‘US INVOLVED IN WAR ON PALESTINIANS’ –says Sha’th after US resupplies Israel with bombs, missiles and bullets

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In London 120,000 marched on July 26 against the Israeli onslaught
In London 120,000 marched on July 26 against the Israeli onslaught

The United States has confirmed that it is supplying new ammunition to the Israeli occupation army.

The US decision has angered the Palestinians and Palestinian officials have condemned the US move.

Fatah Central Committee Member Nabil Sha’th has said: ‘The United States has announced that it allows Israel to use the strategic reserve of aircraft bombs and ammunition of destruction and devastation, so that Israel would be able to supply its aircraft quickly with replacement of the ammunition used during the past days in killing the Palestinians.’

Sha’th points out: ‘This makes the United States involved in the war on the Palestinians.’

Egypt, which invited the Israeli government and the Palestinian (National) Authority to come to Cairo for longer-term truce talks, reiterated its invitation to Israeli and Palestinian delegations, saying it is ‘still in place’ despite the 72-hour humanitarian truce breaking down.

With regard to the efforts to establish a ceasefire, Fatah Central Committee Member Azzam al-Ahmad has said that the Palestinian delegation to Cairo ‘will be in the name of Palestine, and will include Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

‘President Mahmud Abbas is the one of those in the delegation that will operate under the umbrella of the President on the basis that we are one authority and one country.’

Al-Ahmad added: ‘The mission of the delegation is clear. It is to discuss the current crisis, and to work to implement a ceasefire, lift the siege from Gaza through the understandings of 2012.

‘These are to open the land crossing points between Gaza and Israel, allow the flow of goods in a normal way without conditions, stop the restrictions on work in the sea within 12 miles, abolish the buffer zones established by Israel at the borders of Gaza, release the prisoners stipulated in the Shalit deal, the Legislative Council Deputies, and the prisoners arrested after the incident of the three settlers in the south of the West Bank, release the fourth batch of the previous prisoners, and put an end to the havoc wreaked by the settlers.’

However, Al-Ahmad points out: ‘In my opinion, what is taking place on the ground hinders the movement. So far, Netanyahu does not want a ceasefire.’

Gaza officials said on Sunday that at least 1,625 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and 8,808 wounded.

Meanwhile, a poll last week said more than half, 52 per cent of Americans, disapprove of Obama’s handling of the situation in Israel and Gaza while only 39 per cent approve.

Pressed on whether the United States had lost its influence in the world under his presidency, Obama dismissed what he called a ‘common theme’ of criticism about his handling of foreign policy.

‘Apparently people have forgotten that America, as the most powerful country on Earth, still does not control everything around the world,’ he said.

Jeffrey Feltman, the UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, said: ‘The chance for success of these talks rested on quiet, rested on the 72-hour ceasefire. Right now we have escalation. I myself have a hard time envisaging how these talks would work right now.’

In the meantime, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been lowering the expectations of Israelis from their aggression on the Gaza Strip, which has been ongoing for more than 25 days.

Netanyahu said: ‘At the beginning of the military campaign I said that there were no guarantees to achieve 100 per cent success, and also the Iron Dome System does not give an absolute cover against the rockets.

‘However, on the ground the operations by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have achieved tangible results. These operations at this moment are continuing relentlessly.’

While Netanyahu lacks any tangible achievements on the ground that would enable him even to establish a ceasefire, the IDF has announced recalling a further 16,000 reserve soldiers to Gaza, and thus raising the number of reserve soldiers recalled so far to 86,000.

The United Nations warned on Saturday that after 27 days of Israeli assault, the Gaza public health system was ‘on the verge of collapse’ as the numbers of dead and injured overwhelmed hospitals and clinics across the besieged coastal enclave.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories said in a report that five hospitals and 34 clinics have ‘shut down due to damage and insecurity’.

The report said that 12 hospitals have been damaged since the beginning of the Israeli offensive, while 14 primary health clinics had been hit.

‘Nearly half of all clinics in Gaza (34 out of 75) have closed, primarily due to insecurity, including all those located within the three kilometre buffer zone declared by Israel,’ the report added, referring to the 44 per cent of Gaza that has been declared off-limits for Palestinians.

‘Hospitals are increasingly forced to discharge patients prematurely, to accommodate newer and most urgent cases, even though these patients often do not have any place to go to, let alone an adequate one.’

The report also stressed that the almost complete reduction in electricity supply since Israel bombed the Gaza Strip’s sole power plant had made hospitals dependent on ‘unreliable back-up generators as their main power source’.

It added: ‘Constant fluctuations in power supply have resulted in the malfunctioning of sensitive medical equipment, including ultrasound, X-ray, laboratory machines, cardiac monitors, sterilising machines and infants’ incubators.’

At the same time, thousands of people continued trying to seek refuge in hospitals given the lack of adequate shelter available for the more than 450,000 Gazans who have been displaced.

This inflow was constantly disrupting hospitals’ abilities to operate, as the displaced used bathrooms and other facilities to wash their clothes and take care of other necessities.

The report expressed specific concern for the obstetrics units, as ‘nursing attendance in the maternity department of al-Shifa Hospital, the largest in the Gaza Strip, was reduced in the past days to 40 per cent,’ while the Harazeen Maternity Hospital in Shujaiyya had been completely closed.

‘It is feared that the recent closure of Shifa’s antenatal services for high-risk pregnancies may have an impact on foetal and maternal morbidity and mortality.’