It was clear by January 5, 2009 that something terrible had happened to the Al-Samouni family, after a few survivors of the bombed building reached the hospital. In front of Al Jazeera cameras, a father gestured toward the bodies of several of the family's toddlers and said in Hebrew: "We just want to understand what these children did, that they killed them." - In Gaza, Cast Lead felt like a war on civilians
Twenty-nine members of the Al-Samouni family were murdered, now there is a single member of the Israeli military going on trial for this crime.
What was "unique" in Zeitun was that soldiers, who spoke in Hebrew to some family members, ordered them, according to every testimony given, to gather in a one-story house. About 100 members of the Al-Samouni family did so, certain they would be safe because the soldiers had seen that there were elderly people and children among them. The next day, the house was bombed (it is hard to know from testimony and the remains of explosives whether by tank or from the air ).
What is clear is that the members of the Al-Samouni family were not killed due to the error of a single soldier.
Story after story we heard of families being killed, people who have surrendered, women walking with white flags... killed.
Hundreds of children killed.
This was not the work of individual soldiers. After all, given the planned and calculated misery that was imposed on Gaza by the military siege by Olmert/Tzipi "no humanitarian crisis in Gaza" Livni, how can anyone seriously think that the Israeli military took care not to hurt civilians, when in front of the worlds eyes they deny Gazans water fit for human consumption?
B'tselem's Report (good reading)
Harsh restrictions on imports
Under agreements between Israel and Egypt, Gaza’s foreign trade must be conducted through Israel. The quantity of goods that Israel allows into the area is less than one‐quarter of what entered before the siege, and far below the amount required for the population’s needs. The range of goods that Israel allows is limited: some 150 products compared with 4,000 before the siege. Israel refuses to publish the list of products permitted into the Gaza Strip, or the rules used in determining the list.
Difficulties in rebuilding destroyed and damaged Buildings
Israel prohibits the importing of building materials, including iron and cement. The prohibition has remained in place even after Operation Cast Lead, during which 3,500 houses were completely destroyed, thousands more damaged, and extensive harm caused to infrastructures.
Israel’s prohibition is preventing the reconstruction of thousands of buildings destroyed during the operation. Frequent blackouts, sewage flowing into the sea The siege also severely impairs the supply of electricity in the Gaza Strip. Since September 2007, when Israel declared the Gaza Strip a "hostile entity" following the firing of Qassam rockets,
Israel has reduced the supply of industrial fuel, which is needed to operate the power station in Gaza. Following a petition filed by the NGOs Gisha and Adalah, the state agreed to supply some 63 percent of the fuel needed to meet the residents’ needs. In practice, however, it provides less than this quantity. As a result of Israel’s policy, 98 percent of Gaza residents suffer from planned blackouts lasting up to ten hours a day. The other two percent of the population do not receive any electricity at all, in part due to the shortage of spare parts, which makes it impossible to repair infrastructure, or due to the proximity of their homes to the border with Israel.
The frequent power cuts and shortage of spare parts prevent the proper operation of wells and desalination plants. This combined with excessive pumping over the years result in extremely poor water quality. At the end of 2009, 93 percent of the wells were found to be polluted with
high quantities of chloride and nitrates, far in excess of the World Health Organization’s recommended levels. Waste treatment has also been affected: every day, some 100,000 cubic meters of untreated, or partially untreated, wastewater flow into the sea. B'tselem
this was not the work of individual soldiers, this was the hard work of dedicated political leaders, Sharon/Olmert's crew and Bibi's, seeking to punish the whole people of Gaza for daring to defy Israel. Yet one soldier is on trial. And Obama gives a grand reception to a politician who was wildly supportive of this operation and the blockade.
The US must reconsider its support of the Israeli military, aid must at least be preconditioned, as with every other country on the planet, with a demand that basic human rights be observed and respected.