Palestinian women killed in Gaza mosque clash
Fri Nov 3, 2006 6:38am ET

By Nidal al-Mughrabi

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza (Reuters) – Two Palestinian women acting as human shields between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen were killed on Friday during a stand-off at a Gaza mosque, before the 60 gunmen managed to escape.

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4-year-old boy among 9 Palestinians killed in Gaza

By Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service and The Associated Press

A 4-year-old boy and 40-year-old woman were among four Palestinian civilians killed Friday during an Israel Defense Forces operation in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanun, Palestinian sources said.

Five Hamas militants were also killed in Gaza on Friday, bringing the total number of Palestinian deaths to 24 since the Gaza offensive against Palestinian rocket-launching cells began Wednesday, the sources said.

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[I have just watched the BBC TV footage on the confrontation in Gaza between the Israeli army and hundreds of Palestinian women which reported the killing by the Israelis of two of the unarmed women.  A somewhat embarrassed Israeli official indicated that the event was under investigation to which a Palestinian counterpart responded with grim figures on the total numbers (80% civilians, 20% children) of the 300+ Gazans who have been killed in recent months by Israelis in retaliation for the 300 or so rockets fired blindly (and stupidly IMHO) into Israel by Palestinians from Gaza — killing none.

What madness this all is.  Needless to say there are wrongs on both sides.  Those firing rockets into Israel are triggering hostile responses from the Israelis.  The Israelis are imposing collective punishment upon the Palestinians which, needless to say, always afflicts mainly the innocent and not the guilty.

I am old enough to recall dimly the comparable situation in India when panicked British troops fired into civilian crowds, killing enough to count as a slaughter grimly reported in the British newspapers.  Gandhi was using ‘non-violent’ civil disobedience to goad the British troop into over reaction.  And world and British opinion soon drove the British at long last out of India.  The occupation was no longer worth the opprobrium.

If the Palestinians are clever, they will expand the use of non-violent civil disobedience against their occupiers.  How many Palestinians did you kill today will not wash either with world or Jewish public opinion.  Sadly the Israeli government looks to be in complete disarray, having invited to join with it a manifestly racist political party imported from the former Soviet Union.  This is not Zionism.  It is self immolation by Israel, which, along with the U.S., may soon be able to claim itself to be one of our most oppressive, stupid, and despised, if well armed, global regimes.

Caveat both!

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Israel_Palestine
http://BlogByEdKent.blogspot.com/
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