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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Is Hamas using human shields in Gaza?


Possible or not, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advanced the accusations earlier this week when asked to comment about the brutal conflict, whose death toll has clearly hit Palestinians harder.

As of Tuesday, at least 630 Palestinians had been killed and nearly 4,000 wounded; some 70% to 80% of them are civilians, the United Nations said. On the Israeli side, 28 soldiers and two civilians have been killed in the same time frame.

Measuring such bloodshed is "very difficult because Hamas is using them, Palestinians, as human shields," Netanyahu told. "We develop anti-missile systems to protect, we use anti-missile systems to protect our civilians. They use their civilians to protect their missiles. That's the difference."
Those assertions are significant in the war of perception, which is unfolding in tandem with the conflict between Hamas militants and Israel's military, Dunne said.

"There's many different dimensions of this conflict at the same time," Dunne said. "Civilian casualties on the Palestinian side are very high. That is something Hamas can use in the court of public opinion. Israel has to have an answer to that: The civilian casualties are so high because of Hamas, and this is their answer to that."

The absurd result is that Israel does much more to protect Palestinian children than Hamas and yet many Europeans and many Britons accuse us of being responsible for their deaths. 

They ignore the fact that Israel is the only country in the history of wars that calls ahead before we fire. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have received phone calls, text messages and leaflets warning residents to vacate combat zones. Israeli air force sorties were cancelled after the planes were in the air due to reports of civilian presence – all in order to prevent innocent casualties. 

But Hamas forbade civilians to leave their homes, put them on rocket factory rooftops, forced the children – its own children – to remain in areas that would clearly become harsh door-to-door combat zones.

For Hamas, it is a win-win situation: either the attack is cancelled and it can go on launching missiles at Israel or the attack succeeds and it can go on launching images of dead children at media outlets around the world.
We also have the option of doing nothing. Some British circles expect that of us. They ask us to accept rocket fire from the skies and terrorist tunnels dug beneath our communities.
We will not do that.

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