U.S. Backs Deadly Israeli Attack on Gaza

October 10, 1004

On October 5, the United States vetoed a UN resolution demanding an immediate end to Israeli military operations in the northern Gaza Strip and the withdrawal of Israeli forces.

Israel launched its massive offensive, named "Operation Days of Penitence," into the northern Gaza strip on September 28, sending thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles into the Jabaliya refugee camp and other surrounding areas.

Israeli troops sealed off the entire region, trapping over 50,000 Palestinians, destroying homes and fields, killing over 80 and wounding hundreds more. According to a UN report released on October 5, over 85 Palestinians, including 26 children, have been killed since the invasion began.

Eyewitness reports from Palestinians in the area describe widespread destruction and desperate living conditions. "Armored bulldozers have demolished scores, possibly hundreds, of homes," they said. "Thousands of people have spent days without electricity and water," according to residents, and "the destruction of sewage systems has contaminated the water supplies."

The UN resolution would have condemned "the broad military incursion and attacks by the Israeli occupying forces in the area of northern Gaza Strip, including in and around the Jabaliya refugee camp, resulting in extensive human casualties and destruction and exacerbating the dire humanitarian situation." It demanded "the immediate cessation of all military operations in the area of northern Gaza and the withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces from that area."

Official States Israeli Goal is to Prevent Palestinian Homeland

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's chief of staff, Dov Weisglass, stated on October 6, that Israel's goal of "withdrawing" from some parts of the Gaza Strip was designed specifically to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state.

"The significance of our (unilateral) disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process. It supplies the formaldehyde necessary so there is no political process with Palestinians," Weisglass said in an interview published in the Haaretz daily. "When you freeze the process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state ... Effectively, this whole package called a Palestinian state, with all it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda."

He also boasted that the Israeli plan was endorsed by the U.S. government, stating "And all this with authority and permission. All with a [US] presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress....What I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns." He also said later on Israeli radio "there was definitely an intention not to hold a political process with the PNA [Palestinian National Authority] in its present state."