Israel massacres Palestinians seeking flour: A war crime made in Washington

Gaza Killing
This image of a blood-soaked box of flour circulated on social media amid widespread outrage over Israel’s “flour massacre.”

On Thursday morning, Israeli infantrymen, snipers, tanks and drones opened fire on a crowd of starving Palestinians in Gaza City as they lined up to receive flour from aid trucks, killing at least 112 and injuring more than 700.

Doctors reported that many victims arrived at hospitals with gunshots to their torsos and heads, indicating that they were deliberately targeted by Israeli troops, who were shooting to kill.

Images from the scene showed bags of flour drenched in blood, leading many to refer to the killings as the “flour massacre.” The hundreds of victims overwhelmed local hospitals, which were already without medical supplies and power and were only able to provide first aid.

This was a deliberate and conscious massacre by the fascistic Netanyahu regime, as part of a systematic campaign to kill as many Gazans as possible and drive the rest from their land.

Thursday’s massacre is just a foretaste of what Israel has in store as it prepares its full-scale assault on Rafah, where over 1 million people are seeking shelter after being displaced from northern Gaza.

While Israeli troops pulled the trigger, they were using bullets and tank rounds paid for and supplied by the United States. Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Joseph Kishore stated in response to the massacre, “It is not only Netanyahu and his fascistic ministers who are responsible but the Biden administration, which has fully backed Israel as part of the militaristic and imperialist agenda of the American ruling class.”

The guilt does not stop at the White House. The entire US media establishment is complicit in covering up this atrocity. Every mainstream US media outlet rushed to promote and propagate Israel’s absurd cover story: that Palestinian aid drivers caused the massacre by plowing into the crowd, despite widespread footage of Israeli troops shooting at the unarmed civilians.

Every US media account equated the plain and obvious truth, that Israeli troops massacred a crowd of hungry people, with an equally plain and obvious lie, that the troops had nothing to do with the death toll, claiming that these represented “conflicting accounts.”

“Chaotic aid delivery turns deadly,” read a headline in the Washington Post. “112 killed in Gaza food line. Israel blames Palestinian aid drivers.”

Biden, responding to the murders, offered the usual banalities about a “tragic and alarming incident” and called for “expanding the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.”

These platitudes are meant to cover up the actual US policy of unconditional support for the Netanyahu regime no matter what it does. There are, as US officials have repeatedly made clear, no “red lines” for how many people Israel is allowed to kill. The Israeli regime can starve, massacre and displace the entire population of Gaza, as far as Biden, Blinken and their fellow enablers of genocide are concerned.

Thursday’s act of mass murder is only the latest and deadliest in a series of massacres by Israeli troops during the distribution of food. These targeted operations are part of a deliberate policy to starve the civilian population of Gaza to death.

In a statement, the Euro-Med Monitor warned, “Israeli shooting towards starving people receiving aid has become a regular practice. In recent weeks, Israeli forces have directly attacked and killed dozens of people in Gaza City, including on Salah al-Din Street and in the vicinity of Kuwait Roundabout.”

Israel’s genocidal policy is having its intended effect. In a statement to CNN, Melanie Ward, CEO of Medical Aid to Palestine, said that as a result of Israel’s systematic blockade of food supplies, “This is the fastest decline in a population’s nutrition status ever recorded. That means children are being starved at the fastest rate the world has ever seen.”

On Thursday, the official death toll of the Gaza genocide reached 30,000, according to the region’s health ministry. With a further 7,000 missing, the real death toll is likely closer to 37,000.

The combined number of dead, missing and wounded exceeds 100,000, making up 4 percent of the population of Gaza, effectively marking one of the most rapid depopulation events in modern history.

“Life is draining out of Gaza at a terrifying speed,” wrote Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

Millions of people all over the world are shocked and horrified by Thursday’s massacre, which is the culmination of nearly five months of bombings, mass executions, starvation and mass displacement by Israel.

For months, workers and young people have participated in demonstrations all over the world calling for an end to the genocide. But in the face of these protests, the US and other imperialist governments have only doubled down on their support for Israel.

US imperialism is unshakably committed to its support of the Gaza genocide because it is a critical component of the broader war the imperialist powers are waging in the Middle East. Seeking to dominate and subjugate Iran as part of an effort to control the oil-rich region, the United States has carried out waves of attacks in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, while Israel has carried out strikes inside Lebanon and Syria.

The imperialist onslaught against the Middle East is one component of the global eruption of imperialist war, which is taking ever bloodier forms. This week, French President Emmanuel Macron raised the prospect of deploying NATO troops to fight Russia in Ukraine—in effect proposing a direct shooting war between nuclear-armed opponents—a conflict which could trigger a nuclear exchange whose death toll would be in the millions or even billions.

The fight against the Gaza genocide must be waged as a struggle against the imperialist governments that are enabling it and dragging the world into the inferno of world war. This requires the fusion of the growing movement against the Gaza genocide with the movement of the working class in the struggle for socialism.

Originally published in WSWS.ORG

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