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Gaza War, Day 7: 174 Palestinian Dead

gaza rehab center bombing

Abandoned wheelchair in ruins of Gaza rehabilitation center (Wissan Nassser/NYT)

This is the end of the first week of Israel’s war against Gaza.  The NY Times has heartbreaking photos of the aftermath of the air attack on a Palestinian rehab center in which two severely disabled Palestinian women were killed and three others injured.  Most of the 19 residents were away on the weekend visiting their families, or the carnage would’ve been much greater.  The caretaker at the center was badly burned in the attack.  She’d only started her job a few weeks before and was terribly grateful for having it, according to her son.


I reported yesterday on a failed Israeli commando raid on a northern Gaza beach where the IDF claims long-range rockets were launched.  Hamas claims that it knew about the raid in advance and ambushed Israeli forces.  My Israeli source, as I reported last night confirms there was an ambush and that the Shayetet 13 soldiers were repulsed (see above FoxNews report in the midst of the fighting).  The fact that the IDF called in helicopter gunships and F-16s to repel the Palestinian attackers indicates the Israeli force was in trouble and needed assistance extricating itself from the field.

Also, the IDF claims four commandos were “lightly injured.” Have you ever heard of lightly wounded soldiers being treated in a hospital’s orthopedic ward? I’m guessing the injuries are worse than reported.

gaza rehab center bombing

Gaza rehabilitation center caretaker received severe burns in air attack

The IDF, naturally, sees the operation differently.  It says that it was successful and implicitly attempts to rebut my claim that air power was required to save the commandos’ butts.  According to Yisrael HaYom (aka Bibiton):

After the raid ended, the IAF attacked the site and hit it.  Purpose of the mission was to neutralize long-range missile launchers.  According to a senior army officer, the nature of the target required a commando raid and it was part of the original plan to attack from the air after the commando force had left the area.  Also, according to the officer, the commandos were dispatched to gather intelligence and learn what was at the site.

This is a muddy, muddled statement.  If you know a site has long-range missile launchers, you don’t have to send out a force to discover what’s there.  If you send a force to a target at which you don’t know what you’ll find, you’re asking for trouble.  Apparently, this may be what happened.  Either the IDF knew what was there or it didn’t.  You can’t have it both ways.

Another possibility is that the raid was a probe of Hamas’ defenses to determine how it would react to a larger sea landing of its forces.  Or just a probe of Hamas’ defenses to see how they would react.  Whatever the original mission, the commandos had their asses handed to them.  Now, the IDF is saving face by denying what really happened.

Hamas says its fighters were lying in wait and after four of the Israeli force were wounded they decided to abort the mission and returned to the sea to make their escape.  The Palestinians also claimed shelling by air and sea covered the Israeli retreat.

To any readers who would like to claim that my report of the failure of the mission echoes that of Hamas, I remind you that my report last night preceded any Palestinian claims about it.  My source knew it had failed before anyone publicly claimed it had.

I also recently reported that the U.S. embassy in Israel had directed U.S. citizens in Gaza seeking to evacuate to contact them to make the necessary arrangements.  It appears the embassy messed this operation up quite badly.  Hundreds of Americans are now stranded there:

From 6 to 6:30 this morning, foreign nationals in Gaza were asked to arrive at a U.N. facility in Gaza city. From there, diplomats said, they would be moved by bus to the border and evacuated from the Gaza Strip.

…Several hundred Palestinians with dual American citizenship who remained in Gaza Sunday night, unable to leave as fighting there entered its seventh day.

The U.S. embassy called after midnight telling the evacuees they needed to arrive by 6AM that morning at the compound.  The problem is that there is no way of getting anywhere in Gaza now.  No taxis, no buses.  If you go out you’re an open target.  So how did the embassy expect everyone to be able to get there inside that 30-minute window?  If you didn’t get there, you’re out of luck.  You’re stuck for the duration.  I’m certain the embassy would not treat American-Jewish citizens this way if an evacuation was necessary in Israel.  They would travel to their homes to pick them up if necessary.

Sheera Frenkel tells the story of a Palestinian-American stranded in Gaza with two young babies.  She has been trying to leave Gaza for weeks, but could not because in order to leave via Egypt you have to bribe the border officials.  The U.S. embassy refused to help her at first, until the staff of TED, where she is a fellow, intervened.  Then the embassy did contact her, but behaved incompetently and ineffectually.  Now she’s missed her last chance to escape the fighting, left high and dry by the almighty U.S. government, which seems to have little concern for its Arab-American citizens in harm’s way.

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • ckg July 14, 2014, 5:32 AM

    Richard, I wouldn’t be surprised if @APDiploWriter were interested in the story of the stranded Palestinian-Americans.

  • Arie Brand July 14, 2014, 6:32 AM

    “…. the battle did not go well for the Israeli forces who had hoped for stealth to reach and neutralize their target.  With the ambush they lost the element of surprise and were forced to call in F-16s and helicopter gunships to hold off the attacking Palestinians. “

    Old colonial consolation:

    “He stood upon a little mound

    Cast his lethargic eyes around,
    
And said beneath his breath:

    ‘Whatever happens, we have got
    The Maxim Gun, and they have not.”

    Hilaire Belloc

  • Oui July 14, 2014, 7:18 AM

    Will >Abu Khdeir killers plead temporary insanity?

    The suspects’ testimonies also revealed that the alleged crime was premeditated, and that they obtained supplies — including handcuffs and gasoline — in advance.

    The investigation found that Abu Khdeir was chosen at random, and had no previous relationship with his alleged killers.

    The investigation also confirmed Palestinian reports that Abu Khdeir’s killing followed an attempt to snatch an eight-year-old Palestinian boy the night before, at around 1 a.m., by two of the three suspects. That abduction was prevented, investigators have concluded (also in keeping with Palestinian reports), by the boy’s mother driving away the attackers.

    The gag order was lifted on all details of the investigation except the suspects’ identities.

    [Source: Times of Israel]

  • Tawheed Atallah July 14, 2014, 7:39 AM

    What happened to the July 12th invasion?

  • PersianAdvocate July 14, 2014, 8:58 PM

    What is the end goal here? To cleanse za stolen “motherland” of all za non-“Chosen” people, Fuhrer Netanyahu?

    Here is what I see:
    (1) Israel assassinated its own, Rabin, and this meant a coup d’etats plus one way ticket to the self-destruction of Israel in a Captain Ahab like quest for “Greater Israel”;

    (2) Israel’s “Oded Yonin” plan (aka PNAC/”Clean Break” for gentile consumption) to balkanize Israel’s regional opponents and reshape the Middle East, and Jabotinsky plan (to ethnically cleanse all of Palestine from both leftist and rightist political factions — the iron wall from all sides), are being enacted before my eyes via Saudi Arabia/anti-US treasonous Neocon/Israel funded ISIS and other Takfiri terrorists employed in Syria previously. The proposed plan to cut Iraq into thirds is identical to the Yonin map — no one is bothering to hide the truth anymore, at least not from plain sight (knowing people are too stupid to research things themselves — a Goebbels like calculation);

    (3) A false pretext was used to commit to the present ethnic cleansing action towards Palestine. Israeli investigators knew in advance those Settler teens were dead and exploited the hysteria to lead to this non-sensical and unconnected action;

    (4) The world is now seeing for itself the true Zionist grip on America media. On the one hand are the incontrovertible facts glaring at them from all sides of the internet and their own common sense about the Israeli domination and genocide of Palestine, and on the other is Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, and ABC literally reversing the facts and turning a world-class military, aggressive beyond any other, into a whining puppy victim of stone throwers and a destitute and occupied people with “rockets” that don’t even have targeting capabilities or ordinances for detonation upon impact;

    (5) Speaking of Hamas missiles lacking targeting, the Zionist media ploys against Palestinians are schizophrenic as always. On the one hand, they are suddenly so powerful that they are targeting Dimona (an illegal nuclear plant). Conversely, they are also so pathetic that they use babies as human shields. Meanwhile, anyone in the know is quite aware that it was Mofaz who, on behalf of the IDF, tried to APPEAL the ban on Israel’s military using Palestinian women and children as body shields and BOMB SWEEPERS. Yes, you read that right: they tried to APPEAL THE BAN. Meaning, the Israeli leadership thinks it is most appropriate to use the Goy as shields for the Chosen;

    (6) Israelis in Sderot sat on the hillside and watched the Israeli genocide with shouts of glee and joy. This is the same Sderot used as a pretext to commit war crimes against Palestine, by claiming that the Sderot residents are under fear of rocket fire every day and Israel must defend itself. They didn’t feel so threatened on HILLSIDES facing the battle in comfortable lawn chairs, smiling most evilly at the camera, unsuspecting that the photographer would then send the picture around the internet in no time flat; and,

    (7) The United States is saying nothing, but this time it is to simply allow Israel enough to provide the own rope for its hanging. There is nothing defensible about Israel anymore and the lies have lost luster. You can hire 100,000,000 Hasbara agents, control the media airwaves 24/7, and even lie blatantly as you do in repeated fashion from all across the information spectrum. The world simply does not believe in war lies anymore, especially stemming from the Zionist faction.

    Indeed, Israel lies about Palestine just like it lies about Iran, just like it lied about Saddam’s WMDs (to Senate Intelligence committees and even had a hand in the forged yellowcake document), about Syria and the need to “free the people” from Assad by supporting Al Qaeda (read: now ISIS) terrorists, about Ukraine (Nuland and the FPI were caught red-handed by leaked tape and there is no defense to this — game is over), and much more.

    Israel, therefore, no longer is a reality. It continues to exist in its criminal fashion only because it has managed to DEFY the reality and suppress the reactions to people discovering the reality is hiding. However, I urge my Israeli friends, even the hardcore Zionists who are too stupid to listen, to be careful: that ability to resist the truth is no longer potent and hasn’t been for about 5-6 years.

    • Richard Silverstein July 14, 2014, 11:35 PM

      @ Persian Advocate: I’ve warned you before. NO NAZI METAPHORS! I don’t want to say it again. It’s offensive.

    • Peut-etre July 15, 2014, 1:20 PM

      I keep hearing about Israel doing the genocidal cleansing, but the numbers don’t add up. While I do feel for every innocent who suffers in the conflict, under 200 dead out of a population of 1,657,000 is hardly a genocidal cleansing.

      • Richard Silverstein July 15, 2014, 9:10 PM

        @ Peut-etre: More banal amoral claptrap. 200 dead is 200 more than there should be. What, by the way, is the red line for killing in Gaza? 10% of the population?

        No one here that I know of has talked about “genocidal cleansing.” In fact, this sounds like a meme you learned at Hasbara Central. Comments must be DIRECTLY RELATED to the post. Not some straw man you’ve cooked up.

        Notice to all: if you appear to be repeating hasbara themes others have already brought up here or your comments are like this one, I reserve the right to moderate on first offense. I simply don’t have the energy or patience to deal with this.

  • sam July 14, 2014, 10:05 PM

    [comment deleted--This comment is a virtual regurgitation of many other comments made here in the past few days. Others have claimed falsely Hamas uses civilians as human shields. You can get away with this in an open forum. But this is not Hasbara Central. I will not allow the Hasbara brigade to monopolize this venue for propaganda purposes. This is a forum where people comment based on facts & evidence. Since you offered none & repeated others, I won't publish your comment. I didn't much like your earlier comments either, so I'm moderating you. Your comments will be published if they're substantive, on topic, and contain some original thought.]

    • The Rahnameh July 14, 2014, 10:48 PM

      I hate to burst your propaganda bubble, but:
      (1) It’s already evidenced that Mofaz, on behalf of the IDF, tried to APPEAL the ban by Israel’s supreme court on Israel’s military using Palestinian women and children as body shields and BOMB SWEEPERS. So, your whole narrative and mythos of Hamas using babies as a shield is swept away by the judicial history in Israel in the early 2000s, a time when Israel’s leadership had the chutzpah to press against such a ban out in the open. Stop falsifying everything else; and,

      (2) as this ethnic cleansing action was entered into on the false pretext of uninvestigated deaths of illegal settler teens found in the OTHER open air concentration camp of the West Bank, with Israeli investigators hiding for weeks the fact that they knew they were already dead for purposes of exploiting the hysteria, Israel clearly does not do anything it can to avoid civilian casualties. Clearly, it is interested IN civilian casualties as the end-goal is the ethnic cleansing from the land of all non-“Chosen” people.

      Finally, “hamas TV”. That’s cute. What are the 6 Zionist corporations that control ALL of America’s Hollywood complex, including a “news” arm, via financial monopolization supposed to call their garbage? “Adelson Tube”?

  • Sam July 15, 2014, 1:24 AM

    [comment deleted--you're already moderated. Publish a comment like this again here & you'll be banned]

  • Stretch July 15, 2014, 3:03 AM

    Yes – Israel has won again, just like it did against the rag-tag Hezbollah fighters in 2006 when, after about 30 days fighting, Hezbollah killed 26 Israeli soldiers a day before Israel threw in the towell. Some victory, Sam.

    The Israeli commando raid in Gaza was always going to be another resounding Israeli success unless they were all killed or all captured by the rag-tag Hamas fighters.

    • Blue Moon July 15, 2014, 4:49 AM

      [comment deleted--enough with the back & forth with other commenters. This comment is off-topic]

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