Thursday, January 15, 2009


The suffering and devastation caused by Israeli shelling and bombing just seems to be getting worse by the minute. Today we learn that the Israelis shelled the United Nations building in Gaza as well as a large hospital. The Israelis claim there were gunmen from Hamas in the area.

Bill Varner and Saud Abu Ramadan report on

"Israeli tanks rumbled through Gaza City’s southern Tal el- Hawa neighborhood and shelled Al-Quds Hospital, leaving the facility in flames. Also hit was the Al-Shuruk tower, home to several news organizations, including Reuters and the Fox, Sky and Al-Arabiya television channels."

Varner and Abu Ramadan also write:

"Ban [U.N. Secreatry General] was in Israel today lobbying its leaders to accept a cease-fire with Hamas after 20 days of fighting. Ban, who visited Egypt and Jordan yesterday, expressed “strong protest and outrage” over Israel’s strike on the UN site and said Defense Minister Ehud Barak had told him it was a mistake. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees suspended operations after its Gaza compound was shelled."

Where is Israel's compliance with the laws of war and with the United Nations declaration on the rights of man? Don't shoot in an area where there are civilians. Don't put civilians at risk. The Israelis seem to have forgotten these basic humanitarian principles. Their actions are making a good case for showing themselves guilty of many war crimes. However, we all know war crimes apply only to the vanquished, never to the conqueror.

Once again, I condemn the Israelis for their disproportionate response, and above all, to their bombing civilian areas like apartment buildings, hospitals, mosques, relief agencies and schools.

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