‘The media coverage of Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza that left many dead and many more injured echoes Israel’s claim that it was part of an escalation that began on Thursday when Hamas militants fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli school bus, critically wounding a teenager and lightly injuring the driver. Such claims ignore the reality that systematic violence against the Palestinians has never stopped.
In fact, in the weeks before the school bus incident between 16-29 March, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Israel has killed a total of 14 Palestinians, including six civilians, and injured 52 Palestinians, including at least 40 civilians (19 children). In that same period, three Israeli civilians were injured. OCHA’s report makes it clear that all the civilian fatalities and 19 of the Palestinian injuries occurred as a result of Israeli tank shelling and mortar fire. So while both Hamas and Israel have targeted civilians, Israel has used force far more lethally against the civilian population. And as tragic as the wounding of an Israeli boy on a bus is, his injury was not a trigger to Israel’s bombardment of Palestinians in Gaza which has continued on and off for the better part of this last decade and certainly was not what started this current escalation.’