Gaza (1967- ), also known as the Gaza Strip, is a 40-km long piece of the Mediterranean coast between Egypt and Israel, where an eighth of all Palestinians live. It is 6 to 12 km wide. In land and people is roughly the size of the American city of Philadelphia.
Most fled there in 1948 from what is now Israel when Jews drove them off their land. At first they lived in tents. The tents have long since become houses.
Even what little they have left Israel takes, like Gaza’s offshore gas fields, worth at least $4 billion.
In 1967 Israel took over the Gaza Strip. Although Israel pulled its military and Jewish settlers out of Gaza in 2005, it still controls the land, sea and air. It kills people and destroys buildings in Gaza at will. It has little regard for innocent Palestinian life. Every now and then it makes war on Gaza, like in Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009) and Operation Pillar of Cloud (2012).
Israel’s excuse for war is self-defence. Gaza is good enough at keeping ceasefires that that is just an excuse, not a true concern.
A shabby, unequal conflict: Israel has an army, navy, air force, missile defence system, atom bombs, all the latest military hardware and over 175,000 men under arms. Compare that to Gaza: some homemade rockets and 15,000 men under arms.
Gaza is an open-air prison where 38% live in poverty. Israel pretty much controls what goes in and what comes out – food, medicine, oil, building supplies, spare parts, people. By bombing wells, desalinization plants and power stations it keeps Gaza dependent on Israel for water and electricity.
Israel started the blockade or siege – an act of war – in 2006 when Hamas came to power there in clean, democratic elections. Israel tightened the siege in 2007 when Hamas defeated an American and Israeli-backed attempt to overthrow the government by means of Fatah. In 2010 Israel eased the blockade somewhat.
Egypt does not completely open its border with Gaza to keep peace with Israel and military aid flowing from America.
As a genocide, Gaza is at stage 6, preparation, the stage just before all-out mass killings.
International law: Cutting Gaza off from the world is against international law. So is boarding a ship in international water and killing people, as Israel did to a Turkish supply ship headed for Gaza in 2010. So are its (and Gaza’s) war crimes in Operation Cast Lead as listed in the United Nations’s Goldstone Report of 2009.
America protects Israel’s war criminals with its veto at the United Nations. The very same America that provided them weapons to carry out their crimes.
Israel is not serious about peace. Why should it be? America blindly supports it all the way.
America is not serious about peace either: it is a huge arms dealer. Think of America as a drug pusher and Middle Eastern countries as its junkies.
Every Apache helicopter and every F-16 jet that flies over Gaza was built by Americans, putting money in their pockets and food on their tables. Every Israeli “operation” against an all-but-defenceless Gaza is a trade show.