Remembering the Dead in Gaza

April 13, 2009

In The Israel-Palestine Conflict


This last Wednesday (April 8, 2009), the Purdue University Students for Justice in Palestine held a display in their University’s Engineering Mall in memory of those killed during the Gaza massacre earlier this year. The display consisted of 1,389 black flags lined up side by side in the elevated grassy area of the mall, with each flag representing one death. There was no distinction between flags for the Israeli deaths (9) and the Palestinian deaths (1380 based on earlier numbers; flyers for the event included an updated death count of 1417 based on the recent findings of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights). The display was accompanied by 2 ft x 2 ft signs which contained quotes from various human rights groups, the UN, news outlets, United States Congressmen, and articles of the Geneva Convention.

I uploaded the pictures to a photo set on the website Flickr. Here is the link:

The quotes on the posters were as follows:

Stake 1

In 22 days, 1,380 Palestinians were killed, 431 of those killed were children. In the same period, 13 Israelis were killed, including four soldiers who were killed in friendly fire. Nine other Israelis, including three civilians, were killed in attacks by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups.

-United Nations

Stake 2

Over 21,000 homes, 68 government buildings and 31 NGO premises have
been totally or partially damaged. It is estimated that 100,000 people have been left homeless as a result of the war in Gaza.

-United Nations

Stake 3

“As the major supplier of weapons to Israel, the USA has a particular obligation to stop any supply that contributes to gross violations of the laws of war and of human rights. The Obama Administration should immediately suspend US military aid to Israel.”

-Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International Director for the Middle East

Stake 4

Persons taking no active part in the hostilities…shall in all circumstances be treated humanely…

-Article 3, Geneva Convention

Stake 5

“Israeli forces used white phosphorus and other weapons supplied by the USA to carry out serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes. Their attacks resulted in the death of hundreds of children and other civilians and massive destruction of homes and infrastructure.”

-Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International

Stake 6 “It is utterly unacceptable for Israel to continue to purposefully deprive 1.5 million people of food and other basic necessities. Such a policy cannot be justified on any security or other grounds and must end immediately…Israel must allow international humanitarian and human rights workers immediate and safe access to Gaza.”

-Amnesty International

Stake 7

“People have lost their families. They have lost their homes, belongings and livelihoods. Schools, clinics, factories and businesses have been destroyed. Many of Gaza’s inhabitants still lack clean water and electricity. Too many are living in the midst of raw sewage and the threats to their health that (it) brings,”

-Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General

Stake 8

Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick… may be in no circumstance be the object of attack…

-Article 18, Geneva Convention

Stake 9

Parties are prohibited from…causing the physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands.

-Article 32, Geneva Convention

Stake 10

No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed…

-Article 33, Geneva Convention

Stake 11

“Such extensive use of this weapon (white phosphorous) in Gaza’s densely populated residential neighbourhoods is inherently indiscriminate. Its repeated use in this manner, despite evidence of its indiscriminate effects and its toll on civilians, is a war crime.”

-Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International

Stake 12

“Long-term peace and security cannot be found in the Middle East unless accountability is established for crimes under international law and the cycle of impunity for serious violations perpetrated by all parties has come to an end.”

-Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International

Stake 13

“We cannot be effective in promoting peace unless we recognize the scale of the suffering of the children of Gaza and take non-violent steps to remedy the situation.”

-Dennis Kucinich, Ohio Congressman

Stake 14

“This is a humanitarian crisis of the highest magnitude. We cannot avert our eyes without staining our souls.”

-Dennis Kucinich, Ohio Congressman

Stake 15

“Israel’s blockade policy can be summed up in one word and it is punishment, not security.”

-Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch Executive Director

Stake 16

“I oppose Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel. The rocket attacks, even to try to end the blockade, have no moral justification, are illegal and must stop. But how can Israel claim self defense when it bombs Gaza which has no army, no air force, no navy and has been under a constant blockade? How can Israel claim self defense when its bombs destroy UN schools, killing children?”

-Dennis Kucinich, Ohio Congressman

Stakes 17, 18, 19, 20


Israelis 9 Palestinians 1380+

Students for Justice in Palestine