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Bombing Refugee Camps in Gaza Instead of Paying the Refugees Reparations
by juan cole (reposted)
Friday Jan 2nd, 2009 8:15 AM
From a Friday, January 2, 2009 entry on Informed Comment a blog run by Juan Cole

Bombing Refugee Camps in Gaza
Instead of Paying the Refugees Reparations

The news keeps reporting that the Israeli air force bombed refugee camps in Gaza.

Did you ever wonder how those refugee camps got to be in Gaza? Cont'd . . .

I mean, where are they refugees from? There didn't used to be refugees in Gaza, before 1948, after all. The grandparents of today's refugees were living in their own homes, which their ancestors had lived in for centuries if not millennia.

After Germany created Jewish refugees in WW II, it was made to pay reparations to the victims, right?

Israel hasn't paid a dime to any of the Palestinian families it expelled in 1948, [pdf] which is itself a violation of international law.

Map6_RefugeesRoutes.gif
Palestinian refugees created by Israeli military actions, 1948.

Update: Israel continued to bomb Gaza on day 7 of blitz. The airstrikes continued Friday morning.

Israel has killed 37 children and 17 women since it began its bombardment last Saturday. About a fourth of the over 400 persons killed are estimated to be obviously civilians because they were children or women; the proportion of the civilians killed is likely actually higher because a lot of the men are probably noncombatants, too. Likewise, large numbers of the over 2000 Gazans wounded have been innocent civilians.

Gazans are facing starvation and death, according to UN humanitarian chief John Holmes. The power plant has been knocked out, making it impossible for the hospitals properly to treat the over 2000 wounded in the airstrikes, or indeed, for patients needing oxygen & etc. to get it. Hospitals have resorted to generators, but they run on fuel, which is in short supply and many Gazans are without electricity. Some 20,000 a day are not getting the UN wheat rations and other foodstuffs on which they rely, given that Israel long ago destroyed their economy. That is, there is real and increasing hunger in Gaza, 50% of the population of which is children.

Tzipi Livni said the purpose of the operation was to weaken Hamas.

Wasn't that the purpose of all those assassinations carried out by Ariel Sharon in 2003-2004? Didn't they assassinate Sheikh Yasin and Rantisi & etc. then? Did Hamas disappear? If Livni and Ehub Barak think that aerial bombardment is the right way to deal with a group like Hamas in a place like Gaza, they are just as out of touch with reality as George W. Bush.

posted by Juan Cole @ 1/02/2009 12:04:00 AM