As expected, based on previous bloody campaigns, Israel is saving some of it heaviest firepower and contempt for Palestinian children taking refuge in schools.
The UN was particularly incensed over targeting of the schools, because Israeli forces knew they were packed with families as they had ordered them to get out of their homes with leaflet drops and loudspeakers. It said it had identified the schools as refugee centres to the Israeli military and provided GPS coordinates...(that was a mistake)
The head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency, John Ging (Irish, well he sounds Irish), said the UN staff vetted those Palestinians who sought shelter at the school. "So far we've not had violations by militants of our facilities."
Explaining its attack on al-Fahora school, the Israeli military claimed that a mortar was fired from the playground.
The US press, practically an IDF mouthpiece, takes Israel at its word, whenever it says it is being fired on or threatened, and even when contradicted later by Israeli principals, refuse to re-examine Israel's IDF talking points or exercise the skepticism they reserve for Pentagon press releases. The USA political establishment is even more decidely more pro-Israeli than Israel, or its most famous General.
For three decades Israel has cited vital security concerns to justify its seizure of the Golan Heights. Israelis have claimed that from 1948 to June 1967, Syrian military forces repeatedly used the Heights to shell Jewish settlements and installations below. These artillery bombardments, in the widely accepted Israeli and American view, justified Israel's conquest of the Heights in 1967, and its occupation ever since.
Actually, Israel's seizure and occupation of this territory is based on a historical lie. This was frankly acknowledged by Israel General and cabinet minister Moshe Dayan in an interview given in 1976, but which was not made public until April 1997. Dayan, who died in 1981, was a key organizer of Israel's victory in the June 1967 Israel-Arab war.
"I made a mistake in allowing the [Israeli] conquest of the Golan Heights," he said, "As defense minister I should have stopped it because the Syrians were not threatening us at the time." The seizure went ahead, he added, not because Israel was threatened, but in response to pressure from Jews who coveted Syrian land, and from army commanders in northern Israel. "Of course [war with Syria] was not necessary. You can say the Syrians are bastards and attack when you want. But this is not policy. You don't open aggression against an enemy because he's a bastard but because he's a threat."
"At least 80 percent" of the border clashes over nearly two decades associated with the Syrian shellings were initiated by Israel, Dayan continued. "We would send a tractor to plow some [disputed] area ... and we knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that's how it was."
and still is..Of course, in previous campaigns or 'incursions' into Palestinian Territory, the IDF revelaed their visceral hatred of all things Palestinian- their culture and schools.
In April 2002, the troops and tanks of the Israeli army attacked Ramallah and other towns in occupied Palestine. this was reported as an 'incursion' to stop terrorism. In fact it was also an attack on civilian life: on schools, offices, clinics, theatres, radio stations. This systematic vandalism is typical of one of the longest military occupations in modern times.
Elsewhere in the (Palestinian Culture) Ministry, Israeli soldiers had smeared their own excrement on the walls and on office equipment and vandalised an exhibition of paintings made by Palestinian children. ( photo included)
I guess these children were luckier than those killed in the Gaza school/shelter. They only had their paintings ripped apart.
And how does Israel justify its behavior in which so much blood is shed? A leading Israeli government advisor on strategy to Sharon, Arnon Soffer said:
If we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill, (Palestinians in Gaza). All day, every day," he told the Jerusalem Post..
"If we don't kill, we will cease to exist. The only thing that concerns me is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings."
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!