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Civilian Deaths Caused by IDF Actions: Are They Avoidable?

Deaths in Gaza Photo: Reuters
New investigations into the deaths of additional Palestinian civilians by IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, are adding to an increasing controversy, and pressure being brought on both Israel’s military as well as in the world political area. Following on the heels of an air strike in which three Palestinian children were killed, yesterday’s attack killed a 35 year old pregnant woman, as well as a Saudi man who was visiting relatives in Gaza. These incidents, following continued Kassam missile strikes launched by the Al Aqsa Brigade, Islamic Jihad, and possibly Hamas itself, only add fuel to an increasingly escalation of violence that has been instigated by terror elements in both Gaza and the West Bank.

These follow the still publicized ‘beach incident‘; in which it has now been revealed that the Palestinian family who lost so many members may actually have been killed by an unexploded Israeli artillery shell that suddenly went off. World wide condemnation against Israel, including increasingly outspoken remarks by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan, greatly overshadow the trauma, injuries and damage caused by the Palestinian launched Kassams. While Israeli Air Force spokespersons try to assure that the best efforts are made by IAF pilots to minimize Palestinian civilian injuries and deaths when making these targeted strikes, it must be understood that the places in which these ‘targets’ are often located are usually in one of the most densely populated areas, making it very difficult not to inflict some injuries. Another factor is that the suspected terrorists often have family members riding in the same target vehicles or occupying the buildings where they are found in. Call it what you wish, use of ‘human’ shields’ or simply unfortunate circumstances, the end result is still the same.

Still, however, where are the world condemnations of Palestinian ‘air strikes’, i.e. by Kassam missile launchings, as well as suicide missions in which more than 2,000 Israelis have been killed and several thousand injured (some for life) during the past years? It’s as if they (the Palestinians) can do no wrong, and Israelis can do no right!

Following Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in August, 2005, Palestinians continued to launch their home made missiles, although on less frequent intervals, until a brief hudna or truce was called following the Hamas led victory in the Palestinian elections. This truce was short lived, however, and terror attacks, as well as Kassam launchings continued again, now with increasing regularity. Actual ‘on the ground’ terror attacks, by suicide bombers, etc., have only been lessoned due to increased diligence on behalf of the Israeli Police and other security forces, and definitely not from lack of trying by Palestinian terror groups. Their unfortunate ‘success’ included the recent one in Tel Aviv which killed 12 people including a 16 year old American tourist, who sustained horrific wounds and lingered between life and death for more than three weeks.

Israeli military forces would be ready to cease these attacks if the Palestinian side are prepared to reciprocate in kind. Unfortunately, this is not the case, with Hamas even declaring that its main goal is the elimination of the Jewish State.

So, who’s really the blame, anyhow?

1 Comment

  1. Old News! Things have gotten much more ‘interesting’ since last week!

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