[News] Why is UN pushing for Gaza's surrender?

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Thu Jul 20 17:53:53 EDT 2017


https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/why-un-pushing-gazas-surrender 



  Why is UN pushing for Gaza's surrender?

Maureen Clare Murphy 
<https://electronicintifada.net/people/maureen-clare-murphy> 20 July 2017

------------------------------------------------------------------------

The new report on Gaza 
<https://unsco.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/gaza_10_years_later_-_11_july_2017.pdf> 
by a team led by Robert Piper, the United Nations’ chief humanitarian 
coordinator in Palestine, makes for disturbing reading.

That’s not only because of the alarming statistics or “indicators” about 
the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, of which there is no shortage in 
the report.

That the situation in Gaza is untenable, its population living in a 
pressure cooker that gets worse by the day, is clear to anyone who pays 
attention.

The UN has previously predicted 
<http://www.reuters.com/article/us-palestinians-gaza-un-idUSBRE87Q0OE20120827> 
that Gaza would become “unlivable” by the year 2020.

Piper’s report “tries to look past the polemic and review – as we 
approach 2020 – the socioeconomic, humanitarian and human rights 
disaster that is unfolding in Gaza and to advocate on behalf of the two 
million people trapped in this sad reality.”


    Pushing for Gaza’s surrender

Yet what the report actually does is reveal how the UN has apparently 
aligned with Israel and its international backers in pushing for Gaza’s 
total surrender to its tormentors.

This is made evident with the background context provided in the report 
which frames Israel’s economic blockade on Gaza as the response to 
Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, which Piper’s report 
perversely describes as a “coup.”

Hamas was the unexpected winner in the 2006 Palestinian legislative 
elections held in the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem) and the Gaza 
Strip.

Investigative reporting by David Rose in /Vanity Fair/ and a trove of 
leaked documents revealed by Al Frazer 
<https://electronicintifada.net/content/palestine-papers-and-gaza-coup/9200> 
describe a 2007 coup attempt in Gaza, but not by Hamas.

Following Hamas’ victory at the ballot box, Israel and its allies, 
principally the United States, spared no effort in undermining the new 
Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government with the goal of restoring 
power exclusively to Mahmoud Abbas, the West Bank-based PA president 
whose Fatah party lost the election.

After months of street fighting, Hamas and Fatah formed a “national 
unity government” headed by a Hamas prime minister. The US then enlisted 
Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/muhammad-dahlan> to rout Hamas 
militarily in Gaza. This plot ultimately failed, and Dahlan’s US-backed 
militias were run out of the territory.

According to the anodyne language used in the Piper report, Hamas’ 
subsequent administration of Gaza is deemed illegitimate because of its 
refusal “to recognize the Middle East Quartet’s (EU, Russian Federation, 
UN and US) demands to accept all previous agreements, recognize Israel’s 
right to exist and renounce violence.”

In other words, the preference of Palestinian voters living under 
Israeli occupation is null and void because Hamas does not subscribe to 
the normalization program – including the requirement for active 
cooperation <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/security-coordination> 
with Israeli occupation forces – imposed by Israel and its international 
allies, in contrast to the subservient role played by Abbas’ Palestinian 
Authority in the West Bank.

This is the fundamental, irreconcilable political difference between the 
American and European-backed Palestinian Authority and Hamas. The 
impasse has compounded the socioeconomic deterioration in Gaza resulting 
from Israel’s decade-long siege and half-century of military occupation.


    “Right to exist”

The Piper report’s insistence on Hamas’ recognition of Israel’s “right 
to exist” and the demand that it “renounce violence” should be further 
scrutinized.

Why should Palestinians be forced to submit to demands that Israel 
itself rejects <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29abunimah.html>?

Only on planet Peace Process would a resistance faction be demanded to 
recognize an occupying state’s “right to exist,” 
<https://al-shabaka.org/briefs/reclaiming-self-determination/> while 
that same occupier has historically violated the Palestinian people’s 
very right to life, wiping out families by the dozens 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/video-gazas-gaping-wound> 
and killing more than one out of every thousand of Gaza’s residents 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/how-many-bombs-has-israel-dropped-gaza> 
during its onslaught in the summer of 2014.

Israel violates Palestinians’ right to life so routinely that the weekly 
extrajudicial executions 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/year-atrocities-palestine> 
perpetrated by its forces go largely unreported by the mainstream 
corporate media. Israel is not held accountable for its systematic and 
daily violations of Palestinians’ most basic rights.

When Palestinians do use violent resistance against Israeli occupation 
forces, as is their right under international law 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/how-uns-ban-ki-moon-and-oxfam-undermine-palestinian-right-resist>, 
it has been characterized as “terror,” even by UN officials 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/police-assailants-killed-jerusalem-attack-youth-slain-raid>.

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has in the past 
bizarrely called on 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/why-un-telling-palestinians-protect-their-occupiers> 
“Palestinian authorities to take all feasible measures to prevent 
attacks on Israelis,” lumping in attacks on civilians with those against 
occupation forces and suggesting that Palestinians have no right to 
defend themselves against Israel’s threats to their very existence.

In the Piper report, Hamas’ military capacities are blamed for impeding 
access and movement of people and goods to and from Gaza, particularly 
“the development, stockpiling and firing of rockets capable of reaching 
deep into Israel and the construction of sophisticated tunnels used for 
kidnappings and terrorist attacks in Israel.”

In the report’s timeline of the siege, the first phase is portrayed as a 
response to the capture (misconstrued 
<http://www.aljazeera.com/focus/2010/06/2010628132553801841.html> as a 
“kidnapping”) of an Israeli soldier by Hamas in 2006.

Israel’s winter 2008-2009 military onslaught in Gaza is not mentioned in 
the timeline, and the 2012 and 2014 assaults only in passing. But the 
number of rockets fired from Gaza is given with precise figures during 
each phase of the siege, while regular Israeli airstrikes, shelling and 
gunfire on the territory are not mentioned in the timeline.

Nor does the timeline mention Israel’s habitual 
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-kanwisher/reigniting-violence-how-d_b_155611.html> 
violations 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ben-white/numbers-speak-themselves> 
of negotiated ceasefires 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/infographic-who-violates-ceasefires-more-israelis-or-palestinians> 
that had drastically reduced levels of violence.

The omission of Israel’s regular strikes on Gaza, and the inclusion of 
the number of mortars fired from Gaza, reinforces the lie that each of 
Israel’s massive military assaults in 2008 
<https://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-fabricated-rocket-crisis/7927>, 
2012 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/how-israel-shattered-gaza-truce-leading-escalating-death-and-tragedy-timeline> 
and 2014 
<https://electronicintifada.net/content/max-blumenthals-unflinching-book-gaza-war-must-not-be-ignored/14615> 
were justified responses to rocket fire, rather than Israeli violations 
of truces followed in good faith by Hamas.


    “Terror”

And as for those tunnels, Piper’s report describes them as being used 
for “terror.” Yet the UN’s own independent inquiry into the 2014 war on 
Gaza states explicitly 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/balance-un-gaza-report-cant-hide-massive-israeli-war-crimes> 
that tunnels were used by Palestinian groups to conduct attacks only on 
“legitimate military targets.”

The Piper report is one of many from international agencies and human 
rights groups expressing concern over and demanding unspecified 
international action to improve the current situation in Gaza.

Like every other report before, it will be ignored by world powers that 
view Palestinians in Gaza – most of them refugees from the lands on 
which Israel declared its state, and nearly half of them under the age 
of 15 – as surplus and expendable.

What is significant about the Piper report is that it demonstrates that 
the UN – which brokered a secretive and illegal system that gives Israel 
ultimate control 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/un-database-gaza-aid-may-give-israel-targets-attack-secret-memo> 
over the rebuilding of homes and other civilian infrastructure it 
destroyed in Gaza, allowing it to profit 
<https://www.euractiv.com/section/development-policy/news/eu-source-gaza-reconstruction-aid-is-made-in-israel/> 
from the reconstruction paid for 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/who-benefits-billions-pledged-gaza-reconstruction> 
by third-party states – has totally capitulated to Gaza’s oppressors.

Reading between the lines of Piper’s report, one understands that Israel 
controls everything that gets into Gaza, and everything that gets out. 
It has a total chokehold on Gaza’s economy, whatever remains of it after 
Israel destroyed or damaged 250 factories and 300 businesses in the 
summer of 2014 alone <https://unispal.un.org/pdfs/QuarRep_GazaEconRpt.pdf>.


    Genocidal aims

The Piper report obscures the reality that the devastating siege on Gaza 
is a willful strategy to bring its population to their knees. It makes 
no mention of Israeli leaders’ genocidal aims to “send Gaza back to the 
Middle Ages,” 
<http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/israel-s-minister-of-incitement-1.479125> 
their claims that “there are no innocents in Gaza … mow them down,” 
<http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/michael-ben-ari-bugbear-of-the-left.premium-1.493375> 
their calls to “concentrate” and “exterminate” 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/concentrate-and-exterminate-israel-parliament-deputy-speakers-gaza-genocide-plan> 
Palestinians, or their demands to slaughter Palestinian mothers who give 
birth to “little snakes.” 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-lawmakers-call-genocide-palestinians-gets-thousands-facebook-likes>

In Gaza, Israel aims to snuff out the last bastion of Palestinian 
resistance against its settler-colonial project, an endeavor that 
requires massive, genocidal violence to be maintained 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/gaza-massacre-price-jewish-state>.

Detached from this reality, the outcomes of Israel’s calculated policy 
are treated by the Piper report as technical problems to be dealt with 
by international development groups – groups that would not be needed if 
there was real pressure to end the siege, to end the occupation, to 
secure Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

In many instances in the report, damage to civilian infrastructure such 
as schools and medical facilities is passively described as having been 
incurred “during successive rounds of hostilities,” obscuring the fact 
that they were systematically targeted by Israel’s sophisticated air force.

Meanwhile, a false parity between the Israeli military, massively 
subsidized by the US and supported by EU members, and Hamas’ guerrilla 
fighters is reinforced throughout the report, including in the 
discussion of war crimes in Gaza.

The Piper report even says that “The State of Palestine is also 
responsible for implementing its human rights obligations in the 
entirety of the oPt, including Gaza,” using the insufferable jargon 
employed by international agencies for the occupied West Bank and Gaza 
Strip.

There is no State of Palestine – a reality the report concedes elsewhere 
when it refers to “the future state of Palestine.”

There is only a quisling Palestinian Authority government in the West 
Bank with extremely limited autonomy and which doesn’t even have the 
authority to build a school in the 60 percent of the West Bank under 
full Israeli military control 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/charlotte-silver/israeli-home-demolitions-break-records-shatter-lives-2016>. 
It is only there to serve as an enforcement arm of Israel’s occupation 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/mahmoud-abbas-collaboration-israeli-army-secret-police-sacred> 
and to try to break Palestinian resistance 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/why-mahmoud-abbas-letting-children-die-gaza>.

Yet the Piper report laments that “the Strip remains beyond the reach of 
the legitimate Palestinian Authorities and under Hamas control.”

The catastrophe in Gaza is not caused by acts of nature, it is one of 
careful design and control. The situation born of Israel’s experiment in 
human despair in Gaza 
<https://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-experiment-human-despair/6071> 
will never improve so long as the genocidal state behind it is 
whitewashed and appeased by the very institutions that are supposed to 
hold it accountable.


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