Already among the most devastating attacks in the history of the 60 year long clash between Israel and the Palestinians, the Israeli air strikes of the past two days show no sign of slowing down. Indeed, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has vowed to “expand and deepen” the mammoth bombing campaign as much as he deems necessary.
With the toll among civilians and members of Hamas’ government both rising at an alarming rate, no place is really safe, and most Gazans are choosing to remain at home.
Though she insisted that any civilians Israel kills in its bombings are really Hamas’ fault, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has urged civilians living near Hamas headquarters to leave. She conceded that the bombs would kill more civilians, but dismissed the concerns saying “a war is a war, these things can happen.”
But while Livni and the rest of the Israeli government continue to escalate their bombings in hopes of somehow changing the “reality” of the situation in the area, it must be asked: where are these civilians expected to go? Israel has been opening fire on anyone getting too close to its border for months now, Egypt is shooting at anyone not in an ambulance. As Israel launches attacks on universities, prisons, police stations, and anything else resembling a government institution, the unchangeable reality of the situation is that virtually no place in the strip is not in the line of fire of some Israeli target or other. And there is simply no place to go. “These things can happen” is likely to be little consolation as they bury their dead.