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Israel's Attack On
Gaza Is A Massacre
And Should Not Be Referred To As Anything Less
By Annie C Higgins, PhD 
Assistant Professor, Arabic Language and Literature
Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
It is not a response to Hamas rocket firings, which have happened before, and which are symbolic rather than effective. As your guest, Alastair Crook, noted, rocket firings did not kill even one Israeli since the beginning of the truce. By contrast, Israel has targeted civilians during the period of the truce. Constant attack by starvation, by closing the borders to food and medicines, not to mention any other means of subsistence.
Your Israeli spokeswoman in London spoke of Israel 's desire to let Palestinians make their own life in Gaza . Surely you see through this: without control of the borders, without being able to move freely to jobs and to markets, the entire population is imprisoned. Israel did not honor the truce; it did not release the human beings in Gaza from their inhumane imprisonment.
This massacre is another step in a scheme of population reduction. As Israeli Jeff Halper has noted, the US does not oppose Israel 's constant limitations on life in Gaza because it is part of an experiment to see how population reduction methods can work. Make life unliveable - without even food - much less work, and now kill them wantonly. Then, prevent accurate reporting.
Israel is now on a par with the Mugabe regime. How many reports have we heard from BBC which say, "Because BBC reporters are not allowed in, we are reporting from the other side of the border in South Africa ." Of course, this is worse. There is no alternate country from which to report.
As to the spokeswoman and others who reiterate that Israel has no interest in targeting the civilian population in Gaza , I know this is not true. I am an eyewitness to their attacks on civilians and especially, on children. I was in Jenin refugee camp when an Israeli soldier shot the UNRWA director, a British citizen, Mr Iain Hook. They shot him in the back in the UN compound while he was on his mobile phone with the Israeli military, and then they prevented him from leaving the compound for the hospital just down the road. I was at the hospital when they brought him in and tried unsuccessfully to revive him. I was there before any BBC reporter. And note how Israel prevented an investigation by the UK government. The Israeli Army does target civilians.
The Israeli Army targets children and schools. I have been in the Fatima Khatun school for girls in Jenin below the age of ten years, huddled in the back room as tanks pass by firing into the windows. I have been in the other schools that were attacked also, and visited youngsters, male and female, in hospital after being attacked in the schools. And this was during an opening in curfew, when they were supposed to be safe from Army violence, not during a declared annihilation campaign.
The "realities on the ground" continue as they have been, but now with horrific and terrorizing force from the Israeli Forces, armed on land, air, and sea.
As for political characterizations, Minister Milliband speaks of Abbas as "elected" and then conveniently neglects this correct identification when referring to the Hamas government, which, as we know, was elected democratically.
Every individual killed in Gaza without a voice of protest is equivalent to a portion of our humane conscience being erased. A voice for justice for the imprisoned people of Palestine under attack, is a voice for justice for humans in every corner of the globe. If not for the sake of Palestine , do it for the sake of your conscience: Speak up, one and all.

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