Counting: Israel, Palestine: some Gaza numbers, and the usual dumb question

Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism. Praise of Israel is not Semitism either, eh?

In the Toronto Star of Sunday, July 13, front page, there is an article. Since I cannot point to it online (common with ‘today’s’ content) I’ll give you a summary. I’ll point to some substantiating web pages later.

Number of rockets fired from Gaza in the latest volley: nearly 700.

Number of airstrikes in Gaza by Israel in retaliation: more than 1200.

Israel’s current position: more, and more intense strikes ‘in the next 24 hours.’

Number of Israelis killed by Gaza rockets: zero.

Number killed in Gaza, latest estimate: over 150.

Latest targets in Gaza: a centre for disabled people. The home of Gaza’s police chief.

Now for some arithmetic: 1200/700 is almost two. So every rocket fired from Gaza came from an average of two locations. 150/0 is infinity. So the Gazans are paying an incommensurable price for the rockets.

Here is a BBC News page on this, where you will find these words:

“When Israel says, ‘We dropped leaflets to evacuate the northern part of Gaza… we don’t need collateral damage’ – well, they have been bombarding all of Gaza. And where do these people have to go? There are no shelters, no bunkers, no place to go, except their homes. If they leave their homes, they will be hit on the street.”

and these words:

Early on Sunday, Israeli air strikes destroyed most of the security headquarters and police stations run by Hamas Islamist militants. The homes next to the compound suffered extensive damage, as they are located in the densely populated neighbourhood of Tel al-Hawa in south Gaza, correspondents say. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its troops had also raided a site used to fire long-range rockets at Israel.

Predictably, the numbers quoted by Israel differ somewhat from those given above. BBC quotes this: The IDF says it has so far struck some 1,320 “terror” sites across Gaza, while Hamas has launched more than 800 rockets at Israel. I note that the Gaza targets are said to be lower, while the rocket count is said to be higher. Propaganda, anyone?

A final quote from the BBC page:

At least three Israelis have been seriously injured since the violence erupted, but no Israelis have been killed by the attacks. Palestinian sources say more than 1,000 people have been injured.

If you read the BBC article, you’ll find that France and Germany are trying to stop the wanton bloodshed in Gaza. If you have the Toronto Star in your hand, (or search for it tomorrow, eh?) you’ll see that the UN wants a ceasefire.

One last quote from the BBC: Israel says it is targeting Hamas militants and “terror sites”, including the homes of senior operatives. However, the United Nations has estimated that 77% of the people killed in Gaza have been civilians.

It’s time for the dumb questions. Ready?

Why does Hamas fire rockets at Israel with such low effectiveness? (Why did Saddam Hussein fire missiles at Kuwait with essentially no casualties, generally with dirt instead of explosive payloads?) Is it conceivable that this is manoeuvred, or provoked, by Israel to justify its ever-increasing encroachment on all Palestinians? Remember, rebar was not allowed into Gaza after the last disastrous incursion, so rebuilding gets stalled.

Why does not Israel simply laugh at the ineffective barrage? Because their air raid sirens go off and people rush to shelters? Or is this part of the continuing incitement of their own population against Palestine?

Does anyone out their doubt what Israel’s end-game will be with Palestine? Am I nuts when I say this is the eventual outcome?

  • all Palestinians live in ghetto slums with minimal food, water, sanitation, and electricity
  • settlements keep happening
  • walls keep getting built and moved, an incremental encroachment
  • checkpoints get more numerous in the ‘occupied territories’

There is one very dark side to this evolution of the so-called co-existence. Israel uses Palestinian workers to harvest crops. They are bussed in and out, not allowed to stay overnight. They will become more and more desperate as their lives are incrementally taken away from them. So, a final dumb question:

Would you like to be dependent for food on those you oppress? Would you like to be dependent on food for those with nothing to lose? Would you like to have them on the farm next door?

Enough, already. Meanwhile, keep counting. The numbers are going up, rapidly, very soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *