As Israel Shuns a Ceasefire and Continues Its “Forever Genocide” in Rafah and Across Gaza, An End Must Be in Sight

Protestors in Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, on October 26, 2023 (Photo: Zain Jaafar/AFP).

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For over seven months, the Israeli military, largely using weapons provided by the United States and Germany, has been bombing the Gaza Strip with an intensity unmatched in modern history. In March, the NGO Humanity & Inclusion assessed that, on average, 500 bombs a day had been dropped on Gaza, meaning that, as of today, the total number of bombs dropped exceeds 100,000.

Hundreds of these bombs have been US-supplied 2,000lb bombs, which, last week, Frank Gardner, the BBC’s Security Correspondent, citing the UN, described as having “a lethal fragmentation radius of 350 metres”, which “can penetrate concrete more than three metres thick”, and which “leave a crater over 15 metres wide, making it completely unsuitable for use in a place heavily populated by civilians.” As Gardner added, “Even for those people several streets away, the effects can be horrific”, with the UN stating that “the pressure from the explosion can rupture lungs, burst sinus cavities and tear off lies hundreds of metres from the blast site.”

The Gaza Strip, which is home to 2.3 million people — largely the descendants of refugees from the brutal and bloody ethnic cleansing that accompanied the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 — covers just 140 square miles (or 365 square kilometres) of land along the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea — roughly half the size of New York City, and a quarter of the size of London.

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Ten Weeks of Genocide in Gaza: 25,000 Palestinians Killed, A Land in Ruins, And Still No Sign of a Ceasefire

Civilians rounded up in northern Gaza, stripped and carried away in vehicles to an undisclosed location, December 7, 2023.

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In my nearly 61 years on this earth, I’ve never felt as sick as I do now, watching in real time, as I have for the last ten weeks, a genocide taking place in the Gaza Strip, where 2.3 million Palestinians, trapped in an “open-air prison”, as they have been since 2007, with no means of escape, are being killed at a scale that is unprecedented in the history of warfare in my lifetime, while western leaders offer largely unconditional support — and weapons — and Israel continues to portray itself as the victim.

As of December 14, the death toll had reached 24,711, according to the Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, which takes its figures from the health ministry in Gaza, and adds those missing and presumed dead under the rubble of destroyed buildings.

Of the dead — killed for the most part as a result of Israel’s relentless bombing of residential areas — 9,643 were children and babies, 5,109 were women, and 93%, according to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, were civilians.

The death toll is so colossal, and so relentless, that, on average, 365 people have been killed every day, including 140 children and babies; that’s six children every hour, or one every ten minutes over a period of more than two months; in other words, in response to the deadly attacks by Hamas militants on October 7, in which around 1,200 people were killed (and even disregarding the as yet unknown numbers killed by the Israelis themselves), Israel has been killing a comparative number of Palestinians twice a week for the last ten weeks.

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Genocide Continues in Gaza, Exposing The Unending Depravity of Israel, and the Ongoing Criminal Complicity of the West

The aftermath of an Israeli bombing raid in Tall az-Zaatar, in northern Gaza, on Sunday December 3, 2023 (Photo: Fadi Alwhidi/Anadolu).

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For 47 days, from October 8 until November 23, the State of Israel relentlessly bombed the 2.3 million trapped civilians of the Gaza Strip — held in “an open air prison” since 2007, when Israel imposed a total blockade on its inhabitants — with such ferocity that 20,031 people were killed, including 8,176 children and 4,112 women, according to the Geneva-based NGO Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor. The NGO also noted that over 36,350 people had been injured — many gravely so — and that 1.7 million people, almost three-quarters of the entire population, had been displaced, as nearly a quarter of a million homes were completely or partially destroyed.

To give some necessary perspective to those statistics, what it meant was that, for 47 days, Israel was killing 174 children every day — seven children every hour, or one every eight and a half minutes. To understand quite how grotesque and unprecedented the killing of children on this scale is, on November 7 Al Jazeera analyzed the death rates of children in other major conflicts of the 21st century — in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen — establishing that the death rate of children in those conflicts was between 0.6 and three children per day.

This was carpet bombing on an industrial scale, using some of the heaviest and deadliest bombs ever invented by the depraved individuals who work in the arms industry, many of which were supplied by the US, and yet, despite international experts almost immediately recognizing that this was the collective punishment of an entire civilian population, in response to attacks by Hamas militants on October 7, in which, according to initial reports, 1,400 Israelis had been killed (a figure most recently revised down to 1,200), western leaders were united in their uncritical support for Israel’s unqualified “right to defend itself.”

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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