"When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!" Jesus - John 8:44

Gaza 2012

Please see also the relevant pages on Gaza 2008/9

20/11/12 - - More than 1,100 unguided missiles have been fired at Israel since Saturday 10th November of which 900+ were fired since the start of Operation Pillar of Defence (14 Nov.) The Iron Dome anti-missile defence system has intercepted over 300 missiles, preventing them from striking populated areas in Israel. 45 per cent of Israelis are within rocket range. In the last decade, over 12,800 missiles were fired from Gaza.

Media coverage of the conflict was similar to previous conflicts. Here is an outline of the 2012 crisis. Information from various sources.

Background

In 2005 Israel totally withdrew from the Gaza Strip (land that in included in the territory that God promised to Abraham)  and there has been no Israeli military of civilian presence in the Gaza Strip since that time.   Israel even left behind most of the hot-houses to enable the Arabs to grow the fruit and vegetables that the Israelis had been growing there. 

Almost immediately terrorists started firing rockets from Gaza into southern Israel

More than 800 rockets have been fired at Israeli towns and cities this year, including  Sderot, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheva

Over the last week more than 1 million Israelis have been in and out of their bomb shelters, schools have been closed, and businesses have been closed as more than 160 rockets were fired into their towns and cities

As this latest barrage of rockets and mortars bombarded southern Israel, the majority of Israelis, nationwide, began to grow impatient with PM Netanyahu and the IDF because of the apparent lack of response.

As the US and Canada have clearly stated,  Israel is totally within her rigths, to defend her citizens and to eliminate the aggressors.  However many others may disagree, primarily because of the 45 year old myth of the existence of a so called Palestinian people and the lie that Israel is illegally occupying their land. 
See also Palestine State 2012

On Wednesday afternoon, a missile fired by an Israeli Air Force jet made a direct hit on a car in Gaza City.  The occupants of the car were all killed.  One of the occupants was Achmed Jabari the commander of the Hamas military wing.  (Condemned by many as an assasination or targetted killing) Over the last 10 years  Jabari was been deeply involved in most of the  terror attacks which have killed a large number of Israeli citizens. He was responsible for the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.  Israel had good intelligence that Jabari was planning more terror attacks in the immediate future.

This following morning three Israelis were killed and two wounded when a missile hit a yeshiva in Kiryat Malachi. Missiles also struck a residential building in Ashdod and a school in Ofakim. Yesterday evening, terrorists in Gaza fired over 50 Grad missiles towards Israel's southern cities; one of these hit a shopping center and caused damage to a vehicle and stores.

Israel was yesterday (14 November) forced to launch Operation Pillar of Defence in response to days of intensive missile attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip on Israeli citizens in the south. The Israel Defence Forces and Shin Bet have made a number of precise strikes on terrorist targets, killing Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari.

Operation Pillar of Defence

In Hebrew this is called עמוד הענן Amood HaAnnan.  Literally a Pillar of Cloud as we read about in Exodus during the years of wondering of the Children of Israel.  The Lord led them by a Pillar of Cloud in the day and a Pillar of Fire by night.  The root letters of “pillar” עמד also mean the verb to stand, stand up.   Please join me in praying The Lord God of Israel will indeed be a Pillar of Cloud to all those who will be risking their lives in the days ahead to protect The Land and The People.  Let us “stand up” and “stand” with Israel in our prayers.

The Israeli air force and the navy have been targeting terror sites in Gaza since, and will continue to do so until Hamas' ability to attack Israeli citizens is removed.   Meanwhile more than 300 rockets were fired at Israel by Friday morning causing killing 3 Israeli civlilians and causing many other serious injuries and millions of shekels of damage. 

Since then, TV News has shown Hamas Khaled Mashal saying that Israel started the conflict and it is up to Israel to stop it.

It is clearly nonsense to say Israel started the conflict, as this table shows. The build-up of missile attacks on Israel can be clearly seen.

It should also be noted how much of Israel is now under threat from the superior rockets now available and in use. (TV news showed Katusha rockets being launched from a launcher vehicle)

Lies sold via the media

 

Analysis of the opinion war

Lies soon started propagating, and a BBC journalist was caught out forwarding a photo lie on Twitter. ( a picture from Syria, posted as having come from Gaza)

Although the newscasters appeared to be making an effort, old habits die hard and dishonesty remains. bbcwatch.org -jon-donnison-tweets-malicious-fauxtography/ -

Jon Donnison knowingly forwarded a tweet with a picture of A victim of Assad in Syria as one of a victim of Israel in Gaza, with the comment "Heartbreaking."

Twitter is a vehicle for various poisonous lies Telegraph article

Interesting insight from Roman Gaufman, in Daily Mail comments thread on this story

I was following Jon Donnison, I posted a negative comment on his tweeter, along the lines of more effort should be put into ensuring false propaganda isn't spread like this so he blocked me from his channel - so just note his tweeter feed is very heavily filtered to show just the highly opinionated posts he approves.

 

It was noticeable how much the UK media quoted casualty statistics from Hamas with no sign of doubt that these unverified numbers might be less than honest. They learned nothing from the Jenin "Massacre" where the figure given was ten times the true figure. They continue to talk of children harmed without any thought that some of these children are probably teenage terrorists. The cynical use of their own children as Human Shields is also overlooked in our media as an explanation of casualties among their children.

Here is another photo lie; showing an Israeli victim of Hamas as a Palestinian victim of Israel.

Pallywood Videos run on BBC and CNN

HonestReporting’s video of this sequence has now been viewed over a quarter of a million times on YouTube, helping to expose Pallywood to an audience beyond our regular readership.

The footage of a beige jacketed Palestinian man making a miraculous recovery after appearing to be injured in an Israeli air-strike was broadcast not only on the BBC but also on CNN.

The reactions from the BBC and CNN when confronted with the evidence could not have been more different.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper made an on-air statement

The video we aired came from the news agency Reuters and their feed to us did not include the image of the man standing. We asked Reuters about it today. They say they don’t know the source of the image of that man standing or when that image was shot. They also say they never saw or shot any similar image. The bottom line is that we cannot independently verify when the image of the man standing was taken… whether it was taken before or after.

The other image was taken of the man being dragged away. We obviously will not be using either of these images again. It is not only a traditional military conflict but also one that is being waged in the media as well and our only goal, as always, is to report the truth, the facts on all fronts and that’s why we’ve sent so many of our own reporters and producers into the field.

The BBC would not apologise but attempted to justify using the footage.

BBC Newsreaders are noticably attempting to not be biassed and to be fair. But even this is problematical if the blame is not equal. As Binyamin Netanyahu observed,

"In recent days and weeks, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza have made normal life impossible for over one million Israelis.

No government would tolerate a situation where nearly a fifth of its people live under a constant barrage of rockets and missile fire, and Israel will not tolerate this situation. This is why my government has instructed the Israeli Defense Forces to conduct surgical strikes against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. And this is why Israel will continue to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people. I want to remind you that, seven years ago, Israel withdrew from every square inch of Gaza. Now, Hamas took over the areas we vacated. What did it do? Rather than build a better future for the residents of Gaza, the Hamas leadership, backed by Iran, turned Gaza into a terrorist stronghold. They fired thousand of rockets at our cities, at our towns, at our civilians, at our children. They’ve smuggled thousands of rockets and missiles into Gaza, and they deliberately place these rockets and missiles in civilian areas: in homes, in schools, near hospitals. This year alone, they fired over one thousand rockets and missiles at Israel, including close to 200 rockets in the last 24 hours...

.I’m stressing this because it’s important to understand one simple point. There is no moral symmetry; there is no moral equivalence, between Israel and the terrorist organizations in Gaza.

The terrorists are committing a double war crime. They fire at Israeli civilians, and they hide behind Palestinian civilians. And, by contrast, Israel takes every measure to avoid civilian casualties. I saw today a picture of a bleeding Israeli baby. This picture says it all: Hamas deliberately targets our children, and they deliberately place their rockets next to their children. Despite this reality – and it’s a very difficult reality – Israel will continue to do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties....."



IDF efforts to avoid killing human shields – Collateral Damage

Humanitarian Situation in Gaza

Information from Israeli Embassy

Crossings

1. Israel is making a major effort to maintain the fabric of civilian life in Gaza, despite the situation of current hostilities. On 18 Nov the IDF opened the Kerem Shalom crossing for movement of food, medicine and other goods from Israel despite the ongoing rocket attacks on the Israeli population and previous attacks on the crossing.

2. The Erez crossing has remained open during Operation Pillar of Defense. Seventy foreign journalists entered Gaza today by way of Erez. Twenty Gazans entered Israel for medical treatment, and twenty-three foreign nationals, representing NGOs who until now had been prevented by Hamas from leaving the Gaza Strip, departed.

Food and Housing Security

1. Gaza is not experiencing food scarcity. Israel is not blocking entrance of goods into Gaza, except for weaponry and dual-use materials. Construction materials can be imported to Gaza under the supervision of international organizations.

2. Israel is continuing the yearly supply of five million cubic meters (1,320,860,250 gallons) of water to Gaza, despite the rocket attacks on Israeli cities and towns.

3. UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency) reports (17 Nov 2012) that despite some displacement of families due to hostilities, "there hasn't been any need to provide emergency humanitarian assistance or to open UNRWA facilities as emergency shelters."

Medical Care

1. Israel is not blocking entrance of medical supplies into Gaza. Requests submitted by the international community are answered within 24-72 hours of submission, almost always positively, and Israel has opened the Kerem Shalom passage for transit of medical materials and other goods, despite the danger to personnel at the crossing.

2. UNRWA reports that all of its 21 health centers are open and functioning. Of UNRWA's 12,000 staff members in Gaza, only one person has sustained injuries in the hostilities, and those are minor.

Electricity

1. Israel is supplying 125 megawatts of electricity to the Gaza Strip from the power station in Ashkelon despite the rocket attacks on Israel's population, and on Ashkelon itself.

2. Gaza continues to suffer from power outages due to a deliberate policy of Hamas, which opposes import of fuel from Israel. As a result, the Gaza power station is operating at 20% capacity.

Human Shields

Hamas exploits schools, mosques, hospitals and cultural centers to carry out its attacks in flagrant violation of article 51 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  This factor is minimized or ignored by numerous NGOs, and the emphasis is placed on Israel to avoid civilian casualties. But international law is clear: in cases of human shields, civilian deaths that result are clearly the responsibility of Hamas and not Israel.

Children are being killed

The death of a baby is tragic, always.  But for the terrorists in Gaza and their supporters, the death of a child provides an irresistible public relations bonanza. Even when the killer of the baby isn’t their enemy, but their own weapons. So when the Egyptian Prime Minister, Hesham Kandil, paid a visit to Gaza as a show of support for his fellow Islamists, a dead four-year-old child, Mahmoud Sadallah, was furnished for the photo opportunity.  The staging was perfect: Kandil, gently laying a kiss on the dead child’s forehead, while Ismael Haniya, a Prime Minister of Hamas, holds the child aloft, as dozens of concerned men look on in the background. Kandil fought back tears as he said to reporters gathered to record the moment, “What I saw today in the hospital, the wounded and the martyrs, the boy … whose blood is still on my hands and clothes, is something that we cannot keep silent about.”CNN referred to Mahmoud as the “symbol of the war in Gaza.”  Kandil told the cameras, ”I saw the child who was martyred,” and called on Israel to halt “the offensive.” CNN,

The Mirror (UK) and other media, including Norway’s Dagbladet showed the touching scene.

But there is one problem: Israel isn’t responsible for Mahmoud Sadallah’s death.  Hamas is. Sadallah was brought to Shifra Hospital in Gaza City after having been struck while playing outside of his home.  Although his family members told reporters that Mahmoud was killed in an airstrike from Israel, the facts don’t add up. Israel agreed to a ceasefire during the time the Egyptian Prime Minister was in Gaza. Terrorists from Gaza continued firing during Kandil’s visit, but Israel held back, and certainly did not fire anywhere near where Kandil was visiting. In addition, no one saw the strike, although there were reports that an explosion was heard.  The damage was consistent with that of a much smaller weapon, such as a qassam or morter shell. But what really seems to point away from Israel having been responsible is that although there was evidence of what caused the explosion, that evidence was immediately removed from the area and has not been seen since.

Lebanon’s Daily Star had this to say: Mahmoud’s family said the boy was in an alley close to his home when he was killed, along with a man of about 20, but no one appeared to have witnessed the strike. The area showed signs that a projectile might have exploded there, with shrapnel marks in the walls of surrounding homes and a shattered kitchen window. But neighbors said local security officials quickly took what remained of the projectile, making it impossible to verify who fired it.

But the pictures have been taken and the CNN video has aired.  Hamas now has its own Mohammed Al-Durah-style fake martyr with which to demonize Israel.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press.

Warnings

Humanitarian Supplies

The Kerem Shalom crossing opened on Tuesday morning (20 Nov) to allow the transfer of 120 trucks of humanitarian aid. However, when it was targeted by rocket fire from Gaza, the IDF was forced to close the crossing to ensure the safety of all those working at the crossing and passing through it. Only 24 trucks of humanitarian aid managed to make it through the crossings prior to the rocket strikes.

War Crimes, Disproportionate Force & Lawful actions - See Gaza 2009

 

The Cease Fire

We were shown pictures of Gazans celebrating the cease-fire in the streets. This is very nice but looking at the banners, the "victory" gestures and the firing of guns suggests they were celebrating victory over Israel rather than peace!

This cease fire is the latest manifestation of a string of political defeats for Israel and forces Israel further into a corner. Or is it? See Richard Kemp.

Caroline Glick explains why this Hudna is so bad for Israel.

Ten reasons why it won't work - by Prof. Paul Eidelberg

( a hudna is an Islamic tactic, after the example of Mohammed, of making a peace treaty with an enemy who is too strong in order to regroup, rearm and then break the treaty and resume hostilities.)

Even while the cease fire is said to be holding, rockets are still being aimed at Israeli civilians. On the morning after the cease-fire (22 November) - a house in Israel received a direct hit!

Gaza 101 - Ron Jager - the implications for the future

Col. Richard Kemp on the results of Operation Pillar of Defence

 

Also Richard kemp on Hypocritical attitudes towards Israel's operations

 

Updated 06/12/12

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Comment by Col. Richard Kemp (part of an article)

I am a good judge of soldiers. Like every one of their Israeli brothers-in-arms that I met, these men were absolutely not the bloodthirsty killers so often portrayed in the international media.

Yet much of the media, and many politicians, diplomats and human-rights activists believe there is an equivalence between the military actions of a Western democratic nation seeking to lawfully defend its people and a jihadist terrorist group indiscriminately attacking civilians and using its population as human shields. I recall no such equivalence being drawn between Allied forces attacking under international law, and the rape, plunder and callous violence of Saddam's forces on the rampage in Kuwait.

Predictably enough, the media has been full of shrill accusations of indiscriminate Israeli air strikes and deliberate targeting of civilians. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Every strike in a civilian area is authorised in real time, personally, by the commander of the Israeli Air Force or one of his deputies. As in Cast Lead, extraordinary steps have been taken to minimise civilian casualties - leaflet drops, text and radio messages, phone calls. Israel has even developed live munitions that explode harmlessly above terrorist-occupied buildings before a strike, warning innocent civilians to leave.

Intelligence is vital for accurate targeting and minimising civilian casualties. The Israelis have refined technical intelligence collection as well as use of agents on the ground to a high degree of sophistication. Not without a heavy cost - suspected Israeli informants were publicly executed by Hamas this week.

Despite such immense efforts, innocent civilians, including women, children and old people have been killed in Israeli air strikes. Every one of these is a tragedy. But Hamas and its terrorist bedfellows Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committee must shoulder responsibility. They deliberately place their weapons, launch sites, communication centres and leaders right in the heart of civilian areas.

Thus Israel's choice is stark: put up with terrorist missiles aimed at its civilian population, or attack and risk civilian casualties in Gaza.

What do other countries do? Turkey, faced with terrorist attacks by Kurdish separatists has repeatedly and viciously bombed what it believes to be Kurd strongholds in the sovereign territory of Iraq. Yet Turkey has been vehemently critical of Israel for taking similar - though far more discriminating - action. Many have criticised Israel for the surgical strike that killed Hamas terrorist commander Ahmed Jabari. Few levelled similar criticism against the Americans for eliminating Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

Diplomats are horrified that Israel might launch a ground attack against Hamas. Our Foreign Secretary has warned that international support for Israel's operations would fracture. Yet dozens of Western nations have taken part in 11 years of high intensity ground and air warfare among the civilian population in Iraq and Afghanistan since the 9/11 terror attacks. The scale is different, the principle the same.

So were the troops poised to go in? Everything I have seen shows that Jerusalem meant business. Yet, speaking to senior military and government officials, I sensed great reluctance. Rightly, too. Massed infantry, tanks and artillery are a very blunt instrument and would have led to significant civilian casualties. And ground troops are not as invulnerable as their comrades in the air.

But if the ceasefire does not result in Hamas ceasing its attacks on Israel's civilian population and its military, and an end to weapons smuggling, the IDF may have no choice.

Colonel Richard Kemp is the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan