Live Report From Gaza Hospital: As Civilian Toll Mounts, Israel Again Bombs Palestinian Journalists

Smoke rises after an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip
Smoke rises after an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with nearly 200 airstrikes early Saturday, the military said, widening a blistering assault on Gaza rocket operations by militants to include the prime minister's headquarters, a police compound and a vast network of smuggling tunnels. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Democracy Now! talks to award-winning journalist Mohammed Omer about the extreme price being paid by the Gazan citizens in the wake of continued Israeli air strikes. He reports live from a hospital in Gaza City, where injured journalists, medical workers and civilians -- including children -- are arriving for treatment. Omer himself is intimately aware of the devastating impact of the violence, as he recently survived the bombing of a building in Gaza City containing journalists and other members of the media. Six Palestinian journalists were wounded in the attack.

Conversely, three Israeli citizens have been killed by Hamas-launched rockets to date. Although, while Israeli cities have not seen the bloodshed of Gaza, the psychological trauma of the threat of rocket fire should not be understated.

As each day of the Gazan siege passes, the number of civilian deaths continues to rise. Since the most recent wave of violence began in the Gaza Strip a little under a week ago, 95 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli artillery. Of the additional 700 casualties, the majority have been civilians, and 200 were children. On Sunday, the extreme cost of the Israeli assault became increasingly clear, when a rogue IAF air strike leveled a home in Gaza City. Among the 12 killed, 10 were from the same family, and four were children.

Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, calls on the international community to help defend the people of Gaza from the ongoing U.S.-backed Israeli assault. In a Democracy Now! interview, he says, "It's time, it seems to me, for the international community to take some responsibility for protecting the people of Gaza," Falk says. "The responsibility to protect norm was very self-righteously invoked in relation to Gaddafi's Libya, but there's utter silence when it comes to the people of Gaza."

Democracy Now! also interviews Raji Sourani, an award-winning human rights lawyer and director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza.

Sourani says:

"One day we will hold accountable all these Israeli leaders because of the war crimes and crimes against humanity they are perpetrating against children and women, against civilians in this part of the world. We are people who believe in rule of law and accountability. And Obama administration provided full legal, political immunity for those who are criminals, when Cast Lead operation had happened few years ago. And they used a veto in the Security Council not to pass Goldstone Report and being tried through the ICC."

Click here to watch all the recent reports on the Gaza crisis on Democracy Now! over the last several days.

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