According to reports from the Associated Press, Reuters and elsewhere, Israeli forces deliberately shelled a United Nations compound filled with “hundreds of refugees” and buildings filled with “humanitarian supplies.”
“The U.N. compound in Gaza had only that morning become a makeshift shelter for hundreds of Gaza City residents seeking sanctuary from relentless Israeli shelling,” said a U.N. official in Gaza. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.
The official claimed that shortly afterwards a shell hit one of the U.N. schools used as a sanctuary. Three people were wounded. He also said that two other shells hit a warehouse that contained humanitarian supplies and a U.N. parking lot.
A school. A warehouse housing humanitarian supplies. Three Israeli shells also hit a hospital in the al Quds neighborhood, setting its pharmacy afire. It couldn’t sound any worse.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the damage caused to the al Quds hospital was “completely and utterly unacceptable based on every known standard of international humanitarian law.”
U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon thundered into the region to express his outrage at the targeting of the U.N. school and compound being used to shelter hundreds of refugees. He expressed “strong protest and outrage” at the shelling of the compound and demanded an investigation.
After meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, he met with reporters. He told them while he acknowledged this is a “difficult time for Israel,” he said he told Livni, “You can discuss terms and conditions later, my demand is to cease firing immediately.”
Another incident was reported by Reuters yesterday about IDF troops firing on a car that bore U.N. markings in the Gaza Strip.
Now, as Paul Harvey says, here is the rest of the story. Look at the alleged unprovoked attacks again. A U.N. school. A hospital. A U.N. marked vehicle. These charges make it seem as if Israel were trying to commit public relations suicide. Why would Israel do something so counter-productive? It is contrary to their whole history of military operations that have subjected their soldiers to considerably more risks.
Israel says it was returning fire after being attacked by small arms and an anti-tank missile. IDF soldiers immediately returned fire into the direction of the threat when the compound was hit. This is proper procedure for soldiers fighting in close congested urban areas. It was Hamas that put the U.N. facility in danger by carefully firing from in and around the U.N. compound. Hamas terrorists were hoping that Israel’s return fire might kill some of the refugees seeking shelter there.
Hamas gunmen also fired on Israelis from within the al Quds hospital. Return fire struck the hospital, starting a fire. If it were Israel’s intent to destroy the hospital or the compound, there would be nothing left of them. Another left out fact in the report. Although the AP didn’t think it relevant, eyewitnesses on the scene reported that the U.N.-marked vehicles fired on the Israeli troops first. Then the Israelis returned fire.
To argue that Israel set out to attack U.N. compounds or hospitals is ludicrous. With all the care Israel took to avoid these things, why would they deliberately turn world opinion against themselves? In what way would that benefit Israel? As I said before, Israel puts their troops at greater risk in order to avoid killing non-combatants.
On the other hand, Israel has reams of video of Hamas firing and launching rockets from hospital and school zones, and firing anti-tank rockets from inside of mosques. Hamas also stored rockets and ammunition in these facilities. The evidence is available to anyone who wants to be objective.
Let’s not forget that the United Nations has designated the practice of taking human shields as a war crime. Taking shelter among civilian population centers is also an internationally recognized war crime. Using children as combatants is an international war crime. Deliberately firing rockets into civilian population centers of no military value is also a recognized war crime.
All these war crimes are routinely committed by the Palestinian side, and the international community doesn’t raise so much as an eyebrow. On the other hand, the Gaza operation against Hamas has brought down the world’s fury on Israel after only 20 days of finally defending itself from the outrage of daily missile attacks on its cities.
Where has been the fury of all the so-called “human rights activists” for these non-stop attacks on Israeli civilians?
And while we are on the subject, where is the fury for the victims of the Islamist government in Sudan? More than 200,000 Christians and non-Muslims in the south of Sudan have been slaughtered by the Muslim government-backed militias for the last five years – all in full view of the U.N. But we haven’t scene Ban Ki-moon flying into Khartoum to express his outrage, have we? And yet after 20 days of fighting, Mr. Ban is in Jerusalem demanding a cease-fire only from the Israeli side.
“I’m well aware that rockets have been fired at Israeli civilians for years from Gaza,” Mr. Ban told the press conference. “I have always condemned these as acts of terrorism and said they must cease.” Hamas has been firing rockets into Gaza for three years. They haven’t ceased yet. Yet Mr. Ban isn’t demanding that Hamas stop attacking Israel. He knows better. Instead, he is demanding that Israel stop defending itself. A right certified by the U.N. Charter.
Israel said its only war aim is to stop the rocket attacks. And while Ban was accusing Israel, Hamas fired another 14 rockets into Israeli cities and towns. Too bad Mr. Ban wasn’t in one of those sites to share the Israeli residents’ emotional challenge caused by missiles continuously hitting in their homes and schools.
It appears to me that the U.N. is intimidated by Muslims and other Israel-hating members. At the very least, the U.N. leadership seems to be powerless to challenge this terrorist-protecting voting block. And the same can be said for a large part of the media. Some report as if there is a gun to their head … and in some cases, that’s probably true.
Islam means submission. The goal of Islam is to bring the entire world into submission to their religion. In many places, through fear and intimidation, they seem to have already achieved their goal.