Israeli Gaza Offensive Not War But US-Backed Murder - Veterans for Peace activist

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The Israeli ground invasion of Gaza constitutes murder, which is taking place with the support of the US Obama administration, Veterans for Peace activist Tarak Kauff told RIA Novosti Monday.

WASHINGTON, July 21 (RIA Novosti) - The Israeli ground invasion of Gaza constitutes murder, which is taking place with the support of the US Obama administration, Veterans for Peace activist Tarak Kauff told RIA Novosti Monday.

“This is not a war, this is murder. It can’t be made to look pretty with phrases like ‘Israel has the right to defense itself.’ Defending yourself is not killing and destroying the civilian population. That is called collective punishment,” said Kauff, a US Army veteran and founder and editor of War Crimes Times.

The activist said that the Obama administration should be more forceful in pushing Israel to a definite ceasefire and should stop the annual delivery of $3 billion in military aid to Israel.

“Obama’s demands are very, very soft. It should be strong, it should be definite. ‘No we don’t support this. Cease fire now.’ That is the demand we want to hear," Kauff said.

The activist called attention to the ongoing degradation of Palestinian infrastructure, with access to freshwater, electricity and fishing ports being cut off or destroyed.

“They have no infrastructure left. How can they live? How can two million people continue to exist? That’s a slow genocide. You’re not putting them in the oven, not killing them all at once. You’re gradually making it impossible for them to live,” the expert said.

On Sunday, Barack Obama had a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The American leader voiced his concern of the growing number of civilian casualties but reassured Netanyahu that he supports Israel’s right to defend itself.

Early on Monday, the UN Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza as the conflict killed at least 530 Palestinians and 20 Israelis and displaced tens of thousands in the past two weeks.

Israel started its Protective Edge operation on July 8 in response to Palestinian aggression. Ten days later, the Israeli Army launched a ground offensive aiming to destroy underground tunnels dug and used by rebels to secretly enter Israeli territory.

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