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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘civilian casualties’

Hamas’ List of Casualties Includes Those Who Died Twice

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Hamas loves death so much that its list of terrorists and alleged civilians who were killed in the war on Israel includes people who were listed twice.

Hamas also included in its death toll, allegedly at the hands of the IDF, the large number of civilians were killed by Hamas’ rockets and mortar shells that fell short of their targets. Others were executed by Hamas for allegedly providing Israel with intelligence information.

The names of the first 150 casualties, as reported by Hamas, did not differentiate between civilians and terrorists and described all of the victims as “shahids” (martyrs), the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) reported.

At least 71 of the list were terrorists, but in some cases, they “died twice” because death notices were announced both by Hamas and by Palestinian Authority interior security forces.

“Dual identity allows Hamas to employ many military operatives in the security forces, give their activity governmental legitimacy, and pay them salaries intended for members of the security forces in the Gaza Strip,” ITIC explained.

For example, the Facebook page of the National Security Forces Headquarters announced the dearth of Ibrahim al-Balawi , and Hamas did the same, inflating the casualty list on a “two for the price of one” basis.

Hamas also created the illusion of a high number of civilian casualties by not providing the Palestinian Health Ministry with information about terrorists who were killed.

The United Nations claimed that the number of civilian casualties among the first 150 was approximately 75 percent.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported this week that of the 1938 who died in the war, 1626 were civilians, while the IDF estimates that a majority of those killed were Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists.

One soldier serving in Gaza told The Jewish Press that a “civilian” house that was hit by the IDF resulted in the deaths of 14 terrorists, whom Hamas easily could claim as “civilians” because they were in residential building from which they were firing at soldiers.

Another discrepancy is that children make up more than 55 percent of the population in Gaza but counted for only 23.7 percent of the casualties,. Women make up 21.1 percent of the population and were listed as 12.6 percent of those killed.

The remainder of nearly 1,300 were men, and logic dictates that their high proportionate of the number who were killed is because they were shooting at soldiers or crawling out of tunnels to attack Israeli civilians.

Hamas warned Gazans this week “not to divulge information about ‘resistance’ casualties because the ‘occupation’ [Israel] was collecting all the information and reports [about casualties] and would use them as evidence to ‘justify its crimes against [Palestinian] civilians.’” ITIC reported.

Retired British Col. Richard Kemp wrote for the Gatestone Institute this week, “Analysis of casualty details released by Qatar-based Al Jazeera indicate that so far most of those killed in Gaza have been young men of fighting age, not women, children or old people.”

He added, “With few exceptions, reporters, commentators and analysts unquestioningly accept the casualty statistics given by Gaza’s Hamas-controlled medical authorities, who ascribe all deaths to the IDF. Is anyone in Gaza dying of natural causes? Mass executions of “’collaborators,’ and civilians killed by malfunctioning Hamas rockets, are all attributed to IDF fire.”

One of the most grotesque examples of Hamas’ faking civilian deaths was caught in the video below, which shows people staging a photo op for eager journalists by carrying a girl, presumably dead, and placing her next to that of adults who were killed in the alleged IDF bombing of a United Nations school.

Netanyahu Regrets Gaza Casualties, But Operation Continues

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Hamas terrorists are counting on using their human shields as ammunition against Israel. But that won’t stop the IDF from carrying out its mission to protect Israeli citizens with Operation Protective Edge.

That was the message conveyed Thursday morning in a joint news conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond.

The prime minister was responding to a snippy condemnation by United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, who called for an investigation of the IDF’s actions in Gaza for “possible war crimes.”

Netanyahu reminded journalists the IDF is doing everything possible to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza. However, he said, nothing will prevent Israel from continuing to protect its citizens from the terrorist tunnels which “penetrate our state.”

The prime minister especially expressed his gratitude to British Airways, the national British airline, for continuing flights to Israel despite an FAA ban on flights to the Jewish State. British Airways is nearly the only European airline to do so, in the face of what was tantamount to nearly a Europe-wide boycott of Israel. This followed the lead of the United States, which issued a 48-hour ban on flights to Ben Gurion International Airport, using the excuse of shrapnel that fell from an Iron Dome interception of a Hamas missile fired from Gaza at Yahud, about a mile from the airport.

On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm that 20 rockets found last Thursday stashed in the UN’s Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school in Rafah – located on the Gaza border with Egypt, where numerous terrorist tunnels have been built — had gone ‘missing.’

Ban ordered the world body to deploy experts to ‘deal with’ the situation but did not specify how he intended them to do that. Sources have said that UNRWA immediately turned the ordnance over to Hamas terrorists last week.

A second “discovery” of a new stash of missiles was revealed two days ago in another routine international inspection – this one so large that UNRWA was not willing to announce how many missiles there were. Instead, the agency said in its statement that it “immediately withdrew its staff” from the facility, which is located between two other schools where some 1,500 Gazans are taking refuge from the combat in the area.

Nor did UNRWA say how it disposed of those missiles either.

Ban “expresses his outrage and regret at the placing of weapons in a UN-administered school,” a United Nations statement said. UNRWA is sheltering 102,000 people in 69 of its schools amid the renewed violence.

“By doing so, those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children, UN employees working in such facilities and anyone using the UN schools as shelter,” the statement said.

US: Israel ‘could do more’ to prevent civilian deaths

Friday, July 18th, 2014

After weeks of silence on the ongoing Hamas bombardment of Israeli cities, the Obama administration called the accidental killing of three boys on a Gaza Strip beach “horrifying” and criticized Israel for what the White House sees as lax standards on the part of the IDF.

“This tragic event makes clear that Israel must take every possible step to meet its standards for protecting civilians from being killed,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki. ”We will continue to underscore that point to Israel.”

Asked whether the president believes Israel has done enough to prevent civilian casualties, Psaki said: “We believe that certainly there’s more that can be done.”

Psaki added a word of criticism for Hamas, saying the administration has “not made any secret about our strong concern about the actions of Hamas, the indiscriminate rocket attacks, the targeting of civilians,” but stopped short of blaming Hamas for the conflict.

In addition to the White House, Secretary of State John Kerry called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and called on Israel to focus the ground and air attacks on smuggling tunnels. He also said he hoped the operation would be conducted as precisely as possible.

For comparison purposes:

Between 2001-2014, some 21,000 to 23,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan.

Between 2001-2014, 20,000 to 30,000 civilians were killed in Pakistan.

Between 2001-2014, 133,000 to 147,000 civilians were killed in Iraq.

All these civilians were all killed by U.S., French, British and German forces.

229 Arabs Killed on Wednesday

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

229 Arabs were killed on Wednesday… in Syria.

Among the dead are 80 Syrian forces, 104 rebel forces, and 45 civilians.

Where is the world outcry?

Contentions Why Gaza Doesn’t Have Bomb Shelters

Monday, July 14th, 2014

One of the key talking points by apologists for Hamas in the current conflict is that it isn’t fair that Israelis under fire have bomb shelters while Palestinians in Gaza don’t have any. Among other factors, the lack of shelters accounts in part for the differences in casualty figures between the two peoples. But somehow none of the talking heads on TV ever ask why there are no bomb shelters in Gaza.

 

There’s no question that Hamas is outgunned by Israel. The Islamist terror group that still rules over Gaza has thousands of rockets, but Palestinians eager to cheer news of Israeli casualties have been disappointed as the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system has knocked down most of the rockets shot over the border from Gaza at Israeli cities in the hope that carnage will result. But even though Israel has gone to unprecedented lengths to avoid killing Palestinian civilians as it attacks the missile launch sites and Hamas command centers and ammunition storage areas that are embedded in packed neighborhood and especially in or around schools, mosques, and clinics, some civilians have died. Given that the Israelis have pounded the Islamists with nearly a thousand strikes this week, the approximately 150 Palestinian fatalities is actually pretty low. But still, fewer Palestinians would have died had there been places for them to seek refuge during the fighting.

The assumption is that the Hamas-run strip is too poor to afford building shelters and safe rooms for its civilians, a point that adds to the impression that the Palestinians are helpless victims who deserve the sympathy if not the help of the world in fending off Israel’s assault on Hamas’s arsenal.

But the assumption is utterly false. Gaza’s tyrants have plenty of money and material to build shelters. And they have built plenty of them. They’re just not for the people of Gaza.

As is well known, Gaza is honeycombed with underground structures from one end of the strip to the other. This doesn’t only refer to the more than 1,400 tunnels that have connected Gaza to Egypt through which all sorts of things—including rockets, ammunition, building materials as well as consumer goods–came into the strip until the military government in Cairo stopped the traffic. The chief problem facing the Israel Defense Forces in this campaign is the same one they faced in 2008 and 2012 when they previously tried to temporarily silence the rocket fire. Hamas’s leaders and fighters are kept safe in a warren of shelters build deep underneath Gaza. There is also plenty of room there for its supply of thousands of rockets and other armaments. Moreover, they are also connected by tunnels that crisscross the length of that independent Palestinian state in all but name ruled by Hamas. Indeed, when you consider the vast square footage devoted to these structures, there may well be far more shelter space per square mile in Gaza than anyplace in Israel.

If these structures were opened up to the civilians of Gaza, there is little doubt that would lower the casualty figures. Indeed, if the leaders of Gaza and their armed cadres emerged from their safe havens under the ground and let the civilians take cover there they could then show some real courage. But lowering casualties isn’t part of Hamas’s action plan that is predicated on sacrificing as many of their own people as possible in order to generate foreign sympathy. Instead, they cower behind the civilians, shooting missiles next to schools, storing ammunition in mosques (as today’s explosion in Gaza illustrated) and, as I previously noted, are actually urging civilians to act as human shields against Israeli fire on Hamas strongholds. Indeed, they have enlisted the people of Gaza as part of their misinformation campaign in which they attempt to conceal the presence of missile launching or masked, armed Hamas fighters in civilian neighborhoods.

The Blood Libel Begins: The Guardian’s Original Reporting on Al Dura

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Today, an Israeli Government Review Committee published a long-awaited report on the Mohammed Al Durah incident, determining that the Palestinian boy was in fact not harmed by Israeli forces and did not die in the exchange of fire on September 30, 2000 at the Netzarim Junction in Gaza.

The Israeli committee arrived at the conclusion which had been reached by other serious observers who have studied the incident (and its tragic consequences) over the years: The incident was in all likelihood a hoax.

The report was released just three days before a French court is to rule on a defamation case involving the producer who broke the story for France 2, Charles Enderlin, and the French media analyst who accused Enderlin of fabricating the story, Philippe Karsenty.  (You can learn more about the background, evidence, and consequences of the Al Durah incident here.)

The following is my fisking of the original report in the Guardian on the Al Durah incident, written by Suzanne Goldenberg and published on Oct. 3, 2000 and titled ‘Making of a martyr”:

goldberg

Suzanne Goldenberg begins her Oct. 3, 2000 Guardian account of an incident which had taken place three days earlier, near the Netzarim Junction in Gaza, ‘Making of a martyr’, thus:

A circle of 15 bullet holes on a cinder block wall, and a smear of darkening blood. That is what marks the spot where a terrified 12-year-old boy spent his final moments, cowering in his father’s arms, before he was hit by a final shot to the stomach, and slumped over, dead. Those last minutes in the life of Mohammed al-Durrah, captured in sickening detail by a Palestinian cameraman working for French TV, have taken on a power of their own. His death, aired around the world on Saturday night, has become the single searing image of these days of bloody rioting.

Goldenberg, as with nearly every journalist who reported on the incident, was relying entirely on a one minute, deceptively edited, France 2 video, as well as uncorroborated Palestinian “eyewitness” accounts.

While the the video purported to show the boy’s final moments – filmed by stringer named Talal Abu Rama, and which was cut by France 2 producer Charles Enderlin – the last few seconds showed a clearly alive boy lifting his hands and peeking out through his fingers and then slowly putting his arm down.

There is no video or still photos – despite the numerous journalists at the scene – of the boy being carried away in a stretcher, or being loaded onto an ambulance.

Additionally, despite claims that the IDF fired on the boy and his father for 40 minutes – which somehow only managed to produce a dozen or so bullet holes in the wall and barrel – and supposedly died of a stomach wound, it evidently didn’t seem odd to Goldberg that there was only a “smear” of blood?

Goldenberg:

The pictures of Mohammed’s death seemed not just to encapsulate the horror of these last five days but also to have become its motor.

Though more Palestinians have been killed since Mohammed’s death – including a two-year-old yesterday – it is his image that haunts Israel. For all of the claims of the prime minister, Ehud Barak, and other officials that their soldiers only fire to protect Israeli lives, Mohammed’s death seems an irrefutable reply.

Here, any semblance of objective reporting is shrewn to pieces. Not only in the last sentence of this passage is Goldberg determining Israeli guilt in the boy’s death, but imputing malice to the entire army – all based on 63 seconds of video.

Goldenberg:

By the end of the weekend the evidence was pointing to a still more chilling conclusion: that the 12-year-old boy and his father were deliberately targeted by Israeli soldiers.

The blood libel begins.

Goldenberg has now established – a mere four days following the incident – that the 12-year-old Palestinian child was deliberately targeted by Israeli soldiers.

Caught in a burst of firing, the pair sought shelter behind a concrete water butt, about 15 yards to the east of the Palestinian post, diagonally opposite the Israeli position. The father gestured frantically towards the Israelis, as if pleading with them to stop firing. They did not.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/cifwatch/the-blood-libel-begins-the-guardians-original-reporting-on-al-dura/2013/05/20/

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