Friday, August 15, 2014

Duped by Hamas

Hamas is a terrorist  organization, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, whose aim is openly stated to be the elimination of the State of Israel and the killing of all Jews, men, women and children.  It is crystal clear that Hamas has carried out war crimes by firing ca. 14,000 missiles into Israel since 2005, when it took power, and ca. 3,000 during Operation Defensive Edge.  These missiles are directed at population centers with the intention of killing civilians.  They also dug attack tunnels (about 32) into Israeli territory, that were intended to be used to attack Israeli civilians. 
Israel as a sovereign state is allowed (required) to counter-attack Hamas in Gaza in order to defend itself and its citizens.  The IDF rules of engagement requires the avoidance of civilian casualties.  In responding to these attacks and threats on its population it has been widely stated that Israel has also carried out war crimes.  Even the Intl. Comm. of the Red Cross has accused Israel of carrying out war crimes against Gazan civilians.  So has the UN.  But a statement by the European Law Center exonerates Israel, which is not only allowed to attack Gaza under the rules of war, but is also allowed to attack facilities from which fire is coming or closely adjacent to it even if civilians are housed there (see ).  
We have already seen the videos taken by Indian, Finnish, Italian and other reporters that were smuggled out of Gaza and that show Hamas firing missiles from within densely populated areas and adjacent to hotels where foreign journalists are staying as well as mosques and hospitals.  This proves the accusation that Hamas uses Palestinian civilians as "human shields."   These are clear war crimes.  Even the Palestinian UN Ambassador agrees (see ).  Also the Foreign Press Association of Israel (note these are foreign reporters not Israelis!) also protested the methods used by Hamas to control and censor the work of foreign journalists in Gaza ( ).
It is reported that ca. 1,800 Gazans have been killed in Gaza (although this is an unverified number).  While it is generally stated that "most" of these are civilians, this is easy to refute.  An analysis by Honest Reporting based on the data from Al Jazeera shows that the largest number of these casualties are men aged 18-35, i.e. of combatant age (see ).  From a statistical analysis is is estimated that ca. 60% were combatants (which is to be expected given the intense fighting in Gaza), leaving ca. 40% civilians, i.e. ca. 720.  This is an incredibly LOW number of civilian casualties in 4 weeks of fighting in a densely populated area, i.e less than 200 per week.  Compare this to the ca. 1,000 per week in Syria and ca. 350 per week in the Iraq war caused by US forces.  Also, in northern Iraq under IS attack (of course IS is an ally of Hamas), it is estimated that between 20-30,000 have been killed in weeks of indiscriminate killing of all minorities, including Shia, Christians, Yazidis, and Kurds.  Where are the demonstrations against the Islamic State?  At least the US with UK and French support is mounting an operation to aid the Yazidis and providing arms to support the Kurds. 
By using the international media and showing over and over again photos of bloodied children, some of them may be real but others are staged, Hamas is playing on the sympathies of the western population, who are ready to forget that Hamas is the terrorist organization that started it all and has caused the deaths of all these Palestinians by not accepting unconditional Egyptian ceasefires that Israel accepted.  


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