Israeli warplanes bombed areas across the Gaza Strip early Friday, injuring at least three children, according to news outlets. Although the Israeli military claims that the targets were weapons-manufacturing plants and arms caches, Ma’an, Al Jazeera, Haaretz, and YNet are reporting that the Israeli air force struck civilian sites, including a metal factory in a refugee camp and the Daloul cheese and dairy factory in Gaza City.
The targeting of the means of sustenance for the civilian population in Gaza is an area that Judge Richard Goldstone focused on in his United Nations report on the Israeli assault on Gaza. I assume the crude logic behind the targeting of a cheese and dairy factory in the heart of Gaza is part of putting “Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger,” as Dov Weisglass, an adviser to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said, in explaining the suffocating blockade that has been imposed on the Gaza Strip.
Goldstone reported on the destruction of the el-Bader flourmill and the Sawafeary chicken farms. The section where Goldstone deals with these attacks can be found on pages 199-206 of his report.
On the destruction of the flour mill, the report states, “that the destruction of the mill was carried out for the purpose of denying sustenance to the civilian population, which is a violation of customary international law as reflected in article 54 (2) of Additional Protocol I and may constitute a war crime.”
More broadly, the report found, “as a result of its actions to destroy food and water supplies and infrastructure, Israel has violated article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and article 12 (2) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.”
I wonder what the esteemed jurist would say about this attack on the cheese and dairy factory. We know what Israel will say: “Cheese and dairy factories are part of the Hamas terror infrastructure,” or “cheese and dairy can be used to make bombs,” or “rockets with cheese and dairy attached are particularly dangerous.”