Not to be outdone by its dismal showing during the Lebanon War, the IDF is attempting to give it the old college try once more in Gaza. In response to the Fatah-Hamas civil strife over the past few weeks, in which Fatah came out on the losing end, and Hamas’ renewed rocket barrage on Sderot, the IDF has decided to strike back. So far, this has been the result:
Since May 17, when Israel escalated its strikes, 47 Palestinians have been killed by air attacks, including 15 civilians, seven of them under the age of 16, said Dr. Moawiya Hassanain, a spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. More than 170 have been wounded.
In other words, 33% of the dead have been innocent civilians and 13% have been children. Nice. Just remember that pinpoint accuracy. Remember the IDF spokespersons and pro-Israel ideologues who tell you the IDF goes out of its way to prevent harm to civilians. Right.
Of course, the IDF hasn’t been lazing around in other spheres as well. It’s arrested two Hamas cabinet ministers claiming there is incontestable evidence that they were up to their eyeballs in terror. That’s on top of the 40 Hamas parliament members it arrested and held since the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. One of the officials arrested yesterday was the education minister! But in order to grok the twisted thinking of the IDF you have to understand that merely being a member of Hamas makes you a terrorist, even if you are the education minister.
One Palestinian analyst I heard on NPR yesterday stated things most clearly: any Israeli military action in Gaza plays directly into the hands of Hamas. Arrest their ministers, they become martyrs for the cause. Punish the Palestinian people by killing their civilians, it distracts them from the horrid violence Hamas has instigated against Fatah in Gaza over the past weeks. There is nothing like a brutal Israeli attack to close Palestinian ranks behind those perceived as leading the resistance to Occupation–in this case Hamas. So if you want Hamas to win the struggle against Fatah and other more moderate forces–keep going down the path you’re following now.