Tony Greenstein | 10 May 2024 | Post Views:


Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich calls for ‘utter destruction’ in Rafah

Bezalel Smotrich calls for the wiping out of Gaza’s towns

Only a week ago Israel’s Finance Minister and West Bank Gauleiter, Bezalel Smotrich, called for Gaza to be wiped out. There were no hysterical newspaper headlines, no condemnations from world leaders still less from within Israel. Nor did Board of Deputies or UK Lawyers for Israel have anything to say.

All the pious professions of outrage about Ukraine can now be seen for the hypocritical cant they are.

By 5 March nearly 600 children had been killed in two years of war in Ukraine. In Gaza, counting those under the rubble, at least 20,000 children have been killed in just 7 months. Yet the US continues to give Israel unwavering diplomatic support, financial and military, as the corrupt and repressive Arab regimes look on, providing Israel with backdoor support through a landline from Abu Dhabi and the Emirates via Jordan to Israel.

The death of Hind Rajab was particularly heinous. The article below by the Washington Post is comprehensive. It exposes Israel’s lies and deceit over the murder of Hind and the paramedics sent to rescue her.

Both the BBC and Washington Post reports make it clear that what occurred was a clear and premeditated war crime by the Israeli military. Although the BBC won’t be devoting any air time to this as it is still covering the break-out of October 7. Nevertheless the report on its website is devastating as Hind phones the Palestinian Red Crescent, who dispatch two paramedics.

The fact that Israeli tanks fired on a civilian car is evidence in itself that John Kirby is a liar.  But when the paramedics approached, having been given clearance by the Israeli army, the tank opened fire killing both Hind and the paramedics yet western leaders see nothing wrong in what happened.

Slimy Sunak when he exited Downing Street to condemn George Galloway’s by-election victory mentioned the Israeli casualties, one third of them military, on October 7th. Somehow this racist creep ‘forgot’ to mention the thousands of civilian casualties since then.

It is clear from the Washington Post article that Israel lies, lies and lies again without any shame whatsoever.

Tony Greenstein

For 3½ long hours on Jan. 29, the cellphone in 6-year-old Hind Rajab’s hands was the closest thing she had to a lifeline. Alone in the back seat of a car outside a Gaza City gas station, she was drifting in and out of consciousness, surrounded by bodies, as she told emergency dispatchers that Israeli tanks were rumbling closer.

From the operations room of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), roughly 50 miles away in the city of Ramallah, the team on duty had done their best to save the child. Paramedics were on their way, the dispatchers kept telling her: Hold on.

Bob Dylan’s Masters of  War is a fitting tribute to Biden and Sunak

The paramedics were driving to their deaths.

From left: Hind Rajab, 6, Bashar Hamada, 44, and his daughter Layan, 15, were killed, along with four other family members, as well as paramedics Yousef Zeino and Ahmed al-Madhoun. (Mohammed Hamada and Palestine Red Crescent Society )

Twelve days later, when a Palestinian civil defense crew finally reached the area, they found Hind’s body in a car riddled with bullets, according to her uncle, Samir Hamada, who also arrived at the scene early that morning. The ambulance lay charredroughly 50 meters (about 164 feet) away from the car, its destruction consistent with the use of a round fired by Israeli tanks, according to six munitions experts.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said it had conducted a preliminary investigation and that its forces were “not present near the vehicle or within the firing range” of the Hamada family car. Nor, the IDF said, had it been required to provide the ambulance permission to enter the area. The State Department said it has raised the case repeatedly with the Israelis.

“The Israelis told us there had, in fact, been IDF units in the area, but the IDF had no knowledge of or involvement in the type of strike described,”

spokesman Matthew Miller said.

A Washington Post investigation found that Israeli armored vehicles were present in the area that afternoon. The Post additionally found that the gunfire audible as Hind and her cousin Layan begged for help and the extensive damage caused to the ambulance were consistent with Israeli weapons. The analysis is based on satellite imagery, contemporaneous dispatcher recordings, photos and videos of the aftermath, interviews with 13 dispatchers, family members and rescue workers, and more than a dozen military, satellite, munitions and audio experts who reviewed the evidence, as well as the IDF’s own statements.

Israel’s Murder of Hind Rajab and Two Ambulance Workers

Murder of Hind Raja and 2 ambulance workers

After this story published, Miller said:

“The death of Hind Rajab is an unspeakable tragedy — something that never should have occurred and never should occur. … So what we are going to do is take the information that is contained in that Washington Post story, we’re going to go back to the government of Israel and ask them for further information. We would still welcome a full investigation into this matter, and how it occurred in the first place.”

PRCS as well as representatives from Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor and the Civil Defense who visited the scene on Feb. 10 provided visuals to The Post, which it verified by independently confirming the location using satellite imagery, open-source maps and eyewitness interviews. (Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor)

The Post’s review also found that the ambulance was discovered along a route provided by COGAT, an arm of the Israeli Defense Ministry that generally coordinates safe passage for medical vehicles with the IDF. COGAT initially referred specific questions about the ambulance to the IDF. In mid-March, Elad Goren, head of Coordination and Liaison Administration at COGAT, told The Post that the agency “coordinated everything … including the ambulance that wanted to go and find Hind,” but said he was “not aware” of the specifics. COGAT did not respond to repeated requests to clarify.

The IDF denied that any coordination had taken place, repeating its assertion that its forces were not in the area. It did not comment on two detailed timelines of the incident, or on the expert findings, provided by The Post.

It was not possible to reach Hamas’s military wing for comment on the incident.

Humanitarian officials have warned that a system of coordination with Israel’s military, designed to protect their aid deliveries and lifesaving ambulance maneuvers, is broken. Israeli strikes on a World Central Kitchen convoy that killed seven aid workers in Gaza on April 1 and stirred global outrage came after failed deconfliction efforts.

More than 33,000 Palestinians have been killed during Israeli military operations in Gaza, according to local health authorities. Amid a war of unyielding horror, Hind’s case touched a nerve around the world, in large part because her recorded cries for help offered a glimpse into the terrors faced by civilians.

9:32 a.m.

Generations of the Hamada family had lived on al-Wahda Street in the northern part of Gaza City for decades. Everything changed on Oct. 7, 2023, when Hamas militants stormed border communities in southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people, including civilians in their homes and young people at a concert, and taking at least 240 hostages back to Gaza. The assault drew a punishing response from Israel, which insists its campaign is necessary to destroy Hamas’s military capabilities.

More than 75 percent of Gaza’s population of 2.2 million has been displaced by the fighting, many residents multiple times, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The Hamada family fled their houses; some went south, while others sheltered closer to home, in the nearby Tel al-Hawa neighborhood in western Gaza City.

But late on Jan. 28, Israeli forces returned to western Gaza City in numbers. Posts on social media show heavy gunfire and airstrikes in that part of the city just after midnight local time. At 9:32 a.m., the IDF issued a call in Arabic on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, asking residents in the west of Gaza City — including the Tel al-Hawa area — to evacuate immediately.

Hind’s uncle, Bashar, and his wife packed her into the car along with her four cousins, Bashar’s brother Samir said. They planned to drive north, out of the evacuation zone and back toward the family home in northern Gaza City.

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Tony Greenstein

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