GAZA under siege
wall currently in construction in the West Bank has already
been tested in Gaza before. The total control over all borders
of Gaza has been implemented a long time ago and the strenghtening
and hermetization of these borders have been constantly adorned
lands (large areas of cultivated or inhabited land completely
razed under security pretexts and seized regardless of international
- higher and higher walls:
along the border (Rafah
2004) as well as inside the Gaza Strip, as for instance
high wall of Khan Yunis separating Palestinians from
israeli settlers ; a wall with watchtowers from where israeli
soldiers had fun shooting at anything/anyone moving in sight.
This wall of Khan Yunis was the exact prototype of the wall
that the State of Israel is building now in West Bank regardless
of the decisions of the
International Court of Justice of The Hague.Wall which
will soon completely surround Palestinians from West Bank
as their Gazan compatriots are since quite a long time. In
parallell to this fast advancing wall, the construction of
more and more inhuman checkpoints is progressing at high
speed (today more than 650 checkpoints!) setting the future
locks of the soon to come world's
largest open-air prison of West Bank - all this provoking
nothing but raw indifference from the rest of the world.
In addition to the 9'850 Palestinian prisoners arbitrarily
and illegaly held today in israeli jails and detention
camps, at term the whole Palestinian population will be totally
locked behind walls (3.5 milion persons, among which 1.4 milion
ARE already imprisoned in Gaza), walls with watchtowers, ultra-sopphisticated
alarm systems, frequent military patrols, and so on and on.
The confinement of an entire people
under security pretexts, doesn't it awaken some sinister memories
in the consciences?
"New Report on East Jerusalem and the Wall" -
PHR - 14-12-05
grab, resources stealing
Weilding fallacious security pretexts, the
State of Israel is continually annexing new territories,
carefully choosing land not only to enlarge its own territory,
but as well according to water resources.
In Gaza before their evacuation the settlers had the right
to pump from the water table without limitation to maintain
their green lawns and extensive cultures of water-greedy fruits
and vegetables. While helpless Palestinians watched israeli
bulldozers destroying their wells, and it was strictly
forbidden to rebuild them or dig new wells. Furthermore the
occupying power cynically was selling Gaza water to Palestinians
at a much higher price than the ridiculous fare paid by israeli
settlers. Moreover a large amount of the pumped water was
redirected into Israel to fulfill extensive agriculture's
" World Water Forum: Water is a weapon used against Palestinians
by their Israeli Occupiers" - IMEMC 26/03/06
Not only did settlers over-pump the Gaza underground water
table (one settlers consumes 5 times more water than a Palestinian,
and pays it 4 times less!), provoking a strong increase of
salinity turning it into not drinking water in many areas
of Gaza Strip; and leaving it highly
"The Settlers are Gone, the Polluted Water Remains"
- Amira Hass 09-09-05
This land grab strategy stealing
the richest lands is currently at work in West Bank.
We only need to compare the map of water
resources to the one of the
wall route, to be aware of the interest behind annexation
of more land (inside '67 borders), and it clearly shows as
well to which extent colonization has always been planned
according to highly strategical aims.
Land grab is not only applied to Palestine. Israel has been
occupying as well Golan
Heights and Sheba Farms since 1967. And current offensive
on Lebanon doesn't aim only at eradicatation of Hezbollah,
but wants as well at term the
annexation of South Lebanon untill the river Litani, which
waters has been coveted by Israel since its creation.
Not only is colonization lasting
since a too long time, but it is constantly encouraged (reduced
taxes, free infrastructures and other substantial benefits
offered by the State of israel to its dear settlers) and not
a single so-called civilized nation is saying anything.
That is one of the biggest scandals of our times and it shows
the disgusting inequity at stake when it comes to the respect
of international law. For almost 60 years our
governments have been accomplices of this creeping plague
colonizing and destroying Palestine, because they always refused
and still refuse to denounce and sanction it.
map of the colonies in 2002)
"Police probe building of West Bank settlement neighborhood"
- Akiva Eldar 01-01-06
"Israeli Sewage dumped in Brukin village" -
"Israel's Ecological Devastation of Palestine and Lebanon:
Eco-War" - Mark Lynas 15-08-06
Before "disengagement" of settlers in Gaza Strip,
Palestinians were cut from the outside world by over-guarded
borders. Moreover their territory was fragmented by bypass
roads linking the colonies to Israel, protected by checkpoints
where they crossed Palestinian roads. These chekpoints were
very often closed to Palestinian transit, sometimes even for
very long periods (4
days in 2002 when we were there...); making quiteimpossible
the journeys inside this tiny territory of Gaza Strip (40km
from North to South).
This territorial breaking up
strongly fragmented the entire society, already in a precarious
situation due to its hyper-dependent economy. Social fragmentation
nurtured a certain radicalization of society (beforehand more
open and free), a strenghtening of traditional values (tribal
and islamic) and the emergence of armed groups (more or less
maffiosi) rivalling for power (see
the security chaos of April 2006)
This social fragmentation
more or less successful in the Gaza Strip is currently applied
at a larger scale in West Bank, where the construction of
the wall aims at breaking up Palestinian areas into bantustans,
disconnected from each other or easily "disconnectable"
by a clever network
of tunnels, portals, gates and hyper-tight checkpoints
under total control of israeli army (see
This strategy at work in West Bank and Gaza is meant to break
all social links, break solidarity and create internal rivalries,
in the hope to break the resistance
of the entire Palestinian people. But the opposite
happens: in front of this destructive machinery links are
tightened, social cohesion and determination to resist are
> maps of the wall
"Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Completely Isolate the
Northern West Bank from the South" - PCHR 25-04-06
"The battle for the capital" - Danny Rubinstein
the control of goods entering and exiting Gaza, follows of
course a total
control over the economy of Gaza Strip. The local economy
prevented from developping itself, for several decades Palestinian
from Gaza and West Bank have been forced too seek a job in
Israel. Work that all Gazans have lost nowadays because of
the long-time closure of Eretz checkpoint (the only passage
for persons). The majority of refugee camps inhabitants (around
900'000 in Gaza Strip) are used to the dependency on humanitarian
aid (through UNRWA)
since 1948; but now it's the entire population which has become
the slave of external generosity.
Since February 2006 (6 month up till today!) added to the
total state of siege, the Gaza
Strip is subject to tha latest israeli invention regarding
blockade, invention fully backed by international community:
the freeze of any money transfer towards Palestinian government,
yet democratically elected.
This bank blockade heavily
penalizes state employees (previously favorised), and now
the whole Palestinian society has to endure a very precarious
situation. All this strategiy aims at breaking the spirit
of resistance of Palestinians and urge them to rebel against
their own government.
"Palestinian workers in Israel" - Medea 06-04
The same strategy is as well at stake in West Bank since
the beginning of 2nd intifada, numerous
hindrances to the circulation of goods and persons dues
to the wall and its innumerable more
and more inhuman checkpoints. the result being
that many farms, factories and firms from West Bank are facing
financial losses, or even bankruptcy. The culture
of olives for instance has been a tradition in West Bank
for centuries, and is the only source of income for many families.
Nowadays the olive production decreased a lot, because many
farmers cannot access their land anymore (apartheid wall)
or only under very strict conditions (authorization rarely
delivered, closed gates, and so on); moreover they cannot
transport their goods outside their area because of checkpoints
and barred roads knowingly preventing Palestinians to sell
their goods: one can find israeli tomatoes on the market stalls
of Ramallah while Palestinian farmers cannot sell their own
productin of tomatoes... (Financial
losses in the agricultural field since beginning of intifada:
1,6 bilion US$).
The scope is to make impossible any normal development of
palestinian economy, reduced into a state of
total dependency, repetition of a well-known scenario
already effective in Gaza...
" Anatomy of the West Bank "Realignment" Plan"
- David Bloom 23-06-06
The current blockade
of Gaza Strip serves as a model for West Bank. Obviously the
planning of the wall's construction anticipated all details
necessary to lock in the population inside a huge open-air
prison, like in Gaza.
All the necessary prison
infrastructures (walls, watchtowers, military patrols,
checkpoints, gates, locks, etc) are being build at a frightening
Soon it will be very easy for Israel to apply in West Bank
exactly the same barbaric siege as the one currently suffocating
Gaza Strip. And the world will look without flinching at this
collective punishment, while repeating over and over "Israel
has the right to defend itself"... 3.5
milion Palestinienas are confined, humiliated, starving and
bombed for security reasons: it won't shock anyone, it is
already the fate of 1.4 milion persons in Gaza and the world
"PCHR Warns of a Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip"
- PCHR 02-07-06
Terror and non-conventional weapons
The use of cluster-bombs,
phosphorus bombs, sonic
boom air raids, as they are currently described
about Lebanon war, have been tested at large scale since many
years on the civilian population of Gaza Strip, with a major
intensity since settlers withdrawal (previously explosions
could bother the settlers...)
The aim of course is to terrorize
the population (among which a large percentage already suffers
severe traumas) and the result probably looked convincing
to the israeli army as they decided to use it with the same
civilian population in Lebanon as well (up till today: 900
deads, thousands of casualties, hundreds of thousands of displaced
people), provoking not even the shadow of a reaction in western
governments... The difference between Lebanon and Gaza: in
Lebanon civilians are not parked inside bantoustans and they
could flee 'en masse' the targeted and bombed areas; while
in Gaza flight is impossible, Gaza civilians have nowhere
to go to...
War against terrorism is mistaking target:
the worst ravages are caused in the first place by terrorist
States, Israel is one of them. State
terrorism remaining unfortunately still unpunished; when
will there be an international court equipped with universal
legal means to judge war crimes? When will there be an entity
equipped with real powers to enforce UN resolutions and international
"Are New Weapons Being Used in Gaza and Lebanon?"
"Targeting Gaza’s Children with Sound Bombs"
- Mike Whitney 07-05-06
"we dropped more than a million cluster bombs on Lebanon"
- Saed Bannoura 13-09-06
of all infrastructures
The destruction of all civilian infrastructures and official
buildings is a speciality of israeli army. Since the very
beginning of 2nd intifada (2001-2002) bombings
or completely destroyed the airport, police compounds,
Arafat villa, and so on and on (the list is too long) in Gaza
Strip; while in West Bank regiments of israeli soldiers occupied
various Palestinian ministries sacking and spoiling everything
on their way, destroying important archives and data precious
for the entire population (Moqataa, palestinian ministry of
Education in 2002, and so on).
June 2006, Israel started a new large scale offensive
against Gaza, pretexting the liberation of a captured soldier
("kidnapped" would say the propagandists as if he
were a civilian), devastating in a
few days numerous civilian infrastructures in Gaza
Strip: bridges, roads, electric power stations, ministries,
and so on, depriving the population from electricity and tap
water, taking in hostage several members of Parliament (democratically
elected), spreading terror and death among the Palestinian
civilian population already besieged since months.
"Israel's new Middle East" - Tanya Reinhart
"Reprisals against Civilians" - PCHR report
25-06-06 / 31-07-06
The same strategy was then repeated a few weeks later in
Lebanon (from 12 July 2006 on): under similar pretext of 2
captured soldiers, israeli army completed in short time the
destruction of all civilian infrastructures of the country,
the land and sea blockade, adding to it heavy bombings
on innocent civilians, hindrances to fleeing civilians and
emergency staff, use of prohibited unconventional weapons
(white phosphorus bombs...), and so on. while lebanese civilians
were not at all responsible for the capture of these 2 soldiers
(even though one could justify an attack of such an extent
and intensity for such
a small pretext...)
Gaza June 2006 – Lebanon July 2006: same
tactics, same monstruous efficiency, same "collateral
damages" (meaning: deaths and casualties inflicted upon
Who will pay the bill? Up till today international community
has cowardly been paying the bills for israeli destructions
"When the skys rain death - Azmi
In the media, Israel is imposing as well his own lexicon,
a complete vocabulary at his advantage. Gaza
"withdrawal" for instance is the most flagrant successful
media bluff, while cameras were focussing on the sufferings
of poor settlers uprooted from Gaza by force (with relocation
and financial compensations...), at the same time colonization
in West Bank progressed very quickly. Yet Israel succeeded
in making the world believe that those 8'000 settlers evacuated
represented a huge sacrifice, a gift to the Palestinians;
whereas they represent only 3% of the total amouns of israeli
settlers!! (nowadays 450'000 in West Bank)
Likewise the word "disengagement" gives the illusion
of the end of occupation in Gaza, when the opposite is happening!
Hermetic and total control of all borders of Gaza Strip by
israeli army; total control on everyday life of gazans imposed
by Israel (all official documents, ID cards, birth certificates,
and so on, are issued by the State of Israel...); are the
obvious marks of a hidden but still
implacable and real occupation.
Words are flexible and Israel conceals the extent of its
own barbary behind "light" words (low on calories),
and succeeds in imposing them to the world. A few examples:
- media pretend that the soldiers were "kidnapped"
(as if they were mere civilians) when in reality they were
"captured" to be exchanged against the liberation
of a few among the 9'850 Palestinians (a majority of civilians;
many children) illegally detained in israeli prisons - and
thus "kidnapped" by israeli forces!
- news agencies repeat over and over that "Israel has
the right to defend itself" while it hasn't even been
attacked and Israel is the attacker itself! The capture
of one soldier in Gaza and two in South Lebanon were not
done on Israeli territory and civilians from Gaza and Lebanon
are in no way responsible for these captures.
- we often hear about "raining rockets on Sderot (or
but we never hear it's "raining cluster- (or phosphorus)
bombs on Rafah (or Qanaa)"
- "collateral damages" mean death and casualties
inflicted upon innocent civilians
is there a word to describe "collateral damages"
provoked by prohibited weapons (cluster-bombs,
phosphorus,...)? should we describe them as "decorative"
or "perfumed collateral damages"?
- Palestinians (even children) are systematically described
as "armed militants" while israeli soldiers are
human beings with emotions...
- surrounded israeli tanks become "poor defenseless
- and so on and on... the list is too long
Likewise the names given to military operations sound idyllic:
"summer rain", "rainbow", and so on...
(meteorology is an inexhaustible fount of inspiration for
"military poets"...)The top of cynicism is reached
when the whole world swallows these words without thinking,
untill some uncontrolled images unfortunately contradict the
massacre on July 30, 2006: 58 civilians killed among which
The whole war terminology is revised and served to us by
our journalists without any thought nor questioning.
It is our duty to rectify the meaning of words, to remind
the media and our governments that their words and their silences
have a weight and are evidences of the extent of their complicity.
Words are our weapons. The only weapons
at our level. Let's use them!
"The Gaza Disengagement and the Prospect of Further Human
Rights Violations" - Ilan Pappe 16-08-05
A Glossary of Dispossession" - Paul de Rooij 05-01-06
"Five Myths That Sanction Israel's War Crimes" -
Jonathan Cook 26-07-06
-> Les règles
de savoir-vivre lorsqu'il sagit du conflit Israelo-Arabe
on israeli media:
"When Napoleon Won at Waterloo" - Uri Avnery
In the meantime oppression is heavier and heavier and no
condamnation is heard, no action taken. Our
governments are responsible for their silence and passivity.
Let's remind them of their duties.
How can humanity accept a whole people being confined, hungered,
suffocated, bombed and massacred?
Is the life of a Palestinian worth
less than the life of a laboratory rat?
We have to struggle against this scandalous impunity benefitting
Israel since its founding; against its arrogance.
Demand summoning of its leaders in front of International
Court of Justice!
Demand our governments to place sanctions
on Israel for its blatant disregard of international law!
israeli products, divest
from israeli companies and the ones supporting the criminal
State of Israel (Caterpillar,
and so on)
- 7 August 2006
swiss civile mission - October 2005