Gaza tortured by Israel and US, not failed by “the world”

A man cries as he sits next to several shrouded bodies with mourning people standing on opposite side of metal fence behind him

Al-Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, overflows with the dead and wounded after another night of relentless Israeli bombing, 25 October.

Mohammed Zaanoun ActiveStills

On Thursday, the United Nations’ relief chief said “the world” was failing people in Gaza.

Martin Griffiths added that “heavy bombardments on Gaza continue and are getting worse, even in areas supposed to be safer.”

By blaming “the world” for failing Gaza, and by omitting mention of who is doing the bombing, Griffiths is absolving Israel of responsibility.

Israel declared total war and complete siege on Gaza and its military leaders have vowed to make it “a place that is temporarily or permanently impossible to live in,” “a place where no human being can exist” and where “there will only be destruction.”

Israeli leaders have done this while labeling the entire population there “human animals” and “human beasts” – openly genocidal language.

Contrary to Griffiths’ claim, many people around the world – including major nations such China, Russia and Brazil – are calling for a ceasefire as entire families are erased from the civil registry as part of Israel’s campaign of elimination.

The parties obstructing a ceasefire and the delivery of life essentials to the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza who haven’t yet been killed are Israel and its patron, the United States.

Even the 27 members of the EU managed to overcome their divisions on Thursday and call for “humanitarian pauses” in Israel’s bombing.

It’s hardly a moral or courageous position, but a sign perhaps of how even some members of the staunchly pro-Israel bloc can no longer fully stomach the slaughter that they have been enabling and cheerleading.

Kids killed with US warplanes

Defense for Children International-Palestine said on Thursday that children in Gaza are being killed with US weapons dropped from American-sourced warplanes.

Nearly 3,000 children are among the more than 7,000 Palestinians killed in Gaza since 7 October. The death toll is likely much higher, with some 940 children missing under the rubble of destroyed buildings.

The children’s rights group said that the US is actively enabling Israel’s commission of the crime of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden stated that “it is important to continue to get humanitarian aid – food, water and medical supplies – to innocent people in Gaza.”

Biden added that “that flow needs to increase, and we are working hard to make that happen.”

The US president failed to mention fuel, without which humanitarian agencies in Gaza cannot even distribute the paltry amount of aid that is entering the territory via the Rafah passenger crossing with Egypt.

Nor can water be pumped without electricity, which also requires fuel to generate.

Hospitals in Gaza, which are overwhelmed by the high number of casualties from Israel’s incessant bombing, have been running on generators powered by rapidly dwindling – and in some cases exhausted – fuel supplies.

Israel has banned the import of fuel to Gaza after halting the supply of electricity on 11 October, forcing “essential service infrastructure to rely on backup generators,” the UN says.

Israel could resume the supply of electricity to Gaza with the flick of a switch. Children in Gaza are drinking polluted water because Israel deliberately cut the delivery of water as a form of collective punishment prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

International organizations and third states have long been too eager to help Israel shirk its responsibilities, as the occupying power, for the lives and welfare of Palestinians in Gaza, most of whom are refugees from areas that are now in Israel.

Instead of pressuring Israel to lift the complete siege on Gaza, the Biden administration is using the transfer of aid via Rafah as a fig leaf for the genocide it is arming and abetting.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Thursday that only 74 trucks carrying humanitarian aid had entered Gaza since Saturday, with no aid entering for nearly two weeks before then.

Around 500 trucks were allowed into Gaza on a daily basis before 7 October under the severe blockade that Israel imposed in 2007.

Aid destined for Gaza is being detained at the Nitzana crossing between Israel and Egypt for inspection by Israeli authorities. The UN said that 3,000 truckloads of aid “are still waiting on the Egyptian side to enter Gaza.”

Ghassan Abu Sitta, a British-Palestinian surgeon currently in Gaza, said on Thursday that the UN has a major fuel depot in Rafah, southern Gaza, but Israel is threatening to bomb any convoy that it sends to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

Al-Shifa hospital is the largest in Gaza and “is 36 hours away from running out of fuel for the generators,” Abu Sitta said.

UN pledges to assist all Palestinians in Gaza

On 12 October, Israel ordered more than one million Palestinians in the northern half of Gaza, including Gaza City, to evacuate to the south.

It has dropped flyers in northern Gaza threatening the safety of any civilians who remain.

On the morning of 25 October, the Israeli military ordered Palestinians in two neighborhoods east of Khan Younis and Deir al-Balah, in the southern half of Gaza, to evacuate east to the coastal area of al-Mawasi.

“That area has almost no sheltering capacity,” the UN said later that day. “The volume of movement as a result of this call remains unclear.”

Palestinians are being massacred in Israeli bombing across the Gaza Strip, where nowhere is safe.

On Thursday, Lynn Hastings, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the West Bank and Gaza, pledged that the world body “intends to deliver aid wherever people in need are located” in Gaza.

“For people who can’t evacuate – because they have nowhere to go or are unable to move – advance warnings make no difference,” Hastings said.

“When the evacuation routes are bombed, when people north as well as south are caught up in hostilities, when the essentials for survival are lacking, and when there are no assurances for return, people are left with nothing but impossible choices,” she added.

“The conduct of armed conflict, anywhere, is governed by international humanitarian law,” Hastings added.

“This means that civilians must be protected and have the essentials to survive, wherever they are and whether they choose to move or stay.”

Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’ politburo, rejected Israel’s control over everything that enters Gaza and called for the entry of life essentials to the territory “without restrictions and without conditions.”

“It is absolutely unacceptable for the enemy to control what will or will not enter Gaza,” Haniyeh said.

“No longer will the occupation control Gaza or our people or our region,” Haniyeh insisted.


Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.