Costs of Occupation and Blockade: Destruction of the Gaza Ghetto

By Col (ret) Ann Wright, World BEYOND War, October 29, 2023

I deplore the killings done by Hamas on October 7 in which 1100 Israelis and 328 from other nations died.

And I deplore the massive retaliation and revenge that the State of Israel is wrecking as collective punishment on the civilians in Gaza in the name of destroying Hamas. Over 8,000 Palestinians, including over 3000 children, have now been killed in the three weeks of massive air and artillery attacks on Gaza and over 20,000 have been injured with hundreds, if not thousands, missing under rubble.

As documented in Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center located in Jerusalem, in November 1940, 380,000 Jews were sealed inside the Warsaw ghetto. Over 80,000 Jews died as a result of the appalling conditions, overcrowding and starvation.  The State of Israel is doing the same to the Palestinians of Gaza.

2.3 million Palestinians are now forced into the southern half of tiny Gaza, which is 140 square miles in size.

I live in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian island of Moloka’i (261 square miles) is almost double the size of Gaza. Half of Gaza where 2.3 million are being forced by Israel into a Gaza ghetto would be about one-fourth the size of Molokai. Only 1.4 million live in the seven populated islands for the entire state of Hawaii.

We’ve seen the devastation that the Maui wildfire wrecked on the people in Lahaina and Kula, destroying homes, food, electrical, water and sewage systems.

Now the State of Israel is purposefully destroying the food, electricity, water, medical, communications and sewage systems in Gaza. Israel is telling hospitals to move their patients so they can bomb the buildings.

Israel has told the al Shifa,  al Quds hospitals and other hospitals that their facilities are going to be bombed. On October 29, Dr. Mads Gilbert of Norway who has been working in Gaza hospitals for over 30 years told Al Jazeera he has been all over the hospitals and there are no Hamas facilities in or under the hospitals and that Israel has not provided any evidence.  He said that the Goldstone report of the 2009 Israeli attack on Gaza documented the Israeli tactic of bombing hospitals and medical facilities.  Gilbert said that he had spoken with a senior doctor in al Shifa hospital on October 29 and that 50 premature babies are in incubators, 70 patients are on ventilators, 50 post operative patients are in hallways due to lack of space.  These patients can not be moved…and more importantly, by international law, hospitals and medical facilities are “protected” by international law

A genocide is taking place in the Gaza ghetto with the complicity of the United States government.

Israel has the largest, most powerful military in the Middle East.  The United States provides Israel $3.5 billion annually for its military and protects illegal and criminal Israeli actions on Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

Josh Paul, a State Department official,  has resigned over the US providing Israel more military hardware because of its use in human rights violations on Palestinians.

It is instructive to see the disproportionate level of actions that have killed civilians on both sides over the past 15 years, without counting the Nakba of 1948 in which Israeli militias forced over 800,000 Palestinians from their homes.  They and their descendants are still living in refugee camps in Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

In 2009, the 27-day Israeli attack on Gaza killed 1417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.

In 2012, the Israeli attack on Gaza killed 105 Palestinians. 4 Israelis were killed.

In 2014, the 50-day Israeli attack on Gaza killed 2310 Palestinians.  73 Israelis were killed.

In 2015-2016, the clashes in the West Bank killed 235 Palestinians and 38 Israelis.

In 2018, the Israeli attack on Gaza killed 19 Palestinians. 3 Israelis were killed.

In 2021, the 11-day Israeli attack on Gaza killed 284 Palestinians.  15 Israeli were killed.

In 2022, the Israeli attack on Gaza killed 49 Palestinians. No Israelis were killed.

From 2009 through October 6, 2023, 4,419 Palestinians and 145 Israelis have been killed in the occupation and blockade.

Since October 7 to October 28, 2023, 8,000 Palestinians, 1400 Israelis and 328 from other nations have been killed.

More than half the estimated 220 hostages held by Hamas, at least 138, are from 25 countries, including 54 Thai, 15 Argentinians, 12 Germans, 12 Americans, six French, six Russians, five Nepalese, two Tanzanians, two Filipinos,  one Chinese and one Sri Lankan. 82 hostages are Israeli citizens, apparently not dual citizens.

Israelis continue to hold 10,000 Palestinians with over 1,450 arrested since October 7 and over 4000 Palestinian workers unaccounted for.

Over 10,000 Palestinians are in Israeli jails, 1700 in administrative detention including 147 children.

The cost of Palestinian and Israeli lives lost and destruction in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the 17-year blockade of Gaza is horrendous!

History is showing that these costs of occupation and blockade tragically will continue to increase as long as the Israeli occupation and blockade of Palestinians continues. Gaza is a Ghetto.

As we have seen from US military wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, war and violence is not the solution to political issues.

About the Author: Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel.  She was a US diplomat for 16 years and served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.  She resigned from the US government in 2003 in opposition to the US war on Iraq and wrote of the “unbalanced” policies of the US government in the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

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