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Palestine: “The Bloodiest Day Since 1967″

It started as a “normal” day in Gaza. By the end of the day, however, it became clear that December 27 would be known as the bloodiest day of the Palestine-Israel conflict since 1967. Although the target of the Israeli airstrikes was Hamas, as the day went on it became clear that there were also a number of civilian casualties among the 225 or so total.

Bloggers in Palestine and around the world are in shock as the numbers climb. That shock, coupled with anger at the biased media coverage of the events, is palpable in the blog posts from today.

Marcy Newman of body on the line details her day in the West Bank, recalling the moment she heard the news:

11:30 am the itf begin their air strikes in gaza with american-made f16 fighter jets. the radio is not on in the service. no one seems aware of this fact. but within 15 minutes over 200 patients flood hospitals, like al shifa hospital. orthopedic and maternity wards are turned into make-shift emergency rooms. from 10 month old babies to 55 year old women, palestinian civilians are massacred. this is the single bloodiest day since 1967.

She concludes:

this is the bloodiest day since 1967. i have lost track of time. i have been watching al jazeera–english and arabic–for hours. it is now 3:08 am. the itf bombed a mosque a couple of hours ago across the street from al shefa hospital. i think that was at 1:10 am. i cannot keep track. 225 palestinians massacred. more in the rubble.

Haitham Sabbah, a self-described “uprooted Palestinian blogger,” shares a number of photographs taken today within the confines of Gaza. Of them, he commented:

Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank went demonstrating against the Israel terrorist crimes in Gaza and attacked Israeli terrorists with stones. Reports indicated that all fractions between political parties vanished during these demonstrations, which included Hamas and Fatah supporters who attacked Israel's terrorist army side by side.

Moroccan blogger Al Miraat (The Mirror) proffers his usually calm perspective, stating:

Bombing civilian areas is not something civilized countries do. Since Nuremberg this is considered a war crime. This is a war crime; a massacre; a mass murder, committed by American made deadly weapons, mostly paid for by American taxpayer’s money.

The terrible thing is, this will not make Israel safer and will only aggravate the trend in the Palestinian (and indeed the Arab street) toward a more extremist position. These policies have been pursued for decade after decade and have led nowhere. It is Israel that is upholding the status quo.

KABOBfest's Mohammad, who is based in Palestine, summed up the day's events. He was able to speak to friends and family members in Gaza, and reported on their reactions:

It was tough to get a line into Gaza during the day, but I managed to get hold of my uncle Mohammad in Gaza City. He sounded in shock, unable to say much. I asked him where he was; he replied that he was next to the building used to issue passports, and there were about 50 bodies inside. I couldn't say anything. I hung up.

My uncle Jasim in Khan Younis was also outside. He said he was okay, but there were explosions and dead people everywhere.

I didn't even bother talking to my uncle Mahmoud; my mom had called him and heard crying all around him. His wife was mourning the death of her brother.

I think the most poignant emotion was shock, whether in Gaza or in the West Bank. As its primary victims, we had become used to Israel crossing red lines in its continuous policy of opression and occupation. But this was something else. The sheer scale of the massacre was unfathomable.

He summed up:

Israel still believes it can impose its will by force. The only way its goals will be met is through genocide. But there is another angle, and that is the upcoming Israeli election. It is not novel for incumbent Israeli governments to carry out atrocities against Palestinians to garner domestic support, and with the Likud expected to win the next elections, this is definitely a power play by the embattled ruling party, Kadima.

Today, and probably the days to come, will be a clear demonstration os the very worst of Israel, what Will termed a dangerous blend of Zionist fantasy and election posturing. For 60 years, Israel has tried to use its overwhelming military prowess to cow the Palestinians into accepting the fate it dictates for them, and for 60 years no Israeli government has been able to do that.

Remember Gaza.

For more on the attacks on Gaza, visit Global Voices Special coverage page on the bombings.

27 comments

  • tal forkosh

    Im really sorry for the death of the civilian but dont forget thatis an effort to force Hamas to end its rocket barrages into southern Israel. After the initial airstrikes, dozens of rockets were fired into southern Israel, where an emergency was declared. Thousands of Israelis hurried into bomb shelters amid the hail of rockets, including some longer-range models that reached farther north than ever before. and dont forget that the pepole in Sderot suffering from rockets since the year 2000!!!!

  • Christine Grove

    You say that you are sorry for the death of the civilian. I think you mean civilians, probably in the hundreds. How can you justify such heavy handed action. Israel gets away with it because it has the U.S. behind it. I, like many others i’m sure feels helpless in the face of such aggression, so i resort to voicing my opinions here. Unfortunately my government does not speak for me.

  • Manus

    It is moments like these that western democracies start to look ethically corrupt and just a bunch of Oligarchies justifying the unjustifiable. It is at moments like these that the government independent media in the west start to appear as an integral part of the real powers running the State. It is at moments like these that any sense of morality and humanity that the west professes becomes just meaningless slogans. Using the most powerful and most sophisticated weapons against occupied civilian highly populated urban concentrations is nothing but a war crime. After the strangulation of the Palestinian population for many years, and starving them, these glorified fireworks were a scream for help. The cynical Israeli response was to open the crosses for few days then unleash this coward barbaric attacks on people that cannot respond with anything but these very inaccurate primitive home-made toys. Whereas western media reports these events as a response to Palestinian rocket attacks, they fail to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people and represent the sequence of events leading to these desperate rocket attacks. Also, the use of words like “missiles” is not only misleading but seems to me a misrepresentation of the inexistent treat they truly represent. This is propaganda at its best. It is at moments like these that the Jewish Diaspora worldwide shows how influential and powerful she is. It is at moments like these that the west works as a recruitment sergeant for Islamists and plays a pivotal role on the radicalisation process of youth across the Islamic world and show how weak and irrelevant are the Arab regimes. This Israeli ethnocratic theocracy with Universal Suffrage will stop at nothing to realise their biblical land judaisation dreams and the total inhalation of any Palestinian opposition. The question that remains is Israel allowed to go as far as she deems necessary to eradicate a militarily inexistent treat?!!

  • pancake

    so, hamas sent 3000 rockets in 2008 alone, into israeli towns – and you were silent, but as soon as israel decided to end it – here you are.

    must be really annoying watching the jews refusing to be killed. like at the time of your grandparents…

  • @tal forkosh
    “After the initial airstrikes, dozens of rockets were fired into southern Israel”
    I fail to see how this statement is in line with this one:
    “thatis an effort to force Hamas to end its rocket barrages into southern Israel”

    according to what you just said; the attacks happened, then rockets were fired, right? backwards reasoning, don’t you think?

  • Mike.

    @pancake “so, hamas sent 3000 rockets in 2008 alone, into israeli towns – and you were silent, but as soon as israel decided to end it – here you are.”

    bitch, are you being serious right now? it has always been the other way around.
    reports of 2-10 Isrealis being murdered make HEADLINES whereas the 20+ Palestinians that are murdered weekly go untelevised/reported by the media. think about the total amount of casualties there have been on both sides; a MUCH greater amount of Palestinians have been killed.

    so i suggest you do some research next time before you decided to drop some knowledge by making ignorant remarks.

  • Manus

    @ pancake
    Nobody masters the art of sophism and rhetoric like our friends from Israel. However, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig”. There is no need to get into “The Politics of Anti-Semitism” again. Change that record as people can see trough this masquerade. Israel as the occupying power under article 55 of the Geneva Convention “has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate”. Israel failed to do so and used it as a bargaining political instrument for oppression. In fact, 1.5 million inhabitants are effectively prisoners. Israel strategy is to cut the blood supply to create an environment of chaos and destabilise the Hamas regime in Gaza. Israeli internal politics struggles also had a major influence on how the military campaign will be directed. Kadima and Avodah would have lost the elections handsomely if they have not shown that they are tough and a successful campaign in Gaza seriously improves the leftists’ chances in the elections. Also, a political readjustment with the arrival of a new American administration in few weeks was necessary. This kind of cynicism is nothing new to Israeli politicians and their miserable calculations.

  • I am shocked that there is *no attempt* to challenge Hamas’ losing war by Arab bloggers.

    Hamas – the ultra-nationalist insurgent movement, which type we’ve seen a lot in Europe in 20th century – is fighting a losing war. And it would be okay for them to fight, but they are putting own children on the front lines. Unfortunately, Hamas has no military, no political strategy, except to produce more and more dramatic pictures. Hamas has articulated no goal for Gazans except moqawwama, and they are trying to replace the lack of rational appeal by high voices and shouts of their spokespersons at press conferences and press appearances.

    All is all, I think Hamas should be analysed and challenged by the Palestinian people and replaced with a more rational government.

  • cathy

    I am an american born and raised in washington,dc,sadly,from the view offered in the media here,we have no view of the reality of the situation.People here don’t stop to consider that the occupied territories are the former homes of palestinians who are often evicted from their generational family homes which they both legally own,and pay taxes on,and typically they are evicted by “settlers” backed up by the israeli military (who are funded by american tax dollars),then they get to join the 4 generations of refugees in gaza,where,under blocade for almost a year now,there is no reliable axcess to clean water,medicine,food,and so on.My husband and I were just discussing WHY Hamas might be shelling the settlements,and we wondered if it was simply out of pure desperation.Could they be hoping people will finally notice they are in desperate need of the people of earth,and yes of america,to finally stand up and scream ENOUGH.The top news story the last 2 days has been a story about a family in california that was murdered by a guy dressed up as santa,I mean,that’s sad and all,but shouldn’t israels brutal slaughter of hundreds of INNOCENTS at least be top of the news?perhaps americans should demand that our new administration cease ALL aid to israel,we can ill afford the money for those people who don’t find stopping the brutal oppression of the palestinian people a compelling enough reason on it’s own.Another thing to consider,it would create good will with most of the world.Or maybe as individuals we could boycott all israeli exports,at the very least,we should at least educate ourselves on the real truths of the occupation.

  • Quixotico

    Very ironic. The occupier who kills Palestinians indiscriminately because they refuse to live under occupation, claims to be a victim, and succeeds at it.
    310 Palestinians killed for 1 Israeli killed.
    1000 Lebanese killed in 2006 for 200 something killed.
    I think it’s clear now which does a better job terrorizing civilians.

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