Dora McPhee (VIC) writes to The Age on “Gaza War Crimes” 20Oct09 October 20, 2009

The war on Gaza was a massacre during which civilians were given no protection and could not even flee as refugees from the bombing. The figures speak for themselves: 1400 were killed, 5000 injured (of whom 1900 became disabled) and 1,346 children became orphans and thousands were made homeless and aid dependent  yet again.

While the bombing has stopped the siege and blockade continues and those left homeless face winter with not one bag of cement allowed in to rebuild their shattered homes. John Ging who oversees UNRWA humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza speaks of a society that is being systematically destroyed.

While the Goldstone report indicates there is a case to answer for war crimes and crimes against humanity it is even more important to end the ongoing war crime of the siege and blockade that is already showing the early signs of long-term detrimental effects on the physical and mental health of the people who are being collectively punished.

Over half the population of Gaza are children, who through no fault of their own are made to live in this modern day concentration camp – children who have been terrorized and witnessed the atrocities of war and the ongoing deprivation that promises them a life without hope.  It is this that is truly criminal and which the world continues to participate in by its silence.

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