Yousef Munayyer writes: They say when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But when you are a politician and all you have is a hammer, you must convince voters every problem looks like a nail. This is the only thinking that can explain Israel’s behavior in escalating bombardment of Gaza.
The Israeli spin machines are out in full force in the hopes of convincing Israelis and the rest of the world that the attacks on Gaza are in self-defense. But anyone following the situation closely and over time will tell you that cannot be the case.
Gaza is a tiny territory where 1.7 million Palestinians, most of whom are refugees, are denied the right to return to their homes simply because they are not Jewish. It is from this besieged territory that militants have fired mostly rudimentary projectiles at Israel. While Israeli officials are quick to rattle off the numbers of projectiles fired from Gaza, rarely do they tell you what they fire into Gaza, what the effects of this fire is and what the fallout from it is.
For example, in 2011, the projectiles fired by the Israeli military into Gaza have been responsible for the death of 108 Palestinians, of which 15 where women or children, and the injury of 468 Palestinians, of which 143 where women or children. The methods by which these causalities were inflicted by Israeli projectiles breaks down as follows: 57 percent, or 310, were caused by Israeli aircraft missile fire; 28 percent, or 150, where from Israeli live ammunition; 11 percent, or 59, were from Israeli tank shells; while another 3 percent, or 18, were from Israeli mortar fire.
Through September 2012, Israeli weaponry caused 55 Palestinian deaths and 257 injuries. Among these 312 casualties, 61, or roughly 20 percent, were children and 28 were female. 209 of these casualties came as a result of Israeli Air Force missiles, 69 from live ammunition fire, and 18 from tank shells. It is important to note that these figures do not represent a totality of Israeli projectiles fired into Gaza but rather only Israeli projectiles fired into Gaza which cause casualties. The total number of Israeli projectiles fired into Gaza is bound to be significantly larger.
For context, consider this: more Palestinians were killed in Gaza yesterday than Israelis have been killed by projectile fire from Gaza in the past three years. [Continue reading…]