaign even if the ICJ finds Israel guilty. Israel has never cared for any laws or legal rulings. In its relentless criminal conduct, it has the full backing of the US and its NATO allies that are complicit in Israel’s genocide.
In any case, the ICJ interim ruling on January 26 merely said Israel must take measures to prevent genocide. It did not call for a ceasefire, as requested by South Africa. Instead, the UN court said Israel can continue killing the Palestinians provided it does not boast about it.
It is the Islamic resistance that has inflicted significant damage on the Israeli mass murderers. Militarily, Israel has lost the war. On January 23, Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades killed 24 Israeli soldiers, spreading panic and grief among the invaders. Out of frustration, Israel targets innocent civilians. They are a soft target with no protection from aerial bombardment.
This is what cowards do but they ultimately fail. The zionist colonial settlers are the biggest cowards in the world. They use hi-tech weapons to kill defenceless civilians but flee when confronted by the intrepid Islamic fighters.
The illegitimate zionist entity’s end is near. Given deep internal divisions and its failure to defeat Hamas and Islamic Jihad, how long can it last? Benjamin Netanyahu is prolonging the war because the moment the shooting stops, he will be handcuffed and marched off to prison. He faces a number of criminal charges as well as the charge of failing to protect Israelis from Hamas’s daring attack that was launched on October 7.