The British and “Christian” Hand in the Gaza Slaughter
The British and “Christian” Hand in the Gaza Slaughter by Harley Schlanger – Rogue Money
The death toll from the Israeli assault on Palestinian protesters yesterday at the Gaza border is now 60, with reports of more than 2,700 people wounded, 1,360 of them by gunfire. Of the wounded, 130 are in serious or critical condition. Hospital facilities have been completely overwhelmed. Egypt has pledged to provide aid. Today, as funerals take place, demonstrators are again out at the Gaza border, and many other points throughout the region.
Today is known as “Catastrophe Day”—or “Nakba”—referring to the date 70 years ago, when Israel was formed by the dispossession of Arab lands in British Palestine. Now over 5 million Palestinians are confined to shrinking territories, in terrible conditions, and with the provocation of the U.S. opening its Embassy in Jerusalem yesterday. After yesterday’s carnage, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for three days of mourning.
Emergency meetings have been called by major institutions, including the Arab League which will meet May 16.
The UN Security Council met this morning, at the behest of Kuwait, whose representatives circulated a resolution calling for an investigation of the May 14 massacre. But the United States blocked the resolution. China and others backed initiation of an investigation, stressing that the violence must be replaced by talks. Russia reiterated that its offer remains in force, to mediate between the Palestinians and Israel. Russia said that the “quartet” process of negotiation should be resumed, because, despite its deficiencies, it is enshrined in UN Security Council mandates.
There are reliable reports that contingents of U.S. Marines are now deployed for protection at U.S. Embassy sites in Turkey and Jordan, as well as the new Embassy in Jerusalem, and in other capitals throughout the region.
Both the White House and the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued statements with similar formulations in support of the Israeli claim that the May 14 violence was entirely the fault of Hamas, the militant group which governs Gaza. Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters at a May 14 briefing, “The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas.” He said, “Israel has the right to defend itself.” British Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt called the loss of life “tragic,” and expressed concern about the large volume of live fire employed by the Israeli security forces. However, he made the same point as Shah, saying: “It is deplorable that extremist elements may have been seeking to exploit these protests for their own violent purposes,” Burt said. “We will not waver from our support for Israel’s right to defend its borders.”
The draft UN Security Council resolution that was blocked, states, according to AFP today: “The Security Council expresses its outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian civilians exercising their right to peaceful protest.” Further, “The Security Council calls for an independent and transparent investigation into these actions to ensure accountability.” The text additionally addresses the matter of Jerusalem being asserted as the capital of Israel. It states, that any decisions and actions “which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect”—a reference to the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The Arab League tomorrow will take up this matter. The League’s Permanent Committee on Human Rights issued a statement calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate “the crimes of the Israeli occupation” against Palestinians. “Israel is an oppressive and murderous entity and its politicians and officers must be taken to the International Criminal Court,” Ahmad Shamout, the committee’s chairman, said in a statement referring to yesterday’s killings. Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit condemned the “massacres” of Palestinians, which he said resemble “war crimes.” In a statement he called on the international community to “protect the Palestinian people, who have chosen the path of peaceful struggle and have been confronted with brutality, violence and murder.”