Sunday 10 January 2010

Israel: "we're a bit sorry"

A year after its merciless assault on Gaza that killed 1,400 people, Israel has agreed to pay $10 million compensation to the United Nations for destroying or damaging stores, schools, offices and vehicles funded by the organisation in the desperately impoverished besieged enclave.

Israel claimed that Hamas fighters were operating near or in UN buildings, but a UN inquiry rejected its arguments, and accused the Israeli military of “negligence or recklessness”, saying that the deaths of civilians should be investigated under international law. In one of the worst incidents, Israel fired mortars in the "immediate vicinity" of a school being used to shelter Palestinians who had fled from their homes, killing up to 40 people.

Meanwhile, life for the Palestinians goes on much as usual. On Friday, three people, including a 14 year old boy, were killed by Israeli air strikes, the Egyptians have been preventing an aid convoy carrying much-needed clothing and medical equipment from crossing into the territory, and President Obama’s half-hearted attempts to establish a Palestinian state have got precisely nowhere.

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