Israel's deadly fire

A few days ago the excellent Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an investigative piece by Shay Fogelman into one of the deadliest massacres of the Operation Cast Lead assault on Gaza in the winter of 2008/9. The "dek" on the story gives a good preview of what is to come:

Four mortar shells fired by the IDF 'at a military target' in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead landed on a busy Al-Fakhoura Street and killed dozens of civilians. An investigation by Haaretz finds that the army's answers are not consistent with its own reports about the day of the shelling and that there are also major contradictions with facts made public here for the first time.

If that's not enough to get you reading the piece, try the first paragraph:

"Looking at the photographs of the children who were killed on Al-Fakhoura Street in the Jabalya refugee camp during Operation Cast Lead just over two years ago, one is particularly struck by the face of Lina Hasan. All the children are innocent in the photos - some smiling, others offering a shy gaze. That's the way children are. But there is something about the look on Lina's face that makes you stop and look hard at the few photos that remain of her life. She was 10 years old when she died."

Most of the world sat by doing little or nothing while Israel launched an assault on Gaza that killed an estimated 1400 people, the overwhelming majority of them civilians. And yet, as David Remnick put it recently in a "Talk of the Town" piece in the New Yorker, "The Palestinian question is not an internal matter for Israel; it is an international matter."

Perhaps it's time that United Nations troops eject the Israeli military from the West Bank, end the siege of Gaza, and insure the security of both Israelis and Palestinians while a Palestinian state is set up? That would be a logical result of the likely declaration this September, by the UN General Assembly, of a Palestinian state on the occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. It may be a fantasy, but sometimes dreams come true.


Al-Fakhoura Street in the Jabalya refugee camp after the mortars landed.
Photo by: AP

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