Friday, August 1, 2014

Our daily Gaza

Went to bed thinking there was a cease-fire agreement in Gaza, but I guess it wasn't to be.
Photo from Times of Israel.
Via Samer Badawi at 972+:
So when Rafah residents thought they were taking advantage of a cease-fire to go home and see how badly their houses had been damaged, they were really attacking the Jewish state and had to be killed?
Gaza health officials said 35 Palestinians had been killed and more than 100 wounded as Israeli forces bombarded the area. Palestinian witnesses said by telephone that Israeli tank shells had hit eastern Rafah as residents returned to inspect homes they had evacuated.
There's something extremely spooky about the Israeli version of how the truce broke, with fighting around a Rafah tunnel IDF troops were busy destroying:

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said that government forces had been moving to destroy a tunnel, as the terms of the cease-fire allowed for, when several militants came out of the ground.

Colonel Lerner said the militants included at least one suicide attacker. There was an exchange of fire, he said, and initial indications were that a soldier was dragged back into the tunnel. He was unable to offer details about the soldier’s condition.
The spooky thing being how reminiscent it is of the horror Richard Silverstein was reporting last week, about how the IDF will kill an Israeli soldier rather than let him be captured—
As happens so often in these cases, an IDF commander instrumental in drafting the order denied the horrific logic of the directive and then offered an example of how he would proceed which only confirmed it:
In a rare interview by one of the authors of the directive, Yossi Peled…denied that it implied a blanket order to kill Israeli soldiers rather than let them be captured by enemy forces. The order only allowed the army to risk the life of a captured soldier, not to take it. “I wouldn’t drop a one-ton bomb on the vehicle, but I would hit it with a tank shell”, Peled was quoted saying. He added that he personally “would rather be shot than fall into Hizbullah captivity.”
In other words, the IDF will do almost everything in its power to prevent capture of its soldiers including killing him.  It might not put a bullet directly in his brain, but it would certainly shell a home or vehicle in which he was situated.
—and that this happened last week, to Sgt. Gideon Levy, specifically when he was being dragged by Hamas troops into a border tunnel:
This Israeli report, which was censored by the IDF, says only that the attempt to capture the soldier failed.  It says nothing about his fate.  The expectation of anyone reading it would be that the soldier was freed.  But he was not.  In order to prevent the success of the operation, the IDF killed him.  Nana reports that the IDF fired a tank shell into the building, which is the same way another captured soldier was killed by the IDF during Cast Lead.
I would presume that once the militant fled into the tunnel with his prisoner that the IDF destroyed the tunnel and entombed those within it, including the soldier.  I would also presume that the IDF knows he is dead because they retrieved his body.
Censorship has also been erected around today's loss of a soldier in a tunnel, about which Colonel Lerner was unable to offer any details, 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin:
After the initial publication of this article, the military’s censor informed The New York Times that further information related to the apparently abducted soldier would have to be submitted for prior review. Journalists for foreign news organizations must agree in writing to the military censorship system to work in Israel. This was the first censorship notification The Times had received in more than two years.
So I can't help wondering.
School. AP photo by  Hatem Moussa.
"Worse than a crime it was a mistake" department:

Why the Gaza blockade was wrong from a realist standpoint.

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