Tuesday, September 15, 2009

264. On 22 December 2008, a 24-hour ceasefire was declared at Egypt’s request. Three
rockets and one mortar were launched from Gaza that day. Israel opened the border to allow a
limited amount of humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.149
265. By 23 December 2008, rocket and mortar fire was again increasing significantly; 30
rockets and 30 mortars were fired into Israel on 24 December 2008.150 The Israeli armed forces
continued to conduct air strikes on positions inside Gaza and the crossings into Israel remained
closed. On 26 December 2008, a rocket launched from Gaza fell short and hit a house in northern
Gaza killing two girls, aged 5 and 12.151
266. The intensified closure regime on the Gaza crossings which began in November
continued in December, with imports restricted to very basic food items and limited amounts of
fuel, animal feed and medical supplies. According to OCHA, many basic food items were no
longer available and negligible amounts of fuel were allowed to enter Gaza. This resulted in the
health sector in Gaza deteriorating further into a critical condition, with hospitals continuing to
face problems as a result of power cuts, low stocks of fuel to operate back-up generators, lack of
spare parts for medical equipment and shortages of consumables and medical supplies.152 On 18
December 2008, UNRWA once again suspended its food distribution programme for the rest of
the month, owing to shortages.153
267. On 27 December 2008, Israel started its military operations in Gaza.154

The report goes into great detail on everything that happened between the beginning of the truce and Israel's response, but it skips an important fact: that the Hamas al-Qassam Brigades declared "Operation Oil Stain" on December 24th concurrent with their huge increase of rocket attacks. The Brigades continued to boast about this operation until well after Israel's response. In a very real sense, they declared the war.

Also, Goldstone spends much space on the humanitarian situation in Gaza at that time. From reading the report one would get the impression that Gazans were to the point of starvation. Yet as this video shows, they didn't seem to be in such bad shape:

Although my version is satirical, the video is real, and was taken during this exact time period of December 2008. It isn't a place one might choose to live but it is a far cry from many places - including much poorer areas of Egypt right across the border.


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