by Stephen Lendman
(RINF) – Israel’s war on Gaza continues. Any excuse is used to attack 1.8 million Palestinians lawlessly besieged in the world’s largest open-air prison.
When none exist, they’re invented – or attacks occur after multiple IDF provocations bring a justifiable response.
Vicious persecution of Gazans has been ongoing since Palestinians elected Hamas overwhelmingly as their legitimate government in January 2006.
In mid-2007, Israel imposed lawless siege – entirely for political reasons, not security. It remains in force despite pledges to ease it.
Overnight Saturday, a Gaza-based Salafist group claimed responsibility for firing a rocket at Ashkelon in southern Israel.
The group issued a statement saying it fired a Kaytyusha 130 rocket. It admitted firing two others last week.
Saturday’s rocket landed in an open area. No casualties or damage was reported – or from last week’s rocket firings.
Israel responded as expected – launching lawless aggression against Palestinian targets. So far, no casualties are known, just damage and destruction to sites struck.
Hamas had nothing to do with either rocket attack, or Islamic Jihad.
Israel irresponsibly blamed it anyway – its way of justifying the unjustifiable, bombing in response to harmless incidents.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said “(e)ven if the shooters…were jihadist groups rebelling against Hamas by firing at us, we view Hamas as being responsible for everything that occurs in the territory of Gaza.”
At the start of his weekly Sunday cabinet meeting, Netanyahu lied saying:
“Israel holds Hamas responsible for all fire from Gaza into our territory.
“I didn’t hear anybody in the international community condemn the fire, and the United Nations didn’t open its mouth.” False! See below.
“I’m interested if the silence will continue even when we exercise with our full strength to our right to defend ourselves.”
“The hypocrisy that has spread across the world won’t tie our hands from defending Israeli citizens.”
Bombing Gazans has nothing to do with protecting Israeli security. It has everything to do with waging endless war on defenseless Palestinians for the crime of not being Jewish.
Last week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted the rocket attack. He responded in his usual weak-kneed way urging “all parties to avoid further escalation…”
After both incidents causing no casualties or damage, Israel responded by terror-bombing Gaza – a clear act of aggression ignored by the world community.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings closed. Three others aren’t operating.
On Sunday, Israel began military exercises near Gaza’s border – in the western Negev near Sderot.
Allegedly to maintain military preparedness, it may be part of Israeli preparations for more war.
Since last summer’s Israeli aggression on Gaza ended, Hamas avoided provocations potentially able to reignite conflict.
On Sunday, the right wing Jerusalem Post headlined “Hamas is not behind the latest Gazan rocket fire. (It) stands the most to lose from a new escalation.”
It’s going all-out to prevent attacks and intends arresting responsible parties. Israel knows this, yet still irresponsibly holds Hamas responsible.
Radical Salafists calling themselves the Omar Hadid Brigades admitting responsibility didn’t deter two Israeli terror-bombing incidents. Expect more to follow.
On Sunday, Haaretz editors called keeping Gazans “locked in…immoral and strategically unwise.”
Blockades are acts of war. Lawlessly preventing Gazans from leading normal lives endangers the entire population.
As the occupying power, Israel is fully responsible for the safety and welfare of all Gazans.
“Israel must open all the checkpoints and” and allow free movement through them, said Haaretz editors.
In late May, they headlined “Let the people of Gaza go,” saying Israeli anti-Hamas hostility can’t be allowed to make the entire population suffer.
Gaza resident Mayasem Abu-Mer said “(w)e feel like cattle in a pen. But even cattle are allowed sometimes to go out into an open space. In Gaza we’re forbidden to do so and we don’t even know why.”
Students with scholarships to study abroad can’t leave. Ill Gazans needing medical treatment unavailable in the Strip can’t get it elsewhere.
Small numbers only are given permission for any reason to leave. Most are denied – including dying patients.
“There’s certainly no reason for students who have families abroad and residents with urgent medical problems not to receive humane, efficient treatment,” said Haaretz editors.
“We cannot allow the explosive security situation and the hostility toward Hamas to exacerbate the conditions in the Gaza Strip and increase the local pressure. This is not only a Palestinian interest but an Israeli one.”
As long as Israel’s lawless occupation continues, justice for Palestinians will be denied.
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.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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