Israeli Strike on Palestinian School?
As Israel's military action continues in Gaza, one event is sure to be discussed for some time to come: An Israeli air strike near a United Nations-run school for Palestinian children. Though we do not yet know the exact number of casualties, it is possible that it is around thirty. Initially, the details of the event were sketchy, but as time passes, we now know more about this tragic – but entirely avoidable situation. Here are the details:
On January 6th, 2009, the IDF was in the midst of a military operation to stop the barrage of rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza into Israeli cities. After a decade of Hamas firing rockets into Israeli cities and years of Israeli demands that Hamas stop firing those rockets into Jewish homes, schools, and temples, Hamas refused to stop. By Christmas day, 2008, Hamas refused to renew a six-month cease-fire, and instead decided to fire 80 rockets into Israeli cities—per day, prompting Israel to begin its military operation to stop Hamas and to protect the lives of Israeli citizens. These facts are undisputed by the international community.
So far, ten days of fierce fighting ensued, in which the Israeli army destroyed a sizable amount of Hamas weapons sent by Iran, and also killed a large number of Hamas guerillas who were conducting a war right from the middle of densely populated areas of Gaza. Upon arrival in Gaza, the Israeli army found that Hamas had turned mosques into weapons depots, and homes into entrances leading to a vast underground tunnel system designed for weapons smuggling, storage, and holding of kidnapped individuals. While the IDF used advanced precision weapons to fight Hamas terrorists, unfortunately, innocent (and not so innocent) bystanders were also hurt.
On the ninth day of the Gaza battles, Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israeli cities, and the Associate Press reported that “One of the rockets struck a large outdoor market that was closed at the time in the town of Sderot, just across Gaza's northeastern border. Another hit a kindergarten in the coastal city of Ashdod, north of the strip. The kindergarten, like schools across southern Israel, was closed and empty because of the rocket threat.”
Reports of the Hamas rocket hitting the Israeli kindergarten went largely unreported around the world, perhaps because there were very luckily no casualties. However, when Israel fired back at Hamas militants hiding in a Palestinian school, there were casualties and some of the widest press coverage to date.
What Really Happened?
Palestinian terrorists often use schools and hospitals as weapons depots, military command centers, and launching pads for shooting rockets into Israel. Tuesday morning, January 6th, was no different. Palestinian militants used the UN-run school to fire at Israeli soldiers. Among the Muslim terrorists using the UN facilities at the time were Hamas chiefs Imad and Hassan Abu-Iscar, together with a rocket launching cell of Hamas. On the same day, a second UN-run Palestinian school was also targeted by the IDF after coming under fire from Hamas terrorists. Apparently, Hamas made a cynical policy decision to cause the death of dozens of Palestinians to score a PR victory against Israel.
Yes, one can expect the Arab world and its Leftist apologists in places with large Muslim populations like European cities and Dearborn, Michigan to complain about the Israeli actions, as proof that “The Jews” are targeting Muslim civilians. That of course, is a complete lie. In fact, it is the Islamic terrorist group Hamas that sealed those poor citizens’ fate by causing their death.
No doubt, it is a tragedy when innocent civilians die, whether Jewish or Muslim. No child should have to pay the price for Muslim terrorism. But, certainly this time, the blame lies squarely with Hamas, not the IDF.
The UN’s Responsibility for the Death of the Palestinians
There is another party to this tragedy, as well – the UN. This once-great organization has remained silent as Jewish children were targeted by upwards of 5,000 Hamas rockets. Not a single demonstration was ever held to protest the Muslim terrorist group’s decade-long onslaught on Israeli homes and schools. No UN action of any sort was ever taken. This silence led to the current fighting and to the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians.
More so than the silence itself, the UN has a long history of providing infrastructure, support, and funding to various Muslim terrorist groups, like Hamas and Hezbullah. Most of the UN’s terrorist ties go unreported, but among the more notable ties to terrorism is an incident where UNRWA chief Peter Hansen was caught having Hamas members directly on the UN payroll, where the UN observers in Lebanon allowed Hezbullah to use their positions to fire into Israeli cities, and today, the UN allowed Hamas to use its schools to launch rockets into Israel and target IDF soldiers.
The Israeli government is now considering placing a formal complaint against the UN.
For more on the UN’s role in supporting terrorism against Israelis, see: http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/article/53