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Controversial, illegal, and documented: Israeli military strategies in Gaza

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Israel commenced its invasion of the Gaza Strip with air strikes on more than 200 sites, killing 24 Palestinians on the first day. Above, an Israeli missile hits a building just south of Gaza City on July 8, 2014. (Photo: Mohammed Saber, EPA)

Israel commenced its invasion of the Gaza Strip with air strikes on more than 200 sites, killing 24 Palestinians on the first day. Above, an Israeli missile hits a building just south of Gaza City on July 8, 2014. (Photo: Mohammed Saber, EPA)

As Israel rolls deeper into its military offensive against the Gaza Strip, its tactics against the territory’s densely-packed civilian population are becoming more and more clear. Over the last 17 days, the death toll has risen to at least 797 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians and nearly two hundred of whom were children. Despite near-global condemnation, Israel has not dialed down the brutality. The following is a list of ten documented Israeli military strategies that are responsible for the disturbingly high casualty count.

1. Israel is one of the best equipped militaries in the world and its weapons industry is responsible for many technological advancements in modern warfare. It should come as no surprise, then, that Israel has the capacity to strike its targets with extreme precision. In the past, Israel has assassinated Hamas members so precisely that others riding with them in their cars or walking alongside them have survived. This has not been the modus operandi for Israel’s last three major offensives against the Gaza Strip, particularly this latest one. Even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry commented on Israel’s military strategy, sarcastically calling it one “hell of a pinpoint operation”.

2. Israel contends that it warns Gaza residents of imminent air strikes and shelling campaigns and instructs them to flee. However, the crippling siege and total blockade that Israel has imposed on the territory means that Palestinians have no place to go. This allows Israel to kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. It can publicly claim that it works to minimize civilian casualties while at the same time killing Palestinians wantonly and with impunity.

3. One of Israel’s methods of warning families in Gaza of an imminent strike is through a “knock on the roof,” a missile that does not contain an explosive warhead. The missile is intended to hit the target and to underline the seriousness of the warning. However, the warning missile strikes its target at about the same forceful velocity as the explosive missile that comes next, collapsing walls and roofs over families attempting to flee. Many Palestinians have been killed by the warning missiles that were allegedly employed to save their lives, including a group of children who were feeding ducks on their roof, CNN reports. In another recored instance, the explosive missile cameonly 58 seconds after the “knock,” which is barely enough time for residents to clear an area.

4. Israel strikes buildings that are very clearly sheltering civilians. Palestinians who are able to heed the warnings and flee are not necessarily any safer. On Monday, July 21, Israel launched an air strike against an eight-story building in downtown Gaza City that Israeli military officials had previously urged Palestinians to seek refugee in. Over a dozen were killed. On Sunday, just one day earlier, an Israeli air strike took the lives of Hassan Al-Hallaq’s mother, two children, and wife who happened to be nine months pregnant. Hassan had relocated his family from their apartment outside of Gaza City into the city center, distancing himself from the border and Israel’s buffer zone, and expecting his family’s chances of survival to jump. But an air strike was still ordered against his parents’ home and much of the family was killed.

5. Israel frequently launches air strikes at around sunset when families are most likely to be together, indoors, and breaking their Ramadan fasts.

6. Israel contends that Hamas forcibly puts Palestinian civilians in the line of fire, specifically by keeping them in buildings from which Hamas fighters operate. Although this has never once been supported with conclusive evidence, the Israeli government touts it as the primary reason for the high civilian death toll. But Palestinians rarely have any place to flee, especially when more than a third of the Gaza Strip falls under a military buffer that Israel strikes regularly and without warning. United Nations shelters are at maximum capacity and Israel has no qualms about attacking these buildings either, which is what happened on Thursday, July 24, killing at least 16and injuring more than 200 in a United Nations school in Beit Hanoun. Palestinians who refuse to leave their homes or surrounding areas do not automatically become legitimate targets. As Mohammed Suliman said under intense shelling in Gaza City, “I look forward to surviving. If I don’t, remember that I wasn’t Hamas or a militant, nor was I used as a human shield. I was at home.”

7. Israel uses flechette shells, banned DIME weapons, and U.S.-manufactured M107 shells in the Gaza Strip. Flechette shells, typically fired from a tank, explode above their targets and release thousands of miniature metal darts that piercingly cover a wide range. DIME weapons, which produce small and compact explosions, are densely packed with tungsten powder which acts like shrapnel but dissolves in human tissue, making it very difficult for physicians and investigators to determine the cause of the injuries. M107 shells explode into nearly two thousand metal fragments that rain on the areas surrounding their immediate targets. Not only has Israel chosen against striking its targets with careful precision, it also employs the use of weapons that cause maximal damage to anyone within the blast radius.

8. Many of the homes that have been targeted belonged to former Hamas fighters who had retired and transitioned back into civilian life — upon encouragement from the international community — as government security guards charged with maintaining order on the streets or guarding important government buildings, such as passport offices and ministry buildings. Israel still considers these former fighters as legitimate targets and has repeatedly launched strikes against them and their families. The logic that former Hamas fighters are legitimate targets suggests that former Israeli soldiers could also be legitimate targets. The logic that members of a government security force are legitimate targets suggests that Israeli reservists could also be legitimate targets. Israel disagrees and instead maintains a double standard that ultimately punishes the people of Gaza.

9. Israel has launched a rather bizarre public relations campaign to justify its offensive against Gaza. Social media accounts linked to the Israeli military frequently upload and circulate cartoons that allegedly explain Israel’s motive for the assault. One of the more notable ones was published during the latter period of Israel’s intense shelling of the Shuja’iyya neighborhood in east Gaza City which killed an estimated 72 Palestinians within the first twenty-four hours. The cartoon, which depicts Hamas fighters placing weapons in tunnels underneath civilian homes, gave Israel the legitimacy it felt it needed to continue striking the neighborhood. At least 17 children were among the victims.

10. Israel frequently launches follow-up strikes against targets it just hit. Commonly referred to as “double tap” strikes, the general purpose of the tactic is to kill other fighters who return to the scene to retrieve the remains of their partners. But the use of this tactic has drawn ire from the international community especially because the victims tend to be rescue workers and other civilians who rush to the scene. In Israel’s case, the “double tap” is much more discrete. The follow-up strikes typically hit locations in the close vicinity of the previous strike. On July 16, Israel fired a shell at a Gaza City beach where a group of boys had just been playing football. The boys ran away from the initial blast but a second shell struck them moments later. Witnesses to the tragic scene said that it seemed as if the Israeli military was chasing the boys with shells. Four children were killed and a fifth was critically wounded.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has launched an independent investigation into various allegations of war crimes committed by Israel in the occupied Gaza Strip. The Council agreed to investigate by a vote of 29 countries in favor, 17 abstaining, and one — the United States — voting against the measure.

This post originally appeared on Sixteen Minutes to Palestine

About Sami Kishawi

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62 Responses

  1. upsidedownism
    July 25, 2014, 2:08 pm

    Is Israel sending text SMS messages to Palestinians, warning them to move to avoid bombs, they way it did in Cast Lead?

    At the time, Israel and its supporters in the USA, such as New York Senator Chuck Schumer, gave this practice as evidence of the IDF’s careful respect for civilian life.

    It subsequently emerged that IDF soldiers had orders to shoot and kill any Palestinian seen using a cell phone. So the ‘humanitarian’ text messages must have actually been death sentences for a number of people in Gaza.

    • a blah chick
      July 25, 2014, 3:55 pm

      They’re still sending them. Some of them translate roughly as “you ain’t seen nothing yet!”


  2. Kay24
    July 25, 2014, 2:35 pm

    Schumer and other zionist shills, are desperately trying to make the criminals look like the victim. Not working though. We see the truth, and know the facts by now.
    The more they spew false propaganda, they more they look like big liars.

  3. just
    July 25, 2014, 2:37 pm

    “The United Nations Human Rights Council has launched an independent investigation into various allegations of war crimes committed by Israel in the occupied Gaza Strip. The Council agreed to investigate by a vote of 29 countries in favor, 17 abstaining, and one — the United States — voting against the measure.”

    18 complicit countries– cowards. We hardly need an investigation by anyone– much, if not all, is documented.

  4. Kay24
    July 25, 2014, 2:45 pm

    CNN: Hillary Clinton badly wants to be in the White House. She was interviewed by Zakaria, and she professed she supports Israel, and in many words said she is supporting what they are doing (according to her, they have no choice) AND that they are attacking Gaza with such care and consideration, even informing it’s victims that they were going to bomb them. Awww…I missed the sounds of a violin playing in the background. This is what kissing up to, and showing the love for, Israel looks like.
    We must be the only nation in the world, where to win elections, one must show complete loyalty and devotion for a parasitic evil nation.

    Zakaria seems to agree with Clinton. He is such a disappointment.

    • Kathryn
      July 25, 2014, 4:16 pm

      “We must be the only nation in the world, where to win elections, one must show complete loyalty and devotion for a parasitic evil nation.”

      Sadly, other nations such as Canada and much of Europe follow the example of US and its “leaders” must all not only refrain from any critisism, but give full-throated support to Israeli massacres.

      • oldgeezer
        July 25, 2014, 5:42 pm

        Historically Canada hasn’t marched in lock step with the US on foreign policy issues. It hasn’t been pro Israel or pro Palestine and has supported one side or the other based on the principles involved.

        Sadly though Harper is not following the US lead, he is actually more pro Israel than the US.

        We apologize and hope to correct the situation as soon as can in the next election.

      • piotr
        July 25, 2014, 11:14 pm

        In other words, Harper, Baird and company CAN extend “canine devotion” to Israel, but they do not have to do it to win elections. I do not recall Australian minister lashing out at UN Human Right Commission. And this is not even “marching in lockstep with US”. Did Kerry say anything like that?

        In fact, as reported, American talk show host Mark Levin highly praised Mr. Baird and interviewed him on his show, and later contrasted him favorably with Communist Obama. On the other hand, up North, hasbara seems totally asleep. There were 9 comments, one happy that at least in Canada there are no Muslim apologists in the government, one comment calling the former a sick puppy and 7 comments highly critical of Mr. Baird.

    • seafoid
      July 25, 2014, 5:59 pm

      Zakaria shilled for the war in iraq, when as he said the US had no choice.

  5. Kay24
    July 25, 2014, 2:48 pm

    John Kerry was supposed to give his report on the failed cease fire talks, but looks like the networks have a technical problem. How convenient.

    For those who are interested, Hamas leader Meshal will be interviewed on BBC America. It will be interesting to see what this man has to say.

    • just
      July 25, 2014, 2:51 pm

      He’s on now –CNN. He should just pack up and come home unless he’s ready to read Israel the riot act and speak the truth on mike and on purpose.

      He’s not there yet.

      • Kay24
        July 25, 2014, 3:02 pm

        Well I heard someone say that Israel does not want to agree to this cease fire because it shows “terrorists” won.

        I think at this stage, it really does not matter who won, and if Israel genuinely wanted this to stop they would have.
        Israel by refusing the cease fire agreement, has chosen to keep killing children, civilians, and NOT remove the blockade from these occupied people. They want to wield power over people they can use as lab rats to test out their weapons. Death tolls and method of massacre using banned weapons all point to that.

      • just
        July 25, 2014, 3:13 pm

        “Well I heard someone say that Israel does not want to agree to this cease fire because it shows “terrorists” won.”

        Israelis are the terrorists…..Hamas/the Palestinians are the victims of that terrorism/massacre/genocide and are the resistance.

        Oh, and btw– it is Israel that has ‘lost’. From Nasrallah’s speech today, the Palestinians have many friends and much support. Massive miscalculation by Israel…and US.

      • Kay24
        July 25, 2014, 4:52 pm

        I am afraid this could spread and become a bigger war, and that more innocent civilians could be blown up. There is enough of anger against Israel for the brutality, and the horrible massacre of children, and it might escalate.

      • just
        July 25, 2014, 5:19 pm

        It can & will spread if the status quo of Israel and the US continues.

        I’d like to see the US get it right for once.

    • oldgeezer
      July 25, 2014, 5:49 pm

      It was a very interesting interview. I apologize for not being able to properly summarize it. He certainly comes across as more rational than any of the Israeli spokespeople. Let me perfectly clear, the interviewer did lay charges of terrorism against him and he defended the right of Palestinians to fight the occupation. He did point out this round of fighting was started by Israel which it clearly was. I have part of it recorded but that doesn’t help you.

      Again Kay, let me perfectly clear, I recommend it to anyone who can grab a view of it.

      • Kay24
        July 25, 2014, 6:57 pm

        OG, I am disappointed I was not able to watch this. I am not sure if BBC America even carried it. I may hopefully get it on the website.
        Thanks for recommending it to us.

  6. cogit8
    July 25, 2014, 3:01 pm

    Simplify. Don’t use Israeli hasbara words like “controversial” because this clouds the atrocity being committed which is on par with Guernica (and the perps don’t want to see that piece of artwork). “Controversial” barely scratches the surface of this crime.

    Call it what it is: Immoral, anti-Christian, anti-Islamic, the Rape of Gaza, and a shame to Jews everywhere.

    As for their “no truce until Hamas stops it’s rocket fire”: there were no rockets and no tunnels when the siege of Gaza began – these were responses to Israeli ingrained racism and congenital immorality in dealing with their captive minority population.

    So keep it up Israel, you’ll end up standing in front of the whole world in your butcher’s uniforms drenched in blood up to your elbows, wondering why no one accepts your gangsterism or your immoral medieval ethics.

  7. lysias
    July 25, 2014, 3:17 pm

    “Well I heard someone say that Israel does not want to agree to this cease fire because it shows “terrorists” won.”

    Correction: Israel (i.e., the Israeli government) does not want to agree to this cease fire because it will create the perception that “terrorists” won”, and that will hurt the careers of the politicians who will be blamed.

    And that reasoning, such as it is, is very much like the reasoning that prevented U.S. administrations from ending the Vietnam War after it became clear that the war was unwinnable.

  8. DaBakr
    July 25, 2014, 4:12 pm

    another meaningless list. Hamas is fighting hard but starting to lose morale. Tunnel networks were meant for a later surprise attack and now they have to watch all the work be destroyed. All the deprivation the people of Gaza had to go through so these extensive and elaborate tunnels could be built, serviced and connected is for naught and the additional destruction from Israel’s onslaught makes it far worse. Just imagine that before Israel had to impose sanctions that the cement and material was used for housing and infrastructure. Or perhaps this is going to be denied. I saw preliminary engineering stats on just how many tonnes (or lorries full) of cement would be required to build fortified tunnels up to 60′ deep and 2-3k long. I expect to soon see comments on how the tunnels are merely a Zionist fabrication and pr stunt, or at least, a justification for their existence.

    • lysias
      July 25, 2014, 5:03 pm

      You say Hamas is starting to lose morale. Why should it, when it is winning the war? Why should it, when the people on the West Bank are expressing such support for it? Why should it, on the day Nasrallah expressed such support for it and said that Hamas has already won?

      Nasrallah: Israel on a path towards “suicide” in Gaza:

      Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah Friday vowed “all means of support” to the Palestinian resistance in its battle with Israel, saying the latter had failed miserably in the 18-day conflict in Gaza.

      Nasrallah, in a rare public appearance in Al-Suhadaa Complex in Beirut’s southern suburbs, also spoke out against recent developments in Iraq and the establishment of the so-called Islamic caliphate by ISIS, saying: “Our duty as Muslims today is to condemn what Christians and Muslims are facing in Iraq.”

      Speaking on Jerusalem Day, Nasrallah warned Israel against expanding its offensive in Gaza, saying the resistance in the enclave had already won the fighting.

      “We, in Hezbollah, stand beside the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance without an exception. We will not spare any means of support that we can and are able to provide,” Nasrallah said. “We feel that we are true partners with the Palestinian resistance. … Your victory is our own.”

      He said the party was closely following up political and field developments in Gaza, where more than 830 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on the coast strip.

      “To the Zionist I say: In Gaza, you are moving in a circle of failure and do not go to the circle of suicide or a total collapse,” he said. “Iran, Syria and the resistance in Lebanon, primarily Hezbollah, as much as we could, never neglected to support the resistance in Palestine on the political, media, psychological, logistical and arms support.”

      Nasrallah commended the resistance in Gaza for its steadfastness, saying it had changed the rules of engagement, adopting a tripartite formula “similar to the golden equation functioning in Lebanon.”

      The formula, Nasrallah explained, rested on three main pillars: fighting on the field, the people’s steadfastness and political resoluteness.

      “With this formula, the resistance succeeded in imposing new methods on the enemy, and that’s not easy for someone like [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to admit,” he said.

      He stressed that the resistance should remain resolute on achieving its goals from this conflict, primarily ending the siege on Gaza, saying Hamas had shown creativity on the field, in its ability to fight behind enemy lines and in firing rockets into locations in an unprecedented development.

      “From the very first day, they hit Tel Aviv in the first rocket launching from Palestinian territories into Palestinian territories and covering the entire Palestinian landscape,” he said. “At the end, the resistance will eventually force Israel to look for a solution, similar to what happened in 2006.”

      During the 18-day conflict, the most serious since 2012 between Israel and Hamas, the latter has not observed any of the cease-fire deals including a truce drafted by Egypt to end the hostilities.

      Nasrallah said Hamas remained defiant “despite some Arab leaders’ calls to Israel encouraging them to continue with its operation.”

      Declaring the resistance as victorious in this most recent conflict, the Hezbollah leader said Israel has failed miserably in several fields including on the intelligence level.

      “On the first day of the 2006 war, Israel set high-level objects and gradually demoted such goals until it reached a point where it just wanted the war to end,” he said.

      “The objective in this conflict is to simply destroy tunnels along the border … but when we get to the 18th day and Israel and the world have not yet achieved a single goal in this aggression, this only means that Gaza and the resistance have won.”

      According to Nasrallah, Israel failed to settle the battle with its air offensive and ground operation as well as an attempt to reach a cease-fire with Hamas.

      “When they say the resistance fired 100 rockets from Gaza that require transportation, assembling, finding a hideout, guarding them and so on, this only highlights a tremendous intelligence failure on the part of Israel.”

      He also spoke about Israel’s long-term plan since its occupation of Palestine to create wars, conflicts and divisions in every Arab and Muslim country to divert attention from the principle Arab cause.

      I trust Nasrallah’s judgment a lot more than I do yours.

      • just
        July 25, 2014, 5:08 pm

        Very good points, lysias.

        Nasrallah’s speech and pledge of support was very good and much needed at this very moment, imho.

      • ritzl
        July 25, 2014, 6:03 pm

        Thanks, lysias. Interesting. Even MJ Rosenberg agrees that Israel has lost the war.

        From his email feed:

        And no matter what happens from this point on, Israel lost the war. Not even Netanyahu’s primary goal in starting this war, toppling the Palestinian unity government, has been achieved. Hamas, that awful organization that was teetering on the brink of collapsing in Gaza, is now stronger than ever.

        Even worse for Israel is that its image has been destroyed. Netanyahu did not reckon on the internet. He thought he could control the story, that it would remain the story of a nation that had no choice but to fight back against kidnappers and terrorists. Instead, it became the story of a nation that bombs hospitals and kills children with abandon.

      • Kay24
        July 25, 2014, 7:01 pm

        Israel may win the war, but it has lost the battle…..the world looks at it with disgust now. Only the leaders in the US still looks adoring at it. It has been a PR disaster for Israel, despite the hasbara, and even the US congress people defending it.
        No wonder their officials now look frayed and angry when they are interviewed.

      • Citizen
        July 25, 2014, 9:34 pm

        Thank God, the US Congress has so far failed to control the internet–but it’s working hard to do so under the mask of protecting intellectual property owned by corporations. Better keep up with the bills bouncing around in Congress, and let your congress critters know where you stand. Same thing with more bills to give more to Israel, bills to strap down all Israel’s enemies, and the bill to audit the Fed.

      • seafoid
        July 26, 2014, 3:23 am

        MJR has been very interesting this week. The bots really lost it in gaza when the blue hebrew mist descended. Over in the States their people assumed their default spin positions and started relaying the hasbara, which was really dreadful and undermined by the images on social media. He knows them and he has been in arched eyebrow mode tweeting away. If I were Regev I would look for another job.

    • Shingo
      July 25, 2014, 5:30 pm

      It’s you that is losing and lifting it DaBakar. The Palestinians are united, the world is turnng on Israel and even the US media is disgusted.

      I saw preliminary engineering stats on just how many tonnes (or lorries full) of cement would be required to build fortified tunnels up to 60′ deep and 2-3k long

      Yeah sure. The Isradlis have no intelligence on this stuff so they are only guessing. They are too scared to send ground tripod in because they will get slaughtered.

      Cowards as always.

      • Mooser
        July 25, 2014, 6:06 pm

        “It’s you that is losing and lifting it DaBakar.”

        It never seems to occur to them that they are the only person there to describe, the only person who’s mental state they can describe.. The minute I saw “Dabakr”s words, I knew it was pure projection.

        Or maybe he fights part-time for Hamas, and knows what they’re thinking, in between trolling for Israel. Wouldn’t put it past him.

      • DaBakr
        July 25, 2014, 6:29 pm

        pure “projection”. right. the tunnels are no figment of anybodies imagination wiseguy person with “Jewish’ credibility. People can have all the sympathy they want for Palestinian civilians but when they see the tunnels they understand exactly what they are there for. I saw comments by older Brits who lived through the Blitz empathizing. Other comments I have seen backdating the blockade to before it existed claiming “tunnels wouldn’t be necessary if there was no blockade are a farce and delusion that can not be explained away by simpletons cries of “zio-caine/zionazi/zio-fascist” or any of the other attempts to colour the bald bigotry here and elsewhere. And finally, Israel has no use for Kerry to sell them a useless ceasefire that prolongs everything.
        Nasrallah came out of his cave because he understands that with the tunnels-Israel now has a definitive objective and not some nebulous goal of ‘quiet’. He claims otherwise but of course that is the way dis-information in wars is fought.
        moosrs love of the tunnels makes his supposed ‘love’ for innocent civilians highly suspect.

      • ritzl
        July 25, 2014, 7:52 pm


        A) Nonsense.

        B) Complete nonsense.

        C) What are the tunnels “there for?” You know, skip the implication. State it. Assuming your implication is “terrorism” why were they NOT used for that when Palestinian fighters were camped out in Israeli towns for several hours?

        D) Why doesn’t Israel find and destroy the tunnels before they are completed and/or on their side of the border?

        You can’t answer any of those questions and make sense so you accuse and accuse again. Fact is Palestinians used their tunnels for strictly military objectives. Tunnels!™ is a made-up issue. An after-the-fact, red-faced rationalization for a killing spree.

        Hell, it’s a non-issue because they are so easily and completely preventable before the fact.

        Tunnels are so easily and completely preventable that you, or at least normal people, would have to ask why is Israel letting Khamas!™ build them into Israel in the first place? Leaving aside the human cost to Israel (which seems to be your only concern) of a cynical, purely politically-motivated invasion, for the price of one Merkeva tank they could detect and destroy every single one of them, forever.

      • Citizen
        July 25, 2014, 9:38 pm

        No brutal siege, no tunnels. Bibi used a kidnapping by nobody knows who to arrest HAMAS leaders because he didn’t like the fact the US & EU said they’d work with a Palestinian unity government. Israel: We have no partner as HAMAS and Fatah can’t work together. Oh, now we can’t work with the Palestinian unity government because part of it is HAMAS.

    • oldgeezer
      July 25, 2014, 5:53 pm

      “Tunnel networks were meant for a later surprise attack ”

      Any proof or just more unsubstantiated accusations? So far they’ve been used to destroy units of the terrorist forces of Israel.

      “Just imagine that before Israel had to impose sanctions that the cement and material was used for housing and infrastructure. ”

      Just imagine they would be rubble by now. The EU has complained about the constant destruction of humanitarian construction paid for by EU taxpayers.

      Please don’t pretend the oppression would have ceased and that Israel would have permitted development of Gaza without levelling it again. No one with a functioning brain cell can believe that.

      • DaBakr
        July 25, 2014, 6:31 pm

        Oh please. what kind of a anti-zionist fool doesn’t understand what the tunnels where dug for? Israel expected Gaza would ‘flourish’ with the billions of donations after the disengagement. Why didn’t it? Why would Israel have destroyed Gaza when it encouraged development in the closer WB? And the tunnels? They already attempted a few infiltrations and of course Gilad Shalit was grabbed through a tunnel. If this is the type of ‘question’ you have regarding what Hamas ‘resistance’ involves then there is hardly a point toi engage. Why not just call them ‘love tunnels’?

      • can of worms
        July 26, 2014, 12:40 am

        Whatever. Colonizers are ‘explaining’ that they want to help the colonized. DaBakr and the White Man’s Burden — ‘improve’ the colonized against their wishes. Thus DaBakrs and Ivris are now explaining that Israel “encourages development” in the West Bank, and wants Gaza to “flourish” – eek!!! Well European imperialists also told me that colonization was good for the colonized. Ivri here saying yesterday, “Israel doesn`t rely on Arab work and if Arabs will get advanced in the way you say that will be a sure receipt for peace – so a good outcome not something to worry about.”

      • Taxi
        July 26, 2014, 2:39 am

        The Warsaw jews dug tunnels:

        One of the haunting images of Jewish heroism, lauded in history books and Holocaust commemorations, is the courage of those, especially the young, in the Warsaw Ghetto, when in 1940, Jewish Warsaw residents were ordered by the German invaders into a small section of the city.
        The courage of those who dug tunnels, smuggled goods necessary for survival in, and communications in and out, has rightly become a legendary act of resistance and courage, defiance in the shadow of despotism and repression.

      • Sumud
        July 26, 2014, 2:40 pm

        (Other thread closed)

        It’s not your name Taxi it’s the other person’s bio & tweets: pro-resistance California girl living in southern Lebanon, there can’t be so many of them! Or maybe I’d be surprised :-)

      • Taxi
        July 26, 2014, 3:24 pm

        Hell, Sumud! Glad it’s not a freaking political desert on the beaches of south Cal!

        Alright if you post her twitter link? It’ll be fun to read.

        BTW, south Lebanon and southern California have a lot in common: great weather and much shared fauna and flora.

      • Sumud
        July 26, 2014, 4:33 pm

        Sure, handle is @LSal92 and a recent tweet which made me chuckle:

      • Taxi
        July 26, 2014, 4:39 pm

        LOL! Thanks, mate.

      • Taxi
        July 26, 2014, 5:54 pm

        I just read her profile, Sumud. She’s kinda the opposite of me. She’s a Lebanese who was raised in California, and I’m a Californian who spent some of my childhood in Lebanon, raised and educated in UK.

    • ritzl
      July 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

      That’s yet another completely hollow argument, DaBakr. When given the choice of fighting back and dying or lying down and dying (as you/Israel seem to desire or at least believe is the only “peaceful”/non-terrorism option), NOBODY would choose to lie down and die. So what Gaza Palestinians choose to do is what every rational person would do in their place given decades of occupation, death, and deprivation.

      Your root problem is NOT that Hamas and the people of Gaza choose to fight back. Your root problem is that WHY they make that choice is being increasingly discussed so that normal people can see the hollowness of Israeli PR and make better-informed judgements on the real nature of the conflict. Your unsupported accusations here betray your fear of that happening. It’s more seepage than flood at the moment, but anyone that has seen a dam or levee collapse knows the process.

      NOBODY is denying the tunnels exist. But yeah, the reasons for their existence are real and profound. Address the reasons. Stop killing Palestinians on a regular basis. Open the sea approaches to Gaza (screw the Israel and Egypt routes). Stop stealing their natural gas resources. Let them fish as agreed (multiple times). Live and let live. The Golden Rule, FFS. It’s The Rule for a reason.

      As to “preliminary engineering stats,” what a joke. A cartoon exercise and assertion (just like B-NET). State your assumptions and provide the calculations.

      I’ve seen “preliminary engineering stats” (Note: It’s calculations, not statistics; that usage alone means you’re almost certainly making this up.) using different assumptions and context that suggest exactly the opposite. That a modestly reinforced tunnel or two has no meaningful effect on Gaza reconstruction. The amount of resources required are down in the “noise” wrt the amount of resources needed/used to rebuild Gaza. A blip. A wall here and there. Less reinforcement against explosions for hospitals (after all who would bomb a hospital, eh?). See, I can play that game as well. Specific, discussable evidence is required.

      • just
        July 25, 2014, 6:04 pm

        Nice, ritzl.

      • DaBakr
        July 25, 2014, 6:33 pm

        chicken and egg argument. the tunnels are there because Israel blockaded. Israel blockaded because they said cement and other construction material was going into building tunnels. ho hum. which came first.

      • oldgeezer
        July 25, 2014, 7:09 pm

        The blockade began before any of that. The election of Hamas sparked the blockade. There was no attempt to work with them or other incident to spark it.

      • ritzl
        July 25, 2014, 8:06 pm

        You’re confusing tunnels to Egypt with tunnels to Israel. Who in their right mind claims the tunnels to Israel were built to alleviate the siege [by Israel]?

        The siege was a collective punishment effort that started before tunnels were built into Egypt.

        Chicken = Israel Siege
        Egg = Tunnels to Egypt
        Angry Chicks = Tunnels to Israel for military purposes

        Ho hum is about right.

      • oldgeezer
        July 25, 2014, 8:15 pm

        What was the argument for pencils and other school materials?

      • Taxi
        July 26, 2014, 2:42 am

        Didn’t you know, oldgeezer, nukes are made from pencil shavings.

      • Citizen
        July 25, 2014, 9:43 pm

        Israel’s blockade commenced the minute the last Jewish settler left Gaza, way before any tunnels were built.

    • Marnie
      July 26, 2014, 7:57 am

      They aren’t about to give up, so don’t hold your breath (or hold your breath, could care less).

  9. Kathryn
    July 25, 2014, 4:31 pm

    If Israel were to lay down their guns tommorrow, there would be no more war.

    If Palestine were to lay down theirs, there would be no more Palestine.

  10. Kathryn
    July 25, 2014, 5:14 pm

    Obama: ” We Cannot Turn Blind Eye to World’s Atrocities ! ”
    Oh yes you can!

  11. gracie fr
    July 25, 2014, 5:33 pm

    Ramping up the question a little more, the testosterone-fuelled Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett harangued Sky News presenter Samantha Simmonds by asking how London would cope with 200 rockets fired daily on the capital. Well, quite simply, it would not happen, because Britain has not corralled 1.5m refugees into a tiny ghetto off the M25, depriving them daily of food, fresh water and life’s other essentials. Nor is the UK refusing to let anyone enter the said ghetto with aid or trade. But that’s what Israel has done, and is doing, to the people of Gaza.

    • DaBakr
      July 25, 2014, 6:36 pm

      London ‘coped’ with the blitz (200 nazi rockets launched indiscriminately) by bombing Dresden among other things. Or do I have to post a link to WW2 as well.

      • oldgeezer
        July 25, 2014, 9:03 pm

        It’s general considered that by todays standards, and laws passed after WW II, that the bombing of Dresden would be a war crime. I personally don’t think hanging your argument for Israel’s current actions is a very good starting point.

        Just as a point of interest though, there was a lot more going on in WW II than a few rockets.

      • peeesss
        July 26, 2014, 3:13 am

        The Zio’s here , on the media, in Israel are truly without shame., logic or conscience. But we grant them credence when we respond to their idiotic self serving assertions. “Human shields”, “tunnels”, “want their children to die”. Throughout the years listening to the Israeli spokesman, Regev, trying to explain Israeli’s flouting of international law had to leave any sane person doubting his own sanity. I realize people who stand for justice want to always appear open minded and try to respond to any query no matter how ridiculous on the face it may be. I have tried this route also. It doesn’t work. The Zionist hasbarists don’t believe their BS. Its just to change the subject. To make the average decent people see the “other” side. Their PR people in their offices in Tel Aviv , New York and London must laugh as they see their spokesmen and spokeswomen and the media, and politicians follow their lead, their “talking” points. Does anyone really believe Netanyahu values “the sanctity of life.”? Israeli Jewish life , I would imagine, but certainly not Palestinian life and , most likely , not any non Jewish life , for that matter. Their is no other side to this Zionist/Palestine question. Since 1947 and before one side has stolen the land of the indigenous people of Palestine, the Palestinian people. In Israel’s, illustrious history they have committed atrocities, massacres one after the other, year after year. Invaded and occupied country after country. The ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, slowly but surely, continues. Even Jews are now “shocked” at the fascist, racist hatred they exists in the land of the Chosen. This country with the most modern weapons of destruction , 4th largest , strongest Armed forces in the world , have, once again unleached its might against a defenseless , civilian population of Palestine{Gaza}. The world sees children blown to pieces, men, woman old young bombarded in their homes , mosques, schools, UN buildings., hospitals, ambulances. On the streets in the shelters. Told to run , they are hit with tank shells and artillery. Stay at home , blown to bits with their missiles. The UN gives the exact coordinates of their schools where woman and children, refugees again, are quartered, believing that this would make them safe from Israel’s wrath. Assuming Israel will not attack a shelter for fleeing women and children. Please , as so many Rabbi’s have preached, every Palestinian should be killed, women because they give birth to “snakes” And children because they will grow up to be” terrorists.” Rabbi’s give their blessings to soldiers to kill “all” the enemy. Instead they are blown to bits , body parts of women and children strewn across the courtyard. So a besieged, people , in an open air prison/concentration camp, no outlet to the outside world, air, sea and land. Shot at while they farm, fish, walk, drive a car, or eat a meal in their home. And now invaded for the third time in 5 years while the world watches silently. But GOD forbid, they have built a “tunnel”. Headlines , all over our “free, independent” press. We should , on this site at least, just ignore these inhuman beings rants.

      • just
        July 26, 2014, 8:45 am

        peeesss– thank you for your thoughts. you have much insight.

  12. lysias
    July 25, 2014, 5:41 pm

    New piece from Israel in a New Yorker blog by Etgar Keret, writing from Israel, that suggests that a Dolchstosslegende [stab-in-the-back myth] is very much in the making in Israel now that I suspect will flourish once it becomes clear to Israelis that Israel has lost another war. Israel’s Other War:

    It’s an awful thing to make a truly tragic mistake, one that costs many lives. It’s worse to make that same mistake over and over again. Four operations in Gaza, an immense number of Israeli and Palestinian hearts that have stopped beating, and we keep ending up in the same place. The only thing that actually changes is Israeli society’s tolerance for criticism. It’s become clear during this operation that the right wing has lost its patience in all matters regarding that elusive term, “freedom of speech.” In the past two weeks, we’ve seen right wingers beating left wingers with clubs, Facebook messages promising to send left-wing activists to the gas chambers, and denunciations of anyone whose opinion delays the military on its way to victory. It turns out that this bloody road we walk from operation to operation is not as cyclical as we may have once thought. This road is not a circle, it’s a downward spiral, leading to new lows, which, I’m sad to say, we’ll be unlucky enough to experience.

  13. Kathryn
    July 25, 2014, 10:29 pm

    PRINT PICTURES OF WHAT IS HAPPENING AND SEND TO GVT REPRESENTATIVES SAYING “NOT IN MY NAME” Don’t say to yourselves that AIPAC and other world-wide Israeli lobby groups are to strong and this will have no impact so “its useless”. Sittting back and doing nothing is what these groups count on. Their numbers are far less than the populations that are protesting world wide!

  14. traintosiberia
    July 26, 2014, 12:48 am

    Now Israelis are learning the obvious . IDF spokesperson admits to BBC that Hamas did not kill the 3 Israeli youths.

    ” On Friday, Chief Inspector Micky Rosenfeld, foreign press spokesman for the Israel Police, reportedly told BBC journalist Jon Donnisonhe that the men responsible for murders were not acting on orders of Hamas leadership. Instead, he said, they are part of a “lone cell.” Further, Inspector Rosenfeld told Donnison that if Hamas’ leadership had ordered the kidnapping, “they’d have known about it in advance.”

  15. peeesss
    July 26, 2014, 4:31 am

    Amira Hass of HaAretz;
    I’m fed up with the failed efforts at competing with the abundance of orchestrated commentaries on Hamas’ goals and actions, from people who write as if they’ve sat down with Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh, and not just some IDF or Shin Bet security service source. Those who rejected Fatah and Yasser Arafat’s peace proposal for two states have now been given Haniyeh, Hamas and BDS. Those who turned Gaza into an internment and punishment camp for 1.8 million human beings should not be surprised that they tunnel underneath the earth. Those who sow strangling, siege and isolation reap rocket fire. Those who have, for 47 years, indiscriminately crossed the Green Line, expropriating land and constantly harming civilians in raids, shootings and settlements – what right do they have to roll their eyes and speak of Palestinian terror against civilians?

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