Israel has threatened another massive war against the Gaza Strip as the impoverished enclave continues to suffer in the aftermath of the devastating January offensive.
Israeli planes have been dropping thousands of leaflets across Gaza, warning Palestinians against cooperating with the resistance fighters based in the coastal sliver.
The leaflets also threaten Gazans with a new attack just ahead of the first anniversary of Israel’s 22-day onslaught against the Palestinian territory.
In December 2008, Tel Aviv launched an all-out military action against Gaza, killing 1,400 people, including a large number of women and children, leaving thousands more injured.
The threats come despite the Israeli army’s failure in its January operation to reach its strategic and military objectives — above all its pledged overthrow of Israel’s long-time arch foe, Hamas.
In July, the activist group Breaking the Silence released print and video testimony from some 30 soldiers who said they entered Gaza with firing guns upon a "permissive" guideline by commanders, urging to shoot first and worry later about distinguishing civilians from combatants.
The 112-page testimony also accused Israeli troops of using Palestinian civilians as human shields and charged Israel with dropping banned white phosphorus bombs indiscriminately into Gaza streets on top of aerial bombardment and heavy artillery fire.
In April, former South African UN prosecutor Richard Goldstone led an independent fact-finding mission commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate international human rights and humanitarian law violations during the Gaza war.
The committee’s 575-page report mostly highlighted Israeli atrocities against the people in the beleaguered Gaza Strip and documented deliberate targeting of centers, such as schools and mosques, known to be holding civilians.
The document also filed complaints that the Israeli soldiers killed unarmed people on the run, saying some of the victims were even waving white flags.
In October, the damning report was put up for a vote in the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council and endorsed by an overwhelming majority of 114 countries while 18 opposed and 44 abstained.
The three-week Israeli land, sea and air offensive in the Gaza Strip also devastated a large part of the infrastructure in the impoverished coastal enclave, which remains under Tel Aviv’s blockade despite international opposition.