They’ve done it again. Those pin-point accurate IDF pilots who hardly ever kill civilians in error had a bad day today. They were supposedly targeting a Fatah cell on its way to launch Qassam rockets. The militants got away with a few scratches. Three young children were not so lucky according to Haaretz:
The dead children were identified as Mohammed al-Roka, his sister, Nadia, and Bilal al-Hassa. Seven children were also among the injured, one seriously.
In writing this blog, I unfortunately feel I’ve had to become much more familiar than I’d ever want to be at plumbing the depths of the hypocrisy and mendacity that fills IDF public statements meant to defend such disastrous mistakes. Today’s statement is garden variety. But it somehow irks me more than usual. After three innocent children were killed in this incident (which is the third this month in which a total of 13 civilians have been killed), this is all the IDF could muster by way of explanation:
“When a cell goes to carry out a launch, we are working against a ticking clock. We have to find the right place to hit them, before they operate. We do everything we can not to injure civilians, even aborting a strike where there is doubt.“
Guess they didn’t find the “right place” this time, now did they? As for “aborting the strike when there is doubt”…they didn’t do that either.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said, “The IDF regrets any loss of life among non-combatants. Responsibility for this rests with the terror organizations and the Hamas government.”
What do they take us for–fools? “Responsibility rest with the terror organizations?” You must be joking. Your bomb killed those kids, buddy. Not a “terror organization.” No one forced you to pull the trigger at that precise moment. No one compelled you to kill those civilians.
A ‘senior IAF officer’ attempted to justify the strike by claiming:
[it] took place “in an area where traffic was very light, and that the civilians that were injured were not seen by military cameras before the hit.” The officer said the two missiles fired hit the vehicle directly. He was unable to explain how the two targets escaped with light injuries while nearby civilians were killed.
However, the attempted assassination took place at 7:15 PM and Palestinian eyewitnesses dispute the IDF statement saying:
Tuesday’s strike came at an hour when the streets were busy and many children were playing in the area….[It] took place on a narrow and crowded commercial street in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City.
Liz Duchess says
And the justification for palestinians targeting civilians or trying to kidnap children? How many rockets were fired today? Do you even know? How many days this last week have they been firing rockets at Israelis?
and you expect justification for firing on a legal military targets when they are by their presence making the camps and urban centers military targets? Do you or they even understand the presence of a militant, bomb or rocket makes what ever area they are in a military targets? So who is making those kids casualties? Its the bombers and militants that hide among them, not the Israelis. Every childs death due to proximity to a terrorist, bomber or militant is the responsibility of that terrorist, bomber and militant, not Israel. Same with ever bomb makers “work” accident. The presence of guns and other arms in camps nullifies any protection from reprisals or protection for those who know of those weapons. They become armed military encampments, no refugee camps.
Every rocket, bullet or rock from Gaza into Israel is crossing an international border and is an act of war by gaza against Israel. Israel has every legal right to retaliate and hold Hamas responsible for all the militias operating from within gaza. Every rocket IJ fires is Hamas’ fault legally.
Dan Sniderman says
Everyone, and the Israeli governement and the Palestinians especially must wake up to the reality that there is not now and there will never be a military solution to this crisis. In the eyes of the Palestinians – their rocket attacks are as an equally justified response and that they have “every legal right” to do so… (I’m not saying I agree with this – just pointing out their point of view).
This cycle of violence has been repeating itself for decades ad nauseum…. When an individual repeats the same pattern of self-destructive behavior over and over again without change – it’s usually considered a sign of mental illness. I personally find the behavior of both sides of this conflict insane…
The Palestinian story seems to fit the facts better.
Richard Silverstein says
Liz Duchess: Your attempt to understand the current situation is completely wrong-headed. Certainly the rocket launchers are targeting Israel. And certainly doing so is a heinous act. But how many rockets have hurt anyone? Five Israelis in the past 4 years have been killed by Qassams. Again, this is a heinous fact. Yet 13 Palestinian civilians have been killed by errant Israeli strikes in the past MONTH. I’d say there’s a certain disproportionality in that statistic. It also shows that the Qassams, while certainly terrifying I’m sure, are at most a terrible nuisance while IDF artillery & air-launched attacks are devestatingly lethal.
Even Shimon Peres, a senior minister in the current government is decrying the ‘Qassam hysteria’ raging within Israel. It is a hysteria trumped up by a discontented rump Likud which has lost all power & clings to the opportunity to make life miserable by ginning up political mischief a la the Gaza withdrawal. Pretty soon we’ll be seeing the histrionic Likud mayor of Sedrot wearing a yellow star as settlers did during the Gaza withdrawal.
And the final truth of the matter is that if the Olmert government opened final status negotiations w. Mahmoud Abbas & arrived at a peace agreement with him there would be no Qassams whatsoever fired at Sderot. So you see it’s quite easy to place the ultimate blame in Israel’s corner for this whole mess they’re facing.
I also love yr notion that IDF extrajudicial assassinations are “legal targets.” “Legal” according to whom? According to the Israeli government of course whose notions of “legality” are open to question reagarding everything from home demolitions to the Separation aka ‘Land Grab’ Wall.
Dan: I certainly agree with your “mental illness” analogy. Both Israel’s behavior and the Palestinian militants’ is deeply pathological.
Liz Duchess says
>>Your attempt to understand the current situation is pathetic. Certainly the rocket launchers are targeting Israel. And certainly doing so is a heinous act. But how many rockets have hurt anyone?