Thursday, January 08, 2009

Over 700 killed in Gaza, estimated 30% civilians, but what does that mean?

I started questioning the rationale behind who is and is not a civilian when I saw that policemen in Gaza--who admittedly work for the Hamas government there--were being labeled Hamas combatants when they were killed. I suspect that the 30% who are civilian casualties are people of whom there can be no doubt that they weren't Hamas members, or terrorists. Women and children most likely make up a big percentage of the civilian killed, although there probably are men killed of whom no mental gymnastics can make them into combatants. 30% of 700 is 210, so an estimated two hundred and ten civilians, with women and children likely making up a great deal of them, have been confirmed killed so far.

And four Israelis have been killed.

When the Red Cross takes Israel to task over using overwhelming force against Gaza in light of what Hamas is actually doing they're not just putting hot air out there. Hamas is firing rockets at southern settlements, which are illegal, near Gaza. Ignoring the conditions that Gazans have been living under during the blockade that preceded the attacks and the invasion, Israel is only entitled to use comparable force to stop Hamas from firing their rockets. Bombing and invasion go way beyond that. It's sort of like laying siege to Fallujah after the two "contractors" from Blackwater were publicly killed and burned. Not exactly a comparable response. Think about it this way: if a group of U.S. soldiers was hiding in brush and mountains, firing mortar shells now and then at an enemy when they think they can get away with it, were caught.....then all of them, lets say there's ten of them, were executed by firing squad, people would freak out. People would be beside themselves talking about how this was not just and how these guys have families back home who now are deprived of them, and that the enemy was barbaric for executing all of them instead of taking them hostage.

Another example would be kids throwing rocks at Israeli tanks getting shot and killed by machine gun fire directed at them in response, which has happened in Rafah.


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