Carolyn Harris
January 10, 2009

“For us, being cautious means being aggressive,” one IDF officer told IPS, “When we suspect that a Palestinian fighter is hiding in a house, we shoot it with a missile and then with two tank shells, and then a bulldozer hits the wall. It causes damage but it prevents the loss of life among soldiers.” Due to the significant loss of military lives in the Lebanon war, Israeli military planners took into account the effect on Israeli morale and support during the war on Gaza.

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“From the minute we entered, we’ve acted like we’re at war. That creates enormous damage on the ground,” the officer continued. In addition to so-called military targets, the IDF has bombed clearly marked UN buildings such as hospitals and several schools which has lead to many women and children – non-combatants – being massacred for doing nothing more than trying to shelter and hide from the fighting. These buildings were shelled even though the UN had clearly given the IDF the coordinates so that they would not be targeted.

More and more Palestinians are huddling in apartments without windows, weathering very cold nights without sleep as the bombs fall around them, terrified if the next one will fall upon their own heads. The Palestinian casualties keep mounting, with fully one-third being children said AFP on Wednesday.

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Israel realized their ridiculous statement that there is no humanitarian crisis wasn’t beloved anywhere, and bowed to international pressure, agreeing to a ceasefire from 1-4 pm daily, to “establish a humanitarian corridor near Gaza city.” Although at Kamal Udwan Hospital, medics confirmed that east of Jabaliya Refugee Camp three sisters were killed from air strikes during the ceasefire period yesterday and others were wounded.

But the atrocities continue. Two members of the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) were attacked last week and in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza city the Ad-Dura hospital were bombed, in addition to three mobile clinics provided by DanChurchAid, a Danish relief agency.

The Palestinian Authority plans to launch a war crimes proceedings against Israeli leaders responsible, said Palestinian Authority (PA) delegate to Britain Professor Manuel Hassassian. It is believed that the IDF is using white phosphorous weapons against defenseless civilians, which causes horrific burn that are only made worse if water is put on the flesh. According to the Geneva Treaty of 1980 it is only acceptable to use the weapon for a smokescreen or for illumination. That loophole is wide enough to drive a convoy through and Israel is clearly exploiting it for its own political smokescreen so it will be able to maintain plausible deniability.

In addition, traces Depleted Uranium (DU) have been found in some of the Palestinian victims, said some Norwegian medics. This comes as no surprise as nearly all bullets and munitions used by America are DU and have been used freely in both the Bosnian conflict and the Iraq war. When a DU munition explodes, it turns into an extremely volatile flaming gas and then leaves micron-sized ceramic dust particles that re-suspend easily into the air, and are breathed into the lungs. Breathing DU dust is the most lethal method of exposure and the Palestinians surely have no place to go to escape this lethal dust. If the bombs, white phosphorous weapons or starvation doesn’t kill them, the DU may.

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