In the ruins of two Gazan towns, New York Times journalists witnessed the sheer destruction that Israel’s war has wrought and the devastation of Hamas’s operations.
Gaza now looks like Hiroshima.
About 23,000 Gazans have been killed in the Israeli campaign, according to Gazan officials — approximately 1 percent of the population. More than 80 percent of the enclave’s residents have been displaced, according to the United Nations. Some 60 percent of the buildings have been damaged, the U.N. has also said.
The death toll in Gaza has prompted accusations that Israel is committing genocide, an allegation that will be brought before the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Thursday.
But, according to the Israeli government and General Veruv, the military is doing its best to preserve civilian life in a battle against an enemy untrammeled by such concerns.
“For me, it’s not a revenge war,” he said. “I have a lot of sympathy for the people here.”
Among the military’s rank-and-file, though, there were signs of a less benign attitude. Self-shot videos have emerged of Israeli soldiers destroying or rifling through belongings found in Gazan homes, or writing disrespectful graffiti on the walls.
The continuing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is motivated by religious far-right zealots on both sides, and has been for thirty years. Unfortunately Netanyahu took a turn to these same zealots in order to stay in office. Although Gaza is a disaster, the zealots in Gaza are refusing to continue a cease-fire and to release hostages. Hamas continues to launch rockets at Tel Aviv every night.
One of the less covered side is the retribution by right wing settlers against law-abiding Palestinians in the West Bank, and the current right wing Israeli Government has been encouraging expansion of these unlawful settlements. Jewish vigilantes have raided homes (Palestinian), destroyed crops, murdered escaping Palestinian youth. Israeli settlers struck the village of Qursa and shot an escaping teen in the back. He was in the home of his aunt. Extremist settlers have vandalized and uprooted olive groves, physically attacked Palestinian in the West Bank, and the Israeli government has turned a blind eye.Jewish vigilantes have harassed herding communities, forcing over 900 people to abandon 15 hamlets they long called home (according to the UN).
A good example is the The Psagot winery, established on land that Palestinian families have a clear title to. A demolition order (COGAT Order 252/03) was issued by the Israeli authorities against the winery as, even under Israeli law, the Israeli building over privately-owned land was illegal. It’s still there guarded by IDF. Back in 2019 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a tour of West Bank settlements, including the winery. The first time a top American cabinet member has visited an illegal Israeli settlement, which reinforces legality of illegality.
Now with the OCT7 background, peace and solutions are improbable