Israel Bombs Oxfam Kindergartens

Just in case there was a chance any of the kids might grow up to join Hamas, right?

An Israeli airstrike has destroyed one Oxfam supported kindergarten (Al Bajan kindergarten) and left another damaged (Al Housna kindergarten) in Karama, North West Gaza City, the international aid agency said today. The agency had repaired water and sanitation facilities in the two kindergartens as part of an effort to improve the quality of life for people in communities that had been heavily affected during the last major Israeli military campaign on Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009.

Sara Almer, from Oxfam said:

“More than 150 children attended these kindergartens. The children are safe, but the places where they learnt and played are now in ruins. In Gaza and in Israel, children are too often caught in the crossfire and the international community must act urgently to get all parties to the conflict to abide by an immediate ceasefire,” Almer said.

In what alternate universe could this possibly be explained as other than collective punishment?

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

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  • Israel drops leaflets warning Gaza residents to leave homes for ‘own safety’

    Raw Story (via AFP)

    Israel’s air force dropped leaflets across Gaza City on Tuesday urging people to evacuate their homes “immediately” amid fears the military was poised to launch a ground operation.

    “For your own safety, you are required to immediately evacuate your homes and move toward Gaza City centre,” the Arabic-language leaflet said, specifying certain roads that should be used.

    Wow, herd them all in one place then drop the bomb? By mistake, of course. I hope not.

    • Gaza ceasefire hangs in the balance amid Israel-Hamas talks

      UN urges restraint on both sides amid rising death toll as hundreds of Palestinians flee after leaflet warnings.

      The Guardian, Harriet Sherwood, Peter Beaumont & Ian Black, November 20

      Jerusalem/Cairo – Hopes for a ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinians hung in the balance on Tuesday night after six days of violence that have claimed about 120 lives and stoked fears of a wider regional war.

      Fierce fighting continued amid intense diplomacy, with wrangling and uncertainty over whether any agreement was about to take effect. Egypt and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas initially claimed a truce had been agreed from 7pm GMT yesterday, only for this to be denied by Israeli officials.

      Israel last night stepped up its bombardment with artillery shells and missiles fired from naval gunboats offshore and air strikes as Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, arrived in Jerusalem and held talks with Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, pledging to work towards a truce in the region.

      “It is essential to de-escalate the situation in Gaza. The rocket attacks from terrorist organisations inside Gaza on Israeli cities and towns must end and a broader calm restored,” she said.

  • Chilling live tweets as windows shatter around journalists in Gaza City

    Twitter made for terrifying reading on Tuesday night as international journalists covering the Gaza conflict live tweeted while air strikes rocked the very buildings they were sheltering in.

    The Telegraph, November 21

    One strike hit an unknown target so close to two of the hotels where international journalists were sheltering that it blew the windows out.

    The Telegraph’s Phoebe Greenwood reported: “Enormous explosion near hotel in #Gaza City smashed glass windows through the building. That was very close indeed. No ceasefire yet”.

    She was joined by a flood of tweets from other journalists, including reporters from the BBC and from French news agency Agence France-Presse, whose office building was among media offices targeted in an Israeli strike earlier in the day.

    Moments before the strike, AFP reporter Sara Hussein tweeted: “That awkward email to your family. Dear parents, the building housing our office was bombed today but I’m doing fine. Hope you’re well, Sara”.

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