There is also another form of collective punishment not involving significant armed exchange , yet it is tantamount to be addressed since it is the crux of antipathy toward the Israeli regime from Gaza. In 2007, Israel and Egypt invoked a modern land, air, and sea medieval warfare siege of Gaza. The siege of Gaza was/is the longest in history- exceeding even that of Leningrad in World War II- despite the hostilities between Israel and Gaza not being classified as a belligerent versus belligerent conflict, or a civil war.
Food, supplies, fishing, trade, and even immigration has been slowed to such a trickle that life is at bare exiguity subsistence for the fragile humans within the Gaza strategic hamlet (in Vietnam we forced civilians to remain in strategic hamlets to protect them, in Gaza it is to bomb them). Fuel imports have been significantly reduced, resulting in blackouts that last 12-16 hours a day. Over 80% of fettered Gazans are in dire need of persistent humanitarian assistance to survive. The International Committee of the Red Cross has cited a spate of over 90% of Gaza fisherman – due to the naval blockade by the martinet regime of Israel -are below the poverty line and subject to the vagary of confiscation of their boats, warrantless and arbitrary arrests, and even death for attempting to fish for shoals past the nautical limits of Israel.
A World Health Organization cited that the level of anemia in babies is about 65%. In regards to agricultural land, EUNIDA notes 46% of fertile farming land is inaccessible due to the blockade. In consequence of a want of materials, the International Red Cross has stated that only 50% of Gazans are connected to a sewage system. In August of 2009, OCHA described a dangerously bleak and severely languishing situation of dire need for humanitarian assistance in result of the blockade. The International Committee of the Red Cross, several UN officials, and others have described the siege as a violation of Geneva Convention laws against collective punishment.
We assert that Richard Goldstone’s obloquy published in September 2009 in retort to the Israeli regime’s Operation Cast Lead highlighted a policy rather than an anomaly, in regards to Israel continuously violating the Geneva Conventions. On September 15, 2009, the UNHRC published an argosy 500 page report wherein its diligent investigation revealed Israel had intentionally failed in respecting the distinction between civilians and combatants, citing examples of Palestinian civilians shot while waving white flags, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial assassinations, and the IDF using Palestinians as ‘human shields’. On October 19, 2009, the 47-member UNHRC finally approved a resolution, endorsing Israeli war crime charges. Although the common risible excuse by Israel is that its overwhelming and callously disproportionate military measures are in self defense to rockets fired by Hamas, articles 48 and 49 of the 1949 Geneva Convention state whether in offense or defense, civilians must not be targeted. Furthermore, the UNHRC in Resolution S-21/1 of July 23, 2014 states that Israel must safeguard the welfare and safety of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Therefore, it is the obligation of international bodies and civilized nations to investigate the blatant criminal acts of Israel committed in the recently concluded Operation Strong Cliff, regardless of the Israeli regime’s farcical and incredulous claim of self defense against plucky rockets. In contrast, the massive damage to civilian infrastructure and considerable high ratio of killing more non-combatants than asymmetric irregulars, suggests the Israeli regime is embarking on a continuous COIN scorched earth policy-mowing the grass-with the aim of collective punishment directed at the helpless Gaza population. As one member of the Israeli Knesset –Ayelet Shaked- stated in her panegyric on Facebook, “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy. In wars, the enemy is usually an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” Referring to the mothers of the dead in Gaza, she declared, “they should go [die], as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.” It is salient to strongly reiterate that article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibits collective punishment. Finally, the malignant act of murdering innocent civilians via an absurd and counter-productive Dahiya Doctrine, only creates or regenerates the very opposition a COIN entity desires to quell. A fact many COIN academics and experts – in the past and now- have notably averred to deaf and blind conservative elements in the military sciences. Such unheeded words and ignored wisdom birthed in the Vietnam Conflict, was also witnessed in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts as well. Gaza can be included to that list now.