More than 400 lives for 14 tunnels. It is not worth it. As the world watches in horror at the slaughter of Palestinians trapped in Gaza, it becomes even more evident that lopsided as they are, military assaults from Hamas or Israeli will never bring peace to either the occupied or the occupier.
Yet another bloody day in Gaza.
Yet another day of occupation.
Yet another scripted justification from Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu...although perhaps a slight shift ...”as I said when this action began there is no guarantee of success, but results have so far exceeded expectation”.
One hundred Palestinains killed on Sunday, counting the slaughter of 60 inhabitants of the small town of Shujayea including four month old twins and the rest of their family of 12 at 3 a.m., would no doubt exceed some people’s expectations.
What sort of people they are is best left to them and their mirror.
In the meantime the movie ‘Siege on Gaza’ continues to play.
Israel is doing well in the propaganda war - aided so brilliantly by its now not so secret new bible ‘The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary’ which under the helpful titles of ‘Words that Work’ provides all the little pat phrases spokespeople like Mark Regev dish up no matter what the question.
The 116 page dossier is not supposed to be distributed or published but it has been, and it is worth a read for anyone interested in the background to the ‘caring‘ rhetoric which is delivered in reference to dead Palestinians, all the while the ruthless bombing of people trapped in a cage plays on in the background.
Part of the rhetoric is that there is no moral equivalency between Israel’s attacks and those of Hamas.
No there’s not. But not quite the way that Netanyahu and Regev and others want it to be interpreted.
There is no moral equivalency between the slaughter of so many who have endured 47 years of occupation and cannot escape, and the actions of one of the most sophisticated, nuclear armed client states of America unleashing everything it has on 1.8 million people it is responsible for fencing in.
Israel’s defence is that no normal country would tolerate rocket attacks.
No, a normal country would not.
But Israel is not a normal country. It is an occupying force which blatantly ignores international law and United Nations resolutions, while imploring that same UN to support it.
And that’s where this whole mess has to go back to.
It is no use dealing with the horrors of today without seeing the wider screen.
Yet that is what is happening, and that is why the ceasefire proposal Egypt and Israel presented as a take-it-or-leave-it to Hamas was never going to be a starter.
In fact it is almost as if both parties deliberately designed the ceasefire agreement to humiliate Hamas.
Ceasefire agreements are not presented to one protagonist by the other protagonist in conjunction with the mediator.
They are supposed to be negotiated and Hamas was deliberately omitted from a process which concluded that Gaza would be disarmed and any other issues would be addressed once the rockets stopped.
Hamas wanted a ceasefire based on the yet to be implemented terms of the 2012 ceasefire - lifting of the siege, opening of the crossings, access to medical supplies, water and other goods, allowing Gaza's fishing fleet to operate and the release of former prisoners who were rearrested in the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens.
In the days it took for the Hamas grievances to be understood against the true intent of this cosy Israeli-Egyptian, Israel was armed with a bumper-sticker Hamas rejection and so it launched a ground assault.
Hamas however was in this movie in 2012, and in that version it did accept the ceasefire on the provision that issues such as the crippling siege on Gaza would be eased.
Nothing happened...except nothing has happened so often before, that this time Hamas said no.
It should not be forgotten that this latest round of rocket fire began with Israel’s targeted assassination of a senior Hamas leader, quickly followed by the cold blooded shooting of two Palestinian youths by IDF forces - all caught on camera and distributed world wide courtesy of YouTube.
Now the supply lines into the besieged Gaza are the target.
There seems no doubt that the tunnels are used to bring in weapons, shelter and move militants.
They are also the route for basics of life - fuel, medical suplies, cooking oil, water.
Tunnels have been part of resistance lore - the tunnels and catacombs of the French resistance, the tunnels in and out of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Innocent civilians are the collateral damage of the ‘targeting’ of Gaza’s 'underground Gaza' as the locals call it.
Israel duly reminds us from the relative safety of behind its Iron Domes, war is nasty and people get killed.
Indeed it is. Indeed they do.
But it remains a puzzle that the occupier does not seem to realise that invading and retreating from Gaza when it suits does not endear the local population.
It enrages them, although at the moment most are too busy trying to find shelter because nowhere in Gaza is safe as footage of the bodies of dead children and their parents strewn in the streets shows.
It is time for the world to step away from the justifications for the slaughter of Palestinians and listen to the voices of those at the coal face.
Take for example Dr Mads Gilbert from the Hospital of North Norway who is fighting to save lives in Gaza’s outrageously under resourced hospital...
The Israeli impunity has gone so far that they think they can do whatever to whoever (sic) and they don’t consider Palestinians even humans according to how they treat them now” .
On the latest count Israel has apparently destroyed 14 tunnels.
When the Israeli Defence force was asked if that was worth the lives of more than 400 Palestinians - most of them innocent children, women and men - the IDF commander Peter Lerner said that’s unfortunate but it is the fault of Hamas.
As of going to print Hamas says it has captured an Israeli soldier.
If true that will seriously mess up the Netanyahu clean cut plan.
The question is will he escalate or will he embark on a genuine...genuine...ceasefire proposal? Or will he even look at the Qatari plan that is being thrashed out now?
Netanyahu knows only too well that Israelis are wavering as the death toll of Palestinians, and now Israelis mounts.
Captured soldiers introduces a whole new level of consternation.
It does not however get away from the underlying cause of all of this - Israeli colonialism in the form of occupation. Brute military force will never resolve that.
As UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said Gaza is now an open wound and the bleeding must stop. Well it is about time the organisation he heads toughens up and follows through.