As pro-war rallies continue across Israel, the Israeli government has announced that it will reject the 48-hour ceasefire proposed yesterday to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to the Gaza Strip. Labeling the truce as ‘unrealistic’, the attacks on the strip will continue unabated.
“There’s no such thing as a ‘humanitarian ceasefire’,” one aide to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insisted. “Gaza is not undergoing a humanitarian crisis.” But the situation on the ground tells a different story; with hundreds dead and thousands wounded, hospitals are running short on space and supplies. Food was already in short supply before the attacks began, and the destruction of the smuggling tunnels which had been Gaza’s sole source of imports from the outside world since Israel began barring humanitarian shipments has only made matters worse.
On the other hand, Israel said it would allow 2,000 tonnes of food into the strip later today and the UN plans to renew food distribution tomorrow. How easily this will proceed with most civilians scared to leave their homes amid the continuing attacks remains to be seen. Israel will also allow dozens of Gazans to leave for treatment, but only the “chronically ill,” not the casualties of the ongoing war.