Israel Promises “Shoah” (“Holocaust”) in Gaza, More Than a Dozen Children Killed

1 March 2008

Yesterday, Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said Palestinians risked a “shoah”, the Hebrew word used to describe the Holocaust. Today, over 60 people have been killed, bringing the 4-day death toll throughout the Gaza Strip to more than 80 with more than 200 wounded. Among those killed today were at least 29 civilians, and 19 children. 1 Israeli citizen was killed last week by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, and 2 Israeli soldiers were killed in fighting today near Jabaliya.

The human rights organization Al-Haq called on the international community to prosecute Israel for war crimes, saying in their report, “Many of the recent Israeli attacks constitute war crimes which may amount to grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, for which individuals can be held criminally responsible.”

“The use of unrestrained force against a civilian population in response to the unlawful rocket attacks carried out by Palestinian armed groups is a blatant violation of the laws of war, enshrined in customary international humanitarian law and the Fourth Geneva Convention,” the report said.

Finally, after 4 days of bombardment, Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Ahmed Qureia informed Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni that they were officially freezing ‘peace’ negotiations with Israel due to the bombardment of Gaza.

Communities around the world have demanded an immediate end to the massacre occurring in the Gaza Strip. Last night alone, emergency protests were held in London, New York, and other major cities throughout the U.S. and Europe. Palestinians throughout the West Bank also had demonstrations against the attacks yesterday and today, including ones in Beit Ommar, Um Salamuna, Al-Khadr, and Bil’in. Strikes are planned for tomorrow throughout Palestine.