Israeli war planners had vowed to destroy the infrastructure of terror in Gaza. But most Gazans believe that the military operation was directed against general infrastructure. It certainly demolished much of Gaza’s economy and civil society. All along Gaza’s factory row hardly a single building remains standing.
The Israeli military targeted tunnels, arms caches, police stations and the hideouts of several Hamas military commanders. But Israeli attacks also destroyed more than two hundred factories, nearly fifty schools and two dozen mosques were damaged as well as government buildings, including the Presidential Compound and the Assembly building, which Gazans viewed as the possible foundation for a Palestinian state. Representatives of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) say it chose its targets carefully in order to minimize destruction to surrounding property and human lives. The IDF accuses Hamas of putting ordinary Gazans in harm’s way by firing rockets at Israel from within crowded neighborhoods.
Gaza businessmen insist that no militants were taking refugee inside the factories bombed by Israel. The IDF wants people to believe that militants were firing at them from a building, and when the IDF returned fire and utterly destroyed the building that military tactic worked so well that they ran to the next building and did the same thing again, repeating the process over two hundred times until Gaza’s ability to produce anything as little as a bubble gum wrapper was ruined.
Israeli planes targeted the American International School, an institution that served the sons and daughters of wealthy Palestinians. The school had high walls and very good security so the possibility that it was used as a base of attack is nil. A guard at the school wanted to bring family to stay with him because the school was safer than his neighborhood. The guard was killed when an Israeli aircraft fired several rockets at the facility, regarded as Gaza’s finest school.
Initial estimates by Gaza’s Public Works Ministry point to more than two thousand houses destroyed and another forty five thousand left in need of serious repair. Total reconstruction costs for Gaza as a result of the three-week offensive are estimated by the United Nations to be more than one point five billion dollars. But the delivery of reconstruction aid into the territory is a contentious issue for Israel as long as Hamas, the elected representatives of the Gaza people, remains responsible for the distribution of that aid.
Without a doubt there are people in Gaza who are so angry with Israel that they would happily spend every bit of aid in some kind of retaliation. People lost family and their entire means of earning a living. People’s homes were destroyed under some pretense that militants were using them to launch dangerous counterattacks against the IDF. So the chance that aid would be used nefariously is just too great to help the many others in need of help.
To add insult to the IDF inflicted injury Israel is pressing for a continuation of the eighteen month economic siege imposed on the people of Gaza by Israel, America, and other entities in Europe and the Middle East. Obviously, there are people in Israel who think of nothing but imposing as much punishment as possible on the Palestinian people. These are the kind of people who see a few of some of the most rudimentary rockets falling in their streets as an excuse to unleash all out war. Unfortunately for the people of Gaza, the people who want to punish Palestine at the maximum setting are large and in charge.
So now that the Palestinians have to pick themselves up by their bootstrap without the ability to provide for themselves with the lost of their manufacturing base. And without their manufacturing base and trying to recover from being pummeled with American sourced weaponry, people think the people of Gaza should go back to their existence behind an economic blockade. People who were starving before should go back to starving in their shell shocked hovels.
The idea that Israel was striking only at militants with the surgical precision of smart weapons just doesn’t hold water when entire neighborhoods lay flatten. It’s hard to buy into this supposition when every factory lies in a pile of ruin and every school has been obliterated. Israel practiced the same level of restraint and precision with smart bombs that a tsunami would employ trying to pull a single grain of sand off of a beach. For every Israeli killed a hundred Palestinians were killed. For every Israeli injured thousands of Palestinians were made to suffer. And America protects Israel why? Sounds like a fox needing protection from the hens.