Asking questions, bringing balance, confronting predjudice

Bringing some hard facts to the Gaza conflict

human shieldsI know we live in a supposedly “post-modern” world, where reality is relative and absolutes are rejected, denied or ridiculed, but the rhetoric surrounding Operation Protective Edge is fast reaching new lows of vicious accusations and antisemitic rants. Whether it’s a British MP implying he’d be happy firing rockets form Gaza or an Italian philosopher setting up a fund to buy better weaponry for Hamas, or openly antisemitic behaviour at public rallies across the West’s capitals, reality has definitely left the room and slammed the door behind it!

Israel has, for a Middle Eastern country, a remarkably Western mindset. Her leaders plan carefully and thoroughly before committing their soldiers to war and they are usually cautious with their words and public statements. The Islamist opposition, in comparison, throws out lies, half truths and plain fiction at the slightest opportunity, disregarding the hypocrisy their words and actions display and just making sure that their lies get out there before any measured public statement by Israel.

Why do they do this? Well, one reason is that the ever-starving Western media packs will seize the first morsel of news and publish it as fact, merrily disregarding any subsequent denials or clarifications by the other side. Of course this particularly applies when the first morsel of news is detrimental to Israel or Jewish people! The Mavi Marmara incident was a prime example of this.

So, I would ask you to mull over the following morsels of fact and reality in readiness for the next media assault. here are a few little tidbits you may not have heard on the BBC or in the Guardian – nor either on Channel 4 since John Snow arrived in Gaza.

rockets from sejaiyaOne of the first objectives of Israel’s recently-opened ground assault was the area of Sejaiya (Shuja’iya) in Eastern Gaza. Why? Was it out of spite, just heading for the nearest centre of population to kill more civilians? No – it was because some 10% of rockets have been fired from that area (see this report).

Why did Hamas put up such fierce opposition that a number of combatants were killed on both sides? Because they had plenty of warning of the assault. Israel spent several days warning civilians to leave the area; plenty of time for Hamas to set up the tank ambushes and traps that killed Israeli soldiers.

The diagram here shows civilian locations in Sejaiya, from where rockets have been fired into Israel. These are clear war crimes under international law, but you wouldn’t know that from the media reports!

You can see other similar situations on these maps here, here and here.

Hamas has made much in recent weeks of its network of “attack tunnels”: well-constructed, deep tunnels running from inside Gaza to inside Israel. This Hamas propaganda video is revealing.

gaza_tunnelThe IDF is discovering more and more tunnels the deeper they go into Gaza. Some soldiers followed one tunnel for a long time to its exit, and found themselves right in the middle of an Israeli village!

And that brings us to another issue you probably won’t hear in Western media reports. Where did Hamas get all that concrete, bearing in mind thatIsrael wisely forbade the import of “dual use” materials that could be used to build terrorist infrastructure – like tunnels? According to an article in The Tablet, the tunnels so far discovered required around 800,000 tons of concrete to construct. That’s enough to build seven of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and still have leftovers!

So where did all this concrete come from?  Recently, Egypt destroyed over 1,000 illegal smuggling tunnels running into Gaza. There’s your answer, tunnels to bring in concrete to build more tunnels! Tunnels within tunnels within tunnels, you might say!

If anyone takes the time to wonder why so many Palestinian deaths in Gaza, it’s in part because the building materials that could have built shelters and reinforced schools were used to build tunnels!

Lastly in this post (more to follow), we are told clearly how brutal the IDF is; just out to kill women and children, aren’t they? In fact, the IDF is doing its best to keep up the flow of humanitarian materials into Gaza, even building a field hospital for sick or wounded Gazans. See this extract from an Israel Embassy update in London…

Humanitarian Efforts during operation Protective Edge:

  • The IDF have set up a field Hospital at the Erez crossing into Gaza.
  • The hospital will include an emergency clinic, pediatrician and gynecology services, a delivery room and hospitalization when needed. The staff will include doctors, nurses, x-ray technicians and lab technicians.
  • The hospital will treat ill and wounded Palestinians in coordination with the liaison department of the Erez crossing.
  • Food, fuel, Medicine and other vital materials continue to be sent into the Gaza strip via the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings.
  • Due to Hamas attacks on it, the Kerem Shalom crossing has had to be closed at times, meaning goods must be transferred via Erez.
  • On the 19th July instead of the intended trucks entering via Kerem Shalom, 5 trucks were transferred to Erez carrying 100 tons of medicine and medical equipment.

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