The commander of the Israeli force that already is occupying Gaza, Major-General Yoav Galant, argues that the Israeli military has a "once in a generation" opportunity to end the threat from Hamas and ensure Israel’s security in the south for many years. Prime Minister Olmert thinks there are at least a few more days of fighting required. I hope America is paying attention to the number of extra people that are being killed in this time since the UN without US backing called for a ceasefire, which was turned down by both sides. Olmert also said:
"We must not, at the last minute, lose what has been achieved in an
unprecedented national effort that restored the spirit of unity to the nation .
. . The Israeli public, especially the residents of the south, have the patience
and willingness – so does the Government."
With elections in Israeli on 10 February the cynic in me believes that nothing, short of a UN peace keeping force, is going to stop this action from carrying. With Israel's heavily armed and trained forces continuing to inflict genocide on the Palestinian people that live in the Gaza strip. It is an action which echoes in its intensity and indeed declared outcome to that of the clearing of the Warsaw Ghetto almost 65 years ago of its Jewish population by the German force.
The Jews in Warsaw had set up their own shelters etc knowing that the occupying force was going to route them all out. The systematic burning and blowing up of the buildings block by block and the indiscriminate murder of whoever they found, whether members of the resistance their declared goal or women and children fleeing for their lives.
The echoes through history are remarkably strong. The death toll continues to be heavily one sided. This isn't a war of equal strength opponents but it is a massacre. So far over 16 days 888 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza (including 284 children and 100 women) and 4080 injured to only 13 Israelis. Although Israeli have admitted at last that a "stray"* missile was responsible for killing 39 who were sheltering in a UN ran school. Israel are carrying on fighting this morning despite no new rocket attack launched from Gaza on Israel last night.
So as the final assault is gearing up, is this the calm before the storm?
*Of course if the UN cease fire had been observed being airborne would have made it a stray.