So, Israel said they started their ground offensive into Gaza to destroy the tunnels Hamas had constructed, largely it seems with the supplies given to the Gazans for constructing public facilities above ground.
Well, to be more precise, since Hamas governs Gaza they were given to the Hamas administration, which then just used them as they and not the Gazan people saw fit.
So, on their side, in order to have peace, Hamas said they want Israel to completely lift the blockades into Gaza. Gee, didn’t Israel do that in the past in exchange for peace afterwards?
Peace was the last thing they got, so this time their Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said no way, we’re going to ensure we have peace, as much as we can, before we stop.
You see, I now believe we have two completely separate entities here: the Gazan people, and the Hamas military. Every time, well, (at least three times) Israel implements a cease-fire and the Gazans jump for joy, Hamas celebrates by launching some 50-100 missiles at Israel. Then, the battle resumes.
For anyone who has any doubt about the number and complexity and location of these tunnels, there are more videos online than you could possibly want to watch. Last count I saw said 32 tunnels have been destroyed. So far.
The most amazing is one Hamas proudly posted yesterday showing its fighters coming out of a tunnel to attack an Israeli guard post inside Israel. They claim to have killed five soldiers, and the video shows at least one of the deaths.
So, they exist, and Hamas celebrates their use to attack and kill Israelis. Then, one might ask, exactly where are these fighters getting into these tunnels at.
OK, if you check Israeli air footage of their forces locating and targeting tunnels you can see. In one video, posted yesterday, the tunnel entrance is very clearly in between a mosque and a school, a UN school at that.
Today, the Israel Post described another tunnel whose entrance was found to be INSIDE a USWRA (that’s a United Nations Health Clinic) inside the Khan Younis housing complex. Inside the clinic!
According to Israeli Brigadier General Mickey Edelstein, the house was booby-trapped with up to one thousand pounds of explosives, and although they used a robot drone and explosive sniffing dogs to locate traps they missed one.
Edelstein revealed the building blew up with the special forces team of three Israeli soldiers inside. He went on to share that in a sweep of one street alone in Gaza 19 of 28 house were found to be booby-trapped and blew up upon the Israel advance.
So, what about the exchange of rocket fire. Well, the Israelis are using targeted missile strikes, usually artillery or air to ground, to hit specific identified targets.
Hamas is firing unguided missiles every which way. In one amazing collection of Israeli defense photos, Hamas rockets are seen being fired from an area in between a mosque and a UN school.
Israel plotted their trajectories, one of which it turns out went and slammed into a UN school – one of the ones Hamas had claimed the Israeli’s targeted with a large number of civilian deaths.
As to Israel’s largely unguided and imprecise tank and mortar barrages, well, the proof is in the pudding there too. Civilians are getting caught in the middle and killed.
Now, it must be said that Hamas is firing mortars all around just as fast as the Israeli’s with just as deadly effects upon the civilians caught in the middle.
The one thing that might slightly mediate some of those deaths is that the Israeli forces usually (but not always) send ‘dud’ shells onto roofs of building they then shell a few minutes later with high-explosives. The civilians that pay attention and run elsewhere usually survive.
The Israelis have made special efforts in this conflict to repeatedly warn which neighborhoods are going to be attacked and asked the residents to leave.
Many do and live. Some, quite horrifically, leave and go elsewhere and then get shelled again. Those who don’t or can’t leave are left to suffer the consequences.
For anyone who thinks I’m being biased in my reporting of facts: Wrong! I am shocked and dismayed about what I see and read from both sides of this conflict. However, that being said, I am most interested in the simple and unadulterated truth.
My sources? I am using everyone’s footage and information: Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Islamic Jihad (a smaller Islamic group in Gaza), Israeli Defense Force, as well as the far-too numerous independent and agency photographers and reporters from all around the world.
Oh, about all those Hamas missiles? At least two caches of missiles, and significant numbers at that, were discovered inside UN schools and were brought to the attention of the UN workers on site.
They, in both cases, simply gave them back to the Hamas authorities. Say What! After much indignation by Israeli and numerous other International authorities the UN leadership has issued a reprimand to those workers.
The UN officials also promised they’ll do better next time. OK, yeah, like I have any reason to believe that! Meanwhile, the Hamas leadership has started asked the UN to create a “Protectorate.” Me thinks they’re getting their proverbial butts whipped and want to save some face.
Now, there are many reasons the Palestinian Authority shouldn’t agree, the first and foremost being the Palestinians have said for fifty years they want a Palestinian State. A “Protectorate” is not a state.
The Oxford Dictionary definition of “Protectorate” is “A state that is controlled and protected by another.” It is a territory under the control of foreign forces, and exactly what the Palestinians have been clamoring to get away from.
My thoughts: the Palestinians need to agree to exist peacefully alongside the Israeli’s, and the Israeli’s need to begin treating the ‘real’ Palestinians with the respect and consideration they deserve.
What must happen for that to happen? The Islamic fighters who have co-opted the Palestinian cause must go back from wherever they came.
If they’re Gazans they must agree to live with the peace, and if they’re foreigners they must leave or be expelled. By any means!
Will that happen? It could if the Gazans demanded their freedom from Hamas. The Hamas leadership must know that what’s happened has lost them the majority of Gazan support, for many reasons. Just how angry the ‘real’ Gazans are, and at whom, will determine their response after the fighting stops.
As to the Israelis, from what I have read and heard the majority of Israelis are both determined to protect themselves by destroying Hamas and willing to have a working long-lasting peace with the Palestinians.
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