Israel’s killing rage

Another day, another outrage.

That is the inevitable lot of Palestinians in the grim, dystopian wasteland that is Gaza.

It is inevitable because it does not matter the scale, nature or manner of the outrages, Palestinians have been, and always will be, considered disposable human fodder by Israel’s army of unrepentant enablers and apologists.

They are, of course, hard at work trying, as they are conditioned to do, to find an explanation, an excuse, a rationale to absolve Israel of responsibility for the crimes against humanity that it has committed with impunity in Gaza and beyond.

In their myopic calculus, Israel is never to blame, never responsible, never the perpetrator, never guilty. To admit that Israel is to blame, responsible, the perpetrator or guilty, would mean, in effect, admitting their guilt too.

The usual pallet of lies, distortions, and obfuscations is being deployed, on cue, by the usual suspects in the usual capitals and newsrooms to deny or obscure the obvious.

Blindness is a necessary extension of their complicity. They refuse to see what the rest of us can see. Their evangelical allegiance to Israel trumps the truth and decency. It always has. It always will.

This, by now, familiar pantomime is playing out in the shocking residue of a massacre of more than 100 desperate Palestinians who surged at aid trucks carrying the stuff of life denied to them by a fanatical regime intent on killing them quickly or slowly.

This time, the terror took place on al-Rashid Street in the southwest outskirts of what remains of Gaza City, where thousands of homeless Palestinians had gathered in the open night air. Cold. Sick. Thirsty. Starving.

What happened in that place and at that time was not an “incident” or a “chaotic scene”. It was, instead, more lethal evidence of the genocide that is being committed by a ruthless, occupying power against an imprisoned, powerless people with deliberate and malignant efficiency.

We know what happened in that place at that time because Al Jazeera’s Ismail al-Ghoul was there. He was not in Tel Aviv or occupied East Jerusalem. He was not in a television studio in Washington, DC, New York, London or Paris, relying on an account from a preening Israeli spokesperson. He was there.

This is what al-Ghoul reports he witnessed.

Dozens of Palestinians heard that trucks carrying precious flour were about to arrive. While they waited in anxious anticipation early Thursday morning, Israeli soldiers began shooting. You can hear the crackle of gunfire on video that captured the murderous madness.

“We went to get flour. The Israeli army shot at us. There are many martyrs on the ground and until this moment we are withdrawing them. There is no first aid,” one witness told Al Jazeera.

Another witness added that: “The Israelis just opened random fire on us as if it were a trap.”

Then, after strafing Palestinians, Israeli tanks moved forward and ran over the dead and injured, al-Ghoul said.

What witnesses appear to be describing is the military tactic known as the “double tap”. The initial strike hits the intended target. A second strike is aimed at bystanders drawn to help the dead and injured.

In any event, when the carnage was over, the breathtaking tally of dead and injured Palestinians had grown as it has every day for the past five months with unrelenting ferocity.

When daylight arrived, the true measure of the appalling slaughter had become apparent.

Ambulances could not reach the dozens of dead and disfigured since roads, like much of Gaza, had been destroyed.

The dead were loaded onto the flatbed portion of one of the aid trucks turned mobile mortuary, their limp, lifeless bodies intertwined in a grotesque heap of humanity.

The deluge of injured Palestinians who survived the attack descended on overwhelmed hospitals and the caregivers who still populate them.

“Hospitals are no longer able to accommodate the huge number of patients because they lack fuel, let alone medicine. Hospitals have also run out of blood,” al-Ghoul said.

A Palestinian physician preparing to help the wounded amid the bloody bedlam admitted that there was little he could do.

“The majority of cases need surgery and operation rooms,” he said. “To be honest, I don’t know what we can do. The situation is … horrendous.”

The situation has been “horrendous” for a long time. But the so-called “international community” dithers. Worse, it spouts meaningless platitudes “calling on” Israel to stop killing civilians.

Clearly, the dithering and platitudes are not working. The crimes against humanity go on and on and on.

At first, Israel said that Palestinians were responsible for killing and harming Palestinians.

The Palestinians were crushed and trampled, Israel said, when they rushed towards the aid trucks. It’s not our fault.

Predictably, this sick line of “reasoning” fails to address why hordes of Palestinians are having to charge aid trucks.

Israel’s stated goal is to force Palestinians to capitulate by depriving them of food, water, fuel and medicine.

Then, Israel tacked. We didn’t mean to start shooting unarmed civilians. We only started shooting because our heavily armed soldiers felt “threatened” by unarmed civilians.

Israel knows these blatant absurdities will work. They have worked before. They will work again.

Israel knows it has the license to kill as many Palestinians as it wants to, whenever it wants to, for as long as it wants to, by whatever means it wants to, and “the international community” is not going to do a tangible thing to stop it.

Instead, it will nod in approval and agreement. It will accept Israel’s stock, exculpatory version of what happened.

The “outrage” will last a day or two and then the “international community” will go on its merry, delusional way.

Meanwhile, Palestinians will have to bury more of their dead in open pits by hand while they wait for Israel’s insatiable “killing rage” to end.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

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