Israeli units attacked Gaza’s only power station, burning large sections of it to the ground. It made for a dramatic picture in Gaza, one that some on social media said looked like actual hell on Earth.
The bombing appears to have cut off both electricity and water sanitation for most of the Palestinian territory’s 1.8 million residents. According to the Washington Post, the damage will take months to repair and has left almost all of Gaza, including some hospitals, without utility access. Six of eight remaining power connections from Israel have been severed by the fighting.
We’re tired of war. I, for one, have had enough of bloodshed, death and destruction. But I also can no longer tolerate the return to a deeply unjust status quo. I can no longer agree to live in this open-air prison. We can no longer tolerate to be treated as sub-humans, deprived of our most basic human rights. We are trapped here, trapped between two deaths: death by Israeli bombs and missiles, and death by Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Is Hamas a by-product of the Israeli occupation? Yes. Just as Hezbollah is a by-product of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, al-Shabab a by-product of Ethiopia’s occupation of Somalia, al-Qaeda of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and the Islamic State, of the US ’ occupation of Iraq. Historical records make that clear.
Al-Qaeda is not a by-product of Soviet occupation. Al-Qaeda militants were recruited by the U.S. to fight communism in Afghanistan. Therefore, Al-Qaeda is not a by-product of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan; it is a product of U.S. interests in the country.
What happened in Afghanistan has not been discussed in the West. When the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, the US saw in it an opportunity that was two-fold. One, to tie the Soviet Union in a Vietnam-like war in Afghanistan. Two, they saw in it an opportunity to mobilise the entire Muslim world in a violent way against the Soviet Union, against communism.
American operatives went around the Muslim world recruiting for the jihad in Afghanistan. This whole phenomenon of jihad as an international armed struggle has not existed in the Muslim world since the 10th century. It was brought back into being, enlivened, and pan-Islamised by the American effort. I saw planeloads of them arriving—from Algeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine. These people were brought in, given an ideology, told that the armed struggle is a virtuous thing to do, and the whole notion of jihad as an international pan-Islamic terrorist movement was born. The US spent 8 billion dollars in producing the bin Ladens of our time. That camp they hit in Afghanistan, I visited it in 1986. It was a CIA-sponsored camp.
Yvone L. (a pseudonym), who has a physical disability, told Human Rights Watch, “When you go for VCT [voluntary HIV counseling and testing], you are looked up and down, people say, ‘Why should you be in the line? Who could give you HIV?’ They don’t expect disabled women to be sexually active.”