The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Palestine and Ukraine Updated Commentary

In the Ukraine, Russia is advancing, and while it’s slow, it’s steady and a lot better than Ukraine did in its complete flop of a counter-offensive. Weapons and aid from America are now flowing to Palestine, and most Western countries are reluctant to send more arms and munitions, not least because the shelves are almost bare and production has not been significantly ramped up.

Russia, on the other hand, has vastly increased its ability to produce key munitions, and is importing from North Korea and Iran (though Iran may soon become more reluctant.) The Russians have more artillery, more missiles and more drones, and plenty of artillery shells. Ukraine is so desperate for manpower it is trying to force Ukrainian who fled to other countries to return so they can be conscripted, and it has expanded conscription among women.

The immediate front is highly fortified, and Russian movement into it is slow, though not as slow as Ukraine’s was. Mud is also an issue, but it remains entirely poss that Russia will break thru at some point in the next few months.

Militarily, it would be very much in Russia’s interest if the Israel/Palestine war was to expand, and if the US was to become involved

As for Gaza and Palestine, the Israeli Army keeps coming up with excuses not to invade Gaza. First it was “there are clouds”, now it is “we won’t invade while Biden is in Israel.” Hamas still has at least 40K troops, and Gaza is excellent defensive ground, plus if Hezbollah wants to open a second front, it’s logical for them to wait till Israeli troops are engaged in Gaza.

The US may have indicated (I have some doubts) that if Hezbollah attacks Israel, it will attack Hezbollah. I’m not sure how well this will work out for the US: even Jordan might no longer be willing to base their aircraft, Iraq bases will come under attack immediately, and I suspect Turkey will forbid sorties to fly from there. That means reliance on aircraft carriers, and Hezbollah has anti-ship missiles, with Iran having a lot more.

Part of what is driving Israel to delay the invasion of Gaza (or rethink it entirely) is a desire to make sure that if regional war occurs, the US is actually part of the war. Israel alone against Hezbollah/Syria/Iran/Hamas, is in serious danger of losing.

Water has supposedly been turned back on in Gaza, but it makes little difference, as there isn’t enough power to run pumps and deslanization, and much of that infrastructure was bombed day one by the Israelis.

Leaving aside direct deaths from lack of water, or drinking untreated water and sea-water, it would be surprising if there wasn’t a cholera epidemic soon.

Even leaving aside a ground incursion, actual genocide can occur if the water, food and power situation is not resolved soon.

Negotiations are ongoing to get humanitarian aid in with some commitments made so there’s reason for mild optimism.

Likewise there are negotiations to allow refugees out to Egypt, though Egypt definitely doesn’t want them and it’s going to take some massive bribes to get them to accept anything more than token numbers, if they will at all. (Egypt is in a debt crisis right now, if I were them I’d hold out for actual debt forgiveness, not another crap IMF deal.) Remember that Hamas is ideologically aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, whom the Egyptian military couped, and violently suppresses in Egypt, where they are the natural ruling party.

It is also true that allowing massive numbers of refugees into Egypt gives Israel the “win”, allowing them to ethnically cleanse another group of Palestinians

Gaza hospitals have been repeatedly hit, and there are reports Gaza is now out of painkillers among many other medicines and medical supplies. Given how bombing tends to produce burn victims, this is especially horrific.

There is still serious danger of escalation of the Israeli/Palestinian war, and if it escalates it could escalate very quickly and widely. If the US starts hitting Iran, well remember that Iran is a serious Russian and Chinese ally. Understand also that the “street” in most Muslim countries is super-majority pro-Palestine.

Frankly, if I were them and could co-ordinate it, I’d just all declare war and finish the problem once and for all. Israeli unconditional surrender, and the creation of a new Palestinian state with equal rights for all, no matter their religion or ethnicity. Then de-Zionize. In other words, give them the Germany/Japan post-WWII treatment. As long as Israel exists as a religious ethnic apartheid state, it will remain a source of massive instability, and remain the possible flare up point for regional or even world war.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on Palestine going forward, but I’ll see if I can weave in articles on other topics.

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Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – October 15, 2023


Understanding the Israeli Project


  1. Tallifer

    Ian wrote, “In the Ukraine, Russia is advancing, and while it’s slow, it’s steady and a lot better than Ukraine did in its complete flop of a counter-offensive. Weapons and aid from America are now flowing to Palestine, and most Western countries are reluctant to send more arms and munitions, not least because the shelves are almost bare and production has not been significantly ramped up.

    “Russia, on the other hand, has vastly increased its ability to produce key munitions, and is importing from North Korea and Iran (though Iran may soon become more reluctant.) The Russians have more artillery, more missiles and more drones, and plenty of artillery shells. Ukraine is so desperate for manpower it is trying to force Ukrainian who fled to other countries to return so they can be conscripted, and it has expanded conscription among women.”

    It will be very interesting to find out afterward which sources of information and which insider analysts were reliable. The UK Telegraph, The Bulwark, the Ukrainian milbloggers and to a lesser extent the NYT, Economist and Washington Post paint an entirely different picture: that the Ukrainian offensive is slow but steady with proportionately far fewer losses, that Ukrainian counter-battery fire and attacks on Russian supplies has completely reversed the artillery imbalance, and that the Russians are finding it much harder to field trained and motivated troops than the Ukrainians. Perhaps (but I pray not) your sources are better than mine.

  2. Poul

    I read that the Russians are in the process of restoring their old Soviet-era munitions factories. It should take 15-20 months but then they will produce some 12 million shells and rockets per year. It sounds like a lot but is only ca 33,000 pr day.
    NATO does not have that industrial capacity and the will to pay is also lacking. The US have promised 100,000 155mm shells per month in 2026.

    Historians in 50 years time could well come to the conclusion that the best time for Ukraine to have made peace with Russia was just after the Russians were forced to pull back from Kiev in 2022.

  3. Carborundum

    A couple of comments:

    1) I would have assumed that Jordan would be an absolute non-starter for basing, but the recent US deployments out of Lakenheath do appear to have ended up at al-Azraq. I suspect they are primarily there to interdict re-supply through Syria, but they should have the legs to hit into Lebanon if required (not sure what the tanker posture is, but F15Es have significant range). No good sense of where the other aircraft have been deployed – may well be down in the UAE. I suspect the heavy lifting into Lebanon would done by the Ike and Ford groups. Both would stand off enough that the chances of a successful missile attack would be about zero (there’s a big difference between hitting an unwary Sa’ar 5 and a capital ship in a battle group).

    2) I don’t see any way that Israel doesn’t ultimately fight a concerted attack to a standstill, though the costs would be high. This isn’t 1973 – they don’t face massed conventional forces on their borders. What’s on their borders are irregular forces, some of which are highly proficient on their home territory but do not have the combat power / logistical support to survive in an offensive role for extended periods. What conventional forces potential opponents hold are materially worse in terms of relative combat power than a few decades ago and would take significant time to transit to the battlefield. They would be heavily attrited even before they reached their assembly areas.

    3) The relatively slow pacing of going into Gaza (at least as we perceive it – in reality, these things take a lot longer at scale than the post-CNN generation thinks) might be at least in part due to the Israelis having more runway than they’re used to. They conceptualize most recent conflicts as being terminated more by international geopolitics than military realities. Things will change as collateral starts piling up, but the generally muted international opposition suggests they have more time / space to work with than has been the case in the past. At the same time, I don’t see a lot of potential for them to be internally motivated towards anything less than high intensity conflict – they just had over a third of a 9/11 in a country a thirtieth of the size of the United States and we know the scale the reaction to that took.

  4. Mark Pontin

    Too many moving parts, Ian, to predict with certainty what will happen other than that the world will very look quite different in 18-24 months’ time.

    “There are decades where nothing happens and there are weeks when decades happen,” as someone once said. And that’s if there is a world, which there probably will be.

    Regarding US hegemony, however, the words Sophocles gave to Cleon in ‘Oedipus Rex’ come to my mind —

    Think no longer that you are in command here,

    But rather think how, when you were,

    You served your own destruction.

  5. Soredemos


    The Western propaganda is downright hilarious in the degree to which it is the complete opposite of reality. Shameful. The narrative you seem to think is real is 100% wrong. The Ukrainian offensive is finished, after incurring insane, irreplaceable losses and accomplishing absolutely nothing in exchange (the offensive was also done within the first week. Potentially successful offensives don’t grind on for months; they succeed or fail very quickly. Continuing to throw meat into the fight is merely a delaying tactic to avoid having to admit failure).


    Russia wasn’t forced back from anything. It withdrew its convoy, completely unmolested, from north of Kiev after it was clear pressuring for negotiations had failed and Russia would have to demiliterize Ukraine the slow and hard way.

    As for Palestine, it’s amazing the degree to which Israel has gone completely mask off and is openly and extensively doing what it was always inclined to do but used to try and obscure behind hasbara. Israel has had its 9/11 and is now filled with pure bloodlust. Even our compliant media is having trouble obscuring facts like the water blockade and the blatant deliberate targeting if hospitals. Possibly the most outrageous part to me is how Israel ordered a million people to move south, but has then taken to repeatedly bombing people when they actually try and do it. That and the Rafah crossing into Egypt, which multiple parties including the US are trying to get open for people to flee and for humanitarian aid to get in, but which Israel has taken to regularly bombing. The media has to pretend it’s just myseiously closed and that no one is quite sure why.

  6. Feral Finster

    @Tallifer: If Ukrainian milbloggers’s posts had any basis in reality, the Russian military would have lost many times its entire military strength.

    Or we could discuss The Ghost of Kiev, Snake Island and many more examples of the rich and active fantasy life of the Ukrainian blogger.

    Or we could point out the way the counteroffensive was hyped versus what it achieved in reality, and then note that Russia has Avedeevka under fire control.

    That said, Ukraine first launched ATACMS today. Note that NATO continues to double down and does not dither.

  7. Purple Library Guy

    On Tallifer’s comment about different sources saying different things . . . the fog of war is not what it used to be even ten or twenty years ago. There’s a lot of data coming out of the battlefield because all the soldiers have cell phones. And there’s a lot more data coming out because both sides want to publicize their effectiveness, and rather than doing so by just claiming they did X, Y, Z they can now do so by showing video from a drone of their forces whacking the opposition. So all the military units are publishing these little videos, which usually show terrain that can be localized so you know just where it is happening, of an enemy thingie being whacked by artillery or a drone or whatever, or even of an assault on enemy trenches.
    All this information and more is used by groups on both sides to put together real time maps of what territory is held by whom, with all kinds of little icons showing what military units are where and relevant combat events with their little videos attached. The maps from groups identifying with the different sides are really surprisingly the same in terms of what territory who has. I watch a daily video from a guy who probably leans Russian but is pretty dispassionate, working from this kind of map and talking about the day’s events and sometimes what he thinks the implications are.

    And what I see is that the Ukrainian offensive took very little territory. Further, the Ukrainian offensive started out pushing in about four different places, and over the last few weeks it gave up in one after another, until a week or so ago they stopped pushing in the last one, despite having had some success there quite recently. The impression I get is that they were kind of out of gas. That they knew they didn’t have what it took to get much further, had run low on reserves and knew the Russians were going to start counteroffensives soon and figured they needed to hang onto the reserves they had left and get into defensive position.

    What I’m also seeing is that over the course of the Ukrainian offensive, there has been a gradual diminishing of little icons showing Ukrainian artillery waxing things. There are still quite a few icons showing Ukrainian drones waxing things, but artillery–pretty sparse. I don’t know for sure if this is because they’re low on ammunition, have lost most of their artillery, or still have moderate amounts but are using it conservatively because they don’t want to lose what they have to counter-artillery except when they really need to, or some combination. Russian counter-artillery fire, both with their own artillery and with drones, does seem quite effective. Ukrainians do kill Russian artillery, mostly with drones, but not as much and the Russians started with way more and are adding way more, so it’s a bit lopsided.

    So I’m just saying, based on some pretty nitty-gritty data with battlefield video backup, I think Mr. Welsh’s information is more accurate than the typical Western media claims.

  8. Soredemos

    And now the Israeli bastards just directly and openly bombed a hospital (run by Christians no less) and killed up to 500 people. No amount of hasbara will cover this one up. What possible ‘explanation’ could be offered to explain this away?

  9. Leo

    I can’t be the only one to have noticed that the Oct 9 statement of support for Israel from the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy and follow up statements of support from Portugal and the Netherlands means that almost all (Spain excepted) of the most successful imperial powers of the last 500 years have now all lined up with Israel. The Zionist state follows the old fashioned method of territorial conquest because of religious beliefs in their right to the surrounding lands, whereas those other imperial powers mostly use economic levers to dominate and extract wealth.

    And this is not really news, that there is a cruel repetition between what the Zionist do to the Palestinians, and what the European settlers did to the original people of the Americas, but has anyone thought to ask those First Nations what their thoughts are on the spread of the Zionist settler state? I am pessimistic about the likelihood of solidarity, as I think it very likely at least the leaders are more identified with Imperial America then their own past.

    And finally, noticing that Zelensky has supported Israel: with Israel having expanded their borders by occupation (many times over the last 75 years) and effective annexation (the Golan Heights about 45 years ago, the question for Zelensky is if he recognizes longevity as legitimization. Does he believe Israel must give up those territories and the Palestinians are right to fight for their liberation for as long as it takes? Or does he believe that after some period of time the Palestinians (and therefore the Ukrainians as well) lose their land and their right of return? Funny this never seems to come up!

  10. Curt Kastens

    The Israelis can do what ever they damned well please because no is going to stop them.
    Since I have believed for years that the Israelis are actually subordinate to the United States and that their independence is fake one could deduce that this destruction of the people living in the Gaza strip is not only what the Israelis wanted all along but what the real leaders of America wanted all along.
    Brian Berletic suggested that the Hamas is actually a CIA built organization much like ISIS or Al Queda. I do not think that he means to say that the Hamas leadership knowingly follows CIA orders. I think that what he has in mind is that through a combination of infiltraitors and other higher tech intellegence gathering techniques that the CIA can manipulate the decisions that the leadership of Hamas.
    The implication of course is that the CIA and possibly even top Israeli leaders knew about the Hamas attack plans in advance and did nothing to prevent them. Of course another implication is that since nothing can be left to chance they even had to occasionally provide an unseen helping hand to Hamas that would have appeared to Hamas members as a lucky conincidence.
    Brian Berletic might be right. But in WW2 the Jews in a ghetto in Warsaw decided that they could not just sit around and do nothing as they were shipped off to Auschwitz. It is not hard to imagin the young men of Gaza reaching the same conclusion as the young men of the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto. No the men of Gaza were not facing an immenent threat of death. But they were facing clear situation of an unofficial life in prison sentence. Almost anyone born in Gaza over the past 25 years would seek to become what small minded westerners would call a terrorist, rather than a liberator. People tend to be a product of their environment and the US with Israeli help created that environment in the Gaza.
    What I am getting to here is that who controls the Gaza and who controls Hamas is really not the most relevent facts to consider in the colonial occupation of Palestine.
    The most important facts are that Israelis are illegal immigrants. That a state based upon theological. or racial, foundations is a really stupid idea. That a state based upon theological, or racial foundations is goes totally against classical western philosophy.
    That this stupidness is ignored by western institutions because the leading western institutions have motives for supporting Israel that they do not broadcast because to say them out publically would be embarrasing.
    So humane people have to support Hamas whether or not they were tricked by the CIA in to launching these attacks. And whether or not we would like to live under a Hamas controlled government. It is with that in mind:
    Now, there is one other thing that I would like to point out to the Government of Pakistan. You have nuclear weapons. You got them to use against India. But you country is very quickly becomeing a failed state. Changes comming in the near future due to envirnomental collapse are only going to accelerate that process. Perhaps you should consider using your nuclear weapons while you still can control them. Only one of them needs to reach Israel.
    Of course that may mean that Pakistan gets fattened very quicly. But here is the thing your country has a Muslim population. They should be rejoicing for the chance to die as Martyers rather than from hunger and thirst while begging for aid from China or the west.
    Of course if the Israelis accept the Thomas Paine peace plan that I relayed to the world through the wev site of yesterday or the day before then there is no need to test whether or not the US will fatten Pakistan for behaving correctly with a just cause. This idea that the Israelis possess an independent nuclear deterent is foolish non ssense. The Israelis need US approval to launch any nuclear weapons that are on any Israeli controlled launching device.
    Really Sadly I doubt if anyone in the Pakistani foriegn service will ever see my proposal let alone pass in on to the leaders of Pakistan.
    Many western lefties may bitch about my suggestion to nuke Tel Aviv. But they should not forgot that any pretence to the idea that there is any sort of international law got killed and buried in March of 2003. Now there is only the rule of ruthlessness. That means that the ruthless make the rules. I do not like to see children hurt. Children are cute and innocent. But even before March of 2003 it was clearly written in the rules that when the other side are not following the rules of land warfare your side is allowed to retaliate.

  11. Z

    Lots of scales falling from the eyes of those who seek the truth, particularly, and impressively, from the younger generations despite a full-court propagandic press by our rulers’ statestream media. Good for them … and us. It’s a necessary step.

    Not surprising that the molten core of all the world’s turmoil ultimately winds up in Israel, the country dearest to the dark souls of so many who have created it.


  12. Poul

    Soredemos, we will have to agree to disagree on Kiev.

    My view is that the Russian attempted a coup de main. Surrounding Kiev from both the east and the west would force the Ukrainian government to give up. But the Ukrainian army were willing to fight as opposed to 2014-15.

    The Russian supply lines were huge in length and with insufficient forces to protect them, the Russians ended up in an untenable position hence they redrew.

  13. Soredemos


    Defeat isn’t when your army survives intact to be used later elsewhere.

    A concept Ukraine doesn’t know the first thing about, of course.

  14. Willy

    I’m seeing local and defense news sources claiming that USA munitions makers have easily ramped up production and that an Israeli war isn’t a problem. This would support my own argument that big weapons makers are into these wars for the profits.

    So who’s reporting that the American military-industrial complex has gone kaput?

  15. Poul


    Where did I write the Russian army was destroyed.

    The Russian army’s attempt of a coup de main was defeated. Not their army. It’s no different than the Ukrainian army’s attempt of a Summer offensive has been defeated. The Ukrainian army is still around.

  16. Forecasting Intelligence


    Agree with you here Ian, Russia is looking very strong and has a 600k strong army ready to move, probably hard, in 2024 against a deeply depleted Ukrainian army that has failed in its counter-offensive this year.

    Pressure from the West to do a deal with Russia will grow next year.

    I have found your analysis on that war to be superb btw. I think it helps you don’t have an emotional attachment to either side that helps with a objective analysis of what is actually going on.


    In contrast to Ukraine, your analysis so far on Gaza is floored by what is clearly a deep dislike of the Israeli state.

    My own view is that given Gaza is totally dependent upon the Israelis for its water, food and power really the Israelis have Hamas by the balls.

    The Egyptians hate Hamas (an off spring of the Muslim brotherhood) and would rather Fatah – a more pragmatic Palestinian faction – takes over the Gaza. Neither do Cairo want any of the Gaza people who they perceive as a massive security threat. So for all the Palestinian virtue signalling across the Arab world, nobody has offered to take in Gaza refugees (so far).

    As for Hezbollah, no signs yet that they plan to move against Israel. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t but it won’t take much for the Israelis to take out what remains of the Lebanese economy.

    As for the wider Middle East, many of the countries you mention are already semi-failed states, Iraq and Syria are good examples.

    The idea that the Assad family actually cares about Palestinians are laughable. All that family cares about is staying in power and they won’t do anything to threaten that. Israel (and indeed anyone else in the region and outside like Russia) can quietly do business with such a mafia style dictator family.

    The optimal outcome for most of the region (outside Iran) is for Hamas to be removed and Fatah installed in Gaza.

    Whether that happens and at what human cost remains to be seen.

  17. Tallifer

    Motivation often explains a murder case on a TV show.

    Motivation explains the Islamic Jihad rocket strike on the hospital: inflame the Arab world against Israel. Why would Israel attack a hospital? The Jews want to destroy Hamas and evacuate the civilians, not slaughter civilians. Unfortunately, that does not matter, because the Islamic Jihad terrorists succeeded completely.

  18. Ian Welsh

    With all due respect, you’ve got blinkers on, Tallifer.

    Hate explains a great deal and there have been a lot of atrocities by Israelis against Palestinians, entirely well documented.

    But even in your motivation bit, you’re missing the point. Israelis (not Jews) want to control Palestine, and they want civilians to flee or be killed.

    The Nakba is a thing, and so are various other ethnic cleansings.

    If even a hospital isn’t safe, well…

  19. Forecasting Intelligence


    I’m no arms expert but the actual military experts seem to be siding with Israelis account.

    I find it odd that much of the world has rushed to judgement when the facts are still emerging on this.

    Ian, the fact that you have already appeared to have concluded that the IDF was responsible actually confirms my earlier point. Your bias is impacting your analysis of the situation.

    Forecasting as I try to do, needs to take away moralistic stances to accurately forecast the future.

  20. Purple Library Guy

    It’s not like Israel has never bombed a hospital in Gaza before. It happened repeatedly in the last few bombing sessions, it’s just few paid attention to the details of those. Why is this supposed to be remotely surprising?

  21. Ian Welsh

    My forecasting record is good, thanks. I don’t find taking moral stances impairs it very much and you can equally make mistakes when you don’t properly model emotions. The most effective way to do that is to feel them. (I’m perfectly capable of feeling what right wing Israelis feel, too.)

    The attempt to pin it on Hamas or IJ is, in fact, exactly what I expected (this happens often in Ukraine too.)

    As for who did it, well, we’ll see. The country bombing Gaza is, however, most likely (which is not to say certain) and has the strongest propaganda machine.

    I remember when all the newspapers and TV shows were screaming about 40 beheaded kids. I mean, it wasn’t that long ago.

  22. Soredemos


    I don’t think you comprehend what a shredded wreck the husk of the Ukrainian army is, especially after their pathetic attempt at an offensive.

    As for the hospital, of course Israel bombed it. I can’t believe anyone is even playing this game of pretending it’s ambiguous. ‘The most moral army in the world’ has a long record of butchering civilians (and engaging in cowardly hasbara to try and explain it away). Including that very morning, when they blew up a UN food storage depot, and tank shelled a school shelter. Israel told a million people to leave northern Gaza, instead a bunch refused to leave and sheltered at the hospital. So it was bombed in an effort to demonstrate how nowhere is safe and they best keep moving.

  23. Ian Welsh

    Greer post link should be in open thread or roundup, moved it to roundup.

  24. Carborundum

    There’s video imagery that is claimed to be the impact of the weapon on the hospital grounds and still imagery of the aftermath. The video imagery does seem consistent with a launch failure. However, it is impossible given the darkness to confirm whether the missile warhead / body fell onto the hospital grounds, though the impact is closely spaced in time.

    The scale of the destruction in the impact zone is actually quite modest – significantly smaller than anything I’ve ever seen from even the smallest Mk series bomb body. If the Israelis did this, they hit the target with something much smaller than they’ve been recklessly slinging elsewhere.

  25. game theory

    Hananya Naftali, who works directly under Netanyahu, tweeted immediately:

    “BREAKING: Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza.

    Naftali has since “apologized,” explaining,

    ““Earlier today I shared a report that was published on Reuters about the bombing at the hospital in Gaza which falsely stated Israel struck the hospital. I mistakenly shared this information in a since deleted post in which I referenced Hamas’ routine use of hospitals to store weapons caches and conduct terrorist activity. I apologize for this error. As the IDF does not bomb hospitals, I assumed Israel was targeting one of the Hamas bases in Gaza. It is known that Hamas is using civilians as human shields, it is a war crime and a crime against humanity. This should be the focus.”

    Naftali’s “apology” amounts to the typical Hasbara talking points. The “civilians as human shields – war crime” is trotted out per usual, and he is sure to reiterate that the enemy uses hospitals to store weapons caches and “conduct terrorist activity” at a minimum . So, we can only assume they were probably doing even more terroristy things inside the hospital. These are animals, after all.

    But Natalfi assures us the IDF does not bomb hospitals, so he just assumed they were in actuality bombing a base in Gaza. Except that this doesn’t explain why he would intentionally choose to write and tweet that “Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza.”

    Reuters almost always toes the Zionist line because it produces articles based largely on info from Israeli propaganda outlets like MEMRI and SITE.

    Many of the ideas now floating around about what may or may not specifically have happened are mentioned in the above Reuters article. The numerous Israeli military spokespersons all give varying accounts. The parking lot as bomb destination is mentioned.

    The reports of hundreds dead come from both Gaza’s health ministry spokesman and the health minister herself, as well as the WHO:

    “The World Health Organisation said the attack on the hospital was “unprecedented in its scale”. It said earlier on Tuesday there had been 115 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza and the majority of its hospitals were not functioning.”

    Once again: “There have been 115 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza and the majority of its hospitals were not functioning” to begin with, before this latest atrocity.

  26. Soredemos

    “In its latest report, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reveals that 25 percent of the enclave’s residential buildings, or more than 98,000 housing units, have been destroyed in Israeli air strikes.

    The report also says the World Health Organization (WHO) documented 59 attacks on healthcare facilities, including 17 hospitals and 23 ambulances. The attacks have killed at least 491 people, including 16 on-duty healthcare workers.

    Israeli bombings also targeted 170 educational facilities and severely damaged the Gaza Strip’s water and sanitation facilities.”

    This is the context of the hopsital slaughter. Of course it was the Israelis. They’re going for broke; they’ve already incurred so much permanent PR and diplomatic damage (the great wall of hasbara has been hopelessly breached), there’s no incentive to not just go all the way and finish the job.

    Israeli officials, up to and including Netanyahu, have made it clear the IDF is going in. The Israeli government can’t back down now, politicians would risk being literally lynched. There’s also likely a von Moltke ‘we can’t stop now; the troops are already on the trains’ element at play.

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