Israel Bombs Gaza Back to the Stone Age … as Collective Punishment

Israel Commits War Crimes In Gaza

We previously noted:

Israel is currently bombing Gaza back to the stone age ….

And:

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai said:

We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages destroying all the infrastructure including roads & water.

Or as Haaretz puts it:

Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Israel’s operation in Gaza: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages ….”

Destroying civilian infrastructure is – of course – a war crime under the Geneva Convention.

The following are also war crimes under the Geneva Convention:

  • The indiscriminate or disproportionate use of force
  • Collective punishment for the acts of a few
  • Targeting civilians

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Indeed, the UN has repeatedly found Israeli’s actions in Gaza to be a war crime. See this, this and this.

The same year, Gilad Sharon – the son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – wrote an Op-Ed in the Jerusalem Post saying:

We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.

“There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing.”

Many observers allege that Israel is intentionally targeting essential infrastructure such as water supplies.

Israel has now bombed Gaza’s only power plant –  knocking out power for a year – and so Gazans are being urged to ration water as pumps grind to a halt.

Israel has also repeatedly bombed UN shelters for civilians … killing scores of women and children.

And as AntiWar reports:

Earlier today, the Israeli military announced a four-hour “humanitarian lull in the Gaza Strip, giving civilians in the strip a chance to go out and try to find food at the marketplaces, or so they thought.

Instead, Israel let hundreds of civilians pour into the Shejaiya marketplace and then attacked it long before the truce expired, killing at least 17 civilians and wounding 160 others.

It was one of several Israeli attacks reported during the four-hour “lull,” almost entirely focusing on civilian targets, and by all accounts so far killing exclusively civilians.

Daily Beast writes, in an article entitled, “Israel’s Campaign to Send Gaza Back to the Stone Age“:

The already brittle civilian infrastructure lay in shards. The Gaza City port had been bombed and the finance ministry was flattened. Tens of thousands more people had fled their homes as Israeli flares lit up the night sky, and shells and rockets pounded residences, businesses and government buildings.

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Few in Gaza will see a campaign that has now targeted civilian infrastructure as anything less than collective punishment for having a leadership that fights back.

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The power plant is a loss with particularly far-reaching consequences. According to Hayat abu Salah, spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), it will need major repairs before it can be put back on line. “This will affect the provision of water and sanitation services,” she said. “It will impact the operation of health facilities.”

With more wounded pouring into Gaza hospitals every day, they are already stretched. The emergency room of Gaza City’s Al Shifa Hospital is running out of supplies and was already coping with massive complications created by power cuts. The maternity ward has lost premature babies because it was unable to keep the incubators running.

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This is not the first time Israel has knocked out Gaza’s power plant and targeted essential infrastructure. Indeed, this is almost part of a standard playbook. Following Hamas’ kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006, Israel plunged Gaza into darkness with a retaliatory strike on the power plant. The bombing and escalation in Gaza set off a series of events that led to a full-on war in Lebanon as well as Gaza.
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