e9ea0def-904b-4b3d-870f-52e2c2536738.jpgThere’s more evidence today of Israeli use of cluster bombs, originally noted by Laura Doty at Oxdown. The Times of London features a photo in it’s coverage (see Gaza Conflict slide show) with the following description:

An artillery round sends out bomblets above Gaza City, which continues to be attacked by Israeli forces

(h/t Brandon of VoteVets who points in email to this description of the weapons seen).

The use of cluster bombs – which have a large footprint when initially dropped and then remain a threat for decades – in a location like the Gaza Strip which is so packed with people is horrifying.

Conditions in Gaza continue to worsen:

Since the beginning of the Israeli invasion, 500 people in Gaza were killed, of which approximately 70 children and 27 women. By now, a total of 2,650 Gazans are injured of which more than 270 children and 650 women. Despite the Israeli recurrent discourse, facts are clear and Israel’s war has mainly been conducted against civilians.

The medical and health situation in Gaza is on the edge of collapse, facing a severe lack of vital medical supplies. Surgeries are now made without anaesthesias or sterile equipment, as anaesthetics, sterile medical gloves or needles are sometimes no longer available.

The heath sector in Gaza was already qualified as ‘in crisis’ before the beginning of the Israeli attacks and is now overloaded with severe injured and traumas resulting from the air strikes and ground operation. Before the beginning of the recent crisis, 105 medicines for severe and chronic diseases were reported lacking. All basic medical supplies are lacking, and the situation has worsened since the main warehouse stocking medicines in Gaza was bombed last week.

The 13 governmental hospitals from Gaza provide 1,500 beds and chronic patients such as suffering from hearth problems or cancers were sent home. Half of the 60 ambulances available in the Strip are out of order, struck by Israeli strikes.

And as the International Middle East Media Center notes:

It is worth mentioning that the official number of casualties could be much higher than reported, as dozens of wounded residents who suffered mild or even moderate injuries were release without registration due to the overcrowded hospitals as the Israeli offensive continues.

It’s also important to remember that while sources identify a large number of the dead and wounded as men, by no means are all men Hamas fighters. Many are just like Laila Al-Arian’s grandfather and Laila El-Haddad’s father:

I see the number on my caller ID; my heart races. I answer my cell phone.

"We …are under..heavy bombardment. Heavy bombardment" says my father in terrified, articulated syllables.

"They are bombing the Legislative Council building next to our house. They are bombing just down our street."

"Baba…are you safe, are you both safe??" I ask, not knowing what else to say.

"I have to go now..I have to go…i just wanted to tell you that..but I have to go…" he stammers. And the line goes dead.

And today, both are looking for safety under a rain of cluster bombs, dropped by Israel, bought and sold by us. Last night, the US blocked – once again – a call for a cease-fire at the UN Security Council, today Senate “leaders” Harry Reid, Dick Durbin and Mitch McConnell were “standing solidly behind Israel’s ground operation against Hamas.”

Let’s make sure they hear where we stand.

A very big H/T to Michael Braymen who made the map above – it is the best I’ve seen for understanding just how small Gaza is – and so how vulnerable the 1.5 million people who live there are.