web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘civilians’

20 Dead in Attack on UNRWA School, Source of Fire Unknown

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

At least 20 are dead after a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school was hit by tank fire in Jabalya, still referred to by the United Nations as a ‘refugee camp.’

The school has been serving as a humanitarian shelter for displaced Gazans forced to leave their homes for their own safety when the IDF attacks military targets planted by Hamas in residential areas. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists maintain an open policy of using families and friends as human shields in active combat against the IDF.

The incident occurred just hours after inspectors discovered another weapons cache at an UNRWA school in the region for the third time in two weeks. UNRWA officials asked a munitions exporter to remove the rockets at the site and ‘make the school safe,’ according to spokesman Chris Gunness, who said the fighting in the region made it impossible for munitions experts to access the site. Gunness condemned those who risk civilian lives by placing rockets at a school run by the international aid organization, noting its facilities are intended to be neutral and not involved in the fighting.

“We condemn the group or groups who endangered civilians by placing these munitions in our school,” Gunness wrote in a statement. “This is yet another flagrant violation of the neutrality of our premises. We call on all the warring parties to respect the inviolability of UN property.”

But he did not hold Hamas – the ruling government in Gaza – responsible for the incident, nor did he mention where UNRWA had sent the missiles, now for the third time.

Officials have been unable to clarify details about the incident at the UNRWA school in northern Gaza due to the fierce fighting taking place in the area. The IDF has not been able to confirm the claim by Gaza medical workers that Israeli tank fire was responsible for the shelling, and the incident remains under investigation.

More than once, Israel has been blamed for artillery fire on a Gaza target, only for the matter later to be clarified that the true source of the fire was a local terrorist group.

Low-Intensity Conflict Report #83 August 2013

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Shanna Tova.  May this be a year of unity of our people, protection of our Torah and Land and yishuv HaAretz. Amen

These reports are translated and publicized by Yehudit Tayar for Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron with the clearance and confirmation of the IDF.  Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron is a voluntary emergency medical organization with over 500 volunteer doctors, paramedics, medics who are on call 24/7 and work along with the IDF, 669 IAF Airborn Rescue, the security officers and personal throughout Yesha and the Jordan Valley, and with MDA.

We, the volunteers of Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron go out to rescue anyone who needs our emergency medical assistance; including civilians, military and Arabs also those within the PA territories (with IDF presence). To us a life is precious and we go out at risk leaving home and family or stopping on the road to rescue anyone in need.

This is a partial report based on the intelligence reports we received from the field.  It is important to emphasize that there were hundreds of attacks with rocks.

At least 13 civilians and 5 IDF soldiers and Border Policemen were injured from the violent rock attacks on the vehicles, cars and buses.

Civilians who were injured from rocks:

2 moderately injured at Abu Tor, near Ofra; 1 tourist and 2 Israeli Arabs were taken to Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem

1 moderately injured near Mevo Dotan

1 very lightly injured near Bet Umar

1 moderately injured woman in bus near the Kotel

1 moderate near Anata

Pregnant woman and her husband moderately injured from glass fragments between Revava and Yakir

Damascus Gate, Jerusalem: Security guard injured moderately in his face.

Near El Hadar : Israeli Arab moderately injured in his face

Security Forces injured from rock attacks:

Jenin: 2 IDF soldiers injured lightly

Bet Umar: IDF soldier lightly injured

Betunia: IDF soldier from Artillery Unit lightly injured taken to Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem

Bil’in: IDF soldier from Engineering Force lightly injured, given medical assistance on the spot

Jalezoun Refugee Camp: Border policeman lightly injured in his hand

2 injured moderately and 1 lightly injured from Arab violence

Azune:  Driver from Rosh Ha’ayin beaten and injured very lightly and his vehicle was robbed

Taxi driver was run over and moderately injured during robbery of vehicle.  The robbers and vehicle were caught in Hawawara

Moderate wounded from stabbing on Stern Street, Jerusalem.  The injured claims that the Arab attacked him at random.  Police investigating the attack.

Lebanon: 4 IDF soldiers from Egoz Unit injured lightly to moderately from explosive device

Explosive Devices:

At least 25 attempted murders of Jews by throwing explosive devices

An explosive device was discovered a El Bira and detonated by a bomb squad

Abu Dis: 13 devices

Kever Rachel: 2 devices

Azoria: 1 device

Jenin: at least 8 devices

Jenin: large amounts of explosive devices and Molotov cocktails

Molotov Cocktails (fire bombs): at least 100 attempted murders of civilians and security forces by Molotov cocktails

Azune: 8

Hawawara: 2

El Arub: 26

El Hadar: 5

Turn by Spring Hevron: 2

Arab Tekoa : 1

Bet Umar: 2

Anabta: 5

Kochav Hashachar : 2

Near Negohot: 2

Abu Dis: 18

Hizam: 1

Between Migdalim and Tapuah: 2

Dir Abu MIshal : 3

Dir Niz’am: 2

Abud bypass: 3

Highway 443: 1

Tapuah Junction/ Yasof : 1

Policeman’s Square, Hevron : 3 and 1 towards Bet Hadassah checkpoint

As Karkar : 1

Qalandia: 3 – unknown number were thrown at IDF Force who were dispersing 1500 rioting Arabs

Damascas Gate: 2

French Hill :1

Molotov attacks that were prevented : Between Na’aleh and Postmans Junction: IDF chsed 3 terrorists carrying 3 fire bombs that were ready to be thrown on the road

Hebron : near Tel Romeda: 3 terrorists were caught carrying a knife and 2 molotov cocktails

At least 2 stabbing attacks and a murder were prevented, a number of suspects were arrested with knives in their possession:

Tekoa: terrorist caught with kitchen knife on him and admitted to planning a terror attack

Hawawara: 2 terrorists caught with knives and admitted to planning a terror attack to murdera resident of Yesha

Ein Ya’el Checkpost/Wala’ja: 12 year old Arab boy arrested and amongst his possessions a knife was found. He claimed that he was sent by 2 Arabs

Arab was caught possessing knife on the security fence of Betar

Near Herodian: resident of Bethlehem arrested after he threw a knife into the bushes released after investigation

Bekaot checkpost: Arab arrested and in his possession a 14 cm. knife

Tapuah Junction: Arab suspect with 10 cm. knife in his possession

Weapons caught by Security Forces:

Cross Shomron checkpost: 2 Arabs arrested with Karl Gustov rifle hidden in their car

Improvised rifle discovered in Arab car near Bet Dagan

Near Ofra: 3 Arabs caught with hunting rifle and knives

Ein Yabrod: pistol caught in Arab car

South: Explosive device thrown at jeep of Security Force near Sufa Crossing, and 1 rocket landed near a kibbutz in Eshkol Region

Rocket fired on Eilat shot down by “Iron Helmet”

Gaillee: 4 rockets downed by “Iron Helment” however there were hits at Ziv Bridge and Sheve Zion

8 Rockets hit in Ramat Hagolan near Keshet

Desecration of Jewish Holy Sites and Symbols :

Arabs tore out Mezuzot (prayers on doorposts) in the Cave of the Patriarchs

Swastika sprayed on Ancient Synagogue in Samua Village

Visit My Right Word .

Egypt: This Is Big

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

One way to gauge the import of the conflict erupting in Egypt is by looking at the character of media coverage in America.  Both sides of the political spectrum have been slow to advance narratives of blame.  What’s going on in Egypt doesn’t fit into any pat, off-the-shelf narratives.

There has been a curious absence of “themage” on the left: no unified narrative about this all being the fault of Bush-era failures of good fellowship, or of the plight of the Palestinians, or (my personal favorite) of warmongering arms dealers, oil mavens, or ([insert ROTFLOL here]) international banks.

Meanwhile, blame-fixing criticisms of President Obama are getting little traction on the right.  (I even saw Sean Hannity shouted down by other conservatives the other day, when he was advancing an Obama’s-to-blame theory.)  I have the sense that most on the right see – accurately – that what’s going on is bigger than either Obama’s shortcomings or America’s predicament under his leadership.  While the Arab Spring might well have never happened if the United States had had a different president in January 2011, it is more than overstating the case to say that it happened because of Obama.

It happened because of deep rifts and discontents in the Arab world.  Its progress since the initial trigger event has been shaped to some degree by the defensively triangulating inaction (mainly) of Obama’s America.  But there’s real there there, in terms of political divisions and conflict in the nations of the Middle East.

This is a genuine fight, not a series of mass protests out of which nothing will really change.  If we understand anything, it must be that.  The Western media have been reflexively – if perfunctorily – reporting the bloodshed in Egypt as a “military crack-down” on protesters.  But the truth is that, where military action is concerned, it is a strategy to get out ahead of civil war.  The Muslim Brotherhood has indicated that it intends to make a fight of this.  Its “protest camps” are not a stupid, time-on-their-hands Occupy Cairo escapade; they are bases from which to keep an armed fight going.

The Muslim Brotherhood does not care what happens to the people of Egypt: whether their streets become safe for daily life and commerce again.  It is willing to keep chaos and misery going for as long as necessary to topple the military’s interim government.  That is its present purpose.  The Muslim Brotherhood strategy is to make it impossible for the military to restore enough order and public confidence to move ahead with new democratic arrangements.  The strategy is pure Bolshevism, and we’ve seen it before, dozens of times over the last several centuries.

Reports from Friday’s fighting indicate that plenty of Egyptians are aware of this.  Citizens around the capital set up checkpoints to prevent the movement of Muslim Brotherhood formations:

Armed civilians manned impromptu checkpoints throughout the capital, banning Brotherhood marches from approaching and frisking anyone wanting to pass through. At one, residents barred ambulances and cars carrying wounded from Cairo’s main battleground, Ramses Square, from reaching a hospital.

And much of the fighting was between pro-Morsi supporters and other civilians:

Friday’s violence introduced a combustible new mix, with residents and police in civilian clothing battling those participating in the Brotherhood-led marches.

Few police in uniform were seen as neighborhood watchdogs and pro-Morsi protesters fired at one another for hours on a bridge that crosses over Cairo’s Zamalek district, an upscale island neighborhood where many foreigners and ambassadors reside.

In keeping with the astonishing mass scale of the national revulsion against Morsi’s rule in June and July, the current fight is developing as a popular one.  The anti-Morsi citizens have no intention of waiting around to see their government fall back into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.  They are taking to the streets themselves.

This will have to be remembered in the coming days, when poorly armed civilians inevitably begin dropping out of the fight.  The civil population does care, and care enough to fight with sticks, stones, and fists, if necessary, even though It will take the military to put down the Muslim Brotherhood decisively – if, indeed, the outcome ends up being defined in that manner.

It may not be.  A key organizing factor in the June and July civil protests against Morsi was the “Tamarod” movement, a pastiche of anti-Morsi forces with little to unify them other than their objection to Morsi’s rule.  Some throwing in with Tamarod are Salafists themselves (including a former leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad); others bring some element of liberalization or secularism.  They made common cause with the military during the coup in July, but they are hardly a moderate, liberal, pro-Western force; in the days since, they have called for expulsion of the U.S. ambassador, and for Egypt to withdraw from the 1979 treaty with Israel.

Tamarod movements are busting out all over the Arab world (e.g., in Tunisia, Morocco, and Bahrain), portending many more months of instability and a long fight for the futures of these and other nations.  A movement with this much internal division to it will begin to splinter in Egypt: some of its members will want to take the lead in forging a new ruling consensus – specifically, in preempting the people to do so – and my bet for this is on the Salafists.

So there are more than two factions in the overall fight; this won’t come down to just the military and the Muslim Brotherhood.  Whoever plays the spoiler role could put together some kind of modus vivendi linking the opposing factions.  A little bit of gesturing toward civil protections for the people; a little bit of door left open to shari’a.  It wouldn’t last long, if history is any kind of guide.  But Western observers are likely to put stock in it (and even be hoodwinked by it).

Today’s fight may not go the full fifteen rounds, but if it doesn’t, it will have to be fought again down the road.  Because there is no coexistence for soft despotism – or democracy-lite – and Islamism; there is no coexistence for anything else and Islamism.  And Islamism won’t stop fighting until it is put down decisively.

It is not actually unusual for the governments and media of the West to misread developments like these (or at least to have the “deer in the headlights” look on their faces as they witness them).  The last time there was comparative unity and accuracy of understanding about a Bolshevik moment was – well, the actual Bolshevik moment, in late 1917 and the few years following it, when Western governments sought briefly to support the White anti-Bolshevists.  Whatever the merits of that policy, the understanding on which it was based was perfectly accurate.  Bolshevism was an uncontainable threat.

Within a very few years after that, Western governments, and many in our media, had become invested in misreading or ignoring manifestations from the sanguinary arena of collectivist statism.  We were quite tolerant of Mussolini and Hitler until they declared war on Stalin, and to this day, tendentious narratives of popular support are adduced in our academies to explain the advance of Marxist totalitarianism across the map of the globe through the late 1970s.  There were major movements in the free world to define away the threat of communism incident not only to Stalin’s excesses but to Maoism in China, the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, the encroachments of Marxism on Latin America and Africa, and the standoff between East and West in Europe.

Throughout the 20th century, the bloody adventures of collectivism forced Westerners, and Americans in particular, to inspect and crystallize our view of who and what we were.  Through the “progressive,” statist movements in our own nations, we ended up being transformed away from the character we had once sought to honor and cultivate.  Yet for a time, in the late 1970s (with the election of Margaret Thatcher in the UK) and 1980s, we achieved a meaningful consensus that our liberal values had not been extinguished yet.  Acting on that consensus turned out to be enough, in that time and place, to overwhelm the failed ideology of Marxist socialism, in its totalitarian-state manifestation.

State-Islamism is doomed to inflict self-destruction and despair on its victims.  But what will we in the still-not-Islamist West do while it is organizing itself and launching its career?  We can’t go out and try to run everyone else’s county for him, after all.  And that said, we need not actively support the infliction of despotic Islamism on foreign populations.

How will we define ourselves during this process?  Will it be Islamism that has the momentum, with us defining ourselves as what we are not, in relation to it?  Or will we retake the public dialogue with our own propositions and language about liberty and limited government?  Our success in that endeavor was intermittent and incomplete, to say the least, during the Cold War.  Will we learn from that era and do better today?

Will we retain the capacity – always under attack, always fighting for its life – to define a totalitarian ideology truthfully, and let that truth be a guide to our policies?  These are questions to which we simply don’t know the answer.  There were days during the Cold War when even the most optimistic political observers would have answered them for us in the negative.

One thing we can be sure of, however – a thing we may see more clearly, I think, because we have the president we have today, and not a president who will act in a more traditional manner, according to the conventions of American statecraft.  The developments in Egypt have importance for the entire world.  They are about an ideological, Bolshevik-style assault on conventional, non-radicalized government.  That is the dynamic in play.  And, as much as they are about Egypt, the Egyptian people, and the fact that they do not want ideological “shari’a” rule, they are also, in an existential way, about us.  They are about who we are, and who we intend to be.  None of us will be the same when this is all over.

Israel, Syria and Double Standards

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Syria’s civil war recently entered its third calendar year. With worse still to come, in recent days it has been estimated that the number of people killed in Syria since the uprising began now stands at more than 90,000. Any death is a tragedy for someone and the people close to him; and a million deaths are not a statistic but a million individual tragedies. How can this fact glide by us with so little comment?

When it comes to Syria, there are probably a few practical reasons. One, undoubtedly, is that people get bored with long news stories. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown — in which American, British and other Western troops have after all featured prominently – public and media attention was fairly short-lived. After an initial burst of fascination, once the new norm was established, peoples’ attention wandered elsewhere. Syria has now dragged on too long to hold peoples’ ever-smaller attention spans.

There is also the fact that in Syria – as in other recent wars – journalists have found themselves becoming targets. While many journalists are willing to take the same risks as the population at large, few are willing to stay in situations where they might be the actual object of death-squads or the attentions of RPG’s. In Syria, most journalists have found it hard to get in, or once there, are unwilling to stay, so the amount of footage coming out is necessarily limited. With an absence of plentiful footage, if the story cannot be visualized, there is now rarely a story. Evidently we need pictures.

But there is another, more important, reason why this story has got so little attention. There are often underlying, as well as immediate, reasons why something does not make news. There are some situations in which a tragedy helps a political cause and others in which it hinders it. For some people, casualties are not tragedies or statistics, but simply a well-spring for political point-scoring. To compare the cases of Israel and Syria is to see this at its most stark.

Take, for instance, the highest figures for all the wars in which Israel has been involved throughout its history. The upper estimates suggest that the War of Independence in 1948 cost around 20,000 casualties in total – that is 20,000 on all sides. The upper casualty estimates of the wars of 1968 and 1973 are similar: another 20,000 and 15,000 respectively. The smaller wars in Lebanon and Gaza in the years since add several thousand more to this sad total. But something is striking here.

All the wars involving Israel, throughout its history, have caused at least 30,000 fewer deaths than have been caused in Syria in the last couple of years alone. Say that you added together all the wars involving Israel, and they had all happened either consecutively or in one go. Would we have seen the same amount of coverage that we have seen in Syria? Would there have been more or fewer protests around the world involving people of all religions, races and backgrounds, than there have been outside of Syria in recent months? Would the nations of the world, the United Nations and the U.N. Security Council, have been quieter or noisier than they have been when it has come to the matter of Israel’s neighbor, Syria, over recent months?

The answer to all these questions is that the air and ground incursions in Gaza in recent years have on each occasion led to deaths — tragic though they may be — that are a fraction of the number in Syria since the uprising there began. Yet the world, and the world’s press, and the world’s protest movements, and the world’s governments and the world’s supra-national organizations have on each and every occasion mobilized in a way which seemed at the time, and in retrospect, to demonstrate an obsession which is probably at best unhealthy, and at worst the expression of straightforward bigotry. All those people who claim that small incursions into Gaza have not been small incursions, but in fact a “holocaust,” where are they now? If the death of a hundred people is a “holocaust,” what is the death of 90,000?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/israel-syria-and-double-standards/2013/04/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: