Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
We Will Not Go Down, for Gaza Tonight
By Kourosh Ziabari
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, January 10, 2011
On the eve of New Gregorian Year, the international community
commemorates the second anniversary of Israel's deadly offensive in the Gaza
Strip in the wake of the continuous blockade of the coastal sliver which has
paralyzed the lives of more than 1.5 million impoverished Palestinians
Two years ago and during the final days of 2008,
Israel launched an all-out military attack on the Gaza Strip which,
according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, claimed the lives of
1,417 Palestinians, the majority of whom were innocent women and children.
The military assault of the Israel Defense Forces also wounded 5,303
Palestinians, destroyed more than half of the basic infrastructure of the
strip and displaced tens of thousands of defenseless civilians.
According to a report published by PCHR, "tens of thousands of Gaza
residents continue to live a life of displacement."
United Nations (UN) agencies and international non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) have had the willingness and resources to support the
re-construction of the houses Israel destroyed during the war, Israel
continues to restrict the entry of construction materials, denying the
victims from meaningful relief and from their right to adequate housing,"
the report continues.
As said by the PCHR report, the "extensive
destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military
necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly" is a grave breach of the
147th article of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
"The Ministry of
Housing and Public Works in Gaza announced that 51,553 homes were destroyed
or damaged [during the Operation Cast Lead]. Of those 3,336 homes were
destroyed completely and 4,021 sustained major damages," the report adds.
Moreover, the statistics published by the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) indicate that
2,276 Palestinian homes were destroyed completely during the Gaza offensive
of which 1776 sustained major damage.
The same report adds that due
to Israel's prevention of the entry of construction materials into the Gaza
Strip, 93.3% of the families whose homes were bombarded during the 22-day
war have not received assistance and humanitarian aid to reconstruct their
homes and thus live in displacement.
Since June 2007 and following
the victory of Hamas party in a democratically-administered election in the
Gaza Strip, Israel imposed an extreme siege on the coastal sliver and
severed its connection with the outside world in a brutal manner. Since
then, the people of Gaza have been deprived of the most rudimentary
necessities of their daily life including electricity, foodstuff, fuel,
hygienic water, construction materials, stationery and even toys for their
children. The deafening silence of the Western governments concerning the
Gaza blockade served as a green light to Israel to go on with its
aggressive, inhumane policies and exacerbated the pains of the people of
According to a December 2010 report by the PCHR
which was released a few weeks ago and published on the website of Malaysian
Humanitarian Sail, the Gazan citizens are illegally denied the right to
travel inside and outside the enclave and their students are not allowed to
attend university programs abroad. To one's utmost surprise, the Gazan
businessmen and entrepreneurs are prohibited from exporting their goods and
productions to the neighboring countries and this has deteriorated the
economic situation of the Gaza Strip, leaving thousands of people unemployed
and a number of enterprises bankrupt and closed.
has been continuously violating the UNSC Resolution 1860 since 2009, failing
to open the borders of Gaza and end the crippling blockade of the strip.
However, Despite the fact that the Western governments have turned a
blind eye to atrocities and felonies of the Israeli regime and the anguish
and suffering of the Palestinian citizens, hope still glimmers in our hearts
for the future of Gaza Strip and its innocent people who are in dire need of
assistance, sympathy, compassion and above all, understanding.
Israel launched its first rockets into the Gaza Strip in the early 2009,
several international organizations and a number of countries whose leaders
have refused to bow down to the pressures of Zionist lobby and remained
conscious and independent categorically condemned the barbarity of the
Zionist regime and called on the Tel Aviv leaders to end the dangerous game
which they had started.
According to the statistics, 34 countries
condemned Israel's attacks exclusively and backed the rights of Palestinian
people to defend themselves. Remembering the courageous action of the
governments of Qatar, Bolivia, Venezuela and Mauritius in severing their
diplomatic ties with Israel and the valorous protests of the leaders of 34
countries from the four corners of the world against the butchery of the
Zionist regime revitalizes the hopes that consciousness and morality is
still alive in the world.
During the first days of the Gaza
offensive, almost all of the world countries reacted to the collective
punishment of the Palestinian citizens by the murderous Israel Defense
Forces and called on Tel Aviv to withdraw from the occupied territories and
end its military operation.
One of the most remarkable reactions to
the war came from Havana where the Cuban Revolutionary Government called the
Israeli military operation "criminal", considering it as "the bloodiest
attack Israel has ever launched against the Palestinian people.
Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip was so extensive and unexpected that
even the European allies of the United States as the biggest supporter and
proponent of the Zionist regime dared to criticize Israel and its outlandish
policies. On January 7, 2009, Denmark summoned the Israeli ambassador in
Copenhagen in protest to attacks on clinics run by a Danish charity in Gaza.
The Gambian President Yahya Jammeh called the Israeli offensive a
holocaust that was unleashed on the helpless Palestinians. The Turkish Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan outspokenly blamed Israel and said that
"Israel's bombardment of Gaza shows disrespect to the Turkish Republic. We
were planning to schedule peace talks between Syria and Israel. Whatever the
reason is, killing innocent civilians will damage peace in the world." A few
weeks later and during a World Economic Forum panel discussion with the
Israeli President Shimon Peres, Erdogan stated that "the high tone of your
voice has to do with a guilty conscience," and "When it comes to killing,
you know well how to kill." He consequently walked out of the session in
protest to the Israel's massacre of the Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
The African Union published a statement and blamed Israel's onslaught on the
Gaza Strip: "The Commission of the African Union (AU) is following with
great concern the prevailing situation in the Gaza Strip. The Commission
strongly condemns the ongoing air raids on the Gaza Strip by Israel, since
27 December 2008, which has resulted so far in the death of more than 300
Palestinians, while about 1,000 others, including women and children, have
In a separate statement, the Secretary General of the
Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza expressed his
"absolute rejection" of the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip and urged its
immediate halt. He also called for restoration of the cease-fire, an end to
the embargo on the Gaza Strip, and the establishment of a new peace
The Non-Aligned Movement, the largest bloc of nations
after the UN General Assembly also criticized Israel sharply and issued a
communiqué, calling upon the Zionist Regime to end its hostile and
aggressive policies in the Gaza Strip and the collective punishment of the
Anyway, Israel couldn't escape the grave
consequences of the bloodshed which it staged in the Gaza strip. It lost its
few allies at the four corners of the world and helped the people around the
world to recognize the reality behind the suffering of the Palestinian
Now, two years have passed and we still remember the pains
and quandaries of the Palestinian nation and the people of Gaza. As the
Syrian-American musician Michael Heart narrated in his song, "we will not go
down, for the Gaza tonight." We, the conscious citizens and freemen around
the world will stand by the suppressed people of Palestine until they
realize the ultimate victory in their path toward freedom and liberty.