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(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International)

“Most” killed in Gaza “deserved it” even though they were children and civilians, says Israel’s Danny Ayalon

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A Palestinian medic carries the body of Abdel Rahman Majdi Naim, 2, who was killed in an Israeli strike on a building housing media offices in Gaza City on 21 November 2012.

(Majdi Fathi / APA images)

In a clear indication of Israel’s shocking callousness and disregard for civilian lives, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon today told PRI’s The Takeaway that most of those killed and injured in Israel’s eight day long bombardment of the Gaza Strip “deserved it.”

“If you compare the situation in Gaza to the situation in Syria today,” Ayalon said, “where the Assad regime just mercilessly butchers people and children there is a big difference and I would say that most of the people that were hit in Gaza deserved it as they were just armed terrorists.”

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister: "Most of the people who were hit in Gaza deserved it..." by The Takeaway

Vast majority killed and injured are civilians and children

But in fact, the vast majority of those killed and injured were unarmed civilians. Up to 20 November, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 91 of the 136 Palestinians killed were civilians, including 28 children and 13 women, and 922 of the 941 wounded were civilians, including 258 children.

So 66 percent of those killed, and 97 percent of those injured were civilians. Almost one third of the dead are children.

PRI, notably, did not challenge Ayalon on his false assertions.

News reports say that at least 22 more Palestinians were killed on 21 November, including at least two more children.

Earlier today, BBC correspondent Wyre Davies told World Service radio, “It’s quite alarming how many young children have been killed in this conflict.”

A video by Egyptian citizen journalists taken at Gaza City’s main hospital vividly shows the extent of the deaths and injuries to civilians.

In addition to the dead and injured, large numbers of civilians have been displaced. UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, today said that:

Many families are gathering in overcrowded apartments located in areas that they hope are less likely to be targeted. However, as shelling of residential building persists, the population grows weary and evermore fearful.

The remaining 34 percent of the dead presumably include members of Palestinian resistance factions, some of whom will have been killed by Israel in what amount to extrajudicial executions while they were in their homes or other places.

Israel compares itself with Syria

It is only by comparison with the dire situation in Syria that Ayalon hopes he can prettify Israel’s horrifying crimes. But it is clear that Israel’s crimes, and the responsibility of leaders like Ayalon for directly ordering them or complicity in them, stands on its own.

Since Israel began its attack on Gaza on 14 November, breaking a tenuous ceasefire, four Israeli civilians and one soldier have been killed in fire from Gaza and 21 Israelis were injured this morning in a bomb explosion on a bus near Israel’s “defense ministry” in the heart of Tel Aviv.

New ceasefire announced

Ayalon’s comments came as Israel and Palestinian resistance factions agreed to a ceasefire, to take effect this evening. Under the terms of the deal brokered by Egypt, Israel will cease all attacks, incursions and extrajudicial executions in Gaza and ease the blockade, while Palestinian factions will refrain from firing toward Israel.

What remains to be seen is if the ceasefire will take hold and if Israel will implement its terms, given its history of violating such truces.

Comments

Ali, thank you for posting this video. I'm Anita, Nora Barrows-Friedman's mother. I just sat and watched the video on this sunny California afternoon, and -- although certainly I have been aware that this is what is happening -- the faces of these babies, these young men and women, the images of these children lying in the hospital cots -- the images drive the reality home as nothing else can. They are powerful and devastating, and I wish they would move the hearts of those who are perpetrating the horror. Though I know that that is beyond imagining, still I will share them with some friends and students who would not see (or choose to see) them otherwise. They tell us, show us, the truth we need to know. I find I am riveted to these images, excruciating to witness as they are; I feel I need to arm myself with them, I need never to avert my gaze.
Warmly,
Anita

The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, says what many Israeli's believe, which demonstrates why there can never be a resolution of this problem. His comments should be condemned by the United States and the United Kingdom in the strongest possible fashion, and he should immediately be sacked from his post in the Israeli government. He should also be arrested and charged with incitement to murder. Of course, none of this will happen because the myth that Israel is "the victim" is ingrained in the mind set of Washington and London and is sustained by the well worn fabrication that Israel is defending itself when each new barbarity and aggression is inflicted upon the people of Gaza and Palestinians generally in the occupied territories. This attitude, shown by Ayalon and so prevalent in Israeli society, ensures that the "peace process" and the "two state solution"are now completely dead, not that either was really a viable proposal as far as the government in Tel Aviv was concerned.
When the opinion of the Israeli government is expressed in such vile terms and the United States and British governments endorse it, there can be little surprise when ordinary people in other countries express revulsion and abhorrence of Israel and all it evils.

What exactly is the definition of "civilian" these groups/individuals are using to establish their casualty figures?

Well, I'm not positive about some, but I'm pretty sure civilized people would consider a 2 year old a civilian!