Gaza—The horror continues. The genocide grinds on.
As we go to press, the death toll in Gaza has reached 9,770—overwhelmingly civilians. Some 3,900 are children—420 a day are being killed—1 every 10 minutes. These numbers should “shake each of us to our core,” a UNICEF official said. Another 24,158 Gazans have been injured.
Gaza is the most densely populated area on Earth, and the Jabaliya Refugee Camp is the most densely populated area in Gaza—yet this week Israeli planes struck it repeatedly, hitting hospitals, homes, United Nations schools and shelters and more, killing nearly 200 people and injuring hundreds more, many of them children (see “Israel’s Bombings of the Densely Populated Jabaliya Refugee Camp: A U.S.-Backed War Crime”). “In the first two weeks of the war, roughly 90 percent of the munitions Israel dropped in Gaza were satellite-guided bombs of 1,000 to 2,000 pounds,” the New York Times reports. Israel has used the banned weapon white phosphorous, which burns through the skin. (And the U.S. has shipped Israel anti-personnel cluster bombs, which are banned by most countries, though not by the U.S.)
On Saturday, November 4, Israeli air strikes battered hospitals and shelters in Gaza City. One bomb exploded near the entrance to Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital, killing two and wounding many others. Another strike hit the Al Fakhura school, which was being used as a shelter in the Jabaliya neighborhood. It killed 15 and wounded 70. The head of Al-Shifa hospital said a dozen bystanders had been killed when a convoy of five ambulances was hit. The Palestine Red Crescent Society called the strike a war crime.
More than half of Gaza’s 2.2 million people have been displaced—overwhelmingly with no safe place to go—due to Israeli strikes targeting and destroying over 8,500 residential buildings and 220,000 residential units. Another 40,000 residential units have been made uninhabitable. At least 220 school buildings have been hit and 60 are out of service as a result of direct hits, including three university buildings. Some 88 government buildings and 55 mosques, three churches. Overall at least a quarter of all buildings in northern Gaza appear damaged or destroyed from satellite photos.
These figures can be staggering and hard to absorb. So stop for a minute. Try to picture, try to imagine the human beings involved.
Targeting Medical Care—“Every day, I see a fear in their eyes”
So far 105 medical facilities suffered damage as a result the air strikes or shelling and 27 ambulances have been destroyed. Sixteen hospitals have been put out of service along with 32 other medical care facilities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 23 hospitals have been issued orders to evacuate by the Israeli military. There have been 82 attacks on healthcare facilities documented by the WHO. Israel’s blockade of fuel, food, water, and medical shipments into Gaza has forced many hospitals to reduce their services—even shut down—and created a water and sanitation crisis, with the WHO warning that an “imminent public health catastrophe looms” in Gaza.
What does this mean? 34 percent of Gaza’s hospitals and 71 percent of its primary care clinics are not functioning, at a time in which the need for medical care is way beyond “normal.”
And there is worse.
Doctors report “a surge of severely injured children entering hospitals, doctors operating without anesthesia and morgues overflowing with bodies.” There are reports of shortages of food, water, medicine and fuel; sewage spilling into the streets, and an increase of disease and respiratory illnesses, especially among children.
Speaking of children, Dr. Hammam Alloh of Al-Shifa Hospital reported, “Every day, I see a fear in their eyes that I can’t do much about. It’s very painful. If you have kids, you know how horrible it is not to be able to comfort them, to ensure they are alright, to make them hope for anything beyond living one more day.”
Food And Water Become Extremely Scarce—and the Water Itself Is a Source of Disease
Due to Israel’s blockade and the bombing of vital infrastructure, there are shortages of food and water as well as fuel needed to power everything from desalination plants to water pumps to hospitals and generators.
This has created what Gazans are calling a “man-made drought.” “Every basic need for humans became a distant dream for us,” one said. The head of UNICEF said, “The lack of clean water and safe sanitation is on the verge of becoming a catastrophe.” The head of the U.N. agency for Palestine refugees, declared it’s “become a matter of life and death for millions.”
Israeli air strikes have also destroyed solar panels installed on roofs of at least five bakeries in southern Gaza. These panels were installed so the bakeries could keep making bread for thousands of Palestinians amidst continuing power blackouts. Gazans report waiting in line for hours just to get a bag of pita bread for their families, with lines in some areas beginning before dawn. Some have been reduced to trying to survive on two pieces of bread a day.
Israeli Violence Escalates and Spreads
Israel has told people in northern Gaza to evacuate to the south. Yet it’s continued to bomb relentlessly in central and southern Gaza. “No place is safe,” Palestinians report—the entire population is being terrorized by Israeli attacks.
Palestinians in the West Bank were not involved in Hamas’s October 7 attack which killed some 1,400 Israelis, mainly civilians. Yet that made no difference to fanatical Israeli settlers who, with backing from Israeli police and military, have unleashed a wave of terror, murder, land grabs and forced displacement, with constant attacks on Palestinians, farms burned, homes destroyed and some 195 killed in the weeks since then (see Surge of Violent Israeli Assaults, Land Grabs and Ethnic Cleansing Targets West Bank Palestinians).
A Barrage of Lies and Double-Talk—from Israel and the U.S.
In the face of this horrific, criminal slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza and growing worldwide outrage, the U.S. and Israel loudly and repeatedly claim they care about civilians—all civilians. The Israeli military justifies every attack with (unsubstantiated) claims that they were targeting a Hamas leader, fighter, bunker or operation. Israel’s president claims his is a nation adhering “to norms of humanity” fighting “those practicing a barbarism that has no place in the modern world.” The New York Times editorial board amplifies the message, calling Israel a “liberal democracy” which has “made a commitment under international law to protect Palestinian civilians while pursuing its military objectives.”
Biden and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken have repeatedly expressed concern for civilian lives, and called for a “humanitarian pause.”
But what’s the reality?
Israel has loudly declared that nothing is going to stop it from continuing its savage assault on the people of Gaza. Netanyahu declared, “I have made clear that we are continuing forcefully, and that Israel refuses a temporary cease-fire that does not include the release of our hostages… Israel does not allow the entry of fuel to the Gaza Strip and opposes the transfer of funds to Gaza.”
A statement from the Israeli authority in charge of Palestinian territories brazenly declares Israel has the right to continue its blockade of food, water, fuel and medicine because it has “no obligation to provide goods and services to the terrorist organization Hamas”—adding, “It should be emphasized that there is currently no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.” Discounting the humanity of the thousands and thousands now wounded, wracked with illness, starving and in all around desperate need.
And the U.S. response?
- Biden called for $14 billion plus in additional military aid for Israel.
- The Biden administration is also trying to ram through a provision waiving congressional notification (thus making deliveries easier and quicker) of future sales of military equipment and weapons to Israel, including ballistic missiles and artillery shells.
- Biden and Secretary of State Blinken have forcefully rejected calls for a cease-fire and expressed their backing for Israel’s bloodthirsty campaign: “It’s our view that a cease-fire now would simply leave Hamas in place, and able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7,” Blinken told a recent summit in the Middle East. “No nation—none of us—can accept that.”
- Vice President Kamala Harris recently chimed in: “We are not going to create any conditions on the support that we are giving Israel to defend itself.”
In short, the U.S. is standing with Israel—and that means standing with genocide. These monstrous powers are neck deep in the blood of the Palestinian people and if they have their way much, much more blood will be shed. This must stop!
U.S. And Israel: Hands Off The Palestinian People!
Israel: STOP the Genocidal State of Siege and War Against 2 Million Palestinians Trapped in Gaza! U.S. Imperialism STOP Your Bloody Arming Of Israel!
Hamas Is Not A Force For Liberation—The Palestinian People Need A Real Revolution!
The People of the World Need REAL Revolution And A Whole New Emancipating Way To Live!
People Continue to Act
This past weekend witnessed continued demonstrations against this carnage, within the U.S. and around the world. Millions more are awakening, expressing outrage, and looking for answers.
In this situation, the revcoms have those answers to why this is happening and how it can be ended, and the strategy to bring into being what urgently cries out to be done, with every new bomb that drops and every new cry of sorrow. In the words of Bob Avakian,