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Friday, September 12, 2014

AP forgets what its own reporter reported, Carter Center introduces new legal standard

The Associated Press reports that 'evidence is growing' that Hamas used residential neighborhoods to fire rockets.
Two weeks after the end of the Gaza war, there is growing evidence that Hamas militants used residential areas as cover for launching rockets at Israel, at least at times. Even Hamas now admits “mistakes” were made.
Mistakes? Actually, Hamas has another excuse.
But Hamas says it had little choice in Gaza’s crowded urban landscape, took safeguards to keep people away from the fighting, and that a heavy-handed Israeli response is to blame for the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians.
“Gaza, from Beit Hanoun in the north to Rafah in the south, is one uninterrupted urban chain that Israel has turned into a war zone,” said Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official in Gaza.
That's a load of nonsense. Here's an example. I'm embedding a satellite map of Gaza City below. You will note that various neighborhoods are outlined - some of the names will be familiar. Now notice all that open farmland on the right side on the bottom two thirds of the map. Couldn't Hamas have used that space if it really wanted to avoid harming civilians?

Gaza City satellite map

Then the AP forgets what it reported itself:
During 50 days of fighting, many observers witnessed rocket launches from what appeared to be urban areas. One piece of video footage distributed by the AP, for instance, captured a launch in downtown Gaza City that took place in a lot next to a mosque and an office of the Hamas prime minister. Both buildings were badly damaged in subsequent Israeli airstrikes.
Here's AP reporter Joseph Federman on July 9.

Let's go to the videotape. In this video, watch the question and answer sequence between 1:14 and 2:01.

Note how Federman says that two rockets were launched right outside the AP's Gaza City office!

Then there's the Carter Center's effort to set a new legal standard.
“Yes, Hamas and others may have used civilians as human shields, but was that consistent and widespread?” said Sami Abdel-Shafi, a Palestinian-American who represents the Carter Center in Gaza. “The question is whether Israel’s response was proportionate.”
Umm, no. Those are two independent questions. If Israel's response was disproportionate, that might be a war crime. Or it might not be a war crime. Recall this and this.

But if Hamas used civilians as human shields, that's a war crime regardless of whether it was consistent or widespread. And each time they did was a war crime. Targeting civilians, which is what the 'Palestinians' did on a consistent and widespread basis, is a war crime each time it's done. Imagine what our death toll would have been - God Forbid - if we didn't have Iron Dome.

Finally, here is an IDF video showing 12 examples of rocket launches from civilian areas and Gaza.

Let's go to the videotape.

Notice how most of those rockets were shot from the middle - not even the edges - of civilian areas, and they were shot at our civilians. What was the IDF to do? Do you think we should have stood our ground and not responded? Would your government have responded?

PS This article doesn't even discuss the terror tunnels, all of which used civilian structures. 

Read the whole thing.

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