By Sara Flounders
July 28 — The crimes are staggering, the destruction massive. Israel is creating a 3-kilometer strip of scorched earth around Gaza City that eats up about 44 percent of the Gaza Strip, already the most densely populated place on earth. (U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
After more than three weeks of ground attacks, Israel has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza using aerial bombardment, tank rounds and prohibited weapons. By United Nations estimates, 80 percent of the dead are civilians. UNICEF says 226 children have been killed and 1,516 injured.
Whole neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble. Some 3,175 homes have been destroyed, along with five hospitals and six clinics. Sixty-four mosques and two churches were bombed. The al-Wafa Geriatric Hospital was completely leveled.
Doctors charge that Israel may be using weapons such as white phosphorous, flechettes (small pointed metal darts in tank shells) and Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME). “The injuries we receive are unfamiliar to us,” said Muhammad Duaidar, a doctor in the intensive care unit at al-Aqsa hospital. “We have noticed bodies that look melted. We are calling for investigations into such injuries, which we have not [seen] in previous Israeli attacks.” (electronicintifada.net, July 28)
Intense thinking led to frightening dreams that could be potentially realistic.
With the world’s eyes focused on Gaza’s and Israel’s barbaric offensive, the eruption of resistance in the West Bank has gone largely unnoticed—though the latest spasm of Israeli violence began in the West Bank with the Israel Defense Forces operation, called Operation Brother’s Keeper, in response to the disappearance of three settler boys.
Kelly Lynn is an independent journalist and photographer from Vancouver, Wash., and a regular contributor to Mondoweiss.net and other sites. For the last three years, she has traveled back and forth to Palestine to report on resistance to Israeli occupation and apartheid. Currently, she is based in the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem in the West Bank. Last week, she talked to Sarah Levy about Israel’s escalating repression, and the rising tide of protest in the West Bank.
… I’ve been out on Hebron Road, which is the main street in Bethlehem, almost every night since July 4, which is when the protests in solidarity with Gaza and after Abu Khdeir’s funeral began. At least 25 young men and teenagers have been shot in the leg with live ammunition. Soldiers aim for the knee to cause the most damage, and because it requires the longest recovery time. They usually shoot during a lull, when there isn’t any stone throwing, so they can take careful aim.
Clashes are taking place in all of the big cities, but also all the small villages. On July 24, the largest protests since the Second Intifada took place in Ramallah, with tens of thousands marching toward Jerusalem. One was killed by Israeli troops.
And so it’s happening everywhere, and it’s absolutely an uprising of some sort, but it’s still a question of how long it’s going to continue. Everyone that I talk to doesn’t think it will calm down, they think it will continue to escalate, especially if the use of live ammunition is becoming a norm in these protests, and if Gaza continues to burn.
In the same way that Gazans don’t want a cease-fire that doesn’t address the living hell that they experience under the Israeli blockade, the people of the West Bank don’t want the clashes and demos and actions to be quelled without addressing the occupation and apartheid policies that they face. People seem ready for some sort of unprecedented change. I mean, they’re always ready for change—but I think they’re ready to make the sacrifice in terms of an uprising.
Some nights I lie awake thinking about everything, specifically- you, us, our future. How I will be by your side for anything and everything. Ill be by your side when we still act like children. I’ll be by your side when we are looking for property, finalizing our inn floor plans. I’ll be by your side for each piece of lumber laid. I’ll be by your side when we sow our first seeds into the land. I’ll be by your side if plans change, if we decide it is necessary to leave the country. I want you to be by my side when we talk about children, if it is right to bring them into this world, would we be endangering another human being. I want you by my side when I’m discouraged- to hold my hand, to press your body against mine. I will be by your side when you are discouraged. I will be by your side with every tragedy, disaster. I will be by your side knowing no on in this world makes me feel more whole than you.