Over 50 More Palestinians Killed Sunday by Israeli Bombing and Police
May 16, 2021 (EIRNS)—Going into a UN Security Council meeting on the Israel-Palestine situation on May 16, over 50 more Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including 13 children, met their deaths from Israel’s bombing of buildings, streets and now homes in Gaza, and at the hands of Israeli police suppressing Palestinian demonstrations in West Bank cities. Associated Press, whose press headquarters in Gaza was destroyed along with the 13-story building it was in, protested the Israeli claim as to why the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bombed the building: “We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building,” AP said in a statement.
Israel’s IDF complicated attempts at negotiations by attempting to kill top Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and his brother, bombing their home and others in Gaza; this “raised the temperature considerably,” according to an Egyptian diplomat quoted by the Financial Times.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the UNSC meeting by saying, predictably, “Fighting must stop. It must stop. Rockets and mortars on one side, aerial bombardment on the other, must stop.” He did not transgress by saying anything about how the fighting began, clearly provoked by right-wing Israeli groups and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem—although this was described in full by the Arab League representative. After the UNSC session, which was in “debate format” chaired by Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China, the three countries whose foreign ministers took part—China, Norway, and Tunisia—held a press conference. There they added to the “violence must stop” demand, that “evictions must stop,” as well as “disturbances at holy sites including the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” Thus some focus was put on the Israeli provocations which began this war.
Underneath the IDF’s bombings and Hamas’ rocket fire, gangs of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians increasingly attacked each other in streets and fields, with a new phenomenon being the random burning of Palestinians’ fields and fruit trees by roving groups of right-wing Israeli settlers and others. (There are now 650,000 Israeli settlers in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.) Irrationality and immorality spreads.
President Donald Trump’s much-touted “Abraham Accords” may be a casualty. The big prize was to be Saudi recognition of Israel (after those of Bahrain, Kuwait and the U.A.E.); but attacks on Israel’s conduct in the Saudi media are extremely harsh. On May 11, Riyadh’s Foreign Ministry “condemned in the strongest terms the Israeli occupation’s blatant assaults on the sanctity of the holy Aqsa Mosque, and on the safety and security of worshippers.” The Washington Post reported that on May 13 the leading hashtag in Saudi Arabia now was “#IsraelTerrorist”; and that the popular daily Okaz published an article calling Israel a “racist, hateful entity” that survives “through aggression, racism and raping of land.”