US House awards Israel $26 Billion so it can go on Killing or Wounding a Palestinian Child every 10 Minutes

The US House of Representatives voted $26 billion for Israel on Saturday to reward it for its ongoing war crimes against Palestinians. Some 58 members voted against the measure, including 37 Democrats. It was the House of Representatives’ most decisive vote of confidence in genocide since the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

The US national debt is $34.5 trillion, up $2 trillion since last summer, against a gross domestic product of $27 trillion. For the debt to run so far ahead of GDP could cause the US economy to crash. That is, the US Congress does not have $26 billion to give to Israel in the first place.

The enormous windfall will allow the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue to kill or wound a Palestinian child in Gaza every 10 minutes (see below).

Israel’s bombing raids, including against designated safe areas in Gaza, continued daily this week. On Saturday, the Israeli Air Force bombed a house in the center of Rafah, where 1.5 million refugees have been pushed from the north, killing six persons and wounding others. Rafah had been designated a safe zone by the Israelis when they were trying to force people down there.

Emma Graham-Harrison writes at The Guardian, “Ahmed Barhoum lost his wife, Rawan Radwan, and their five-year-old daughter Alaa. ‘They bombed a house full of displaced people, women and children,’ he told Associated Press on Saturday, crying as he cradled Alaa’s body, wrapped in a white shroud, and gently rocked her. ‘This is a world devoid of all human values and morals.’”

Saturday’s strikes brought the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli military in Gaza since October 8 to over 34,000, Graham-Harrison reports. These numbers exclude more thousands buried under rubble when Israeli fighter-jets destroyed civilian apartment buildings. Some 77,000 Palestinians have been wounded, 12,000 of them children (see below).

On Wednesday through Friday of this week, Israeli bombing raids killed 113 Palestinians and injured 169 Palestinians.

UNICEF said this week that 12,000 children, at the very least, have been wounded by Israeli bombardment or other fire since last October.

That comes to 70 children injured every day, or nearly 3 every hour, one every 20 minutes or so. Since some 13,000 children have been killed, that means that a child has been either killed or wounded every 10 minutes.

Spokesperson Tess Ingram Ingram said:

“I left Gaza yesterday after spending two weeks there. It was my second mission into Gaza this year. By far, what struck me most about this mission was the number of wounded children. Not just in the hospitals, but on the streets. In their makeshift shelters . . . their lives forever changed by the horrors of war.”

Half of the inhabitants of Gaza are children.

Most of the hospitals in Gaza have been destroyed by the Israeli military. Of 36, only 11 are still partially functioning, mainly as warehouses for the sick and wounded since they lack “needles, stitches, anaesthetic.” Children lie on mattresses or floors “languishing in pain.”

Despite the desperate need for medavac transportation of these children, many amputees, from Gaza, only 3,500 such requests have been granted in over six months.

Guardian News Video: “‘I can’t find food’: despair in Gaza as children face malnutrition”

WHO says that in northern Gaza, between 12% and 16.5% of children (6-59 months) have been stricken with with acute malnutrition, and 3% of children have severe acute malnutrition. In southern Gaza, 2-6% of children have acute malnutrition.

Severe acute malnutrition presents with substantial muscle wasting in the arms, unnatural thinness, and build-up of fluid and swelling in the feet. Acute malnutrition has the same symptoms but they are less exaggerated. Even a short bout of malnutrition leaves children with permanent cognitive deficits and learning disabilities.

In April, 15% of the aid missions to northern Gaza and to parts of southern Gaza that require coordination with Israel have been denied by Israeli authorities, often on arbitrary grounds.

Because Israel cut off potable water or destroyed its delivery systems with bombing, and because 270,000 tons of solid waste has accumulated in the absence of hygiene services, WHO recorded 345,768 cases of diarrhea, with 105,635 cases in children under 5. In toddlers and infants such gastrointestinal diseases can eaily lead to fatal dehydration. Without an immediate ceasefire, a team at Johns Hopkins has predicted that 11% of the deaths in Gaza over the next four months will be from epidemic diseases.

Israel is using facial recognition programs and drones to locate and kill the 37,000 members of the Hamas paramilitary, but at least 10% of their identifications are wrong, and they often strike at these individuals when they are surrounded by their wives, children, other relatives, and neighbors. Israeli rules of engagement, the loosest in the world aside from the gangs of the blood diamond cartels, allow up to 20 civilians to be killed with each strike at a member of the Qassam Brigades paramilitary. Most of these members had no knowledge of the October 7 attack, which was planned and carried out by a small clique. The Israeli destruction of civilian infrastructure and the imposition of starvation on the population are forms of illegal collective punishment.

Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on April 21, 2024, on Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion, a website featuring commentary by Professor Juan Cole.  It was reproduced here with the consent of Professor Cole.

Image Credit: Times of Israel

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