Solidarity with Palestine. Solidarity with Palestine. Source: Flickr - Socialist Appeal / cropped from original / licensed under CC 2.0, links at the bottom of article

Terrorising civilians has always been part of Zionist military doctrine and is not accidental, writes Sean Ledwith

It is impossible for any sane human being to observe events in the Gaza Strip and West Bank without being horrified by recurring images of Palestinian children killed by the relentless assault of the high-tech and Western-backed Zionist military machine. F-35  warplanes, gunboats, Apache helicopters and SAM missiles have all been deployed in merciless fashion against a civilian population that has already endured fourteen years of blockade and over a year of the pandemic in grinding poverty.

This week the onslaught reached a new low of barbarity as eleven children being looked after by the Norwegian Refugee Council PTSD programme were killed. All of the children were between 5 and 15 years old and killed in their homes in densely populated areas along with scores of relatives who died or received injuries. Terrifying Palestinian children into a state of fear is clearly not enough for Benjamin Netanyahu and his apparatus of mass destruction-it is also necessary to obliterate their short lives.

Deliberately disproportionate

Israeli military spokesmen like to boast about the supposedly surgical nature of their airstrikes. We can only assume therefore that the over 60 children killed so far in Operation Guarding the Walls have been knowingly targeted. If so, this would be entirely consistent with the Dahiya doctrine of warfare espoused by the armed forces of the Zionist state. Named after a suburb of Beirut bombed by the Israelis in the 2006 conflict against Hezbollah, the policy was formalised by a think tank linked to IDF in a document titled Disproportionate Force: Israel’s Concept of Response in Light of the Second Lebanon War and explicitly justifies the use of force that is disproportionate to the enemy’s actions and the threat it poses. Professor of International Law Richard Falk has described Dahiya as

“not only an overt violation of the most elementary norms of the law of war and of universal morality, but an avowal of a doctrine of violence that needs to be called by its proper name: state terrorism.”

Hard-wired terror

The conscious use of state-sanctioned terror can be traced right back to the Deir Yassin massacre in the first year of the Zionist state. The massacre of over 250 Palestinian villagers there formed part of Plan Dalet, the systematic ethnic cleansing of Arabs approved by the government of Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister. The treatment of the Arab population as sub-human has now become hard-wired in the mentality of the Zionist state as its apartheid system as permeated into all sectors of society over the following decades

Israel has now killed more Palestinians in the last three days than Hamas rockets have killed in the last ten years, exposing the hypocritical nonsense of Westerns politicians such as President Biden who has called for de-escalation from both sides.

Some of the families wiped out by the IDF include:

  • The Tanani family, which consisted of a father, a pregnant mother and four children, killed in their home near Beit Hanoun town late Thursday when Israeli warplanes bombed the area without any warning. The entire residential square was destroyed, including the family’s home. Ra’fat Tanani, 38, his pregnant wife Rawiye, 35, and their children Ismail, 6, Ameer, 5, Adham, 4, and Mohammad, 3, were all killed.

  • The family of Mohammed Hadidi who had gathered at the house with their children to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday ending the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. She and four of the children, aged 6 to 14, were killed. Only baby Omar is known to have survived. The father of four of the children who died, Mohammed al-Hadidi, told reporters that his wife and their five sons had gone to Shati to visit her brother for Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic feasting holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

  • Dr Ayman Abu al-Ouf, head of internal medicine at Al-Shifa hospital, killed along with members of his family in an early morning missile attack in the al-Wehda district of Gaza on Sunday.

  • Dr Raja Sobhi Abu Al-Auf, a psychologist working for the Hayat Center for the Protection and Empowerment of Women and Families, and her four young children, Dima, Yazan, Amir and Mira killed as they slept

British people appalled by this pitiless slaughter have the chance to express their outrage at this Saturday’s National Demonstration for Palestine in London.

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Sean Ledwith

Sean Ledwith is a Counterfire member and Lecturer in History at York College, where he is also UCU branch negotiator. Sean is also a regular contributor to Marx and Philosophy Review of Books and Culture Matters