In Gaza, Horror Piled Atop Horror

Haaretz reports that at least 30 children were killed and 55 wounded when the IDF assaulted a UN school with mortar rounds.

Palestinian officials had initially said that 40 people were killed in the attack, but UN sources put the number at 30 killed and 55 wounded.

An IDF spokesman said that troops had fired mortar rounds at the school, after militants barricaded inside shot mortar shells at the Israeli forces.

“Initial checks … show that from inside the school mortars were fired at Israeli forces,” a spokesman said. “In response, the forces fired a number of mortar rounds into the area.”

The army said that the bodies of numerous Hamas militants were found inside the school following the attack.

The attack brought the Palestinian death toll to nearly 600 in Israel’s 11-day offensive on the Hamas-ruled coastal territory.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli military claims that the civilian deaths were caused by secondary explosions from bombs that Hamas had planted inside the school.

The infantrymen returned mortar shell fire into the school grounds, the army said. Defense officials told The Associated Press that booby-trapped bombs in the school triggered the secondary explosions which killed scores of Palestinians on the site.

The IDF released a video taken by a UAV in the end of 2007 showing terrorists firing mortar shells from right outside the school.

“Hamas has in the past fired at Israel and at troops from inside schools, cynically using civilians, as is proven by UAV footage,” the army said.

Maybe Hamas was firing shells from the school, and maybe it wasn’t. If Hamas was endangering civilians, then of course Israeli soldiers were compelled to do the same.

… Even if the IDF were correct, something the Right accepts unquestioningly because the IDF never, ever lies like their enemies do, then Israel would only be responding to Hamas’ war crime by committing another war crime. You can’t get to the moral high ground – let alone win a COIN operation – by allowing the rules of war to be set by barbarians, something that the intellectually and morally bankrupt Right never seems to acknowledge.

The JPost article includes the comments of a senior UN official in Gaza:

The United Nations said hundreds of people from a Gaza City refugee camp had gone to seek shelter in the school from Israel’s 11-day offensive against the Hamas terror group.

“There’s nowhere safe in Gaza. Everyone here is terrorized and traumatized,” said John Ging, the top UN official in Gaza.

“I am appealing to political leaders here and in the region and the world to get their act together and stop this,” he said, speaking at Gaza’s largest hospital. “They are responsible for these deaths.”

Andrew Sullivan shows us how differently the Israeli offensive is being covered in other parts of the world.

M.J. Rosenberg is a Sullyfan. As am I.

6 Responses to “In Gaza, Horror Piled Atop Horror”

  1. Jack says:

    So you’re saying that if terrorists are holed up inside a school or hospital it is a safe zone. They can act with impunity because heaven forbid someone die because of their actions.

  2. No Jack, I think what she is saying is that you have to weigh the decision to launch an assault based on the civilian casualties you may inflict. In this case 30 CHILDREN WHERE KILLED. Get the picture.

  3. Kathy says:

    Thanks, Michael. That is what I’m saying, and the fact that it’s not obvious to anyone who is not a psychopath is really depressing.

  4. tas says:

    And, as we all know, Jack is a psychopath.

    (I’ll leave it to the reader to determine whether or not I’m being sarcastic.)

    I guess when the pro-Israelis aren’t bragging about how the IDF uses sophisticated equipment to spare the lives of innocents, they are all for killing children. How fucking charming. If cognitive dissonance made heads explode, there never would have been a war in Gaza!

  5. Jasmin says:

    Let’s step out of the box of the never ending fighting and look at the main implications

    Group A realizes that it will have a tremendous strategic advantage (maybe to counteract Group B’s gigantic military) by using schools, mosques and hospital to store weapons and explosives as well as to use as sniper positions. Counting on media support they have a win-win situation; except for… hospital patients, school children and religious devotees.

    What we have here, more than anything else, is a new precedent; and it is scary. You want to win a war; you want to defend your country; forget the battlefield; use the most vulnerable people as shields.

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