A United Nations (UN) General Assembly vote calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza underlined Israel’s growing diplomatic isolation—and its ruthless determination to keep killing Palestinians.
Just eight countries joined Israel and the US in opposing the motion, while 153 voted in favour. The vote is non-binding and will make no difference on the ground.
In response, Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen declared, “Israel will continue the war against Hamas, with or without international support.”
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told military commanders the war would “continue until the end, until the victory, until the elimination of Hamas” and that “nothing will stop us.”
Biden could face war crimes charges
At a US presidential campaign event this week Joe Biden stated that Israel is carrying out “indiscriminate bombing” of the civilian population of Gaza.
His comments, made to donors at a fundraising event on Tuesday, marked his strongest criticism yet of Israel’s leadership.
Biden then added that there was “no question about the need to take on Hamas” and Israel had “every right” to do so.
He then said, “Ben-Gvir and company and the new folks, they not only want to have retribution, which they should for what the Palestinians—Hamas—did, but against all Palestinians.”
It was an admission that Israel is out to demolish Palestinian society and expel Palestinians from Gaza.
Ken Roth, former head of Human Rights watch and lawyer specialising in international law, said the statement was effectively a recognition that the US was backing war crimes.
“Biden is in effect conceding that the Israeli military is committing war crimes in Gaza,” Roth said. “It is a war crime to bomb indiscriminately. That begs the question of why the US government continues to supply arms to Israel while it is committing war crimes.”
Roth said that the statement could be used as evidence in a “prosecution of US officials for knowingly aiding and abetting war crimes”, potentially even the president himself.
Israel slaughters children in UN-run school
Israel bombed a school which is being used as a shelter for civilians forced out of their homes.
Al Jazeera reports that a bomb hit the school in the Jabalia refugee camp as women were cooking.
Children could be seen as among the dead in the strike. Palestinian families who Israel had forced from their homes in northern Gaza had taken shelter in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency school after being told it was a dedicated “safe zone”’.
Gaza is ‘a hell for women and children’
Reem Alsalem, the UN’s special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said on Thursday that people working on the ground in Gaza have “run out of words to describe the unspeakable level of suffering and horrors.”
She said, “Within this hell, being a Palestinian woman or a child has meant being stripped of any humanity, dignity, safety or any special considerations that would usually be given to women or children in times of peace or conflict.”
Hamas resistance shakes Israel
An attack by Palestinian fighters, which killed several Israeli soldiers this week in Gaza, involved a “complex, multi-part ambush”. It first targeted an Israeli patrol and then a “quick reaction force” (QRF) sent to help the stricken unit, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
The attack in the Shujaiya area of Gaza City in the north of the Palestinian territory began with the ambushing of an Israeli patrol that entered a three-building complex. When the reaction force was sent to rescue the patrol, the Palestinian fighters switched the focus of their attack.
“Hamas fighters continued to attack the QRF by setting off IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and throwing grenades at Israeli forces. Israel recovered the bodies of the Israeli fireteam, but five additional Israeli soldiers died during the rescue operation including a battalion commander, three company commanders, and the ‘head of the Golani Brigade’s forward command team’,” the ISW reports.
The ISW also points out that Israeli military sources had claimed that Hamas’s Shujaiya Battalion had been “dismantled” already and had lost its “command and control” capabilities.
“The complex, multi-part nature of this ambush requires significant coordination between multiple Hamas tactical units. This suggests that at least some elements of Hamas’ Shujaiya Battalion remain able to conduct military operations to defend Shujaiya,” it said.Original post