Israel’s Attempted Endgame in Gaza

I rest my case.

The bombings were timed to cause the maximum number of “enemy” casualties. They occurred at approximately 11:20am on a bustling Saturday morning, just as schools were changing shifts and many children were either leaving for home or coming to afternoon classes; when offices were filled with their employees, and streets busy with the late morning crowds out getting lunch or on quick errands of one sort or another.

The intensity of the bombings on Saturday, which left over 230 people dead and 800 wounded, many seriously, was what struck one witness, R., who claimed never to have heard so many explosions so close together and for such an uninterrupted period of time inside the Gaza Strip. One after another, the explosions sounded, most of them near heavily populated areas; and in one case only 30 meters away from his daughter’s elementary school.

The bombings were timed to cause the maximum number of “enemy” casualties. They occurred at approximately 11:20am on a bustling Saturday morning, just as schools were changing shifts and many children were either leaving for home or coming to afternoon classes; when offices were filled with their employees, and streets busy with the late morning crowds out getting lunch or on quick errands of one sort or another. The day before, Israel had opened some of the crossings into Gaza to let in another trickle of humanitarian aid. ‘See how generous we are to our enemy!’ they exclaim with straight faces to the international media. Each time Gaza reaches the brink of starvation and ruin, they let in just enough food and supplies to silence potential critics. Then the next round begins. It is hardly surprising. After all, this policy was outlined publicly by Dov Weisglass not so long ago when he promised that Israel would put Gaza on a punishing “starvation diet” until it saw reason and evicted its democratically elected government. Many people, including members of the Hamas government, believed that reopening the crossings to international aid signaled another brief lull in military activity, as it usually had, while the IDF General staff prepared its next offensive. In this way were the people and government of Gaza unprepared for the next day’s slaughter

The deliberate ploy to strike at midday when the collective population of Gaza had let down its guard for a few short hours had its intended effect. One of the deadliest massacres in the history of Israel’s occupation of Palestine followed as  F-16 fighter jets, helicopter gun ships, tanks, armored vehicles and pilot-less drones closed in on the Gaza Strip.  By Monday morning over 300 people were dead and 1000 injured. Hospitals were overflowing with the seriously wounded; the morgues with the dead for whom they had insufficient refrigeration. Insufficient medical personnel, equipment, supplies and services raised the likelihood of many more dying in their overused beds waiting for the help and attention they would never get. The taxi driver R. hailed to get him to his daughter’s school as quickly as possible after those first strikes had begun initially refused, staring in shock as columns of smoke rose from brand new layers of debris.

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