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.

Living it up in Gaza

Apparently life is not all sorrow for the “refugees” in Gaza. If your country is one of the many that give aid to the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza, here are your tax dollars at work:

 

Looking for a luxury hotel, fine dining, high-end shopping or an amusement park for the kids? Here is the updated version for 2011:

 

[Just make sure “Israel” is not stamped anywhere on your passport if you want to come back alive from your visit.]

Apparently the IDF missed a few buildings in its recent forays into Gaza, and some goods are squeaking through the blockade on Gaza that all the “peace flotillas” are trying to break.

It would be absurd to suggest that these videos prove there is no squalor in Gaza. But then again, there is plenty of squalor in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and every other non-oil-rich Arab country. But in all these places, amongst the squalor there is plenty of money flowing around too. Keep that in mind the next time you see a special report on the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza.

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.

Soldiers Speak Out Against Media Slander of IDF

An Op-Ed column in The Jerusalem Post reports about Israeli soldiers who are speaking out against media slander of the IDF during a tour of North America:

Conspicuously missing in the narrative of Israel’s recent battles against terrorists is the story of those who actually fought in them; the everyday soldier, with no political agenda, just a conviction in the morality of his army and the personal experience to back that up. But that is no longer the case. Groups of Israeli soldiers, young combat reservists are currently touring North America as part of the “Israeli Soldiers Speak Out’” campaign.

Those who have recently served see that the picture the media presents is skewed from the reality they know. They feel a deep sense of injustice when this happens, given that they have risked their own lives and lost friends while doing their utmost to protect Palestinian civilians….

Their personal battlefield experience challenges members of the audience to put themselves in their shoes and to question what they would do in similar scenarios.

Audiences will meet Inon, an officer who was fighting Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War in 2006 when his unit came across an elderly Lebanese woman in an area where the IDF had warned citizens to leave while they carried out their operation. Seeing the lady was crying out, apparently in pain, they approached her with an army medic. As they got closer, they realized she was wired with explosives… a human bomb.

Also taking part in the tour is Avi, who cut his honeymoon short to rejoin his paratroopers brigade in the military operation against Hamas in Gaza last year. As he fought intense, pitched battles against Hamas gunmen, he saw the streets covered with leaflets. The terrorists had been warned by the IDF that they were coming, thus denying Avi and his colleagues the element of surprise. But a prerequisite for a moral army is wanting to give civilians a chance to flee the battle zone.

THESE STORIES are not documented in the many recent anti-Israel reports, which have ranged from the libelous to the ludicrous. Israel was being bombarded by rockets for the better part of a decade before acting against the Hamas rocket-launchers in Gaza. Yet, before the dust had cleared from the battlefield, the frenzied media – fuelled by politically motivated NGOs – was full of reports and allegations: of reckless bombardment by the IDF, misuse of weapons, organ harvesting.. the list goes on.

And these slanders have been re-reported as fact in much of the Arab (and Western) media…. Web-based technology gives hideous anti-Israel lies a platform that has no borders. Israel’s enemies know this, as Spanish politician Pilar Rahola recently commented… “they [Islamic terrorists] seek to kill us with cellphones connected to the Middle Ages”.

These reports mention Israel in the same breath as Hamas, who fight in civilian clothing, take their own people as human shields and have used every trick in the book to blur and subvert the rules of war. Radical sympathizers are quick to turn a blind eye to this and explain away their rockets as “crude”, when in reality these terrorist forces are better armed than the majority of the armies of… the UN.

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.