Thursday, January 8, 2009

Desperate to Make Peace, Israel Kills Peacemakers

Day 13 of Israel's heroic massacre of Gaza, and the bad news just keeps on coming. From the AP wire:

"The United Nations halted aid deliveries to the besieged Gaza Strip on Thursday, citing Israeli attacks on its staff and installations hours after it said tank fire killed one of its drivers as he went to pick up a shipment.

The United Nations has already demanded an investigation into Israel's shelling of a U.N. school in Gaza that killed nearly 40 people earlier this week.
U.N. spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said the U.N. coordinated the delivery with Israel, and the vehicle was marked with a U.N. flag and insignia when it was shot in northern Gaza. The Israeli army said it was investigating."

Al-Jazeera adds:

"John Ging, the head of the UN relief agency in Gaza, said that the casualties were Palestinian civilian contractors contracted to bring supplies from the crossing points.

"They were co-ordinating their movements with the Israelis, as they always do, only to find themselves being fired at from the ground troops," he told Al Jazeera."

The Palestinian death toll now stands at 699, 219 of them children; 11 Israelis have died. We wrote yesterday that the UN believed that 25% of the dead were civilians. The AP report linked to above claims that half the dead are now believed to be civilians.

Over at Gawker, Hamilton comes to the correct, and depressing, conclusion that from a PR standpoint, Israel's timing is perfect. Can anyone think of a story that will dominate the news cycle for the next two weeks?

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