Gotta say the Israelis have more than their share of gall.
Blasting the crap out of Hamas militants is one thing. Hamas militants deserve everything they get.
And let’s face it, the Hamas heavies aren’t too fussy about how many Israeli civilians they kill, although their strike rate isn’t nearly as good as that of their foes in Israel.
Because Hamas isn’t too fussy, Israel isn’t too fussy about what happens to civilians who get in the way of shells intended (in their commanders’ rhetoric at least) for militant Hamas rocket launchers.
But the Israelis are showing a huge contempt for the United Nations, too. Getting offside with them doesn’t strike Alf as being very clever, in foreign relations terms.
Israel has never shown much respect for the UN, of course, especially the raft of resolutions requiring it to do this, that and the other to ease up on the Palestinians.
And so the BBC today reported:
At least 15 people were killed and more than 200 injured when a UN-run school used as a shelter in Gaza came under fire, Gazan health officials say.
Palestinian families were in the school in Beit Hanoun, fleeing Israel’s offensive against Hamas militants.
In the past 16 days of fighting, more than 750 Palestinians and 33 Israelis have been killed, officials say.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal is doing a bit of belated bleating, saying he wants a ceasefire and end to Israel’s blockade as soon as possible.
“We don’t want to be controlled by a border crossing that makes Gaza the biggest prison in the world,” Mr Meshaal, who lives in exile in Qatar, told BBC Hardtalk.
“People cannot go for medical treatment or to work. Why are the people of Gaza being punished by a slow death in the world biggest prison. This is a crime.”
Part of the answer, of course, is that the Israelis are pissed off with indiscriminate firing of Hamas rockets into its side of the border and Hamas should have learned long ago that when Israelis talk about an eye for an eye, actually they mean to tear both eyes eye out, then kill you.
Dunno where the Palestinians are supposed to go to seek shelter from the shells which are intended and precisely aimed (ha!) simply to kill Hamas soldiers, or militants, or whatever they call themselves.
Alf is mindful that a few lads thought they might be safe on a beach without any Hamas heavies around them.
The foursome were wiped out by a shell carefully directed to land where they were playing.
An Israeli military spokesman has acknowledged the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) should have been able to tell that the four boys it killed on a Gaza beach last week were not Hamas operatives.
The four boys from the one extended family – Zacaria, Aahed Bakr Jr, Mohammed and Ismail – were killed by a rocket strike while they played.
“The IDF had a target, a Hamas terrorist target,” Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told the ABC’s 7.30 program.
“We had intelligence pointing specifically to that location and we had the indication that the perpetrators were on the beach. We had a specific target indicating that they were supposed to be there.
“We had visual surveillance, clearly, to an extent that we should have been able to determine who was on the beach.”
Lt Col Lerner did not provide detail about how long the boys were being observed or by what method.
“We need to determine what happened between the gathering of the intelligence and what happened that caused this unfortunate human tragedy,” he said.
Alf imagines a similar inquiry will follow the shelling of the UN-run school.
Dunno who keeps score, but the other day Alf noted that as the violence between Israel and Hamas entered its second week,
… seven Israeli soldiers have died in a firefight in Gaza, on the same day that Israel shelled a Gaza Strip hospital and killed at least four people.
He imagines this calls for strong leadership and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu perhaps has been brushing up on his Churchill.
Actually, it looks like Ben has found this speech to inspire his beleaguered people.
A few tweaks and it comes out like this:
We shall go on to the end, we shall shell them in Gaza, we shall shell them on the seas and oceans, we shall shell them with growing confidence and growing strength from the air, we shall defend our Israel, whatever the cost may be, we shall shell them on the beaches, we shall shell them in the schools and hospitals, we shall shell them in the fields and in the streets, we shall shell them in the hills; we shall wipe the bastards out before they can ever think of surrender; and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, Gaza or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then we would carry on the struggle…
It’s got a nice ring to it.
Alf will get Mrs Grumble to send a copy to Ben to see if he can use it.