Yesterday was the most deadly day in the Gaza conflict, and 496 Palestinians (80% of them civilians) and 20 Israelis (2 of them civilians) have now died. What made the numbers skyrocket was mainly Israel’s massive and indiscriminate shelling of the Gaza’s Shujaiyah neighborhood. The photos are grueling (some of the most heartrending and stark are here), as are written descriptions of the chaos and death:
An ambulance sat on shot-out tyres, shrapnel punched through its sides. A charred car lay flattened as if by a giant hand. Smoke rose from one end of the street in a dark billowing curtain.
Fallen trees, tangled electricity cables and drifts of rubble covered the road, smashed, chopped and torn apart by Israeli shells and bombs that slammed into this Gaza City district at a rate of one every five seconds on Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday.
A body was carried out of a ruined house, then a second and a third – seven in total from buildings within a hundred metres of each other during a brief agreed lull in the fighting to evacuate the dead and wounded. A little further along, bodies lay in the street where they had fallen, mostly scorched figures – one still in a yellow dressing gown – others missing limbs.
Inside the shelled neighborhoods, scores of people lay dead, others were wounded with scenes of entire buildings destroyed. Houses were still ablaze from the IDF onslaught, with corpses burnt almost beyond recognition, with the dead numbering both young and old, including small children. …
The injured from Shejaia were rushed to Gaza City’s central Shifa Hospital. Chaos reigned inside the hospital as wounded children were brought to the overflowing emergency room, forcing the medical staff to treat the wounded in a hallway.
Why did Israel let loose this hell on a residential neighborhood? One plausible theory (translated from the Arabic by the Angry Arab) is that its military was reacting angrily to the deaths of a surprising number of Israeli soldiers late Saturday and early Sunday:
Let us talk coldly and without agitation: by the admission of Israeli sources themselves–and they lie to the extreme to the extent that lying can be effective–the Golani Brigade lost more than 18 soldiers between yesterday and today, and most of them in the battle of Shuja`iyyah. The sources did not reveal the number of injured but they are in the tens, and may exceed a hundred. The horrible massacre against the people of Shuja`iyyah was a manifestation of Israel frenzy after the attack. …
The Gaza government called the Shujaiyah attack a “heinous massacre” and the Arab League described it as a war crime, but as for our West, “condemnation from international leaders was muted. Amid floundering efforts to start meaningful ceasefire talks, there was little sign of real pressure on Israel to lessen or halt the killing of civilians.”
Meanwhile, in propaganda watch:
‘The death of almost this entire herd went largely unreported in Israel and abroad, even though those who cared for the animals said they were traumatized by the sight of so much blood and carnage.’
Yeah, don’t you just love Angry Arab? And hate the Washington Post?
Angry Arab also links to an analysis that rings true on how most Arabs must be feeling right now, by Saudi Arabian writer Khaled Almaeena:
Pictures show Israelis sitting on beach chairs eating popcorn and gulping drinks, cheering as wave after wave of F16 warplanes drop sophisticated bombs that tear apart human bodies and wreak havoc and destruction. [They're still cheering, as of Sunday.]
The Arab masses see images of dead bodies of men, women and children. They observe the total disregard for the sanctity of places of worship and hospitals. They see orphanages being blown to bits. Above all they see the complete paralysis and helplessness of Arab governments which cannot even pressure their so-called friends in the West to ask Israel to stop this aggression.
Once again, they realize the hold Israel and its allies have over most segments of the Western media. Channels like BBC, CNN, and others grovel at the feet of the Israeli propaganda masters. Media outlets compare the Israelis hunkering down to the way British did during the London Blitz of the Second World War. In addition to blanketing reality, there is misrepresentation and dilution of reports so that they favor Israel. However, as I have said before, the hypocrisy of the West is matched by the Arab world’s own ineffectiveness, helplessness and inaction. The Arab League is on vacation. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has yet to muster its diplomatic forces.
Whatever the case may be, there is total disappointment among the Arab people. They feel and live their helplessness.