موجز: "حالة إبادة جماعية"

On Oct. 15, talk of a five-hour ceasefire was reported by multiple media outlets. The Israeli regime claimed the ceasefire would take place on Oct. 16, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m., to allow foreigners to evacuate and humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

About 100 trucks carrying humanitarian aid lined up in Egypt at the Rafah border crossing, awaiting permission to enter. As soon as the clock struck 9 a.m., the ceasefire that the Israeli regime announced did not occur, and the border did not open. Reuters reports that “Israel was not cooperating with [the] delivery of aid into Gaza and evacuations of foreign passport holders, leaving hundreds of tonnes of supplies stuck.”

Palestinian news outlet, Palestine Online tweeted that Benjamin Netanyahu retracted the plan, stating there is now “no agreement on a ceasefire or the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza in exchange for the withdrawal of foreigners.”

In fact, not only did Israel refuse the entry of aid, but they bombed the Rafah border crossing a fourth time since the genocide campaign unfolded, further damaging the route in an attempt to permanently block aid from entering Gaza.

Western news outlets barely reported on the canceled ceasefire and the bombing of the Rafah border crossing. The lack of reporting perpetuates the idea that aid was let into Gaza. Palestinian journalist Bayan Abusultan, who is in Gaza, tweeted: “Not a single item entered Gaza until now. All the news about humanitarian aid on its way to the Gaza Strip is false. The borders are still closed until [this] moment. We need water, fuel, medicine, food, clothes.”

The combination of the Israeli-imposed siege, the neverending bombardment, and the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza has wiped out any supplies Gazans had access to. Even the remaining UNRWA humanitarian aid that was already within Gaza’s warehouses was bombed by the IOF. The UNRWA released a statement that Gaza is “running out of body bags,” while the number of Palestinians Israel is killing continues to rise. Similarly, hospital morgues are at full capacity, forcing hospital staff to use ice cream trucks — as they did in the 2014 war.

In an interview with Democracy Now, Raz Segal, a professor in genocide and Holocaust studies, declared that this current assault on Gaza is undoubtedly “a textbook case of genocide.” One of the latest crimes in this genocide is Israel bombing the Al-Ahli Hospital (also known as The Baptist Hospital) on Oct. 17. The hospital, located in Gaza’s city center in the Al Zaitoon neighborhood, was deliberately targeted by Israeli forces — they have been bombing the area surrounding the hospital and issued a “warning,” dropping evacuation orders as they have ‘warned’ more than 20 other hospitals. In a preliminary count, Gaza’s Ministry of Health estimated that more than 500 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli attack, and over 1,200 Palestinians are missing.

Al-Ahli (Baptist) Hospital was established in 1882 and has been serving the Palestinian community in Gaza for over 100 years. During the fatal attack, the hospital also functioned as a shelter for displaced individuals and families in Gaza since the start of this latest Israeli bombardment.

Hours after the belligerent Israeli airstrike, doctors from the Al-Ahli (Baptist) Hospital held a press conference standing between dozens of covered Palestinian bodies. Medical staff were seen holding lifeless corpses of children, shock on their faces. The images from the Al-Ahli (Baptist) Hospital massacre are haunting. Since Oct. 7, Israel killed 3,478 Palestinians (as of 3:30 p.m. Gaza time) and injured 12,065, while 1,300 are missing under the rubble.

With news of the hospital bombing spreading across the globe, people in different cities took to the streets. In Occupied Palestine, Palestinians protested from Ramallah to Jenin, calling for the resignation of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and for the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority. To no one's surprise, the Palestinian Authority opened fire on protesters. 

Just across the river in Jordan, protesters gathered in droves and set part of the Israeli embassy on fire. In Lebanon, overhead footage showed hundreds of people marching in Beirut to protest Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people. Another video shows Lebanese protesters burning part of the American embassy. Simultaneously, protesters in Turkey attempted to break into a NATO military base. The collective anger and grief spread even wider, with protests breaking out in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and elsewhere in the Arab and Western world.

At the time of the writing of this brief, news of Joshua Paul’s resignation as director of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs for the Biden Administration broke, citing the United States’ “blind support” for Israel and that “he cannot work in support of a set of major policy decisions, including rushing more arms to one side of the conflict.” He also wrote that the United States cannot be “both against Occupation, and for it … for freedom, and against it.”

Also, on Oct. 18, the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution introduced by Brazil calling for a ceasefire. The U.S. does not realize it cannot continue to provide Israel with impunity to commit war crimes. They count on the world to stand by silently, but the tide is turning against this position.

Dissonance is also growing within the Biden administration as Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali tweeted: “Sources with direct knowledge confirm many high-ranking Muslim appointees are strongly considering resigning. The Biden administration isn't listening to them during this crisis, their communities are frustrated with them, & Islamophobes are targeting them & questioning their loyalties.”

Such tropes are inflamed by biased media coverage, and racist tropes championed by Netanyahu, who called Palestinians “human beasts,” then in the wake of the hospital bombing, called Palestinian children, “children of darkness.”

Comparing humans to animals and associating them with evil is a tactic used to condition the masses to have less sympathy for Palestinians, so that when news of their suffering breaks, no one would bat an eye. This tactic is not new but one deriving from a “psychology of cruelly,” as dubbed in an NPR article in 2011 that reads: “During the Holocaust, Nazis referred to Jews as rats. Hutus involved in the Rwanda genocide called Tutsis cockroaches. Slave owners throughout history considered slaves subhuman animals.” And Western media is taking up its own arms using dehumanizing rhetoric against the Palestinians and inciting violence. The killing of 6-year-old Wadea al-Fayoume in Chicago is a direct result of that, his killer, Joseph Czuba (who was the family’s landlord) had been upset about the “Israel-Hamas war” and was regularly tuning into the news. Twenty-four hours before the bombing of Al-Ahli (Baptist) Hospital, the BBC tweeted: “Does Hamas build tunnels under hospitals and schools?” This unethical form of journalism must be condemned, and the journalists must be held accountable for aiding and abetting hate and war crimes.

In a mind-boggling attempt to gaslight the world, the Israeli regime took credit for the attack on the hospital via a tweet, then deleted it. Israel then proceeded to cast blame on Palestinian resistance. During the press conference at Al-Ahli (Baptist) Hospital, doctors stated that Israel had sent the hospital an evacuation order, proving intent.

The Israeli Occupation’s propaganda task force hopes to influence people to believe that the hospital was destroyed by a Palestinian resistance misfire, going as far as deploying a fake Twitter account of an Al-Jazeera journalist called Farida Khan tweeting this lie. This Israeli bot falsely claimed to have “video proof” that the rocket launched into the hospital was a Hamas missile. Al-Jazeera quickly released a statement declaring that the account has no ties to Al-Jazeera.

In the long hours since the massacre of Palestinians at the hospital, Israel admitted its crime, deleted the posts, created a fake account, and released fabricated video footage and an audio recording in an attempt to redirect its moral failures onto the Palestinian people. 

Palestinians in Gaza feel as if they are counting their last days — with the sliver of connection some of them have left after Israel imposed a media blackout by cutting off internet access, while Palestinians try to tell the world that each day may be their last. They have lost their families, their neighbors, and their homes, and are now being starved, having run out of water and fuel.