Israel has killed over 1,000 people in its latest assault on Gaza—most of them civilians.
The biggest rise in recorded casualties came during last Saturday’s 12-hour ceasefire. Families returned to what was left of their homes and officials were able to reach previously unsafe areas. The result was the recovery of 147 bodies.
The Palestinian resistance group Hamas declared a 24-hour truce on 2pm last Sunday to mark the start of Eid—but Israel rejected it.
Bombardment of Gaza was continuing as Socialist Worker went to press. US secretary of state John Kerry travelled to Egypt, Israel and Paris last week to try and broker a settlement.
The United Nations (UN) Security Council called for a ceasefire into Eid and beyond on Monday of this week. It demanded the parties “engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian intiative”.
Yet the Egyptian regime has imprisoned and murdered Muslim Brotherhood members who are close allies of Hamas.
Its “initiative” involves Hamas laying down its arms—and offers nothing concrete for the Palestinians, such as lifting Israel’s siege or releasing Palestinian prisoners.
The UN Human Rights Council last week voted to launch an international inquiry into alleged war crimes committed by Israel during the assault.
The US was the only country to vote against this inquiry. Shamefully Britain abstained. But international pressure on Israel has grown particularly after it bombed a UN school on Thursday of last week.
The shelling killed 15 people and wounded 200. Israel admits the bombing—but claims the school was empty at the time. Brazil joined Ecuador in withdrawing its ambassador from Israel on Wednesday of last week.
Israel seemed unrepentant. Foreign ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor said, “This is an unfortunate demonstration of why Brazil, an economic and cultural giant, remains a diplomatic dwarf”.
There were anti-war demonstrations in Israel, including 3,000 marching in Tel Aviv last Saturday. But there is no sign of public opinion turning against the attack on Gaza.
Tens of thousands of people in the West Bank protested against the massacre in Gaza on Thursday of last week. The Israeli military responded by killing nine activists.