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Friday, January 30, 2009

'Whosoever shall go out of the doors of your house outside, his blood shall be upon his head'

On Thursday night, I showed you an interview with the former commander of Israel's southern district, Zvika Fogel, in which Fogel questioned how 45 people could have been killed by one mortar shell that hit a schoolyard. Fogel's question about the number of casualties remains valid, but as it turns out, no shells hit the schoolyard and no one was killed in the schoolyard (Hat Tip: Hot Air).
Physical evidence and interviews with several eyewitnesses, including a teacher who was in the schoolyard at the time of the shelling, make it clear: While a few people were injured from shrapnel landing inside the white-and-blue-walled UNRWA compound, no one in the compound was killed. The 43 people who died in the incident were all outside, on the street, where all three mortar shells landed.

Stories of one or more shells landing inside the schoolyard were inaccurate.

While the killing of 43 civilians on the street may itself be grounds for investigation, it falls short of the act of shooting into a schoolyard crowded with refuge-seekers.

The teacher who was in the compound at the time of the shelling says he heard three loud blasts, one after the other, then a lot of screaming. "I ran in the direction of the screaming [inside the compound]," he said. "I could see some of the people had been injured, cut. I picked up one girl who was bleeding by her eye, and ran out on the street to get help."But when I got outside, it was crazy hell. There were bodies everywhere, people dead, injured, flesh everywhere."

The teacher, who refused to give his name because he said UNRWA had told the staff not to talk to the news media, was adamant: "Inside [the compound] there were 12 injured, but there were no dead." [Note: Not Hamas but UNRWA. CiJ]

"Three of my students were killed," he said. "But they were all outside."
UNRWA director John Ging thinks Israel ought to be liable anyway:
John Ging, UNRWA's operations director in Gaza, acknowledged in an interview this week that all three Israeli mortar shells landed outside the school and that "no one was killed in the school."

"I told the Israelis that none of the shells landed in the school," he said.

Why would he do that?

"Because they had told everyone they had returned fire from gunmen in the school. That wasn't true."

Mr. Ging blames the Israelis for the confusion over where the victims were killed. "They even came out with a video that purported to show gunmen in the schoolyard. But we had seen it before," he said, "in 2007."

The Israelis are the ones, he said, who got everyone thinking the deaths occurred inside the school.

"Look at my statements," he said. "I never said anyone was killed in the school. Our officials never made any such allegation."

Speaking from Shifa Hospital in Gaza City as the bodies were being brought in that night, an emotional Mr. Ging did say: "Those in the school were all families seeking refuge. ... There's nowhere safe in Gaza."

And in its daily bulletin, the World Health Organization reported: "On 6 January, 42 people were killed following an attack on a UNRWA school ..."

The UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs got the location right, for a short while. Its daily bulletin cited "early reports" that "three artillery shells landed outside the UNRWA Jabalia Prep. C Girls School ..." However, its more comprehensive weekly report, published three days later, stated that "Israeli shelling directly hit two UNRWA schools ..." including the one at issue.

Such official wording helps explain the widespread news reports of the deaths in the school, but not why the UN agencies allowed the misconception to linger.

"I know no one was killed in the school," Mr. Ging said. "But 41 innocent people were killed in the street outside the school. Many of those people had taken refuge in the school and wandered out onto the street.

"The state of Israel still has to answer for that. What did they know and what care did they take?"
Sorry John, but no. What kind of fool leaves his shelter to go into the street when he's been told that his shelter is safe but everything else around him is dangerous? That rule goes back to biblical times. This is from Joshua, Chapter 2:
18. Behold when we come into the land, you shall bind this line of scarlet thread in the window by which you let us down; and you shall bring your father and your mother, and your brothers and all your father's household home to you.

19. And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of your house outside, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be blameless, and that whosoever shall be with you in the house, his blood shall be upon our head if any hand be upon him.

20. And if you tell this our discussion, then we will be blameless of your oath which you have made us swear.

21. And she said, According to your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed; and she bound the scarlet line in the window.
Sorry John, but the IDF can't be responsible for people who went out to wander around. There was a war out there.


At 7:04 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Exactly, Carl. Whoever is outside when there is shooting going on as the Good Book says, is marked for death. Its a rule of warfare as old as mankind and if the UN doesn't know it, its led by a bunch of morons. Israel is completely blameless here.

At 8:03 PM, Blogger upupu99 said...

Was this guy Joshua there?

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ging is a liar

he said that israeli commanders had apologized to him for hitting the school...that the mortar shell had missed its target by 30 meters

and it was mads gilbert who first stated that the mortar had hit the school

btw, the youtube vid has been up for well over a year

it was just used by vloggers to prove that hamas does indeed use the cover of schools to fire weapons


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