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Gaza War, Day 12: 303 Palestinian Dead

death toll_180714_part1When is an invasion not an invasion? When it’s the IDF and they’re killing Palestinians.  Then it’s a defensive operation (“Protective Edge”) solely meant to protect Israeli citizens from terrorists.  The objectives of the campaign aren’t to kill Palestinians, but solely to root out ‘nests of terrorists’ and destroy the purported tunnels they dig to snatch IDF soldiers (though one hasn’t been snatched in years).  And by all means, the IDF would never expel 100,000 Palestinians from their homes in northern Gaza.  That might be collective punishment, a violataion of international law.  Instead, it seeks to ‘create a buffer,’ a demilitarized zone from which the terrorists can’t launch rockets against Israel.  No mention of where the displaced new refugees will go.  As it is Gaza is one big refugee camp, since most of its residents flocked here after the 1948 Nakba, during which they were expelled from Israel.  That means Israel has devised a mini-Nakba for them, turning them into internal refugees within Gaza.

So through a combination of hocus-pocus and smoke and mirrors, Operation Protective Edge morphs itself from a vicious assault on Gaza’s 1.8-million imprisoned civilians into a war to protect the mothers and babies of Israel.  As the song says: “It’s nice work if you can get it.”

Today, marked the first IDF fatality.  But he wasn’t killed by Hamas.  No vicious firefight with terrorists.  Just an errant shell from an IDF tank took his life: friendly fire.  This isn’t the first time this has happened either.  Friendly fire has cost the lives of Israeli soldiers in many of these mini-wars Israel fights against it’s enemies.  Four of the ten troops who died during Cast Lead were killed by friendly fire.

Now that Israel has allowed itself to get sucked into a ground invasion, how will it extricate itself?  Will it go on till the world tires of the mayhem and Israel gives in and asks for a ceasefire?  And what will make this ceasefire different from all the other previous ones which only led to the next war?

One gets the distinct impression that we’re moving into pathological behavior.  It’s going to beat its head against the wall until it stops hurting.  That makes as much sense as Israel’s current military strategy (which is no strategy at all).

 

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{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Oui July 19, 2014, 3:34 AM

    Pulled NBC Reporter Reassigned to Gaza after Protest

    In Afghanistan and Iraq we shoot to kill those pesky Al Jazeera reporters, in Egypt coup-president Sisi imprisons local Al Jazeera reporters 7-10 years for mingling with Islamists in Sinai and Msulim Brotherhood leaders, in the United States anno 2014 we just remove them for ‘security sake’ from the frontlines in Gaza. When Israeli NGO Monitors, MEMRI propaganda or CAMERA reports or IDF insist those journalists are risking Israeli lives. Nationalist fury after the succes of a film about Palestinian plight, nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Film. IDF Soldiers Demand Prosecution of 5 Broken Cameras Director for Incitement.

    Don’t ever refer to Israeli scum as ‘scum’ while on camera, it’ll get you fired – CNN correspondent Diana Magnay removed after she refers to Israelis as ‘scum’.

    NBC Reportedly Pulls Reporter Who Witnessed Child Deaths From Gaza

    (Business Insider) – NBC News has pulled Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza after the veteran journalist personally witnessed the death of four Palestinian boys.

    “Mohyeldin’s reporting has been far more balanced and even-handed than the standard pro-Israel coverage that dominates establishment American press coverage; his reports have provided context to the conflict that is missing from most American reports and he avoids adopting Israeli government talking points as truth. As a result, neocon and ‘pro-Israel’ websites have repeatedly attacked him as a ‘Hamas spokesman’ and spouting ‘pro-Hamas rants’.”

    • Daniel F. July 19, 2014, 4:46 PM

      @ Oui
      “Don’t ever refer to Israeli scum as ‘scum’ while on camera’
      Who are you to call them scum,first live as they have lived and then judge them.

      • Elisabeth July 20, 2014, 2:07 AM

        “first live as they have lived and then judge them”
        Tell us all about those poor Israeli’s and their miserable lives so that we will not judge them as they cheer the slaughter in Gaza.

  • Nimrod July 19, 2014, 4:54 AM

    Richard, the data in the diagram you added mentions that 1 Idf soldier was killed and one civilian, but on the Gazan side, it doesn’t say how many of the people killed were combatants.
    Do you have the figured of how many of the casualties on the Gazan side were combatants? And do you consider the “medical sources in Gaza” to be reliable?
    Thanks

    • Richard Silverstein July 19, 2014, 1:49 PM

      @ Nimrod: Read my posts more carefully: I’ve noted in a recent one a UN report confirming that 80% of the Palestinian dead are civilians. And yes, Gaza medical sources are reliable. They have nothing to do with Hamas. They are far more reliable than IDF casualty counts and note none has been announced by the IDF (which surprises me actually).

  • ben July 19, 2014, 5:45 AM

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Albert Einstein

  • Daniel Rocha July 19, 2014, 6:05 AM

    And now what? IDF will try to destroy tunnels and this is basically an enforcement of a siege, since these were used even for basic commodities, right? Or else?

    What’s their next step? What does your source say? There doesn’t seem to be happening a massive air strike as in Cast Lead, to try to demorilize, so, I am not sure what they are trying to accomplish now. Maybe this is a permanent occupation?

    • leeor July 19, 2014, 6:37 AM

      @Daniel, You’re confusing the tunnels dug under the border with Egypt and used to smuggle commodities (as well as weapons), with the tunnels dug recently under the Israeli border and meant solely to allow Hamas squads to infiltrate and attack civilian communities in the area (there have been several attempts of that in the recent days).
      Unless you’re suggesting that 13 Hamas “freedom fighters” armed to their teeth, popped out of nowhere in the middle of the night next to an Israeli settlement just to buy some groceries?

      • Daniel Rocha July 19, 2014, 8:46 AM

        Both tunnels are being destroyed, from the inside, there is no specific target. And, why not buying from grocery armed to the teeth? It’s just expected from freedom fighters, which what Hamas is at this moment, when there are a fascist army sieging your city.

  • Arie Brand July 19, 2014, 6:08 AM

    The world is transfixed by the gruesome accident with that plane and it apolitical ramifications. Israel couldn’t have wished for a better turn of events to deviate attention from what it is doing. Yet there is a wrong sense of proportion here. That plane accident, however terrible, is a one off thing. It has happened and no human effort can change it. Israel’s murderous interference with Gaza is a recurrent thing where human effort could bring about some change. But the world watches it as if it is a natural event “an act of God” as the insurance companies say.

  • Arie Brand July 19, 2014, 6:11 AM

    correction: its political ramifications

  • Scott Shepard July 19, 2014, 7:35 AM

    The great tunnel crusade fascinates me. I have been watching these ‘operations’ for years in Palestine and in Lebanon. I have heard tunnels mentioned before, lots of times. But I don’t recall when tunnels became the catch phrase, the key term of the invasion — ooops, I mean, operation.
    Rockets I have heard a lot. ‘We’ve got to go in to stop the rockets.’ Mortars, sometimes, but they like to talk about rockets because it is harder to be scared by a mortar. In any case, they have to say something. But tunnels? How can they say it with a straight face?
    You’ve got a group that has been completely surrounded for … how many years? Tunnels since 1948. As difficult to dig as a sand castle is to build, and time on their hands. For years the Egyptians sort of tolerated tunnels until there was an incident.
    So now tunnels is the key thing? And people are saying this on TV and on the radio.
    I mean, they haven’t hit anything in the whole time, so whatever they are smuggling through these tunnels it is worthless. And the Israelis know this.
    We used to fear the Soviets because they had thousands of nuclear warheads. (at least that is what we were told) This is at least a fear that makes sense. Tanks. How many tanks do the Russians and the Chinese have?
    And now we fear Hamas because they have deadly …. tunnels.

    • ben July 19, 2014, 9:37 AM

      @Scott Shepard google how Gilad Shalit was abducted… better yet here is the link.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilad_Shalit

      FYI it was Via a tunnel.

      as richard has pointed out the “infiltrators” or “fedayeen” are historically scarry to Israeli’s.

      • Daniel Rocha July 19, 2014, 9:40 AM

        That’s intriguing. It makes me recall the Vietnamese resistance.

      • Richard Silverstein July 19, 2014, 1:37 PM

        @ ben: Soldiers aren’t “abducted.” They’re “captured.” Civilians are abducted. Shalit wasn’t. He was captured in combat.

        I could give a crap whether infiltrators are “scary” to Israelis compared the 20,000 Israeli troops invading (NOT infiltrating) Gaza and slaughtering the civilian population en masse.

  • Blue Moon July 19, 2014, 7:48 AM

    Why doesn’t your graphic show combatant deaths?

    BTW. Should Israel also apologize for having advanced civil and missile defense systems that prevent rocket deaths?

    • Richard Silverstein July 19, 2014, 1:38 PM

      @ Blue Moon: 80% of the Palestinian dead are civilian according to a recent UN report. I’ve published this here. Didn’t you read it?

      • Blue Moon July 19, 2014, 1:50 PM

        No Richard. I looked at the graphic, saw a dead Israeli soldier, but no dead Hamas soldiers.

        • Richard Silverstein July 19, 2014, 3:14 PM

          @Blue Moon: Read my blog more closely & you won’t waste my time by having to repeat what I’ve already posted. I find that boring. Not to mention you could find the answer to your question with a very simple Google search which will bring up the UN report.

  • ben July 19, 2014, 7:51 AM

    I have a question was the situation in Gaza better or worse before the disengagement of 2005?

    • Elisabeth July 19, 2014, 11:11 AM

      Who are you asking and why? Why do you want to know? What is your point?
      Maybe you can find out for yourself, and inform us. Do some homework.

    • Deïr Yassin July 19, 2014, 2:21 PM

      The real question is: were the people stuck in Gaza better off before or after 1948

  • Blue Moon July 19, 2014, 8:10 AM

    You have a dog in this fight, Scott?

    • Richard Silverstein July 19, 2014, 1:52 PM

      @ Blue Moon: Yeah, Scott does. He’s human as are Israelis and Palestinians. We’re all entitled to weigh in on the subject of violations of international law whether we’re Jewish, Palestinian, Christian, etc.

      • Blue Moon July 19, 2014, 10:39 PM

        [comment deleted--off topic, constrain your commments to the direct topic of the post and do not wander from it.]

  • Daniel Rocha July 19, 2014, 9:47 AM

    Something new:

    Israel has been using a new type of bomb, tungsten bomb. It’s like a fragmentation grenade, but the pieces are microscopic and cannot be removed, at least so easily.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/tungsten-bombs-leave-israels-victims-with-mystery-wounds-1418910.html

    • ben July 19, 2014, 10:26 AM

      “Neither white phosphorus nor Dime bombs are illegal, but campaigners say the way they have been used, especially in Gaza’s densely packed urban areas, could constitute a war crime”.
      I found that interesting because according to the wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dense_Inert_Metal_Explosive) ” It is intended to limit the distance at which the explosion causes damage, to avoid collateral damage in warfare”.

      This is also intersting: “In 2009, a group of Italian scientists affiliated with the watchdog group New Weapons Research Committee (NWRC) pronounced DIME wounds “untreatable” because the powdered tungsten cannot be removed surgically”.

  • Ron Temis July 19, 2014, 12:05 PM

    [comment deleted--your attempts at wit and snark are about as funny as having a root canal. Next such comment earns you moderation.]

    • Adriana July 19, 2014, 1:04 PM

      You are facist Baby killer, nothing CAN change that .
      Ni re-éducation Wil erase that

      • Richard Silverstein July 19, 2014, 1:50 PM

        @ Adriana: Cool it. That sort of rhetoric, no matter the provocation, doesn’t advance the discussion.

        • Adriana July 19, 2014, 3:35 PM

          You are entire right. I am sorry, silverstein.
          Just can’t stand somebody justify this. Or laught at it, is so mean.
          I am just so disgusting and sad to see all this killings. I am deeply sorry.
          Killings of children no matter where they come from.
          There is no human, ethic justification .

  • poirefrais July 19, 2014, 12:17 PM

    I rea, from Common Dreams, July 15, 2014:
    “Israel Firing Experimental Weapons at Gaza’s Civilians, Say Doctors.”
    https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/07/15-2

    U.K. parliament members have charged Israel with war crimes.”
    http://youtu.be/AJWNE83j__k
    I read yesterday, France has banned demonstrations against the Gaza assault. This is shocking.
    There are protests all around the world.
    ..Bastille Day was just several days ago.

    • Arie Brand July 19, 2014, 4:24 PM

      I am amazed at the frankness with which Israeli actions were condemned in this parliamentary debate. I don’t know of any other European parliament where these things are said so openly (not to speak about the sorry performance of the Australian parliament). Of course all these statements will only start to have some real effect when they are heard in the American Congress but as Paul Waldman memorably said discourse there has on this point the candour of a cabinet meeting in North Korea.

      A classic performance on this point in British parliament came some years ago from Sir Gerald Kaufman who can certainly not be accused of ignorance about the Israeli side: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMGuYjt6CP8

  • ahhiyawa July 19, 2014, 1:00 PM

    The Israelis are trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Except for far more limited objectives, this current invasion of Gaza is not much different from the 22 day ‘parade’ through Gaza the IDF made in 2008/9, a war of terror against civilians. The so called vaunted Israeli war machine is steering clear of HAMAS redoubts.

    Post Cast Lead after-action reports detailed the surprise IDF commanders had at the tactical competence and disciple HAMAS fighters displayed on the few occasions of actual combat. It became clear that the day’s when several hundred HAMAS fighter would rally, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” charging insanely into walls of steel and lead were over.

    To take HAMAS out means literally taking the fight into the densest populated areas of Gaza, where HAMAS is dug in deep and prepared to fight a last stand to the death. This will be a battle like Fallujah, where heavy ordnance and fires are only useful in suppressing enemy fires, allowing maneuver elements to close the distance to where the real and decisive fighting begins, muzzle to muzzle. Urban environments make combat worse. Rubbelized urban environments are exponentially worse.

    This of course means many thousands of civilian casualties, far more than the cost free, discriminate terror killings of children and non-combatants the Israelis are addicted to. Even should the Israelis allow civilian evacuation as the US did before commencing operations in Fallujah, most civilians likely can’t because they have no safe place to go with the IDF rampaging and blasting its way throughout the rest of Gaza.

    I believe there will be no decisive combat in Gaza simply because such combat is always casualty intensive. The Israeli public and its government have no stomach for what it will take in IDF dead and wounded to crush HAMAS and settle the issue. This means HAMAS will continue to survive, fighting asymmetrically, exploiting Israeli weaknesses and long term getting stronger. That I believe is the “pickle” Israel is in.

  • Sam July 19, 2014, 2:35 PM

    [comment deleted--anti-Hamas propaganda that is not factual or supported by evidence will not be published here. Next similar comment will lead to moderation.]

  • Sam July 19, 2014, 6:52 PM

    [Comment deleted. Banned]

  • poirefrais July 20, 2014, 2:30 AM

    Published on Jul 16, 2014
    At Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, Dr Mads Gilbert tells MEE that patients are showing up with injuries related to DIME, an experimental munition Israeli forces used against Gazans in 2009. Medical supplies are also running low
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vkUI7EUFKU#t=11

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