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How many Israeli civilians have been attacked from the Gaza tunnels? Any?

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Rudoren in tunnel, from her facebook page

New York Times reporter in tunnel, from her facebook page

Here is the latest front in the war of information over Gaza. Israel and its apologists assert that the Gazan tunnels were designed to attack Israel civilians.

–This pro-Israel site says that Hamas fighters were planning massive attacks on Israeli homes and schools in September;

–The Israeli government cited “kindergartens” as targets, and this New York Times article echoed the fear: “We can’t do anything if the terrorists will come to our kindergarten.”

–Yesterday Tom Friedman reported that the tunnels are aimed at… kibbutzniks:

This tunnel had one purpose, and it was not fruit exports. It was to shuttle fighters into the kibbutz. And there were many of these.

Hold on a second. Fighting has raged for over a month. Where is the evidence? I have seen unclear accounts of fighting at tunnel mouths, certainly altered by Israeli censorship and confused by the fog of war, but I have not seen any reports that Hamas fighters emerged from the tunnels and attacked Israeli civilians.

This video shows Hamas fighters coming out of a tunnel to target an Israeli military base, killing Israeli soldiers:

And while Israeli forces have killed over 1000 civilians, including more than 400 children, reliable reports say Gazan forces have killed three Israeli civilians. All were reportedly hit by rocket fire.

We have a wide range of visitors at the site. I welcome further clarification. How many Israeli civilians have been attacked by Hamas fighters emerging from tunnels?

James North
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50 Responses

  1. ANTIVICTORIA
    ANTIVICTORIA on August 8, 2014, 12:01 pm

    Please correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t want to spread false information. But aren’t two of the people counted as Israeli civilian casualties a Thai National and an Arab Bedouin?

    Do they become “promoted” to Israelis in death?

    • Bandolero
      Bandolero on August 8, 2014, 12:53 pm

      Yes, you are right. The three civilians killed on the Israeli side by action from Gaza are:
      Narakorn Kitiyangkul, killed “in a mortar shell attack” – one of 4000 Thai migrant agriculture workers, who are now to be relocated away from the Gaza border in times of conflict
      Ouda Lafi al-Waj, a Beduoin Arab, killed by missile near Dimona in a defenseless region
      Dror Hanin, an Israeli volunteer killed by mortar fire while delivering “sweets” to IDF troops on the frontline

      In addition to this “an elderly woman” (sorry, I have no name or source here) in Israel alledgedly died after suffering a heart attack while speeding to seek shelter in the face of alarm due to an incoming missile threat from Gaza.

      That’s it for the dead on the Israeli side.

      But, of course, there were also some civilians injured in Israel, some of them apparently quite seriously.

      • lysias
        lysias on August 8, 2014, 1:02 pm

        So only one Israeli Jew was killed by Hamas, and he was killed by mortar fire, not a rocket. Indeed, the one foreign civilian killed was also killed by mortar fire. The one Israeli killed by a rocket was a Bedouin Arab killed near Dimona, where the Bedouins were not allowed to go to shelters and were told to defend themselves by lying on the ground.

      • Peace2All
        Peace2All on August 9, 2014, 10:06 am

        Bedouin not allowed for shelters a very humane nation indeed.

      • lysias
        lysias on August 9, 2014, 4:56 pm

        In Nazi Germany during World War Two, Jews were not allowed into the air raid shelters.

      • ANTIVICTORIA
        ANTIVICTORIA on August 8, 2014, 1:04 pm

        Thanks for the names and information.

        I guess the bottom line is that no Israelis have been killed by Hamas fighters emerging from “terror tunnels”.

      • Bandolero
        Bandolero on August 8, 2014, 1:38 pm

        The bottom line is that no innocent Israeli jews have been killed by any action from Gaza at all, neither in a tunnel attack, nor by missile or mortar. The only Israeli jew who was killed by action from Gaza was hit because he deliberately went to the battlefield to morally support the IDF on the frontline while massacring the people of Gaza. Neither a child nor a woman in Israel has been killed by the actions of the Gaza resistance, absolutely zero. And even the two non-jewish civilians killed by unfortunate actions from Gaza might be still alive if Israel had taken appropriate shelter measures as it does them for jewish Israeli civilians.

        Of course, Hamas, PIJ et al could have killed Israeli jewish civilians, by tunnel, missile or mortar, but the pure facts expressed in casualty numbers make it seem, that the resistance in Gaza was careful to avoid civilian casualties in Israel. And Mohammad Daif, the general commander of Hamas’ Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, said so, too:

        Hamas: we only target Israeli soldiers

        General commander of the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades says Gaza’s Hamas fighters – unlike the Israeli army – do not target civilians

        http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/top-hamas-commander-we-only-target-israeli-soldiers-2080884287

        Now compare that with the statements, the means, the behaviour and the results of IDF actions in Gaza.

        Both sides in that conflict, Israel and Hamas, said they target only military targets. The results of actions of which side in the conflict look like it deliberately targeted civilians, and the results of actions of which side don’t look like that? After answering that it may lead to a next question: Which side in that conflict behaved like terrorists and which side didn’t?

      • John O
        John O on August 8, 2014, 2:26 pm

        Which makes for an interesting possibility – that should Hamas and Israel end up in the ICC for war crimes, Israel could be found guilty, while Hamas is exonerated. (No, I’m not too hopeful that this scenario will play out.) But it’s worth a punt from the Palestinian side.

      • jimby
        jimby on August 8, 2014, 1:46 pm

        Israeli casualties. Don’t overlook the worth of Jewish fingernails and I imagine that tens of thousands were bitten and chewed. At the eulogy for Baruch Goldstein in 1994 after he murdered about 40 Palestinians and was beaten to death, Rabbi Perrin said:

        “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail,” Rabbi Yaacov Perrin said in a eulogy. At the service in Jerusalem, attended by 300 people, one man shouted, “We are all Goldstein,” an opinion echoed across Qiryat Arba by neighbors who said variously that they approved of his attack on the Arabs or at the least could not judge him.

        sorry I can’t get the hang of blockquotes.

  2. michelle
    michelle on August 8, 2014, 12:09 pm

    .
    if Hamas was actually attacking
    rather than making an effort to defend
    it seems like it would be happening more often
    seems like those tunnels were freedom tunnels
    for outside contact and basic supplies
    it is sad that the Israel people are able to
    show concern for the safety of some yet not all
    seems they need to learn how to love
    .
    bbc America really spat on the Palestine people
    looks like the msm are more imprisoned than Gaza
    free msm free the world
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

    • Jon66
      Jon66 on August 8, 2014, 12:53 pm

      The tunnels into Egypt are for supplies. The tunnels into Israel are not.

      • lysias
        lysias on August 8, 2014, 12:57 pm

        The Hamas tunnels into Israel were a weapon, meant to be used in the event of a renewed attack by Israel. Which is precisely how they were used.

        Why doesn’t Hamas have as much right to have tunnels as Israel has to have tanks and airplanes?

      • michelle
        michelle on August 8, 2014, 3:19 pm

        .
        so you’re saying that the tunnel opening was located
        on what is by world consensus Israel land and not just
        more Palestine land sqauatted upon by Israel terrorists
        i didn’t notice that information in the article
        regardless the tunnels that don’t go to Egypt might still
        be for basic supplies and outside contact aka a visit to
        friends and family outside of the prison and/or maybe
        bomb shelters/Israel would have to bomb itself if the
        Palestine people were to shelter under an Israel location
        .
        seems like the tunnels have been in existance for a long
        time yet there isn’t a history of their use in any attacks
        .
        if what ‘you’ say think believe is true in regard to this
        issue then can you explain the need to censor the news
        and thereby deceive the public
        .
        quite often
        it’s simple equates to / it’s the truth
        it’s complex equates to / it’s a lie
        .
        i hope your day is wonderfilled
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • Jon66
        Jon66 on August 8, 2014, 4:04 pm

        The tunnels are located outside the strip in consensus Israeli land. There have never been any reports of any travel or commerce thru any of these tunnels into Israel. Whomever the ultimate targets or purpose of the tunnel are, commerce is not in the picture. There are other tunnels within Gaza as well.

      • michelle
        michelle on August 8, 2014, 10:52 pm

        .
        well it sure seems like a waste of time and effort
        to construct such an elaborate tunnel system
        as a means of assaulting five year olds and such
        and never getting around to actually doing so
        not one child not even one go figure
        maybe they couldn’t find a babysitter
        a reliable babysitter can be hard to find
        .
        what would you say would be the most
        efficient method to disable/block a tunnel

        G-d Bless
        .

      • piotr
        piotr on August 9, 2014, 8:05 am

        Jon66, can you give a link to a map to explain “outside the strip in consensus Israeli land”? This simply makes no sense. If the tunnels crossed the border, Israel could simply detect and destroy them, assuming that her capabilities are a tad above medieval.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 9, 2014, 3:28 pm

        “The tunnels are located outside the strip in consensus Israeli land.”

        “consensus Israeli land” ROTFLMSJAO!!!

      • wysematt
        wysematt on August 9, 2014, 8:44 pm

        What I don’t understand is how come Israel was supposedly not able to know about all these tunnels from Gaza into Israel. After all, the border is only 32 miles long and it seems to me Israel should have been able to control such a short distance without any “tunnels” being missed. Furthermore, if these tunnels were being used to import weaponry into Gaza, from Israeli territory as Israel claims, how is it that such weaponry is available in Israel for the Gazans to acquire, move to the border, and then sneak into their tiny enclave? Can Hamas fighters just go into Israel and buy rockets? If the rockets come from other countries, as is claimed, how are they getting into Israel? All this “tunnel” stuff smells very suspicious to me. I think it’s total b.s. and being used by the Israelis as an excuse to defend their aggression.

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz on August 8, 2014, 3:20 pm

        Tunnels into Israel are the only available and reliable way of moving people between Gaza and West Bank. Wouldn’t surprise me if some of the foreign agricultural workers did turn the blind eye for a fee.

      • gracie fr
        gracie fr on August 8, 2014, 3:44 pm

        Eva, I have been thinking the very same thing. Given the enormous revenue the tunnels have generated, why wouldn’t Israeli entrepreneurial business minded people want to cash in on a lucrative good thing. And Palestinians too, in order to help all those trapped on the other side of the Gaza wall!!
        (See Sara Roy’s Palesine Center Lecture on Gaza)
        http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/display/ContentDetails/i/36415/pid/897

      • Peace2All
        Peace2All on August 9, 2014, 11:11 am

        A possibility where there is money to be made israeli will be happy to be of service to the highest bidder !

  3. Donald
    Donald on August 8, 2014, 12:20 pm

    If Hamas wanted to use the tunnels to attack civilians, wouldn’t the best moment to do this be near the beginning, when the Israelis weren’t aware of how extensive the tunnel network was ? Why wait until they found out?

    • tree
      tree on August 9, 2014, 7:04 pm

      If Hamas wanted to use the tunnels to attack civilians, wouldn’t the best moment to do this be near the beginning, when the Israelis weren’t aware of how extensive the tunnel network was ?

      I made this point on another thread, but I’ll repeat it here. IF Hamas really wanted to use the tunnels to attack and kidnap Israelis, then they would have used them BEFORE and INSTEAD of the kidnapping of the 3 Jewish teens near Hebron. We were told that Hamas was behind that kidnapping in the West Bank, which, in order to move the teens into an area not under direct Israeli control, would have required a journey of 20 to 30 miles not just through the West Bank under IDF control but across the green line and into Israel. It would have been far, far easier to emerge from a tunnel, travel less than a mile, kidnap and return to the tunnels under Gaza. But they didn’t do that, because the Israeli hasbara about the tunnels and kidnapping is bullshit!

      It’s like the Israeli government wailing and moaning about rocket fire until foreign airlines stopped flying into Ben Gurion for a few days. All of a sudden the rocket fire wasn’t that big of a deal, but oh those “terror tunnels”!!

  4. Tobias
    Tobias on August 8, 2014, 12:25 pm

    The Israeli spokesmen have snuck this point in at every opportunity. The other day I heard Regev trill about how Israel had to stop ‘Khamas death squads’ coming out of ‘terror tunnels’ to attack Israeli kindergarten kids.

    The language is so manufactured and manipulated; death squads, terror tunnels, kindergarten, you have to imagine copywriters sitting in a room dreaming up this cant.

    In fact if you listen carefully, you can hear Israeli sound bites mutate over time to the one that is finally settled on. And then all will echo it from the English speaking Israeli salesmen to the supine US media who just always seems to fall in behind in their role as lazy good for nothing cheerleaders.

    • Chu
      Chu on August 8, 2014, 1:12 pm

      I noticed ‘terror tunnels’ is the new propaganda term. Fox and CNN both use this.

  5. lysias
    lysias on August 8, 2014, 12:37 pm

    All were reportedly hit by rocket fire.

    The report after the first of those Israeli civilians was killed was that he was struck by mortar fire. Which would make sense, since he was on the border with Gaza, delivering food to IDF soldiers. Hamas didn’t need the additional range provided by the rockets.

  6. John O
    John O on August 8, 2014, 12:56 pm

    That Friedman comment about “fruit exports” has a distinctly Freudian overtone. It’s the inability of the Palestinians of Gaza to export anything they produce, due to the Israeli blockade, that keeps them in poverty.

  7. biorabbi
    biorabbi on August 8, 2014, 1:27 pm

    The tunnels going into Israel from Shejaiya are complex, hardened, took years to build. The fact that Hamas hasn’t attacked Israeli civilians yet is kind of like saying terrorists have never used 747’s to target the WTC on 9/10/01. True, but laughable. After all, Hamas is careful and takes deliberate aim with their rockets to distinguish between Israelis, zionists, Jews, Muslims. Right =)

    • Donald
      Donald on August 8, 2014, 1:39 pm

      Well, no, it means we don’t know for sure what they might have done with them. Again, repeating what I just said, why wouldn’t Hamas have opened the hostilities by sending a wave of suicide attackers out of those tunnels to the nearest population centers? Is there any evidence that they tried to do this? Wouldn’t that have been the best time to strike, before the Israelis knew there were so many tunnels?

      I’m not putting it past them to do such a thing–they did employ the suicide bombing tactic during the Second Intifada that killed hundreds of civilians. But in this case, they seem to have used the tunnels for military purposes, to strike back hard at the IDF, while the rockets were used to terrify the Israeli civilian population.

      • John O
        John O on August 8, 2014, 2:32 pm

        If Hamas are smart, they will abandon the crude rockets they use now, and acquire or build a few more accurate ones that can be landed fairly accurately on Ben Gurion Airport. That would be a powerful deterrent.

      • Justpassingby
        Justpassingby on August 8, 2014, 2:37 pm

        john o
        …you dont think they have already done that for years?

      • biorabbi
        biorabbi on August 8, 2014, 4:27 pm

        John O, very good point and great argument to build a seaport/airport.

      • piotr
        piotr on August 9, 2014, 8:08 am

        But only after issuing a warning. As we know, a warning washes out responsibility.

      • michelle
        michelle on August 8, 2014, 3:37 pm

        .
        when Hamas used suicide bomb tactics
        wasn’t it a type of eye for an eye exchange
        .
        though when Hamas saw that it did not
        bring about the much needed changes for
        the Palestine people they changed tactics
        seems like peace is/and has been their goal
        .
        if they are to be killed they might as well be
        killed fighting for liberty justice and freedom
        as all life would chose to do
        .
        were the Israel terrorist fighters near
        tunnel openings or were they ground
        troops in Gaza when they were slain
        i haven’t heard an account of that
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • Jon66
        Jon66 on August 8, 2014, 4:18 pm

        You really need to learn more about the history of Hamas. Suicide bombings of restaurants, buses, and even a school cafeteria. These attacks were not those of freedom fighters only attacking soldiers or even aiming primarily at military targets. This was not the Boston Minutemen.
        They have at times put forward criteria for a long term truce, but never even proffered any terms for “peace”.

      • Donald
        Donald on August 8, 2014, 8:49 pm

        “You really need to learn more about the history of Hamas. Suicide bombings… ”

        If you mean me, I already mentioned that. You know, the part that said they did suicide bombing that killed hundreds of civilians. Should I have said it several times? But you ought to ask yourself why they didn’t try to send suicide bombers through the tunnels at the beginning, before the Israelis knew about them. Or I’m asking. Is there any evidence that they tried anything like that this time? I’ve heard nothing.

      • michelle
        michelle on August 8, 2014, 11:11 pm

        .
        i don’t like that Hamas opted for that choice not at all
        i just wondered what Palestine life was like then
        i would agree that Hamas started down the wrong path
        no matter the reason/excuse
        but it does seem like they are making more humane
        choices since then like maybe they didn’t like the path
        they were on either
        which if true shows self reflection a very good place for people to be
        .
        it would be cool if Israel just stopped making unjust choices
        just like that … like something G-d would do …. it would be so cool
        just give their fears to G-d and trust Him again
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • piotr
        piotr on August 9, 2014, 8:09 am

        To Donald: Do you want to suggest that Israel did not assassinate civilians who never killed anyone? What makes “terrorists” beyond the pale and a government deploying assassins “sharing our values”? It really boils down to “our bastards” principle. We pick who is “ours”.

      • Justpassingby
        Justpassingby on August 9, 2014, 9:13 am

        jon66

        They did that because Israel bombed palestinian “restaurants, buses, and even a school cafeteria(s)”.

      • SQ Debris
        SQ Debris on August 9, 2014, 5:57 pm

        Jon666 is right. It’s important to understand context. For example, after the first uprising Hamas put out a statement to the effect that (paraphrase) “next time we won’t tolerate a 10:1 ratio of civilians killed.” They were pretty faithful to that pledge. GOI was perfectly well aware that, as they butchered Palestinians in the second Intifada, there would be a lethal response. Hamas was successful in keeping their pledge to alter the ratio. As to the topic of this post, there is no evidence I’ve seen that the resistance employed the tunnels against civilians prior to or during the current slaughter. That does not suggest that they haven’t been feeding sleepers into Israeli cities through the tunnels for months or years. I would definitely avoid buses in Israel that have soldiers as passengers, i.e. all buses in the country. Hamas could at any moment address the ratio question again.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick on August 8, 2014, 2:34 pm

      I’ve got a thought, how about we give Hamas guided missile technology. Then they can aim that rocket right into the Defense Ministry. And if anyone from the nearby mall gets hurt or killed then that’s on Israel, because they shouldn’t have such a building in the middle of town. That’s using their people as human shields.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 9, 2014, 3:31 pm

        I’ll never stop saying it: Jews, and Judaism, is Zionism’s human shield.
        Well, I’m not much, but I think I can be useful at something besides that.

  8. Keith
    Keith on August 8, 2014, 4:59 pm

    JAMES NORTH- “How many Israeli civilians have been attacked by Hamas fighters emerging from tunnels?”

    The short answer is none. Two quotes below provide additional info with links for more, particularly the Finkelstein interview where he indicates that the tunnels which Israel was concerned with were those inside Gaza which provided Hamas with some defensive capabilities.

    “Now, the tunnels had nothing to do with Israel. That’s totally ridiculous. Israel claims there were 12 tunnels that had passed through its border. There were many more tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. The first thing Sisi did when he came into power in Egypt was seal the tunnels. Did he have to destroy all of Gaza to seal the tunnels? Israel couldn’t have done the same thing—seal the tunnels on its side of the border, exactly what Sisi did in Egypt? What did the Hamas have? It had spoons. It had shovels. You’re telling me that Israel didn’t have the earth-moving equipment to build a wall that went deeper than the tunnels? It had nothing to do with the tunnels entering Israel.” Norman Finkelstein)
    http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/5/ceasefire_after_gaza_assault_leaves_1800

    “No civilian has ever been abducted through the tunnels….Their primary purpose is economic, a response to Israel’s seven-year siege of Gaza. The tunnels along the Egyptian border weren’t built by Hamas: it merely taxes the goods being moved through by the entrepreneurs that dig and run them. Israel talks of a ‘terrorist organisation’ that ‘deliberately embeds its terrorist infrastructure inside civilian neighbourhoods’. In fact a system of loosely regulated capitalism governs the tunnel industry. If you live near the border you are likely to go into the tunnelling business because there’s nothing else to do….Since the invasion, the tunnels have been used to attack Israel. Still, no civilian has been killed.” (Omar Robert Hamilton)
    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2014/tunnel-vision/

  9. Kay24
    Kay24 on August 8, 2014, 5:21 pm

    It would have been fair if someone in the media, had asked them about this situation. They let this claim of tunnels being used to kill or kidnap precious Israeli lives, but no one challenges them with the truth.
    No one was killed or kidnapped through those tunnels. In fact those tunnels were not used until the war started. It seems Hamas had them ready in case Israel decided it was time to mow the lawn again. No one can fault Hamas for digging these tunnels.
    Occupied people are desperate, and especially those fenced in and unable to get out, will eventually want to dig tunnels to get out, or use it to resist their brutal occupier.

  10. Gene Shae
    Gene Shae on August 8, 2014, 6:30 pm

    So silly. Let’s stop arresting serial killers because they really don’t kill that many people

  11. Amsterdam
    Amsterdam on August 8, 2014, 7:12 pm

    Another tunnel mystery:

    In the Dutch press there have been at least three reports (the first dated July 31th) stating that Israel knew about the ‘terrorist tunnels’ for years. People from several kibbutzim near the Gaza border stated in these reports that they heard people digging below their feet years ago, that they informed the IDF and the authorities, but that no one bothered.

    But all of a sudden, at the start of the Gaza offensive, Israel ‘discovered’ the tunnels, acting surprised and claiming they were an immense threat and had to be destroyed immediately, whatever the costs (for the population of Gaza).

    Did Israel keep the discovery a secret, to be revealed at a suitable occasion – as a pretext for a military operation? What are your thoughts, dear readers? Have the statements of the kibbutzniks been publicized in the USA (or elsewhere) in the first place?

  12. wes
    wes on August 9, 2014, 1:39 am

    The so called tunnels were in actual fact concrete drainage pipes under the gaza perimeter road to allow water to flow.these pipes are also used by a species of porcupine native to the area called the indian crested porcupine to allow them to safely migrate between fields in gaza and israel.
    in fact i read somewhere that ism activists had adopted one such porcupine and named it rachel in memory of rachel corrie who was tragically killed defending a house demolition in the rafah area.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 9, 2014, 3:32 pm

      “in fact i read somewhere that ism activists had adopted one such porcupine and named it rachel in memory of rachel corrie who was tragically killed defending a house demolition in the rafah area.”

      And now you’ll need a doctor to pull those quills out of your nose.

  13. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870 on August 9, 2014, 2:15 am

    RE: “How many Israeli civilians have been attacked by Hamas fighters emerging from tunnels?” ~ James North

    MY COMMENT: You’re kidding, right? That was just a pretext* (one that apparently scared the bejesus out of the gullible Israeli populace)!

    *VOLTAIRE REGARDING “PRETEXTS”, AND THE NATURE OF THEIR PROPONENTS:
    “To the wicked, everything serves as pretext.” ~ Voltaire

    ALSO SEE: “Gaza Ceasefire: After 1,800+ Dead, What Led Israel to Stop the Assault — and What Comes Next?” ~ Democracy Now! ~ 8/05/14

    [EXCERPT]
    NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: And then there was the domestic issue. Israel had launched a ground invasion ostensibly to stop the so-called rocket attacks, but then it turned into something different: the tunnels. Now, the tunnels had nothing to do with Israel. That’s totally ridiculous. Israel claims there were 12 tunnels that had passed through its border. There were many more tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. The first thing Sisi did when he came into power in Egypt was seal the tunnels. Did he have to destroy all of Gaza to seal the tunnels? Israel couldn’t have done the same thing—seal the tunnels on its side of the border, exactly what Sisi did in Egypt? What did the Hamas have? It had spoons. It had shovels. You’re telling me that Israel didn’t have the earth-moving equipment to build a wall that went deeper than the tunnels? It had nothing to do with the tunnels entering Israel.

    The problem was, the tunnels in Gaza, it turned out, they had created a fairly sophisticated network of tunnels, incidentally—I know we’re not allowed to make these comparisons—not unlike the bunkers that were built in the Warsaw Ghetto—primitive, but effective—and the Hamas fighters were able to come out of the tunnels, and they inflicted a significant number of casualties on Israel. During Operation Cast Lead in 2008, ’09, 10 Israeli combatants were killed, of which four were from friendly fire. This time it was about 65. Now, during the Lebanon War in 2006, about 120 Israeli combatants were killed, but that was against the Hezbollah, which is a formidable guerrilla army. So, half and more were killed in Gaza this time. So, Israel’s aim was not to destroy the tunnels going into Israel. That’s ridiculous. What they wanted to do was destroy the tunnel system inside Gaza, because now an effective—not very effective, but effective—guerrilla force had been created. And Israel, every few years, has to—or less than few years, has to mow the lawn in Gaza. And so, they wanted to make sure the next time they mow the lawn—

    AMY GOODMAN: Why do you say “mow the lawn”?

    NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, that’s the Israeli expression. You go in, and you kill a thousand people, destroy everything in sight, and Israel calls that “mowing the lawn.” So every few years they have to go into Gaza and mow the lawn. They want to make sure next time they mow the lawn—because if you read the Israeli commentators, who are really a sick bunch of people, all of them are talking now about the next war. Every single commentator is talking about the next war. This one isn’t even over yet. But they want to make sure the next time they go in, there won’t be tunnels. So that was the real aim of the mission.

    The problem was, they had reached a certain point in Gaza, and now, if they went further, they would have to enter what are called the built-up areas. And those are very densely populated. Remember, Gaza is six times as densely populated as Manhattan. So if they went into the densely populated areas, we would be talking about thousands and thousands of casualties. And Netanyahu knew the international community wouldn’t accept it, because when Israel goes into a place, it doesn’t want combatant casualties, so it blasts everything in sight. You go into densely populated areas and you blast everything in sight, well, then you’re talking about thousands and thousands of casualties.

    The other problem was, these tunnels were actually not vulnerable to aerial bombing and artillery shells. So even if they destroyed everything in sight, the tunnels are still there, Hamas comes out, and significant Israeli casualties. So Netanyahu realized ground invasion is over. There’s no further they can go, because of the domestic Israeli constraint: They don’t tolerate combatant casualties. The international constraint kicked in when Obama said, “It’s over, folks. Have to stop. Killed too many U.N. people this time.” And then the ceasefire was signed. . .

    ENTIRE TRANSCRIPT (AND VIDEO) – http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/5/ceasefire_after_gaza_assault_leaves_1800

  14. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb on August 10, 2014, 5:12 am

    Have to keep up spinning that web of lies, eh? So many inconvenient truths Zionists don’t want to hear.

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