As phrased from a source called Melissa in South Africa’s Palestinian Solidarity Campaign:
Please keep the Palestinians of Gaza in your thoughts and prayers. Gaza has endured more than 30 air raids in the past few days and nights. And the shells keep coming.
- Israel has targeted Palestinian Police stations and security infrastructure in efforts to destabilise law and order, in the first wave of what some Israeli sources are calling: Operation Cloud Pillar. This is a same strategy employed to the first phase of Operation Cast Lead in 2008.
- Yesterday afternoon, the IDF illegally assassinated Ahmed al-Jabari, his oldest son and a bodyguard in a car bombing inside Gaza. Jabari, a relative of the late Abdul Aziz Rantisi, is the most senior member of the armed unit, Ezzadin al Qassam Brigades, to be murdered since Cast Lead.
- Jabari, who has for a decade escaped assassination attempts, was the brains behind the capture and release of Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, in exchange for scores of Palestinian prisoners in 2011. His assassination is a clear signal from the Israelis to the resistance movement inside Palestine.
- Last night, Israel cut off the Internet to Gaza. Again, this is the same strategy employed during Cast Lead in an attempt pull a blanket over international witnesses of criminal attacks.
- A hacking counter attack has shut down top Israeli military and intelligence web sites in retaliation. Check this:
“In response to Israel shutting down the Internet in Gaza; One of the highest retweeted messages is from Anonymous: “Dear Israel, you shut down internet. We’ll shut you down.” (@YourAnonNews). They haven’t wasted time, so far, the following sites have been hacked: Israeli Prime Minister’s office site (http://pmo.gov.il/ ), Top Israel Security & Surveillance (http://falcon-s.co.il/ ), Data Base Dump (connectionsmag.co.il). #OpISRAEL #Anonymous.
- Already more than 10 people murdered (2 of those children)
- Tens of people injured/maimed.
- Massive missile attacks (from air and sea) hitting Beit Lahiya in the north, Gaza City in the middle, and Khan Younis in the south.
Updates from inside Israel:
- Sources inside Israel (including the IDF) saying this is the first stage of ‘Operation Cloud Pillar’, a pre-planned military operation. Despite the rhetoric, it is NOT a response to rockets launched.
- IDF reservists have been called up.
- Israeli troops are swelling at the Southern border into Gaza increasing suspicion of an impending ground assault.
- Netanyahu: “ALL options are on the table” (insinuating a full-scale assault akin to an ‘Operation Cast Lead’ style massacre).
- Israel Elections looming
- A post-election test of Obama and his administration.
Neither motivation is a new strategy.
2008/9: Ehud Olmert sought re-election and tested the newly elected Obama administration’s response to its brutality.
*Note that the US remains Israel’s largest ally and receives more than 3 billion dollars of aid each year, most of which goes to enhance the world’s 4th largest military super-power.
Olmert unleashed Operation Cast Lead, massacring 1500 Palestinians (30% of which were children) and maiming thousands more, in the 3 week attacks.
2012/3: Netanyahu seeks re-election and this brutal election strategy remains the most powerful tool. The US State Dept issued a statement last night acknowledging a perceived correlation and upcoming Israeli elections.
In most democracies, kissing babies and shaking hands gets votes. In Israel’s ‘democracy’ one must deploy bombs, obliterate entire Palestinian cities and up the Palestinian body count.
I spoke to Palestinian comrades during the course of last night. Naturally, all are terrified.
Families of comrades have spent the last few nights huddled together in their beds without protection. No bomb shelters to run to. No borders to escape from. 1.5 million people, literally sitting ducks, trapped inside the world’s largest concentration camp – Gaza.
They’re waiting for the international community to come to their rescue. They may wait indefinitely?
- Pathetic responses thus far from the UN, EU and the US State Dept.
- Egypt has lead the way by withdrawing their ambassador from Tel Aviv.
- South Africa should hurry to do the same and use its position within the UN to protest against Israel’s gross legal and human rights violations.