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Dr. Mustafa Barghouti: 2014, the bloodiest year for the Palestinian people


By Editor - December 29, 2014
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Section: [Main News]
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Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative Dr. Mustafa Barghouti confirmed Sunday that the number of those killed and wounded during the most recent Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip this summer is equivalent to nearly half a million dead and two million wounded when comparatively reflected against the population of the United States.

2014 was the bloodiest year in the "history of the murderous Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people,” argued Barghouti, stressing Gaza is on the verge of explosion due to the unbearable living conditions that stem from Israel’s seven year strong blockade. 

2272 Palestinians were killed during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip this summer, approximately 83% of whom were civilians. Approximately 11,117 people were wounded, 3,500 of whom will suffer from permanent disabilities. 

Dr. Barghouti pointed out that the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli military between the years 2013 and 2014 jumped 61-fold. In 2013, the Israeli military killed 38 Palestinians, including 12 children, in the West Bank, and 11 in the Gaza Strip. In the year 2014, however, Israeli forces killed 27 martyrs in the West Bank and 2272 in the Gaza Strip, including 592 children. The number of Palestinians wounded  by the Israeli military in 2013 was 2964, 3881 of whom were wounded in the West Bank and 83 of whom were wounded in the Gaza Strip. In the year 2014, however, the numbers rose significantly to a total of 16,797, of whom 11,117 were wounded in the Gaza Strip and 5,680 were wounded in the West Bank. 

Dr. Barghouti stressed the fact that Israel’s aggression this summer originally began in the West Bank, via a mass campaign of arbitrary arrests in Hebron, before jumping to the Gaza Strip. Then came Israel’s “dangerous decision” to allow the army to shoot live ammunition at unarmed demonstrators - a decision which can be seen in the cold blood killing of Nadeem Nuwarah and Mohammed Abu Zahir outside Israel’s Ofer Prison near Ramallah in May 2014.

Dr. Barghouti also touched on the level of destruction during this summer’s hostilities in the Gaza Strip. During the 51 days of violence, Israel damaged 96,000 facilities, approximately 18,000 of which were completely destroyed. 7,000 homes and 145 schools were severely damaged, along with eight hospitals, 13 health centers, and 180 mosques. Additionally, nine Muslim cemeteries and one Christian cemetery were significantly damaged. Approximately 520,000 citizens were displaced. 

Dr. Barghouti stressed the fact that the United Nations submitted 36 different coordinated shelters to the Israeli army; however, seven of the affiliated UNRWA schools were targeted, killing 40 people and injuring 280 others. Israel also systematically targeted sewage, water and electricity networks throughout the Gaza Strip, reducing the average number of hours of electricity supplied to the population of the Gaza Strip from eight to six due to lack of capacity.

Dr. Barghouti refuted the Israeli narrative claiming the Israeli military chose its targets selectively and with a high degree of accuracy, arguing that approximately 21,000 tons of explosives—the equivalent of two nuclear bombs—were dropped on Gaza during the 51-day long aggression. Barghouti argued the use of explosive barrels and one-ton bombs confirm Israel’s goal was to destroy as much infrastructure as possible and inflict the greatest number of casualties. 

Israeli forces targeted and destroyed 36 ambulances during the aggression, killing 22 Palestinian medics and health workers, and bombed eight different hospitals. 

There is “unequivocal evidence,” Barghouti argued, proving that Israel has used the past our wars in Gaza as opportunities to test new weapons on largely civilians populations. Israel has become the third largest arms-exporter in the world. 

“They experiment in Gaza before they export,” Barghouti said. 

Barghouti also touched on the growing number of settler attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem. In 2013, there were 49 attacks and 339 victims. But by the end of 2014, there have been 131 attacks and 327 victims. Barghouti noted that Israeli settlement expansion had increased by %140 since 2012. 

As for the plight of Palestinian prisoners, Dr. Barghouti calculated the number of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons rose significantly as well. While in 2013 there were 4763 prisoners, including 15 women and 148 administrative detainees, the number rose in 2014 to 6,600 prisoners, including 16 women and 500 administrative detainees.

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