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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/gaza-les-bom...

by Patrick Le Hyaric

Gaza: The bombs fall amid a deafening silence!

Gaza : Les bombes tombent dans un silence assourdissant !

Translated Sunday 20 July 2014, by Michael Peters

For Patrick Le Hyaric, director of L’Humanité and Member of the European Parliament, the press release from the Elysée (official residence of the French President) is unforgivable and breaks with France’s traditional standpoint. Here, there is no possible comparison between an occupying power and an occupied country.

For three days, the Israeli government has unleashed “Operation Protective Edge” on the Gaza Strip which has been living under an inhumane blockade since 2006.

Each day that passes is even more deadly than the one before. The Israeli government says it has bombed 840 targets as part of this campaign, notably rocket launch sites and the homes of Hamas members or those of the Islamic Jihad, which the Jewish state considers the command centres of the Palestinian militants. This large-scale military operation is justified, according to Netanyahu, in order to respond to the numerous rocket attacks aimed at the major cities of Israel, notably Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. Fortunately, these rockets have either been intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system or have landed in areas where they have not claimed any lives.

On the other hand, a very heavy toll is being seen in Gaza and contradicts the official version of the Israeli authorities. It is not Hamas that is targeted by these surgical strikes, it is an entire people who is living under the bombs and providing lots of work for the numerous Surgeons in Gaza who are operating in very precarious conditions.

At least 85 people have been killed, 14 of whom were women and 25 children, more than 764 people have been injured, several of whom are in a critical condition. 103 houses, 12 mosques, 20 public buildings, 22 farmers’ co-operatives and six education centres have been totally destroyed. 10 schools and four sports clubs have been badly damaged.

The Israeli government is considering the worst. Under pressure from the most right-wing and extreme political personalities of his government, Prime Minister Netanyahu could launch a ground invasion in Gaza. The call-up of more than 20,000 to 40,000 reservists raises the fear that this solution is certainly being considered. The last ground military operation was “Operation Cast Lead", during the winter of 2008-2009, and the victims ran into the thousands.

So no, nothing can justify such reprisals which hit a whole population. The deafening silence of the world leaders and the total indifference of the “international community” until late last night were unacceptable.

The press release from the Elysée is unforgivable and breaks with France’s traditional standpoint. Here, there is no possible comparison between an occupying power and an occupied country. And yet Francois Hollande “has expressed France’s solidarity following rocket attacks from Gaza. He reminded him (Netanyahu) that France firmly condemns these attacks. It is up to the Israeli government to use any means necessary to protect its population faced with these threats”.

No-one can say that they didn’t know. It is absolutely essential that the international solidarity movement puts pressure on governments so that they force the Israeli government to stop this attack. And that the international community and the UN then make the same government respect international law which is the only thing that can establish a fair and lasting peace in the Middle East.


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