Obama Administration Backing for Israeli Gaza Attack Makes U.S. Complicit in Rising Civilian Death Toll

Posted July 23, 2014

MP3 Interview with Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College, George and Martha Kellner chairman in South Asian history, conducted by Scott Harris

gaza

After Israel’s two-week military offensive targeting the Hamas government in Gaza, the death toll has risen to more than 600 mostly Palestinian civilians – and more than 3,100 wounded according to Gaza's emergency services. As of July 22, Israeli deaths totaled 29, 27 soldiers and two civilians who died from rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. According to news reports, Israel has attacked two Gaza hospitals since July 8. At the Al-Aqsa Hospital at least four people, including two patients died and 60 were wounded on July 21. Israel claims that their tanks targeted missiles hidden near the hospital compound, an accusation that Palestinian hospital officials have denied.

The United Nations has emphasized that Palestinian civilians in densely-populated Gaza have no place to hide from Israel's air strikes, shelling and ground operations – and children are paying the heaviest price. Jens Laerke, spokesman of the UN Office for Humanitarian Assistance, told a news briefing in Geneva that "There is literally no safe place for civilians." An estimated 500 homes have been destroyed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza and 100,000 people have sought shelter in UN-run schools, where food and water are in short supply.

After rockets fired from Gaza struck near Tel Aviv’s airport, major airlines from the U.S. and Europe suspended flights to and from Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport. Diplomatic efforts by Washington, Egypt and Qatar have thus far failed to reach a cease-fire, owing to resistance by both Hamas and the Israeli government. Hamas, for its part, is demanding that any cease-fire include opening a border crossing with Egypt, easing travel restrictions and the flow of goods and the release of Hamas members who were jailed after the killing of three Jewish teenagers in the West Bank last month. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Vijay Prashad, George and Martha Kellner chairman in South Asian history and professor of international studies at Trinity College, who discusses the carnage in the Gaza conflict, with a focus on U.S. complicity in the rising death toll of Palestinian civilians.

Read Vijay Prashad's July 17 article, published at TheHindu.com, "Pounding Gaza with impunity."

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