Since the Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip started on June 27th, Israeli ground forces and warplanes have been killing Palestinian men, women and children, destroying the Palestinian economy and devastating the infrastructure, all under a single pretext: liberating Gil’ad Shalit, a soldier who is being held by Palestinian resistance groups.

More than 150 Palestinians including women and children in their homes, most recently in the Shija’ya neighborhood of Gaza City, early on Friday, have been so far slaughtered at Gil’ad’s butchery.  Hundreds of others have been wounded, many of them lost their body parts, because of Israel’s use of deadly weapons believed to be illegal under what used to be called ‘international law’.

The mass killing and injuries amongst the Palestinian refugees in different parts of the Gaza Strip have, in the last several days, been brought to the central Gaza camp of Maghazi, where 14 people including women and children, have been killed and more than 130 others injured, mostly under the age of 18, according to medics, within a couple of days.  The number of deaths and extent of the injuries in the ongoing invasion into various parts of Gaza indicate without a doubt that Israel’s declared objective is false.

This is further confirmed by the widespread destruction wrought by Israeli tank shells and warplanes to major infrastructure in Gaza, including Gaza’s sole power plant, ministerial buildings, bridges, homes and even barns and greenhouses, with the apparent aim of ‘collective punishment’ of the entire Palestinian population — something which is also supposedly a violation of what used to be ‘international law’.  

But now ‘international law’ has died, its body nowhere to be found, another victim of Israel’s fearless aggression carried out in the name of Gil’ad Shalit.

Israeli actions throughout Gaza are not the first of their type since the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000, following Israel’s refusal to give back territories it occupied in 1967, including a sovereign Jerusalem, to allow the return of Palestinian refugees to historical Palestine, to accept a Palestinian statehood on 1967 borders and to halt settlement activities on occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, during ‘Camp David’ peace talks.

The now-comatose former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, who promised his people, when he came to power in 2001, to crack down on the Intifada in 100 days.  Although he tried with all his might, he wasn’t able to keep his word; the Intifada is still going on, with more resistance, while the entire Palestinian people have reached a common agenda of their struggle for their legitimate rights to statehood and freedom, accepting a Palestinian state on 1967 borders.

What is going on in the occupied territories is manslaughter, killing just for the sake of killing, as Israeli forces storm refugee populations on a daily basis.  All for the sake of one person, one soldier, captured in what would be considered, in any other time and place, a legitimate military operation, in an ambush on a tank in southern Gaza on June 25th.

So now, for the sake of Gil’ad, an entire nation of a people called Palestinians is being killed and laid to rest, as what is happening right now in the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, where about 300 thousand residents are trying to hold funerals to bid farewell to their beloved ones, after Israeli forces pulled out today.

It seems that Israel wants such a nation to vanish, as the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, maker of peace with the Palestinians, dreamed once "I hope one day to wake up and see that Gaza’s shore has swallowed Gaza".  His counterpart, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, once said, "You cannot kill Palestine.  You may bomb us to pieces, but like a phoenix, Palestinians will rise once again from the ashes."

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