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I decided to do this as a short diary instead of a comment in the Elie Wiesel diary.

Insufficiently reported has been the extent to which Israel's attacks on the infrastructure in Gaza amount to de facto biological warfare.

I'm not just making this up.  Here is an excerpt from a 2003 article in the International Journal of Epidemiology, entitled "Biological warfare and the people of Iraq":

Third, the destruction of the Iraqi population’s ability to respond to outbreaks of infectious disease by restricting the import of essential medicines and medical equipment, by destroying the public health infrastructure, and by overwhelming the capacity of the healthcare system to respond effectively constitutes a further biological attack.
Fourth, having destroyed Iraq’s water and sanitation systems, leaving the civilian population highly vulnerable to major epidemics of infectious disease, the failure to restore the public health infrastructure and provide safe water supplies to homes and hospitals constitutes a biological attack. In this context, recent reports that reconstruction contracts may be awarded to the US company Bechtel are a particular cause for concern. In 1999, a Bechtel subsidiary took over the control of the public water system in Cochabamba in Bolivia and within weeks doubled and tripled the water rates for some of the poorest families in South America resulting in massive public demonstrations.7 Also, we must not forget that in the case of Afghanistan, despite the Bush administration’s claim that ‘the US will not walk away from the Afghan people’, the administration subsequently forgot to ask for any money for humanitarian and reconstruction costs in its 2003 budget.


I'm inspired to write this down after just seeing an alarming report on Al Jazeera America TV.

The Israelis destroyed the only power plant in Gaza.  They bombed water and sewage treatment facilities.  They've destroyed the landfill in Eastern Gaza.  They've bombed hospitals and clinics.  They bombed an ice cream factory, of all things, destroying medicine that was being refrigerated there.

The result of these attacks is that the Palestinians now crammed into about half of Gaza are living in intolerable sanitary conditions.  The water and sanitation situation was already bad (as it also is in parts of Lebanon, for example).  But now it's horrendous beyond belief.

Hundreds of tons of rubbish and garbage are accumulating every day in Gaza City.  There is no place to take it, so it's being piled high in open squares.

Remember, it's summer in the Middle East and temperatures are in the 90s.

The sewage treatment systems are destroyed, so many tons of raw sewage are running through the streets and eventually spilling out, untreated, into the sea.

They showed film of a young boy about 10 years old splashing around in raw sewage at the seashore, trying to catch little fish with his little net, because his family is starving.

They showed film of a man weeping because the stench is so horrible, and impossible to avoid.

If you want to read more about this, just google "Gaza sewage."

The intolerable health conditions are certain to lead to many deaths beyond the nearly 2,000 already killed.  (Nobody knows that number for sure.  I'll bet it is already higher than that.  In natural disasters, death tolls almost always rise dramatically, and this is worse.)

This is cruelty beyond measure.  This is a kind of genocide.

Words fail.

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