If you think that title a low blow, read what follows…
Associated Press reports that the IDF, under the decisive and manly leadership of that master strategist, Ehud Barak, has instituted a “crackdown” on alleged Hamas institutions on the West Bank. Apparently, if Israeli intelligence sources are to be believed, the only way to prevent Hamas from taking over the West Bank is to trash Palestinians girls schools and hospitals:
Israeli troops in jeeps swooped down on the West Bank city of Nablus early on Monday, shutting down a girls’ school, a medical centre and two other facilities… witnesses said. Computers, documents, cash and furniture were seized, the witnesses said.
…In recent months, Israeli troops and Abbas’ security forces have gone after West Bank charities, moneychangers, women’s cooperatives, media outlets and schools with suspected ties to the militants.
Around 1 a.m. Monday, dozens of military jeeps, two bulldozers and two trucks entered Nablus and headed for the facilities of the Solidarity charity, delivering an order to shut the facility for three years, witnesses said.
…The troops shut down Solidarity’s headquarters, as well as an elementary school for 160 girls and a sports club.
“The Israelis have confiscated all computers, documents, televisions and even mobile phones, from the school,” said Principal Fidda Draikh. “Now we need to look for an alternative place to educate these girls. We cannot leave them without a school.”
The medical centre that was shuttered bears the same name as the charity but is run by a different charitable organisation that was controlled by Hamas until its top administration was replaced last year by Abbas’ government, said its director, Dr. Hafez al-Sadr.
Sadr said office equipment was smashed and computers, documents and about $6,000 in Israeli and Jordanian currency were seized. He said the centre is not connected to Hamas. Troops also raided Nablus offices of the Palestinian Authority’s ministry of religious affairs.
Yes, I’m sorry to say this is what passes for tactical brilliance in the post-Lebanon IDF. They learned all their lessons from that war, right? That being an army of Occupation for so long had dulled them to fighting a counter-insurgency war. So the way they’re counteracting that is by trashing computers and stealing currency from Palestinian social welfare organizations. And their intelligence is so fresh that they close down a hospital that once had a Hamas affiliation but is now run by Israel’s alleged ally, Mahmoud Abbas.
So in the next war Israel has to fight, the nation should feel confident in victory as long as the enemy is a school full of Palestinian girls and a hospital. And I have an idea for what the IDF should do with that $6,000 they stole from the non-Hamas hospital (read farther below).
The IDF’s next badge of shame is the ongoing saga of young Maria Amin, paralyzed by an errant IDF missile meant to kill an Islamic Jihad militant. Instead, it killed her brother, grandmother and mother. Only her father remained alive to care for her. The IDF stepped up to the plate as a result of lots of negative PR after this botched targeted killing operation and offered Maria top-flight care at an Israeli rehab facility.
But now that the bad press has died down, the IDF would like to wash its hands of Maria and cart her off to a facility in Ramallah which has little of the expertise or equipment necessary to maintain her long-term care:
Paralyzed from the neck down in an Israeli strike on the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, six-year-old Palestinian Maria Amin is fighting an order to move her from a rehabilitation centre in Israel to the West Bank.
Maria can move around in a wheelchair controlled by a joystick she guides with her chin, but her Israeli doctors say her life would be in danger if Israel’s Defense Ministry sends her to the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Two years ago, Maria was paralyzed from the neck down when the car she was traveling in was caught in a missile attack on a leader of the Islamic Jihad group in Gaza. Her mother, grandmother and older brother were killed.
The Defense Ministry, which has covered Maria’s medical expenses and sponsored her father and younger brother to live with her at a Jerusalem hospital, has been seeking…to send her to Ramallah’s Abu Raya Rehabilitation Centre.
Maria’s father, Hamdi, appealed against the decision, but…Israel’s Supreme Court put off for a third time a hearing on the case until December, when an injunction blocking her transfer to the Ramallah facility expires.
Adi Lustigman, Maria’s lawyer, told the court…”She needs to live near the hospital, she must be near the emergency room – things she cannot have in the West Bank.”
“Maria cannot have her mother, brother or grandmother back, she cannot have her body, but there are things we can do to make things better and this is to take care of her for all of her life because she cannot survive outside Israel,” Lustigman said.
Upset at what he described as foot dragging, Maria’s father said he believed the court did not want to set a precedent that would encourage other Palestinians hurt in Israeli attacks to seek long-term medical treatment in Israel.
The Defense Ministry maintains that Israeli law does not require the army to compensate Palestinians injured in fighting against militants in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It said sponsoring Maria was a humanitarian gesture.
I have an idea how the IDF can fund Maria’s care. Confiscate the funds of every Hamas-affiliated hospital and school in the West Bank and use them to provide for Maria. It would soften the blow of seeing the Israeli army attack poor orphaned Palestinian girls by closing their schools; and allow the IDF to trumpet its “humanitarian gesture” on Maria’s behalf.
If you don’t trust the IDF to do the right thing for Maria, the Sunday Times offers a charity fund for her medical care. Make your check payable to “Marya Aman Appeal” and send it to:
Marya Aman Appeal
c/o Foreign Desk
The Sunday Times
1 Pennington Street
London E98 1ST