Hamas' Tactic: Require Israel to Cause Civilian Casualties
As the rockets continue to fall in Israel and Gaza, it is important to understand Hamas's tactic and how the international community and the media are encouraging it. Hamas's tactic is as simple as it is criminal and brutal. Its leaders know that by repeatedly firing rockets at Israeli civilian areas, they will give Israel no choice but to respond. Israel's response will target the rockets and those sending them. In order to maximize their own civilian casualties, and thereby earn the sympathy of the international community and media, Hamas leaders deliberately fire their rockets from densely populated civilian areas. The Hamas fighters hide in underground bunkers but Hamas refuses to provide any shelter for its own civilians, whom they use as "human shields." This unlawful tactic puts Israel to a tragic choice: simply allow Hamas rockets to continue to target Israeli cities and towns; or respond to the rockets, with inevitable civilian casualties among the Palestinian "human shields."
Every democracy would choose the latter option if presented with a similar choice. Although Israel goes to great efforts to reduce civilian casualties, the Hamas tactic is designed to maximize them. The international community and the media must understand this and begin to blame Hamas, rather than Israel, for the Palestinian civilians who are killed by Israeli rockets but whose deaths are clearly part of the Hamas tactic.
Every reasonable commentator has agreed with President Obama that Hamas started this battle by firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians. Every reasonable commentator also agrees with President Obama that Israel has the right to defend its citizens. But many commentators fault Israel for causing Palestinian civilian casualties. But what is Israel's option, other than to simply allow rockets to be aimed at its own women and children. As President Obama observed when he went to Sderot as a candidate:
The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. And so I can assure you that if…somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.
Israel should continue to make every effort to reduce civilian casualties, both because that is the humane thing to do and because it serves their interests. But so long as Hamas continues to fire rockets from densely populated civilian areas, rather than from the many open areas outside of Gaza City, this cynical tactic—which constitutes a double war crime—will guarantee that some Palestinian women and children will be killed. And the Hamas leadership prepares for this gruesome certainty by arranging for the dead babies to be paraded in front of the international media. In one such case, the Palestinian radicals posted a video of a dead baby who turned out to have been killed in Syria by the Assad government, and in another case, they displayed the body of a baby who had been killed by a Hamas rocket that misfired, falsely claiming that it had been the victim of an Israeli rocket.
As Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan has said, the Israeli Army does "more to safeguard civilians than any Army in the history of warfare." This includes dropping leaflets, making phone calls and providing other warnings to civilian residents of Gaza City. But Hamas refuses to provide shelter for its civilians, deliberately exposing them to the risks associated with warfare, while it shelters its own fighters in underground bunkers.
The Hamas tactic is also designed to prevent Israel from making peace with the Palestinian Authority. Even Israeli doves are concerned that if Israel ends its occupation of the West Bank, Hamas may take over that territory, as it took over Gaza shortly after Israel ended its occupation of that area. The West Bank is much closer to Israel's major population centers than Gaza. If Hamas were to fire rockets from the West Bank at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel would then have to respond militarily, as it has in Gaza. Once again, civilians would be killed, thus provoking international outcry against Israel.
What we are seeing in Gaza today is a replay of what happened in 2008 and 2009, when Israel went into Gaza to stop the rocket fire. The result was the Goldstone report which put the blame squarely on Israel. This benighted report—condemned by most thoughtful people, and eventually even critiqued by Goldstone himself—has encouraged Hamas to go back to the tactic that resulted in international condemnation of Israel. This tactic will persist as long as the international community and the media persist in blaming Israel for civilian deaths caused by a deliberate Hamas tactic.
Reader comments on this item
|Thank you for truth [132 words]||H. (Bart) Vincelette||Nov 29, 2012 12:51|
|When will the world see the truth? [150 words]||Deanna Shapiro||Nov 25, 2012 12:32|
|Deep Sadness [156 words]||Mr. and Mrs. Ritchie||Nov 23, 2012 07:39|
|Goldstone and "occupation" [126 words]||Phil Slepian||Nov 20, 2012 15:29|
|Brilliant [55 words]||Seriously||Nov 20, 2012 14:16|
|Getting to the truth of the matter. [100 words]||Royos||Nov 20, 2012 09:21|
|TOO BAD! [43 words]||Gabsari Musa||Nov 20, 2012 05:15|
|Could not agree more [14 words]||Graham Cooke||Nov 20, 2012 01:37|
|On the Rockets! [12 words]||Howard||Nov 19, 2012 14:25|
|I agree [47 words]||ZVI||Nov 19, 2012 13:57|
|The poor people of Gaza [17 words]||Uzoozy||Nov 19, 2012 13:55|
|↔ Really? [38 words]||Berman||Nov 21, 2012 13:08|
|↔ The poor people of Gaza [96 words]||Uzoozy||Nov 23, 2012 16:22|
|Dilemma [93 words]||Robert W. Nicholson||Nov 19, 2012 13:03|
|You know they know [52 words]||Ethan P.||Nov 19, 2012 12:46|
Comment on this item
by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next was against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.
by Bassam Tawil
What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.
by Burak Bekdil
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said: "All Israelis are legitimate targets." What would the Palestinian death toll have been if Mr. Netanyahu's spokesman declared all Palestinians as legitimate targets?
Underdog-nation romanticism tells us Israel should not respond when under rocket attack because it is capable of intercepting the rockets.
That there are fewer Israeli casualties does not mean Hamas does not want to kill; it just means, for the moment, Hamas cannot kill.
by Soeren Kern
Austria figures prominently in a map produced by the IS that outlines the group's five-year plan for expanding its caliphate into Europe, and has emerged as a central hub for jihadists seeking to fight in Syria.
"The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist." — Austrian intelligence agency BVT.
"Allah also gives you the opportunity to wage jihad in Austria." — Austrian jihadist Firas Houidi.
"We are proud that Allah has chosen us. We feel like lions." — Austrian jihadist Abu Hamza al-Austria.