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Palestine | International

Israeli missiles pound Gaza into new Dark Age in 'collective punishment'
by UK Independent (reposted)
Thursday Jun 29th, 2006 6:26 AM
As a textbook example of hi-tech precision bombardment it could hardly be improved. Smoke was still rising yesterday from the scorched wreckage of the six transformers at Gaza's only power station, each destroyed by a single missile fired by an Israeli warplane some 10 hours earlier.
Had they hit the huge cylindrical diesel tank 100 metres away they would have set the whole power station alight. But the strike was clinically effective, cutting all the electricity to 700,000 Gaza consumers, threatening water supplies and depriving its public of light, cooking, broadcast news, and ­ a crucial issue in scorching summer temperatures ­ fans.

"I'm so surprised that they did this," said Dr Derar Abu Sisi, the operations manager at the Al Nusirat power station. "We have been right through the worst of the intifada but this didn't happen." It would, Dr Abu Sisi said, take a "minimum of three to six months" to restore supplies at a cost between $5m (£2.8m) and $7m. "The Geneva Convention says it is not allowed to attack infrastructure for the civilian people," he added. "You might expect that economic infrastructure could be a target in the last stages of a war. But this is not like that."

The damage to Gaza's power supply was condemned as "unacceptable and barbaric collective punishment of civilians, including women, children and old people" by the office of Mahmoud Abbas, which complained it was intensifying what it says are the difficulties he already faces in trying to secure the safe release of Gilad Shalit, the 19-year-old Israeli army corporal abducted by militants ­ including members of Hamas's military wing ­ on Sunday.

The crisis escalated yesterday as Hamas called for the prisoner swap Israel has so far refused to entertain; another faction responsible for Cpl Shalit's abduction, the Popular Resistance Committees, threatened to kill Eliahu Asheri, 18, a settler it says it is holding, if Israel does not end its military campaign in Gaza, and a third, the al-Aqsa Martyrs, claimed to have seized a 62-year-old man from the central Israeli city of Rishon Lezion.

More
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article1129750.ece
by UK Guardian (reposted)
Thursday Jun 29th, 2006 6:27 AM
It is not yet quite a year since Israel withdrew its forces and dismantled illegal settlements in the Gaza Strip, though there has always been a grim inevitability about the offensive - codenamed Summer Rain - that Ehud Olmert unleashed yesterday to try to free a soldier abducted by Palestinian fighters. Bombing bridges may have some military logic, but the destruction of a power station seems intended solely to intimidate and inflict collective punishment. No other purpose is achieved by cruelly depriving hundreds of thousands of ordinary Gazans of their electricity supply (and shutting down water pumps) in sweltering heat. The international community, rightly alarmed at this dangerous escalation, can only call for restraint and back whatever diplomatic moves are afoot, through Egyptian mediation, to secure a peaceful outcome to a grave crisis.

Confusion surrounds the precise motives of the gunmen from the Islamist group Hamas and two other armed organisations who captured the Israeli corporal and killed two other soldiers on Sunday. But it was clearly intended to provoke a reaction, as is the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel. Homemade Qassam missiles manufactured in secret workshops hidden in refugee camps are not in the same league as Israel's hi-tech (though not always accurate) weaponry, but they can still kill. No government could ignore them. The brutal truth, though, is that Israel has killed many more Palestinians in its attacks on the Gaza Strip - the distinction between preemption and retaliation now bloodily blurred. Mr Olmert has expressed regret for this, but insists he has no choice. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, cannot control Hamas, which formed a government but has faced an aid cutoff and deep financial crisis since winning January's elections. To complicate matters, Hamas is divided between local leaders with pragmatic instincts (who have ceased the suicide bombings that were once the movement's calling card) and a more militant exiled wing in Syria: that leaves Israelis and Palestinians stuck in a cruel impasse in which too many innocents die.

More
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1808370,00.html
by How many more babies must die?
Thursday Jun 29th, 2006 6:28 AM
How many more babies must die? How many more Palestinians must be terrorized before the terror state of Israel is satiated?
by no matter what
Thursday Jun 29th, 2006 7:06 AM
Have there been any casualties in this offensive strike? I haven't heard of any. Israeli has been specifically targeting infrastructure- in fact infrastructure surrounding the area where this 19 year old is being held. This is done to prevent him from being moved.

This is a modern day, real life 'saving private Rya". I find it extremely moving that this is done for one soldier.
That moves me much more than these filthy war pigs terrorizing Palestine.
by Israeli
Thursday Jun 29th, 2006 2:46 PM
Olmert and Peretz have done nothing remotely like this to try rescue Eliyahu, the hitchiking teenager kidnapped and murdered yesterday by the filthy and despicable murderers of the "resistance" (what were these supremacist goons resisting when they kidnapped and murdered him as he waited for a ride in a Jrslm neighborhood?). Olmert didn't even so much as make a phone call to his family. This shows that many in Qadima and Labor view the lives of Israelis in Judea and Samaria as infinitely cheaper than a soldier's life.

by Where is it?
Thursday Jun 29th, 2006 5:01 PM
"Notice how desperate the pro-israel fanatics are?
They will try to propagandize anywhere they feel there stranglehold on information is threatened."

Was something deleted above? Where is the pro-Israel fanatacism and propoganda to which you refer?
The evidence of fanatiicsim is in the insistent spamming/trolling for all things israel.
The desperate, constant all day, all night on multiple IMC's.