Human Shields in Gaza

Do the people around the world who complain about “civilian casualties” in Gaza understand that it is a war crime to target civilians with missile attacks (which Hamas does) and also to hide behind civilian shields (which Hamas also does)?  Or to shoot rockets from “protected” locations like schools, hospitals and mosques (which Hamas also does)?

Do they understand that civilians and protected institutions lose their protected status according to the rules of war when they are unlawfully used for war activities?

Gazan
Gazan “Missile Defence”

Do they realize that they are “useful idiots” playing into Hamas’ hands and encouraging Hamas leaders to continue to try to get their own people killed so they will get more sympathy?  Do they realize they are therefore insuring there will be more civilian casualties on both sides in the future?

Finally, does this say something, anything at all, about a group of people that voted Hamas into power and continues to play along with the Human shield game?  Anything?

Hat tip: Boldt Andreas

IDF Finds (Another) Sophisticated Terror Tunnel from Gaza

The IDF has discovered another terror tunnel from Gaza. This one is built to last, with concrete walls and ceiling, electricity and communication cables and energy-saving light bulbs:

Gaza Terror Tunnel Design
(Source: Ynet)

Unfortunately this shows the folly of “separation” and building walls to keep terrorists out. As was warned from the beginning, a wall can be passed, either under, over or through it. The separation barriers have slowed down terrorists but not stopped them. Stopping terrorists can only be accomplished by controlling fully the territories from which they originate and disrupting their infrastructure at all levels.

In the meantime, what does this say about Hamas, who is investing a tremendous amount of resources preparing for the “next round” of the conflict instead of helping their fellow Arabs?

You can see videos (in Hebrew) of the tunnels in the original Hebrew article here:

http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4440001,00.html

Hat tip: HS

Israeli Politicians Who Promised There would be No Missiles From Gaza

Missiles from Gaza? Again?

Once again we are reminded of the willful naivete that is such a major part of life and politics.

Here’s is a nice Who’s Who of people who assured us that Israel would not be attacked from Gaza once it retreated from there:

Rockets had already been falling on Israel from Gaza for years before the Disengagement. It was obvious that handing a huge victory to the terrorists would embolden them and encourage others to join them. How anyone in Israel could say otherwise is a mystery, even taking ideology into account.

Unfortunately, it is absurd to expect much contrition from people were so spectacularly wrong, in fact so spectacularly stupid, even though they were caught on video.

Report: Hamas Used Civilians as Human Shields

We have long known that systemic use of civilians as human shields is one of the chief strategic and tactical weapons in the Islamic terrorist arsenal, be it Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida or Fatah. And Israel has finally released its first substantative response to the accusations of the Goldstone Report by showing, in detail, how Hamas uses civilians, including chidren, as human shields:

Hamas gunmen used Palestinian children as human shields, and established command centers and Kassam launch pads in and near more than 100 mosques and hospitals during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip last year, according to a new Israeli report being released on Monday that aims to counter criticism of the IDF.

The detailed 500-page report… was written by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (Malam), a small research group led by Col. (res.) Reuven Erlich, a former Military Intelligence officer who works closely with the army.

The IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) cooperated with the report’s authors and declassified hundreds of photographs, videos, prisoner interrogations and Hamas-drawn sketches as part of an effort to counter the criticism leveled at Israel…

Work on the Malam report began immediately after former judge Richard Goldstone issued his… report of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip in September.

Which raises 2 questions:

1) Why did it take 6 months to issue this report? The damage from the Goldstone Report has been done and it is much too late to do damage control.

2) Better yet, why wasn’t work on the report started the day after Operation Cast Lead ended, or even before that? All the usual accusations were already being leveled against Israel during the fighting; it was a forgone conclusion that something like the Goldstone report would come along sooner or later. Why can’t Israel preempt in the diplomatic/political sphere like it does in the military sphere?

The article continues:

One example of the material revealed in the Malam report is an-until-now classified sketch of the village of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza discovered by IDF troops during the operation, that details the extensive deployment of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and snipers inside and adjacent to civilian homes.

The Malam report also provides an analysis of another sketch found during the offensive in the Atatra neighborhood in northern Gaza City that… proves Hamas’s culpability for the ensuing death and destruction.

“By placing all of their weaponry next to homes, by operating out of homes, mosques and hospitals, by firing rockets next to schools and by using human shields, Hamas is the one responsible for the civilian deaths during the operation,” Erlich said.

The Goldstone Report states that its authors “found no evidence that Palestinian combatants mingled with the civilian population with the intention of shielding themselves from attack.”

The Malam report, however, brings declassified videos that show how Hamas used civilians as human shields and deployed its weaponry and command centers inside civilian homes.

In one home, the IDF discovered a note, written in Arabic, that read: “We are your brothers, fighters in this holy war, and we used your home and some of your possessions. We are sorry”…

According to a previously undisclosed interrogation of a Hamas operative, one Hamas cell transported rockets on the back of a wagon in which children were also sitting. In other cases, the Hamas operative said, Hamas fighters disguised themselves as women carrying babies to ensure that they would not be hit by IDF troops.

…One declassified air force video from January 6, 2009, …shows a terrorist shooting at troops from the roof of a building. After spotting an Israeli aircraft, the terrorist goes to the building’s entrance and calls to nearby civilians to help him escape. A few moments later, a group of children arrive at the entrance to the home and the terrorist walks out.

Another video from January 13 shows a senior Hamas terrorist – spotted by an aircraft – walking by himself down a street. After spotting the aircraft, the senior terrorist runs over to an elderly woman walking nearby and continues walking next to her. Later, the IDF discovered that the “elderly woman” was really a Hamas operative in disguise.

The report points to four basic flaws in the Goldstone Report: It does not deal with the nature of Hamas – its terrorist aspects and ideology; it minimizes the gravity of the terrorist attacks against Israel, focusing on rocket fire during the six months before Operation Cast Lead while devoting little space to the rocket and mortar fire that began in 2001; it does not deal with the Hamas military buildup in the Gaza Strip in the year preceding Cast Lead that threatened Israel, but at the same time did provide extensive historical coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and it ignored the role Iran and Syria play in Gaza by aiding Hamas and supplying it with explosives and weaponry.

Note that using human shields and fighting from hospitals and mosques is not merely not nice; it is a war crime. But don’t expect the trendy leftists in England and elsewhere to go after Hamas leaders for war crimes like they are doing with Israeli leaders.

Review of Hamas Media: Hamas Targeted Israeli Population Centers

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy has issued a review showing that Hamas targeted Israeli population centers:

Hamas has gone to extraordinary lengths to prove that it did not attack civilian targets in Israel during the December 2008 to January 2009 Gaza conflict. But a review of the organization’s own media… shows that Hamas knowingly and repeatedly fired on Israeli population centers in southern Israel.

They [Hamas’ targeting of Israeli civilians] are approved and applauded within Hamas’ internal publications and its propaganda aimed at Arab audiences. For example, in one Arabic article on the Kassam Brigades website, the group discusses rocket operations during the al-Furqan battle and cites the heroism of the Kassam Brigades personnel who conducted the attacks…

During the Gaza conflict, Hamas launched some 600 rockets against… a broad swath of southern Israel. Targets included the major cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Beersheba (combined population 850,000), as well as numerous smaller towns and settlements.

In addition, an estimated 400 Kassam-type rockets were fired at Israeli targets closer to Gaza, including “usurped” Sderot. On the same page on its website, Hamas claims to have fired a total of 213 Grads during the conflict; in other words, nearly 70 percent were aimed at civilian population centers… The highest number of Grad strikes claimed against a military target was 26 at the “Ofakim military base.”

Hamas boasted that more than one million Israelis live within range of its rockets.

Hamas Founder’s Son Worked for Shin Bet

A large part of Israel’s spectacular success in war and counter-terrorism is HUMINT — the Human Intelligence provided by people on the ground, as opposed to by technical means such as spy satellites. Only HUMINT can make possible an operation like the recent one where Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was eliminated. The West, which has recently found itself in serious trouble for over-reliance on technical sources of intelligence and failing to develop HUMINT resources in Muslim lands would be well-advised to follow Israel’s example.

Here is a breaking example of Israel’s almost unbelievable penetration into the very heart of the enemy camp: Haaretz reports that the son of a Hamas founder worked for Israel’s Shin Bet security service for over a decade.

The report notes:

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a Hamas founder and one of its leaders in the West Bank. The intelligence he supplied Israel led to the exposure of a number of terrorist cells, and to the prevention of dozens of suicide bombings and assassination attempts on Israeli figures.

Yousef, 32, became a devout Christian 10 years ago and now lives in California after fleeing the West Bank in 2007 and going public with his conversion.

Yousef was considered the Shin Bet’s most reliable source in the Hamas leadership, earning himself the nickname “the Green Prince” – using the color of the Islamist group’s flag, and “prince” because of his pedigree as the son of one of the movement’s founders.

Intelligence Yousef supplied led to the arrests of a number of high-ranking Palestinian figures responsible for planning deadly suicide bombings. These included Ibrahim Hamid (a Hamas military commander in the West Bank, Marwan Barghouti (founder of the Fatah-linked Tanzim militia) and Abdullah Barghouti (a Hamas bomb-maker).

His memoir, Son of Hamas, will be released next week in the U.S.

His former handler, who no longer serves with the security service, says Yousef collaborated with Israel because he wanted to save lives.

“So many people owe him their life and don’t even know it,” said the handler, named in Yousef’s book as Captain Loai…

“Hamas cannot make peace with the Israelis. That is against what their God tells them. It is impossible to make peace with infidels, only a cease-fire, and no one knows that better than I. The Hamas leadership is responsible for the killing of Palestinians, not Israelis,” he said. “Palestinians! They do not hesitate to massacre people in a mosque or to throw people from the 15th or 17th floor of a building, as they did during the coup in Gaza. The Israelis would never do such things. I tell you with certainty that the Israelis care about the Palestinians far more than the Hamas or Fatah leadership does.”

Eternal Arab Rule of Engagement: Blood Begets Blood

The Jerusalem Post’s columnist Sarah Honig discusses the Arab rule of engagement: blood begets blood contrasting it with Arab and world condemnation of Israeli self-defense:

Terrorist arms smuggler Mahmoud al-Mabhouh’s son, Abdel-Rauf, stood teary-eyed before TV interviewers and lavished praise on his deceased father. He bragged that the late lamented, who was discovered dead in Dubai, “fought the Jews, hit the Jews, kidnapped and killed Israelis. He outfitted and dispatched suicide bombers.” That evidently made him an object for admiration, a source of honor and a claim to fame. Killing Jews is a noble objective, one to take pride in, to revere.

So when we Israelis point to Mabhouh’s gory record, it isn’t just our biased say-so…. His own son concedes this, indeed he crows about it as the paramount tribute he can pay his father.

And it isn’t a mournful son’s subjective or self-serving aggrandizement either. Hamas issued an official statement celebrating its latest shahid (martyr). Prominent in the Hamas-compiled catalog of Mabhouh glories are the 1989 abduction- murders of IDF soldiers Avi Sasportas and Ilan Sa’adon.

By the boastful admission of both his kin and organization, Mabhouh’s hands were bloodstained. Hence, by the Arabs’ own rules of engagement, he was liable for reprisal. The principal code governing these rules is dam butlab dam (blood begets blood).

Because of this core premise Hamas now vows to wreak the most horrific vengeance on Israel, actual proof of Israeli culpability for Mabhouh’s demise being entirely immaterial. All Israelis are therefore fair game. This is the elementary protocol of the blood feud.

But here’s where we encounter our enemies’ cynical lopsided logic. By their own rules – assuming for argument’s sake that we submit ourselves to them – we should be perceived just as entitled as they to hunt down and kill whoever killed our own. Yet our retribution is condemned a priori as illegitimate. The right to avenge Mabhouh’s death is unchallenged, whereas the right to avenge Mabhouh’s victims is categorically denied. What is valid, in fact a sacred duty for one side, is intolerable and entirely villainous for the other.

…All Muslims… remember that “the Jews are the Jews! The Jews are the Jews! Even if donkeys would cease to bray, dogs cease to bark, wolves cease to howl and snakes to bite, the Jews would not cease to harbor hatred towards Muslims. The Prophet said that if two Jews would be alone with a Muslim, they would think only of killing him… The Prophet says: ‘You shall fight the Jews and kill them…’” There is a whole loathsome lot more, but the basis is clear: the murder of Jews is divinely decreed.

In other words, Mabhouh acted morally. Those who opposed him are immoral. By this precept Jews must die and have no right to resist. That is their lot. Not only do they possess no right to avenge, they possess no right to self-defense, to fight at all. Their very existence is a provocation, a casus belli.

THIS IS key to understanding today’s Mideast. As in yesteryear, so in the 21st century it’s axiomatic that Arabs have the right to inflict incalculable harm on Jews – and to do so in the most sadistically inventive ways – but the Jews’ attempts to deflect such blows are evil, outrageous and deserving of merciless punishment.

Failure to admit how selective Arab rules of warfare are precludes making sense of anything in our region