Destruction in Gaza City after airstrikes by Israel (Picture: Wikicommons/ Palestinian News & Information Agency (Wafa))

Schools and hospitals sheltering thousands have been targeted by Israel in their attempts to massacre as many Palestinians as possible. Israeli bombs hit two schools run by the United Nations (UN) at the end of last week, killing children and adults who had been forced to seek shelter in them. 

The Al Fakhura school in the Jabalia refugee camp and another school in Tall az-Zaatar both became targets of air strikes. The sick and injured are finding it almost impossible to access hospitals in Gaza. Hundreds of people arrived at the Indonesian hospital in northern Gaza on Monday in desperate need of care. 

The Ministry of Health in Gaza has said that they must avoid the hospital due to heavy gunfire and shelling coordinated by Israeli forces. Israeli tanks and troops surrounded the hospital. The spokesperson said that the hospital was trying to evacuate the 200 injured from inside. 

They added that Israeli forces “target everyone who moves in the yards of the Indonesian hospital.” It means the northern part of the Gaza Strip “has become without any health services at all”. As of Tuesday, Israel has murdered almost 13,500 Palestinians, and 6,000 were still missing. Sickness and disease were also gripping quickly.

One doctor working with those displaced to the south of Gaza said that conditions were “extremely difficult”. “Diarrhoeal disease and respiratory illnesses are spreading,” he said. The assaults by Israel have prompted some outrage from international organisations. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) tweeted that the attack on schools was “appalling” and “targeting schools is a clear violation of international law.”

But international law means nothing to the Israeli state. A spokesperson for the Israeli foreign ministry Lior Ben-Dor said on Monday that Israel would not cooperate with the international criminal court.  

He said that Israel did not recognise the Goldstone Commission of Inquiry, written by the UN Human Rights Council following its 2009 assault on Gaza. Israel continues to violate every international law because it has the full backing of the United States and other Western powers to carry on with its massacre. 

The biggest concern for the US government, which is complicit in the slaughter, is the words used to describe its president. The US national security council spokesperson took issue with protesters calling Joe Biden “genocide Joe.” 

He said the term “genocide” was inappropriate and added that while the killings in Gaza are “too high”, Israel is not trying to “wipe the Palestinian people off the map.” This is precisely what the Israeli state wants to do. A state-owned Israeli news channel broadcast a video of a children’s choir singing about annihilating everyone in Gaza. 

The lyrics were, “There won’t be anything left there, and we’ll return safely to our home. In one more year, we’ll eliminate them all and go back to ploughing our fields.” The video was quickly taken down after facing criticism. Israel’s intentions could not be clearer—it will not stop until it has annihilated Palestinian resistance. 

Israel’s prisons that cause more deaths   

The Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Committee confirmed last Saturday the death of another political prisoner in an Israeli prison. It brings the number of detainees dead since 7 October to six.

Thaer Abu Assab from Qarawat Bani Hassan town, northwest of Salfit in the central West Bank, died in the Negev Desert detention camp. He had been imprisoned since 2005, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The week before Ahmad Muhammad Merey died in the Megiddo Israeli prison.

On 6 November, detainee Majed Ahmed Zaqqoul from Gaza, in addition to another detainee from the Gaza Strip whose identity is not yet known, also died in Israeli prisons. On Monday Israeli soldiers stormed and ransacked dozens of homes and buildings across the occupied West Bank before abducting at least 50 Palestinians.

Don’t believe official version of 7 Oct events

Nobody can believe a word that comes from official Israeli sources. There are growing doubts about exactly what happened on 7 October. Haaretz newspaper reported last week on the deaths at the Nova music festival.

It said, “According to a police source, an investigation into the incident revealed that an IDF combat helicopter that arrived at the scene from the Ramat David base fired at the terrorists and apparently also hit some of the revellers who were there.”

In response, Gideon Levy, a Haaretz columnist, called the government’s actions on 7 October “an unprecedented fiasco”. “I don’t think a serious investigation is taking place.  There are so many things to be investigated. So many question marks, so many mysteries. Unprecedented behaviour of the army, of the police, everyone,” he told Al Jazeera news.

An article in  Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth underlines more doubts.  “The pilots realised that there was tremendous difficulty in distinguishing within the occupied outposts and settlements who was a terrorist and who was a soldier or civilian,” it said.

Israel tries to bury its tunnel lies 

Israel is creating a great lie about “Hamas infrastructure” at the al-Shifa hospital. Last Sunday, Israel announced that a 55-metre-long, ten-metre-deep tunnel was found under the hospital. Mounir el-Boursh, the Gaza health ministry director, dismissed the Israeli statement as a “pure lie”. “They have been at the hospital for eight days, and yet they haven’t found anything,” he said. 

The allegation that Hamas was operating a control centre under the hospital was backed weeks ago by Israel and the US. It was a supposed justification for the crime of targeting a hospital, its staff, patients and people sheltering there. 

The Israeli military also released an animated video on 28 October, visualising an extensive network of tunnels that led to an elaborate, multi-storey control centre. The Israeli army put up a social media post on 14 November alleging the hospital was used as a military site by Hamas.

The army removed the original post the next day, and then, without explanation, replaced it with an edited version. Television footage published by BBC and CNN revealed further inconsistencies. The reporters were escorted to the facility’s MRI room.

In their videos, there are two AK-47 rifles at the scene. But there was only one in the original video shared by the Israeli army. On 8 November, Al Jazeera news disproved Israel’s claim that there was a Hamas tunnel under Gaza’s Qatari Hospital. Satellite images and photos showed that the hatch Israel claimed was the tunnel entrance was actually part of a water reservoir system. 

‘We are now rolling out the Gaza Nakba. Gaza Nakba 2023. That’s how it’ll end.’

Israeli agriculture minister Avi Dichter

‘The state of Israel will no longer be able to put up with the existence of an independent entity in Gaza’

Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich 

‘The team saw a hospital no longer able to function: no water, no food, no electricity, no fuel, medical supplies depleted’

The World Health Organisation describes al-Shifa hospital as a ‘death zone’

‘I see myself as a friend of Palestinian people’

Steve McCabe MP and chair of Labour Friends of Israel didn’t vote for a ceasefire last week


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