A few nights ago I was watching Al Jazeera television’s live interview of John Ging, director of operations in Gaza for the UN Refugee and Works Agency (UNRWA). Mr. Ging was on the phone from the main UN compound in Gaza city. While he was being interviewed, Israelis shelled the UN compound injuring three UN workers and lighting on fire food stored in the UN warehouse. This was food that UNRWA distributes to Gazans so they can stay alive. The shelling of the UN compound followed other similar attacks on UN schools as well as Gaza’s hospitals.
Today, a Palestinian doctor was being interviewed live on Israel’s Channel 10 when his house was shelled by the IDF. The shelling killed three of his daughters, his brother, and two of his brother’s children. The video above shows the conversation between the Israeli journalist and the Palestinian doctor after the shells hit. The conversation is in Hebrew, but you don’t need to understand the language to know what is going in. Assaf at Daily Kos, who wrote about this before the Associated Press picked up the story this evening, provides the translated transcript.
The Palestinian doctor had been reporting regularly to Israel’s Channel 10 throughout the conflict from his home in Gaza. Yet, a day or so before Israel is set to stop the massacre, his family is murdered. The standard IDF excuse is that a sniper fired from either his building or near his building and the IDF was responding with tank shells. It seems to me that either the Israeli military is horribly incompetent and cannot shoot straight or the IDF’s rules of engagement have no regard for civilians in Gaza, in violation of international humanitarian law and the laws of war. All evidence points to the latter explanation.
In an unusual gesture, Israel has, at the urging of Channel 10, allowed an ambulance to evacuate the doctor’s surviving family out of the Gaza Strip and onto Israeli hospitals. It is small consolation to a man who just had three of his daughters murdered.
The death toll now stands at least 1170 Gazans killed, at least one third of whom are children. The IDF claims that they have killed about 300 Hamas militants. If the IDF’s figures of Hamas militants killed are to be believed, Israel has slaughtered one child for every Hamas militant they have killed. That is not war. That is murder.