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IDF Says It May’ve Fired on UN School in Retaliation for Hamas Rocket Fire There

Israel’s Channel 10 news interviewed IDF spokesperson Moti Almoz and asked him to respond to charges by UNWRA’s Chris Gunness and Israel’s attack on yet another UN school, which killed 10 Gazans was a “criminal act.” In the past, the IDF has claimed that such attacks were caused by errant Hamas rockets.  In another instance it apologized and said the firing by the IDF was an accident.  But now they’re trying a new, more aggressive tack, which strikes me as more dangerous than prior ones.  Almoz in this interview says that Hamas is making attempts to fire rockets “only” from civilian building (like the UN facilities).  He claims that this is a deliberate attempt by Hamas to exploit the status of such institutions as neutral so that the IDF will not strike them.  He adds that the IDF has continually reiterated its demand that Hamas stop engaging in such activity. Then he says the IDF will be reviewing video and other documentary evidence to determine what happened, but that it appears there was Hamas fire “from within this area.”  By which he clearly means from the school itself. The interviewer breaks in to his statement and asks explicitly:

“Are you saying that the IDF fire wasn’t an error, but rather a deliberate targeting of the school?”

Almoz responds by saying that the IDF is investigating the circumstances and that it’s possible the school was attacked in error and it’s possible it was attacked because of Hamas fire from within it.  If the latter is true, then the IDF has just changed its rules of engagement and is now claiming that it may attack UN schools in Gaza. The idea that Hamas would fire rockets from within an occupied UN school and thus endanger the civilians seeking shelter within it is beyond belief.  The UN has constantly stated that there are no such activities within its occupied schools (of course it can’t control what happens in unoccupied schools).

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{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Stretch August 4, 2014, 2:33 AM

    Nothing Israel or the IOF says or does will surprise me. (IOF: Israel Occupation Force)

    • jjcostandi August 4, 2014, 9:32 PM

      better still: IAOF —> Israeli Authority Occupation Forces

  • Oui August 4, 2014, 4:07 AM

    You being surprised surprises me. It has been clear, the IDF policy imposed by Netanyahu’s cabinet of war criminals is ‘price-tag.’ Nothing new as this has been Israel’s policy since it was established as a state by the United Nations. It’s been policy against the Arabs and Palestinian people living within the state borders, see the assaults by Ariel Sharon during his military command.

    I watched Netanyahu during his press conference after Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Jerusalem. Netanyahu was besides himself of anger towards the UN top leader, the words used didn’t adhere to Israel’s narrative and the UMHRC decision in Geneva to investigate both parties in the Gaza War for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    The next day, the IDF was seen in a retaliatory bombing of UN Refugee facilities in Gaza City. The criminal acts know no bounds because Israel can act with impunity as the world’s leaders propagate the Israeli narrative of “Right to self-defence” and “Hamas uses civilians as shields to fire its ‘deadly’ rockets at Israel.”

    As I have listed before, in every war, Israel has used this tactic and the world keeps repeating words as ‘it’s not helpful’ instead of a outright condemnation. See the reactions from Obama, Kerry and Indyk, the U.S. has lost its credibility to be a neutral broker, if it ever had the illusiion. No sanctions and no chance of prosecution of the evildoers.

    I just watched the CNN interview with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. The discussion was between aliens living on different planets, there was no connection between the two. Of course, to balance the Hamas narrative, Israel’s Goebbels [Regev] got equal time. I switched channels just in time. His words are quite repulsive, inhumane and predictable.

    • David August 4, 2014, 7:21 PM

      No — “not helpful” is the STate Dept code response on new settlement activity. The code word response for Gaza is “heartbreaking.” I though everyone knew this. “Heartbreaking” is now documented from four different government talking heads.

  • Fred Plester August 4, 2014, 6:38 AM

    Sorry, posted comment with grabled email address:

    What I meant to post was:
    Meanwhile, there’s been a bid for the moral high ground:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2715466/Israeli-official-calls-concentration-camps-Gaza-conquest-entire-Gaza-Strip-annihilation-fighting-forces-supporters.html

    This is the Daily Mail, the most pro-Israel voice in Fleet Street. The Mail is beginning to make it clear when it feels nauseated.

    • David August 4, 2014, 7:37 PM

      Moshe Feiglin has a cold featureless blank face reminiscent of another infamous camp promoter from history. My hunch is that supremacists are those with nothing much going for them.

      In my opinion, the radical “solution” has been there in Zionism right along, hiding in the false assurances of the Balfour doc, the false “peace process” from Oslo, the “no choice” rationalizations, the construction of prisons including Gaza. It is a logical step from total control of an unwanted population. The good thing is that the “solution” is out of the closet and into the light where it can do some good by causing blowback.

  • Anat August 4, 2014, 12:02 PM

    Why is it beyond belief that the Hamas would fire from within a UN school?

    • Jafar Siddiqui August 4, 2014, 7:31 PM

      Of course, it is only beyond belief IF reasonable people are looking at the situation. Then there are those who have laredy reduced Arabs and Palestinians to the levels of terrorists, murderers and vermin who need eradication; Vremin who have no feelings for their own. For such members of The Master Race, it is entirely NOT beyond belief that Hamas would be firing rockets and missiles from the midst of their own people who are packed like sardines, in a UN compound.

      • Anat August 4, 2014, 11:58 PM

        if I’m not mistaken “belief” and “reason” are mutually exclusive.

    • Richard Silverstein August 4, 2014, 8:20 PM

      @Anat: I didn’t quite say that. I said Hamas wouldn’t fire from a UN school occupied with civilians. And in fact, the IDF now concedes it didn’t, but that the IDF used heavy artillery to kill 3 Islamic Jihad fighters who were riding past the school on a motorcycle. Killing someone on a motorcycle next to a school with heavy artillery is like using a 747 to kill a bee. And guess what happened? 7 civilians in the school died as a result.

  • Oui August 4, 2014, 1:20 PM

    Ayan Hirsi Ali: Bibi Netanyahu deserves Nobel Peace Prize for Gaza campaign

    Article one week old, nevertheless …
    The Forward: 50 Israeli Reservists Refuse To Serve in Gaza War
    plus I’m quite surprised by the comments up-ratings!

  • Mary Hughes Thompson August 4, 2014, 8:24 PM

    Like Oui, I was able to turn off the sound on Regev. Earlier on the same program Ron Proser complained that the quarter billion dollars the U.S. has just approved for improvements to Iron Dome, plus the billion plus dollar stockpile of weapons stored in Israel to which we have given them the keys, just isn’t enough.

    Actually I am most nauseated by the $5 million we are giving Israel to investigate the case of the “American” settler boy murdered with 2 of his friends a few weeks ago. This young man was born in Israel and never lived in the U.S. Both of his parents were born in Israel, and his only claim to U.S. citizenship is through his grandmother who emigrated to Israel before his mother was born. I’m at a loss to understand the justification for spending a dime of U.S. tax money to investigate his death.

    I have to ask why we didn’t spend $5 million to investigate the murders of Furkan Dogan, assassinated on board MAVI MARMARA, and Rachel Corrie, crushed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza. Furkan and Rachel were both born in the U.S., but unfortunately for them they weren’t Jewish or Israeli.

    • David August 4, 2014, 9:43 PM

      You know the answer to why? We all do.

  • Oui August 4, 2014, 8:56 PM

    Jordan facilitates 180 truckloads of relief aid to Gaza

    AMMAN — PM Abdullah Ensour reiterated that Jordan is serving the Gaza people by keeping diplomatic ties with Israel.

    UAE demands apology from Al Jazeera over Gaza report

    The Arabic language version of Al Jazeera and other Qatari publications such as the English-language daily The Peninsula recently ran news reports alleging that Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, foreign minister, met the Israeli regime’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman in Paris recently and offered to pay for its war on Gaza in an effort to eliminate the territory’s Hamas rulers.

    The only Gulf states to have established relations with the Israelis were Oman and Qatar. Both states recognised Israel in the mid-1990s. Oman cut off ties after the second Intifada in 2001 and Qatar severed ties after the Israeli war on Gaza in 2008-09.

  • jjcostandi August 4, 2014, 9:54 PM

    @RichardSilverstein,
    Israel bombs #GazaPalestine the way it does because its intent is to terrorize the Palestinians of @GazaPalestine but more especially their children. in its own twisted logic (illogic i should say) it is emulating what the germans did to the jews in the 30’s and 40’s hoping to control the next generation of jews and break their spirit by humiliating (beating, slapping,…) the parents in front of their children …

    to all: whenever you want to write Gaza, write instead #GazaPalestine … so you could say ” Israel wants to gobble-up #GazaPalestine and turn it into GazaIsrael “… try it and see how more to the point your sentence will read.

    #GazaPalestineUnderAttack

  • I wonder if..... August 4, 2014, 11:20 PM

    I wonder if someone at the next State Department Daily Briefing will ask the obvious question: since the State Department has now said that it is “appalled” by the “disgraceful” shelling of UN schools then is the USA willing to concede that its vote against a UNHRC investigation of war crimes was, ahem, somewhat less than a stellar moment in US diplomacy?

    After all, the State Department flunky is now on record as calling for an investigation into attacks on UN schools in densely populated Gaza.

    Pardon me, Ms Flunky, but isn’t that *exactly* what the UNHRC voting on when you were the only country that shouted out “Hell, No!!”.

  • Reg Vernon August 4, 2014, 11:30 PM

    Your penultimate sentence is not beyond my belief.

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