Israeli Good Tidings for Palestinians: Throughout The Holiday Season - Israeli State Terror Never Rests
04 December 2014
By Stephen Lendman
Israel holds around 4.5 million Palestinians hostage
on their own land in their own country. Under military
rule. Affording them no rights whatever.
Especially 1.8 million besieged Gazans. Trapped in the
world's largest open-air prison. Another 1.7 million
Israeli Arab citizens treated like enemies of the
No signs of change whatever exist. Occupation
harshness continues. Palestinian self-determination
remains as distant as ever.
Besieged Gaza lies in ruins. Gisha Legal Center for
Freedom of Movement executive director Eitan Diamond
reports a dire picture, saying:
"The tragic story of Gaza began before the latest
hostilities, but the situation has become more dire as
a consequence of the destruction caused by the
"There are over 100,000 people who have lost their
homes. They still haven’t found a new home. Not a
single house, four months after the hostilities, has
been rebuilt (up) to this point."
"There’s also been a very slow movement of
construction materials which are desperately needed in
Gaza. A fraction of the quantity of construction
material that is needed has gone through, so people
are in a desperate state."
"Seventy percent of the population, even before the
hostilities, depended on humanitarian aid just to get
"In this kind of a reality it is not surprising that
people are desperate, and many take desperate
Gaza's main markets are Israel and the West Bank.
Since 2007, hey've been completely "sealed," said
Positive rhetoric for change belies tragedy without
end on the ground. Gazans' ability to live normally is
"nonexistent." Nothing is being done to change things.
Israel's war on Gaza continues. Ceasefire terms are
breached almost daily. Cairo peace talks accomplished
Corrupted PA officials siphoned off half the $5.4
billion pledged for rebuilding. For unspecified budget
purposes. Money down a black hole.
Israel maintains total control over rebuilding what it
destroyed. Gazans have no say. Border crossings remain
London's Guardian reports corruption hampering
rebuilding. Saying "a controversial UN-designed
mechanism to control the supply of building materials
(favoring Israel at the expense of Gazans) has been
Oxfam reports less building materials entering Gaza
than before Israel's war. Despite ceasefire terms
In November, Israel let only 287 truckloads enter
Gaza. "(A)t this rate, reconstruction and development
could take decades," Oxfam said.
UN officials estimate around 100,000 homes damaged or
destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of Gazans lack
municipal water network access.
Daily blackouts persist up to 18 hours daily. Promised
aid hasn't come. Gazans needing rebuilding help need
Israel's approval to get it.
Under a system requiring registration. For specified
amounts of materials. From special warehouses.
Monitored by UN inspectors. Serving Israeli interests.
Taking bribes. For cement to be sold at black market
One warehouse manager, Maher Khalil, explained what's
happening as follows:
"We do what we are supposed to do. There is a list
published with people's names which we post outside."
"They check their name and come with their
(authorization). We check the ID and then give them
"We told the UN inspectors who came to see us we can
only check what is going on inside the warehouse, not
what is happening outside."
"Inside we sell the concrete for 500 shekels ton.
Outside they sell it for 1,600."
Economist Omar Shaaban calls what's happening "a
disgrace. The new reconstruction mechanism has
reproduced the Israeli siege of Gaza, only this time
it is the UN that is regulating it."
"The UN is trading stability for cement - and not very
much of it. And most of the cement that is coming in
is being sold on the black market."
"Israel knows it. (UN Mideast envoy Robert) Serry
knows it. The mechanism (is) a license for
"It is a license to prolong the siege. It is a license
for big salaries for the UN officials running it."
According to Oxfam's regional director Catherine
"It is deplorable that such little progress has been
made given the enormous scale of needs and massive
"People in Gaza are becoming increasingly and
understandably frustrated at the lack of progress."
"The international community has repeatedly failed the
people of Gaza. It must not fail them again at such a
It's doing so in real time. In plain sight. Violating
a clear obligation to help.
Expect things a year or two from today to be little
different. Maybe worse than now. Depending on what
Israel has in mind.
Gazans remain largely on their own. Trapped by
international community indifference. Collusion with
Israel. Corrupted PA officials profiting at the
expense of their own people.
Largely out of sight and mind. London's Guardian
article a rare mainstream explanation. On December 26,
Haaretz editors headlined what US editors ignore.
Saying it's time to end Gaza's blockade. Without
explaining its lawless imposition. For political
reasons. Unrelated to Israeli security.
Targeting Palestine's legitimate government.
Imprisoning about two dozen Hamas legislators. For
belonging to the wrong party.
Gaza was largely isolated before Hamas' rise to power.
"By restricting movement and by controlling the land,
sea and air space surrounding and above Gaza, Israel
controls its economy and dictates its poverty," said
"Israel must rescind its policy of closure and of
cutting the Gaza Strip off from the world and
recognize the fact that the residents of Gaza are part
of the Palestinian people, whose official leadership
is striving to establish a state alongside Israel."
Why won't New York Times editors express this view.
Their longstanding pro-Israeli bias is deplorable.
On October 10, they headlined "Having to Rebuild Gaza,
Again." Not a word about Israel's premeditated naked
It's ruthless killing machine. Its responsibility for
lawless mass slaughter and destruction.
Its willful targeting of non-combatant men, women,
children, infants, the elderly and infirm. It's
collusion with Washington in all its wars.
It's Big Lie about Hamas being a terrorist
organization. "Israel's implacable enemy," said Times
Not a word about ending what they called a "draconian
blockade." Instead urging corrupt PA officials to
"assert leadership in Gaza…(As) a credible political
alternative to Hamas."
Palestinians alone have say over who'll lead them. Not
Israel or Times editors. Don't expect them to explain.
Or about ongoing Israeli crimes during holiday season
festivities. On Christmas day, Israel's West Jerusalem
municipality approved 380 new illegal settlement units
in occupied East Jerusalem.
On stolen Palestinian land. Meaning Palestinian family
dispossessions coming. To accommodate Israeli
At least 12 Palestinians were kidnapped. In pre-dawn
raids. In Nablus, Hebron and East Jerusalem.
Another 14 in Azzoun. East of Qalqilia. On suspicion
of hurling a Molotov cocktail at a settler's car.
Setting it ablaze. Injuring a child inside.
Mass indiscriminate arrests are longstanding Israeli
practice. Guilt by accusation follows.
Silwan resident Mousa Odeh's home was targeted.
Israeli soldiers kidnapped his 15-year-old child,
Musallam. Two other Silwan children were kidnapped.
One identified as Mohammad Nasser. Aged 12.
These type incidents occur multiple times daily.
Terrorizing Palestinian communities. Christmas day no
Israeli security forces demolished six EU-funded
Palestinian irrigation pools. Used by northern Jordan
Valley farmers. Now without a vital water supply.
Israel destroyed Gaza resident Shuruq Abu Tu'eymah's
home. She struggles to survive in an UNRWA school.
With her husband and four daughters.
She dreamed of her own home. Her husband is an
electrician. He worked on Gazan lifeline tunnels. On
In 2010, one collapsed on him. Fracturing his back and
ribs. "He hasn't been able to work since," said Shuruq.
In 2012, she borrowed money from her family. To build
a home on a plot of land she and her husband owned. In
Abasan al-Jadidah. About 1.5 kilometers from Israel's
The house was about 125 square meters. Unfinished
because of lack of money. Shuruq and her family moved
Thrilled to have a home of their own. Feeling "on top
of the world." About two months before Israel launched
Operation Protective Edge, "my house was finally
ready," said Shuruq.
When war began, she was pregnant with her fifth child.
She and her family were scared. They moved to her
East of Khan Yunis. Remaining until July 27. When air
strikes and shelling became intense. "We were afraid
we would all be killed," said Shuruq.
Her father called for ICRC help. To relocate them
somehere safe. On August 1, Shuruq's fifth child was
While hospitalized, her husband told her their home
and his parents' house were bombed. She couldn't bare
to see what happened.
Years of s and work destroyed. "(I)n a single moment,"
she said. "(T)rough no fault of (their) own."
"We (did) nothing wrong. My family and I have a lot of
beautiful memories from that house and I didn't want
She called UNWRA school living conditions "hard."
Basic needs aren't met. Family members sleep on mats.
With blankets they supplied themselves.
"We keep getting the flu and stomach ailments because
of the cold and our unhealthy diet, which consists
mostly of dry or tinned food," she said.
"The bathroom is in the schoolyard, at a distance from
the building. We're afraid of sleeping here because of
all the strangers."
"We have no privacy and I'm tense. There are a lot of
families here. Almost sixty women and children living
She goes to her sister's or parent's homes to do
laundry. To shower. "There is no hot water at the
school, and it's getting cold," she explained.
"We're waiting for the world to help us, so we can at
least go back home."
Despite large parts of Gaza turned to rubble.
Practically no reconstruction began.
Israel controls everything. Complicit with corrupted
UN and PA officials.
Hundreds of thousands of Gazans in need don't matter.
At Christmas or any time of year.
Israeli ruthlessness decides things. Collectively
punishing 1.8 million people.
Held hostage for political reasons. Suffering
horrifically. Out of sight and mind.
World leaders remain beholden to Israel. Rhetoric
substitutes for help.
A Final Comment
In 2014, the Al Haq human rights group documented 60
Palestinians Israeli security forces murdered in the
West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Aside from Operation Protective Edge's genocidal
slaughter. Israel has no concern for Palestinians'
lives and welfare.
Treating young children like adults. Ignoring
fundamental international humanitarian and human
Operating with impunity. Committing virtually every
high crime imaginable.
On Christmas like every day. Throughout the holiday
season. Israeli state terror never rests.
Palestinian corpses attest to its barbarity. So do its
thousands of mutilated victims.
Many more in its gulag. For wanting to live free. On
their own land in peace.
What Israel categorically won't tolerate. On Christmas
and every day of the year.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached
at email@example.com. His new book as
editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in
Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen
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