Preceding, During, and Following the War in Gaza
Leading up to, during, and even after 2008’s Operation Cast Lead, Israel has displayed an altogether very liberal policy in regards to Gaza and the people that live there, despite what most people would have you believe. When Israeli troops originally withdrew from the coastal enclave, they evacuated all 1,700 Jewish families living there, at a cost of $900 million. All that was part of a unilateral gesture for peace. As a result, Hamas took total control of Gaza and began regular rocket fire targeting Israeli citizens. During the Gaza War, Hamas had a strategy of using human shields, launching missiles and holding terrorist supplies in schools and hospitals. Israel could easily have bombed those known targets and destroyed them, but they instead chose to drop leaflets first and warn civilians in the area, often at the cost of their military targets. Throughout that war, three out of four Palestinian casualties were known terrorists, and the upmost caution was used not to harm civilians. By contrast, NATO forces in Iraq have killed an estimated more than 100,000 civilians, and only 55,000 actual terrorists. Since the end of that war, there has remained an Israeli blockade on Gaza, but it was recently eased significantly to allow many more goods and supplies into the region. Mathilde Redmatn, the Deputy director of the Red Cross in the Gaza strip, even said recently that “[there] is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. . . If you go to the supermarket, there are products. There are restaurants and a nice beach.” Why are conditions so livable in Gaza, despite the blockade? Because the Israeli government continues, to this day, to provide 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid directly to Gaza and its citizens.