Peace, Propaganda & The Promised Land: And The Slaughter Goes On

In History, Photography, World History on January 13, 2009 at 5:04 am

The Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip is a rectangle along the Mediterranean coast between Israel and Egypt. The majority of its approximately 1.4 million residents are Palestinian refugees, many of whom have been living in refugee camps for decades; 80 percent were estimated to be living in poverty in mid-2007, a figure that has doubtless grown. Its population density is among the world’s highest, at an average of more than 3,000 people per square mile.

In 1967, following a war between Israel and the countries of Syiria, Jordan and Egypt, Israel military occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. That year, The United Nation Security Council passed Resolution 242, calling on Israel to withdraw the troops from the occupied territories. Israel never complies. Today, 3 million Palestinians live under illegal military occupation. Today, the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians are plagued by daily violence and insecurity.

Under the Oslo peace accords signed into 1993, Gaza was turned over to the newly created Palestinian Authority, to form one wing of a nascent Palestinian state, along with the West Bank and a potential land corridor between them. Yassir Arafat, the president of the authority and leader of the Fatah movement, ruled both areas. But as the years passed, it became clear that the Fatah party had less of a hold on Gaza than on the West Bank. Hamas, the political party denounced as a terrorist group by the United States and Israel, became steadily more popular in Gaza, both because of the social services it provided and because of its more militant stance.

After the truce lapsed on Dec. 19 2008, rocket firing stepped up quickly, and Israeli air strikes soon followed. The death toll on the first day was estimated at 225; by Dec. 29, it had topped 300. On Jan. 3, a land invasion of Gaza began, and by Jan. 8, the death toll was 660.

International pressure for a negotiated cease-fire intensified a day after Israeli shells killed some 40 people at a United Nations school in Gaza. Israel said Hamas militants had fired mortar shells from the school compound prior to Israel’s shelling.

Israel suspended its military operations in Gaza for three hours on Wednesday to allow humanitarian aid and fuel for power generation to reach Gazans, who used the afternoon break to shop (how nice, shopping in between slaughters).

Recent Photos From Gaza:

An explosion is seen as missiles fired from an Israeli aircraft fall towards a target in the northern Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israeli side of the border, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009.

The moon is seen as an Israeli military attack helicopter flies over the northern Gaza Strip near the border with Israel, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. Israeli ground troops and tanks cut swaths through the Gaza Strip early Sunday, bisecting the coastal territory and surrounding its biggest city.

Israeli infantry soldiers walk into Gaza on January 04, 2009 on the border between Gaza and Israel. Israeli forces are battling Hamas fighters as they attempt to take the rocket launch areas used by Hamas since Israeli troops entered Gaza after nightfall on Saturday. It is expected that this will be the first wave of assault, with some 10,000 Israeli troops and hundreds of tanks massed on the Gaza border.

An Israeli flare lights up an area on the edge of Gaza City after a day of heavy clashes between Hamas fighters and Israeli forces on January 5, 2009

Smoke from Israeli artillery shelling covers the ground of the northern Gaza Strip on January 3, 2009.

An Israeli boy walks into a bomb shelter in the southern city of Ashkelon, Israel on January 4, 2009.

An Israeli police officer near a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip which landed near Sderot, southern Israel Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009.

The sun sets on the Israel-Gaza border January 4, 2009.

An Israeli gunner covers his ears as a mobile artillery piece fires at a target in the Gaza Strip, on the Israel-Gaza border, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. Israel seized control of high-rise buildings and attacked houses, mosques and smuggling tunnels as it pressed forward with its offensive against the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers on Monday.

Palestinians hold white flags as a signal for Israeli troops after leaving their house near the area where Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants exchange fire outside Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

Artillery shells explode above Gaza City on January 4, 2008, as seen from the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border.

A Palestinian medic surveys the damage to a mobile medical clinic destroyed after an Israeli air strike in Gaza January 5, 2009. Four ambulances and three mobile clinics were destroyed in the bombing at Health Care Union, medical workers and witnesses said.

A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip shows a bomb dropped by an Israeli air force F-16 jet exploding in Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, on January 3, 2009.

An Israeli soldier looks out towards Gaza January 4, 2009 outside of Sderot, Israel.

An exchange of fire is seen between the area of the Erez Crossing and Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip early January 4, 2009.

But fighting resumed soon afterward. In the evening, the Israeli Army dropped leaflets warning the citizens of Rafah, next to the border with Egypt, to leave their homes. Israel has been bombing the tunnel networks through which arms and consumer goods are smuggled from Egypt into Gaza.

Leaflets dropped by Israeli planes are seen falling above the northern Gaza Strip as seen from the Israel side of the border with Gaza, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009.

The feet of one of three Palestinian siblings from the Al-samoni family, killed by an Israeli tank shell, are seen in the mortuary of Al-Shifa hospital, on January 5, 2009 in Gaza City. Seven members from the Al-samoni family were killed including the mother, three children and a baby, when an Israeli shell struck their house south of Gaza city.

Casualty figures are hard to verify, but officials at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and the Gazan Ministry of Health said 683 Palestinians had died since the conflict began Dec. 27, including 218 children and 90 women. They said 3,085 had been wounded. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza said 130 children age 16 or under had died. The United Nations estimated a few days ago that a quarter of the dead were civilians.

But Palestinian residents and Israeli officials say that Hamas is tending its own wounded in separate medical centers, not in public hospitals, and that it is difficult to know the number of dead Hamas fighters, many of whom were not wearing uniforms.

Army officers and medics wheel an Israeli soldier wounded in the Gaza Strip, after he was brought to Soroka Hospital in the southern Israeli town of Beersheba, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

A relative of a Palestinian victim cries at the morgue in the Al-Shifa hospital on January 5, 2009 in Gaza City, Gaza.

An Israeli army mortar team launches a round at a Palestinian target inside the Gaza Strip January 1, 2009 as seen from Israel’s border with the Hamas-run territory.

Palestinian firemen work amongst the rubble of the destroyed house of Hamas senior leader Nizar Rayan after an Israeli missiles strike in the refugee camp of Jabaliyaon January 1, 2009 in Gaza, Gaza Strip.

A rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the northern Gaza Strip flies towards an Israeli target Friday, Jan. 2, 2009.

An Israel soldier walks at a staging area just outside the Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009.

Debris flies up as a bomb explodes after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip January 3, 2009.

An Israeli army soldier stands next to artillery shells at a staging area on the Israel side of the border with Gaza Strip, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009.

Smoke from Israeli artillery shelling billows from the Gaza Strip during sunset on January 3, 2009.

People gather around bodies of Palestinians near a U.N.-run school in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip January 6, 2009. Israeli tank fire killed up to 40 Palestinians at the United Nations school in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, medical sources at two hospitals said. Israeli officials claim they had targeted Hamas soldiers operating in the area.

An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires a shell towards Gaza from its position outside the central Gaza Strip January 6, 2009.

A shell fired by the Israeli military explodes in the northern Gaza Strip as seen from the Israeli side of the border with Gaza, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009.

A young Ethiopian immigrant stands in a bomb shelter in the southern city of Beersheba, israel on January 5, 2009.

Israeli and foreign photographers take pictures of Israeli troops just outside the northern Gaza Strip January 7, 2009.

A Palestinian firefighter uses a hose to clean blood from a street in Gaza January 7, 2009.

Fire and smoke explode from an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on January 3, 2009.

An Israeli army mobile cannon redeploys closer to Gaza at sunset January 5, 2009 near Israel’s border with the Palestinian territory.

GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli troops fought gun battles with Hamas fighters on Monday, keeping military pressure on the Islamist group while avoiding all-out urban warfare that would complicate ongoing diplomatic efforts to end the Gaza war. Medical officials said the Palestinian death toll in the offensive Israel began 17 days ago had risen past 900 and included at least 380 civilians. Israel says three Israeli civilians, hit by Hamas rockets, and 10 soldiers have died.

Along battle lines in the suburbs of the rubble-strewn city of Gaza, Israeli soldiers and Hamas militants engaged in more fierce fighting. Residents and local journalists said Israeli troops and tanks had taken up positions in open areas, seeking to penetrate guerrilla defenses in built-up zones that included booby-traps, snipers and fighters with rocket-propelled grenades.

Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of firing artillery shells packed with the incendiary agent white phosphorus over populated areas of Gaza. The chemical, used for creating smoke screens and for illuminating battlefields at night, ignites when it comes in contact with oxygen and can cause serious burns and spark fires as it drifts to the ground in long trails of smoke.

Is this the end of humanity???

Is there a way to stop this insanity???

(Photos from GettyImages,

  1. Oh… my God…:( i don’t have any words to comment this article because I’m so sad..:(

  2. Leave them to me, I’ll do all the commenting stuff…Lol

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