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Gaza catch-22: When a humanitarian ceasefire becomes a death trap

At 4:06 p.m. local time, the office of the Israeli military spokesperson sent two messages in succession through its Twitter feed:

The first:

The second:

Set aside the head-scratching leap in the second tweet (that to return home is to somehow “attack Israel”), and what you have is exactly the kind of catch-22 that Joseph Heller, who coined the phrase after living through World War II, intended.

It is a square impossible to circle. And it is lethal.

At 7:01 p.m., Sky News correspondent Sherine Tadros tweeted about an airstrike on a market in Shejaiya. Twelve minutes later, the Associated Press said that 15 were dead and more than 150 wounded in what it reported was an Israeli attack on the busy market.

The number has since risen.

It’s a telling time in Gaza. Spokespersons parse sentences at the expense of innocents. And humanitarian windows explode into shards of bone and flesh.

A relative cries over the body of one of the children killed earlier by an Israeli attack in a playground in al-Shati refugee camp, Gaza city, July 28, 2014. Reports indicate that 10 people, mostly children, were killed and 40 injured during the attack which took place on the first day Eid. Israeli attacks have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and injured more than 6,200 in the current offensive, most of them civilians (photo: Activestills)

A relative cries over the body of one of the children killed by an Israeli attack on a playground in al-Shati refugee camp, Gaza City, July 28, 2014. Reports indicate that 10 people, mostly children, were killed and 40 injured during the attack which took place on the first day of Eid. Israeli attacks have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and injured more than 6,200 in the current offensive, most of them civilians (photo: Activestills)

 

 

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    1. Danny

      So the IOF now tweets its war messages instead of dropping leaflets? Nice. I guess that’s what is meant by the monicker “Startup Nation”.

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard

        good one danny

        Reply to Comment
      • Whiplash

        So Danny, tell me why Hamas does not warn its people’s when it fires rockets at Israelis during cease fires (or at other times) so their own people will know to take cover. Tell me why Hamas uses schools, mosques, homes, UN medical clinics and hospitals as command centers, missile storage and shooting platforms, without warning the Palestinian people that they should flee areas from which Hamas is firing.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Richard

      Um…the second sentence of the second tweet is a stand-alone statement…not a clarification of the first. I’m not sure whether you’re trying to misrepresent things or don’t know how to read. Somehow the colorful “bone and flesh” language at the end of this disjointed piece makes me think its the former.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gearoid

        Congratulations on the dodge. But the fact remains that Israel shelled a busy marketplace after telling Palestinians there was a humanitarian ceasefire.

        In reality, there was no ceasefire. It was a PR stunt. Saying “there’s a ceasefire in places where we aren’t” is pure bullshit, especially when they aren’t letting people return to their homes.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Pedro X

      Hamas breached the cease fire by firing dozens of missiles at Israel and fighting from the area of Gaza in which the market was located. The Palestinians had every reason to believe that Israel would respond.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Best summary of Hell Ive read in awhile.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Lee Qarib

      I don’t know or care why that fascist Steven Plaut continues to post his garbage but I think he is best ignored because his mind is completely closed.

      Reply to Comment