Wednesday, January 21, 2009

UNRWA Chief Appalled at Israeli Destruction in Gaza

UNRWA Chief Appalled at Israeli Destruction in Gaza by Thalif Deen of IPS at

"The Israelis violated every single international convention governing the rules of war and the treatment of civilians," he told IPS. "Their military excesses can, in no way, be justified."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who praised Israel at a press conference in Jerusalem last week, describing the Jewish state as "a responsible member of the United Nations," apparently had second thoughts when he saw the devastation caused in Gaza.

Standing outside a UN compound that was destroyed by Israel, Ban told reporters Tuesday: "I am just appalled. Everyone is smelling this bombing still. It is still burning. It is an outrageous and totally unacceptable attack against the United Nations."

Despite pleas from the secretary-general, Israel bombed UN-run facilities, including schools and warehouses, on four different occasions.

One of the bomb attacks on the UNRWA compound took place on the same day Ban arrived in Israel.

Ok, you know the last bit wasn't an accident. So, what was it? A message to the UN not to mess with Israel or else face terror bombing? Is that why Mr. Ban was being so polite to Israel in his statements while in Israel?

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the final tally read: 1,314 Palestinians killed, including 416 children and 106 women; 5,320 injured, including 1,855 children and 795 women.

In comparison, the number of Israelis killed included four civilians and nine soldiers, along with 84 injured.

And according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the buildings destroyed included 4,100 residential homes (with 17,000 damaged), 20 mosques, 25 educational institutions and medical facilities, 31 security offices, 16 government buildings, and 1,500 factories and shops.

The Office of the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator pointed out that 16 health facilities and an equal number of ambulances were destroyed or damaged during the 22-day conflict.

20 mosques ... 25 schools and hospitals. One can be an accident. But that many of each? What does the civilized world think of a nation that deliberately bombs schools, hospitals and religious buildings? (well, the 'civilized world' paid for it and cheered it on, at least its official organs and government bodies did).

And 16 ambulances were shot up. Think about that for a moment.

Speaking from Gaza, Ging told reporters that the population in Gaza remains shell-shocked, traumatized, and living in real fear.

Asked about the "most outrageous" incident he had witnessed, Ging said: "The dead children."

The dead children indeed.

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