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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder 19:27 - Apr 3 with 6154 viewsBanksterDebtSlave

The bullsh1t detector is sounding loud and strong.
It is literally criminal what we have allowed them to get away with.

Edit...Furthermore...
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/03/israel-gaza-ai-database-hamas-airs

'According to +972 and Local Call, the IDF judged it permissible to kill more than 100 civilians in attacks on a top-ranking Hamas officials. “We had a calculation for how many [civilians could be killed] for the brigade commander, how many [civilians] for a battalion commander, and so on,” one source said.

“There were regulations, but they were just very lenient,” another added. “We’ve killed people with collateral damage in the high double digits, if not low triple digits. These are things that haven’t happened before.” There appears to have been significant fluctuations in the figure that military commanders would tolerate at different stages of the war.'

[Post edited 3 Apr 19:59]

"They break our legs and tell us to be grateful when they offer us crutches."
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 14:45 - Apr 4 with 1373 viewsChorleyBoy

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 14:29 - Apr 4 by SuperKieranMcKenna

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2023/12/11/middleeast/qatar-hamas-funds-israel-backing-i

The payments were stopped as a policy in 2021, and were to keep a semblance of functioning state of Gaza (I.e paying salaries etc). Some of their funding legitimately goes into schools and hospitals etc. Iran are happy to supply weapons mostly for free.


Why go to CNN to understand Netanyahu's policy when you can get the answer from Bibi himself?

Netanyahu said at a Likud party meeting in 2019 "Anyone who wants to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state needs to support strengthening Hamas. This is part of our strategy, to divide the Palestinians between those in Gaza and those in Judea and Samaria.”?

Now, why would he say that?
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:05 - Apr 4 with 1339 viewsChorleyBoy

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 14:44 - Apr 4 by Cheltenham_Blue

Not disagreeing with your points, but reference the Twitter (X) post you've linked, that picture is EXACTLY the same as the boot of my car at the moment, but there sure as sh1t isn't $15m in them.

A picture of three nondescript suitcases, in the back of a nondescript car, in a nondescript location is not evidence of $15m crossing the border into Gaza.


"n 2018, Qatar began making monthly payments to the Gaza Strip. Some $15 million were sent into Gaza in cash-filled suitcases – delivered by the Qataris through Israeli territory after months of negotiation with Israel."

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/12/11/middleeast/qatar-hamas-funds-israel-backing-i

This really isn't news and you shouldn't really be surprised about Israel's promotion of this funding to those who killed civilians on Oct 7th last year.

What you really need to do is join the dots.

Israel obviously doesn't want a One State solution. More to the point, Netanyahu is saying he doesn't want a Two State solution solution either, despite pretending to want it to an international audience. This is important because the people who want a home of their own are denying the Palestinians of exactly the same. And if you have any doubts about it, look at the events of the past 6 months in Gaza and the West Bank.
[Post edited 4 Apr 16:41]
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:08 - Apr 4 with 1330 viewsredrickstuhaart

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:05 - Apr 4 by ChorleyBoy

"n 2018, Qatar began making monthly payments to the Gaza Strip. Some $15 million were sent into Gaza in cash-filled suitcases – delivered by the Qataris through Israeli territory after months of negotiation with Israel."

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/12/11/middleeast/qatar-hamas-funds-israel-backing-i

This really isn't news and you shouldn't really be surprised about Israel's promotion of this funding to those who killed civilians on Oct 7th last year.

What you really need to do is join the dots.

Israel obviously doesn't want a One State solution. More to the point, Netanyahu is saying he doesn't want a Two State solution solution either, despite pretending to want it to an international audience. This is important because the people who want a home of their own are denying the Palestinians of exactly the same. And if you have any doubts about it, look at the events of the past 6 months in Gaza and the West Bank.
[Post edited 4 Apr 16:41]


This is the underlying point for all of this. Whether it is a long term plan coming to fruition or blatant opportunism by the Israeli state, the intention is clearly to be in control of gaza, build beach front property, and gradually force out whats left int he west bank through settlements.

From the river to the sea....
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:21 - Apr 4 with 1301 viewsChorleyBoy

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:08 - Apr 4 by redrickstuhaart

This is the underlying point for all of this. Whether it is a long term plan coming to fruition or blatant opportunism by the Israeli state, the intention is clearly to be in control of gaza, build beach front property, and gradually force out whats left int he west bank through settlements.

From the river to the sea....


Exactly, and those that can't see that, don't want to see it because it doesn't fit at all with the "only democracy in the Middle East, home to all peace-seeking Jews* worldwide" narrative they have been fed all their lives.

*There are many peace-seeking Jews round the world but the ones who actively protest against the treatment of the Palestinian people and reject Zionism are usually criticised, shunned, called antisemitic or deplatformed for speaking out.
[Post edited 4 Apr 15:22]
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:26 - Apr 4 with 1291 viewsSuperKieranMcKenna

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 14:45 - Apr 4 by ChorleyBoy

Why go to CNN to understand Netanyahu's policy when you can get the answer from Bibi himself?

Netanyahu said at a Likud party meeting in 2019 "Anyone who wants to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state needs to support strengthening Hamas. This is part of our strategy, to divide the Palestinians between those in Gaza and those in Judea and Samaria.”?

Now, why would he say that?


But your inference that Israel are the primary funding source of Hamas is incorrect is it not? They have provided a fraction of the $100’s of millions of capital and assets under Hamas control.

Iran, Qatar, and other regional allies are the primary source of finance for Hamas. I make no comment on the wider strategy of Israel and Hamas, but the scale of their financial relationship should not be overstated in order to go down a rabbit hole.
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:35 - Apr 4 with 1278 viewsbournemouthblue

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 07:52 - Apr 4 by buoyant

This is pretty low man!

Israel are attacking and killing civilians daily and have targeted and killed aid workers.

Can't believe I'm sat here pointing this out.


Am I right in thinking that these are by no means the first aid workers to die, they are just the first set with British casualties

This might be the final straw for Britain and America in this regard, given we are often supplying them with the arms to carry out strikes such as this?


The idea the IDF investigation that they describe as 'independent' can be independent in any way is downright dishonest, they are marking their own homework essentially
[Post edited 4 Apr 16:08]

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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:35 - Apr 4 with 1277 viewsChorleyBoy

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:26 - Apr 4 by SuperKieranMcKenna

But your inference that Israel are the primary funding source of Hamas is incorrect is it not? They have provided a fraction of the $100’s of millions of capital and assets under Hamas control.

Iran, Qatar, and other regional allies are the primary source of finance for Hamas. I make no comment on the wider strategy of Israel and Hamas, but the scale of their financial relationship should not be overstated in order to go down a rabbit hole.


My only inference is that Israel allows and actively encourages Hamas funding, nowhere have I said that Israel funds them directly.
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:50 - Apr 4 with 1250 viewsStokieBlue

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 13:26 - Apr 4 by lowhouseblue

those aren't the tests implied by the relevant geneva convention protocols. they don't prohibit proportionate warfare in urban areas. they also require intent.


So you think that destroying or damaging 50% of the buildings in an entire region is "proportionate warfare in an urban area"?

Are you also claiming that a significant portion of that 50% of buildings have been damaged unintentionally?

Hard to know what to say to that really.

SB

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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 16:25 - Apr 4 with 1189 viewsCheltenham_Blue

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:05 - Apr 4 by ChorleyBoy

"n 2018, Qatar began making monthly payments to the Gaza Strip. Some $15 million were sent into Gaza in cash-filled suitcases – delivered by the Qataris through Israeli territory after months of negotiation with Israel."

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/12/11/middleeast/qatar-hamas-funds-israel-backing-i

This really isn't news and you shouldn't really be surprised about Israel's promotion of this funding to those who killed civilians on Oct 7th last year.

What you really need to do is join the dots.

Israel obviously doesn't want a One State solution. More to the point, Netanyahu is saying he doesn't want a Two State solution solution either, despite pretending to want it to an international audience. This is important because the people who want a home of their own are denying the Palestinians of exactly the same. And if you have any doubts about it, look at the events of the past 6 months in Gaza and the West Bank.
[Post edited 4 Apr 16:41]


Do I get it now? I got it in the first place and don't need to be patronised by you.

I was making an observation about the lack of validity in that photograph, not expressing an undying love for the Israeli State or for the IDF.

Pick your battles, and stop assuming everyone disagrees with you.

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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 16:41 - Apr 4 with 1166 viewsChorleyBoy

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 16:25 - Apr 4 by Cheltenham_Blue

Do I get it now? I got it in the first place and don't need to be patronised by you.

I was making an observation about the lack of validity in that photograph, not expressing an undying love for the Israeli State or for the IDF.

Pick your battles, and stop assuming everyone disagrees with you.


I don't for a second believe that everyone disagrees with me, in fact I'd say on this issue I hold a majority view.

I've removed the part of my reply that you interpreted as patronising because I didn't intend to be. Apologies.
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 17:08 - Apr 4 with 1131 viewsBent_double

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 14:44 - Apr 4 by Cheltenham_Blue

Not disagreeing with your points, but reference the Twitter (X) post you've linked, that picture is EXACTLY the same as the boot of my car at the moment, but there sure as sh1t isn't $15m in them.

A picture of three nondescript suitcases, in the back of a nondescript car, in a nondescript location is not evidence of $15m crossing the border into Gaza.


Of course it is, if someone in the IDF says it is - I mean, they wouldn't lie about this, or anything else.....would they???

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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 17:19 - Apr 4 with 1116 viewslowhouseblue

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 15:50 - Apr 4 by StokieBlue

So you think that destroying or damaging 50% of the buildings in an entire region is "proportionate warfare in an urban area"?

Are you also claiming that a significant portion of that 50% of buildings have been damaged unintentionally?

Hard to know what to say to that really.

SB


i think that in a very densely urban / city environment in which a guerilla / military force of 30,000 has had the best part of two decades to strategically embed themselves within / under / nearby to residential areas and civilian infrastructure that level of damage is not inconsistent with the sole intention being to fight and destroy that guerilla / military force.

And so as the loose-bowelled pigeon of time swoops low over the unsuspecting tourist of destiny, and the flatulent skunk of fate wanders into the air-conditioning system of eternity, I notice it's the end of the show

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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 17:21 - Apr 4 with 1111 viewsredrickstuhaart

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 17:19 - Apr 4 by lowhouseblue

i think that in a very densely urban / city environment in which a guerilla / military force of 30,000 has had the best part of two decades to strategically embed themselves within / under / nearby to residential areas and civilian infrastructure that level of damage is not inconsistent with the sole intention being to fight and destroy that guerilla / military force.


And if that necessitates destroying most civilian, medical, religous and educational infrastructure, that's just dandy? (putting aside the genocide / ethnic cleansing issue for a moment).
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 17:27 - Apr 4 with 1091 viewslowhouseblue

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 17:21 - Apr 4 by redrickstuhaart

And if that necessitates destroying most civilian, medical, religous and educational infrastructure, that's just dandy? (putting aside the genocide / ethnic cleansing issue for a moment).


that's the question i asked in my first post on the thread. you can criticise israel without doubting that their sole intent is to destroy hamas and indeed, in so far as that objective allows, to limit civilian casualties while doing that. fighting in that environment comes at an unavoidable civilian cost - to justify that you have to believe that the military objectives are realistically achievable and the cost is proportionate. i don't think either of those now hold and we need an immediate ceasefire. but personally i don't doubt that israel's only objective has been to destroy hamas.

And so as the loose-bowelled pigeon of time swoops low over the unsuspecting tourist of destiny, and the flatulent skunk of fate wanders into the air-conditioning system of eternity, I notice it's the end of the show

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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 17:34 - Apr 4 with 1054 viewsredrickstuhaart

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 17:27 - Apr 4 by lowhouseblue

that's the question i asked in my first post on the thread. you can criticise israel without doubting that their sole intent is to destroy hamas and indeed, in so far as that objective allows, to limit civilian casualties while doing that. fighting in that environment comes at an unavoidable civilian cost - to justify that you have to believe that the military objectives are realistically achievable and the cost is proportionate. i don't think either of those now hold and we need an immediate ceasefire. but personally i don't doubt that israel's only objective has been to destroy hamas.


I dont believe for a moment that their sole intent is to destroy Hamas, or that they are remotely concerned about Palestinian casualties or damage to Palestinian infrastructure. I suspect its part of the plan.
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 20:12 - Apr 4 with 951 viewsjayessess

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 17:27 - Apr 4 by lowhouseblue

that's the question i asked in my first post on the thread. you can criticise israel without doubting that their sole intent is to destroy hamas and indeed, in so far as that objective allows, to limit civilian casualties while doing that. fighting in that environment comes at an unavoidable civilian cost - to justify that you have to believe that the military objectives are realistically achievable and the cost is proportionate. i don't think either of those now hold and we need an immediate ceasefire. but personally i don't doubt that israel's only objective has been to destroy hamas.


Given the litany of things said and done by Israeli government officials, politicians and military figures (not to speak of IDF soldiers, activist settlers, the militant groups blockading aid, popular songs etc.) demonstrating intentions that are plausibly genocidal (according to the ICJ), at this point I'm not sure why on Earth we should believe that was Israel's sole intent.
[Post edited 4 Apr 20:13]

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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 07:44 - Apr 5 with 810 viewsDJR

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 17:27 - Apr 4 by lowhouseblue

that's the question i asked in my first post on the thread. you can criticise israel without doubting that their sole intent is to destroy hamas and indeed, in so far as that objective allows, to limit civilian casualties while doing that. fighting in that environment comes at an unavoidable civilian cost - to justify that you have to believe that the military objectives are realistically achievable and the cost is proportionate. i don't think either of those now hold and we need an immediate ceasefire. but personally i don't doubt that israel's only objective has been to destroy hamas.


This I posted on 14 December suggests you should doubt.

Nearly half of the air-to-ground munitions that Israel has used in Gaza in its war with Hamas since 7 October have been unguided, otherwise known as “dumb bombs”, a new US intelligence assessment says, according to a report by CNN.

The network’s report says:

The assessment, compiled by the office of the director of national intelligence and described to CNN by three sources who have seen it, says that about 40-45% of the 29,000 air-to-ground munitions Israel has used have been unguided. The rest have been precision-guided munitions, the assessment says.

Unguided munitions are typically less precise and can pose a greater threat to civilians, especially in such a densely populated area like Gaza. The rate at which Israel is using the dumb bombs may be contributing to the soaring civilian death toll.

Experts told CNN that if Israel is using unguided munitions at the rate the US believes they are, that undercuts the Israeli claim that they are trying to minimise civilian casualties.

“I’m extremely surprised and concerned,” said Brian Castner, a former explosive ordnance disposal officer who now serves as Amnesty International’s senior crisis adviser on arms and military operations.

He said:

It’s bad enough to be using the weapons when they are precisely hitting their targets. It is a massive civilian harm problem if they do not have that accuracy, and if you can’t even give a benefit of the doubt that the weapon is actually landing where the Israeli forces intended to.
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 08:08 - Apr 5 with 775 viewsnoggin

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 07:44 - Apr 5 by DJR

This I posted on 14 December suggests you should doubt.

Nearly half of the air-to-ground munitions that Israel has used in Gaza in its war with Hamas since 7 October have been unguided, otherwise known as “dumb bombs”, a new US intelligence assessment says, according to a report by CNN.

The network’s report says:

The assessment, compiled by the office of the director of national intelligence and described to CNN by three sources who have seen it, says that about 40-45% of the 29,000 air-to-ground munitions Israel has used have been unguided. The rest have been precision-guided munitions, the assessment says.

Unguided munitions are typically less precise and can pose a greater threat to civilians, especially in such a densely populated area like Gaza. The rate at which Israel is using the dumb bombs may be contributing to the soaring civilian death toll.

Experts told CNN that if Israel is using unguided munitions at the rate the US believes they are, that undercuts the Israeli claim that they are trying to minimise civilian casualties.

“I’m extremely surprised and concerned,” said Brian Castner, a former explosive ordnance disposal officer who now serves as Amnesty International’s senior crisis adviser on arms and military operations.

He said:

It’s bad enough to be using the weapons when they are precisely hitting their targets. It is a massive civilian harm problem if they do not have that accuracy, and if you can’t even give a benefit of the doubt that the weapon is actually landing where the Israeli forces intended to.


"It’s bad enough to be using the weapons when they are precisely hitting their targets. It is a massive civilian harm problem if they do not have that accuracy, and if you can’t even give a benefit of the doubt that the weapon is actually landing where the Israeli forces intended to."


Or perhaps, they don't care where they land.

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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 08:15 - Apr 5 with 748 viewsDJR

Going back to the OP, there are reports that the US is looking into the use by Israel of AI as reported in +972 Magazine, but that report is a follow up to an article I posted about on 14 December, and it begs the question as to why no one was bothered then.

Here is what I posted, with an extract below.

https://www.972mag.com/mass-assassination-factory-israel-calculated-bombing-gaza

Compared to previous Israeli assaults on Gaza, the current war — which Israel has named “Operation Iron Swords,” and which began in the wake of the Hamas-led assault on southern Israel on October 7 — has seen the army significantly expand its bombing of targets that are not distinctly military in nature. These include private residences as well as public buildings, infrastructure, and high-rise blocks, which sources say the army defines as “power targets”.

The bombing of power targets, according to intelligence sources who had first-hand experience with its application in Gaza in the past, is mainly intended to harm Palestinian civil society: to “create a shock” that, among other things, will reverberate powerfully and “lead civilians to put pressure on Hamas,” as one source put it.

Several of the sources, who spoke to +972 and Local Call on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the Israeli army has files on the vast majority of potential targets in Gaza — including homes — which stipulate the number of civilians who are likely to be killed in an attack on a particular target. This number is calculated and known in advance to the army’s intelligence units, who also know shortly before carrying out an attack roughly how many civilians are certain to be killed.

In one case discussed by the sources, the Israeli military command knowingly approved the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in an attempt to assassinate a single top Hamas military commander. “The numbers increased from dozens of civilian deaths [permitted] as collateral damage as part of an attack on a senior official in previous operations, to hundreds of civilian deaths as collateral damage,” said one source.

“Nothing happens by accident,” said another source. “When a 3-year-old girl is killed in a home in Gaza, it’s because someone in the army decided it wasn’t a big deal for her to be killed — that it was a price worth paying in order to hit [another] target. We are not Hamas. These are not random rockets. Everything is intentional. We know exactly how much collateral damage there is in every home.”

According to the investigation, another reason for the large number of targets, and the extensive harm to civilian life in Gaza, is the widespread use of a system called “Habsora” (“The Gospel”), which is largely built on artificial intelligence and can “generate” targets almost automatically at a rate that far exceeds what was previously possible. This AI system, as described by a former intelligence officer, essentially facilitates a “mass assassination factory.”

According to the sources, the increasing use of AI-based systems like Habsora allows the army to carry out strikes on residential homes where a single Hamas member lives on a massive scale, even those who are junior Hamas operatives. Yet testimonies of Palestinians in Gaza suggest that since October 7, the army has also attacked many private residences where there was no known or apparent member of Hamas or any other militant group residing. Such strikes, sources confirmed to +972 and Local Call, can knowingly kill entire families in the process.

In the majority of cases, the sources added, military activity is not conducted from these targeted homes. “I remember thinking that it was like if [Palestinian militants] would bomb all the private residences of our families when [Israeli soldiers] go back to sleep at home on the weekend,” one source, who was critical of this practice, recalled.
[Post edited 5 Apr 8:36]
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 08:55 - Apr 5 with 697 viewsDJR

After a "ticking off" from Biden, normal service is resumed, not surprising since the US is continuing to arm Israel and Biden indicated continued support for Israel's war aims.

"Israeli forces launched air raids and shelled numerous areas of the Gaza Strip overnight, killing and wounding “many civilians”, including women and children, reports the Wafa news agency.
These are the areas hit by the latest Israeli attacks, according to Wafa:
Sheikh Zayed City, northern Gaza
Tal al-Hawa, southwest of Gaza City
east of Maghazi refugee camp, central Gaza
central, western and eastern parts of Khan Younis
eastern part of Rafah city"


And this suggests Israel will be doing the bare minimum on the humanitarian front.

Netanyahu’s office says it will allow “temporary” aid deliveries via its border with the northern Gaza Strip.
“Israel will allow the temporary delivery of humanitarian aid through Ashdod and the Erez checkpoint,” the statement from the prime minister’s office said, referring to a port about 40km (25 miles) north of Gaza and the Beit Hanoon land crossing.
“This increased aid will prevent a humanitarian crisis and is necessary to ensure the continuation of the fighting and to achieve the goals of the war,” it added.
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 09:40 - Apr 5 with 654 viewsDJR

This article is in today's Haaretz.

Israel Created 'Kill Zones' in Gaza. Anyone Who Crosses Into Them Is Shot

The Israeli army says 9,000 terrorists have been killed since the Gaza war began. Defense officials and soldiers, however, tell Haaretz that these are often civilians whose only crime was to cross an invisible line drawn by the IDF

It was another routine announcement by the Israeli army. Following a rocket launch at Ashkelon, "a terrorist who had fired the rocket was identified and an air force aircraft attacked and eliminated him." Ostensibly, this was another statistic in the roster of dead Hamas militants.

However, over a week ago, other documentation of the incident surfaced on Al-Jazeera. It showed four men, not one, walking together on a wide path, in civilian clothing. There is no one nearby, only the ruins of houses where people once lived. This apocalyptic silence in the Khan Yunis area was shattered by a loud explosion. Two of the men were killed instantly. Two others were wounded and tried to continue walking. Perhaps they thought they had been saved, but seconds later, a bomb was dropped on one of them. You can then see the other one falling to his knees and then, a boom, fire and smoke.

"This was a very grave incident," a senior Israel Defense Forces officer told Haaretz. "They were unarmed, they didn't endanger our forces in the area in which they were walking." In addition, says an intelligence officer who is familiar with the story, it was not at all certain that they were involved in launching the rocket. He says that they were simply the people who were closest to the launching site – it's possible they were terrorists, it's possible they were civilians out looking for food.

This story is but one example, made public, of the manner in which Palestinians are killed by IDF gunfire in the Gaza Strip. The number of dead Gazans is now estimated to be over 32,000. According to the army, some 9,000 of these are terrorists.

However, a host of reserve and standing army commanders who have talked to Haaretz cast doubt on the claim that all of these were terrorists. They imply that the definition of terrorist is open to a wide range of interpretation. It's quite possible that Palestinians who never held a gun in their lives were elevated to the rank of "terrorist" posthumously, at least by the IDF.

"In practice, a terrorist is anyone the IDF has killed in the areas in which its forces operate," says a reserve officer who has served in Gaza.

The army's figures are no secret. On the contrary, over time they have become a source of pride, perhaps the closest thing to a "victory image" Israel has achieved since the war began. But this image, says a senior officer in Southern Command who is very familiar with the issue, is not quite authentic.

"It's astonishing to hear the reports after every operation, regarding how many terrorists were killed," he says, explaining: "You don't need to be a genius to realize that you don't have hundreds or dozens of armed men running through the streets of Khan Yunis or Jabaliya, fighting the IDF."

So, what do the battles in Gaza really look like? According to a reserve officer who was there, "usually there is a terrorist, maybe two or three, hiding inside a building. The ones discovering them are combatants with special equipment or drones."

One of the roles of this officer was to inform senior echelons of the number of terrorists killed in the area he and his men were fighting in. "This wasn't an official debriefing where they want you to produce all the bodies," he explains. "They ask you how many and I give a number based on what we see and understand on the ground, and we move on."

He emphasizes that "it's not that we invent bodies, but no one can determine with certainty who is a terrorist and who was hit after entering the combat zone of an IDF force." Indeed, a number of reservists and other soldiers who were in Gaza in recent months point to the ease with which a Palestinian is included in a specific category after his death. It seems that the question is not what he did but where he was killed.

In the heart of a kill zone

The combat zone is a key term. This is an area in which a force sets itself up, usually in an abandoned house, with the area surrounding it becoming a closed military area, but with no clear marking as such. Another term for such areas is "kill zones."

"In every combat zone, commanders define such kill zones," says the reserve officer. "This means clear red lines that no one who is not from the IDF may cross, so that our forces in the area are not hit." The boundaries of these kill zones are not determined in advance, nor is their distance from the house in which the forces are situated.

To a large extent, the tragedy in which three hostages were killed by the IDF is such a story, since in fleeing from their captors the three entered a kill zone in the middle of the Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City.

"Battalion 17 was protecting a southern logistical evacuation route used by the division," said brigade commander Col. Israel Friedler, who was in charge of the force, during an investigation of the incident. "The range of vision and the kill zone were close to our forces," he said. The end is known, as is the fact that procedures were not followed. Subsequently, procedures were tightened.

Nowadays, if the presence of hostages in an area is known, operations will be carried out accordingly, and such areas will be not be hit from the air. However, what happens in other areas is apparently less regulated. It is unclear how many unarmed Palestinian civilians were shot dead when they entered such zones.

"The feeling we had was that there weren't really rules of engagement there," a reservist who until recently was in northern Gaza tells Haaretz.

"The feeling we had was that there weren't really rules of engagement there," a reservist who until recently was in northern Gaza tells Haaretz. "I don't remember anyone going over the details with us after every incident." This corresponds with the impression of a senior defense establishment official. "It appears," he says, "that many combat forces are writing their own rules of engagement."

A senior defense official told Haaretz that this issue reached the desk of Chief of Staff Herzl Halevi already at the beginning of the war. When the General Staff realized that the rules of engagement in Gaza are subject to interpretation by local commanders, "the chief of staff came out in the clearest manner against the killing of anyone entering a combat zone. He talked about this in his speeches," says this official. "Regrettably, there are still commanders, even senior ones, who do as they please in their conduct in the Gaza Strip."

The orders are still to shoot anyone approaching forces in a combat zone. Since "approaching" is a very subjective term, it is not surprising that it is subject to interpretation on the ground.

A reserve officer with an important role in a forward command post of a reserve brigade at the forefront of the fighting in northern Gaza says that age and experience play a role. In other words, younger conscript soldiers are likelier to pull the trigger, compared to reservists.

This officer was involved in an incident in which innocent people could easily have been killed. "We identified a suspicious man who was about to enter our combat zone," he relates. "We already had a drone in the air with approval to kill the suspect. Suddenly, at the last moment, we and the drone operator saw the man entering a street and a square, with dozens of people there." This was a few yards outside the combat zone boundary, where there was a market with stalls, children on bicycles, a parallel world. "We didn't even know there were civilians there," he says. They immediately decided to call off the strike, apparently preventing a disaster.

"I have no doubt that there are other forces which would have used the drone," adds the officer. "There is always tension between protecting our forces, which is the highest priority, and a situation in which you try to avoid unnecessary killing of civilians."

In all that chaos, a lot of weight is given to the judgment of commanders on the ground, be it a brigade, battalion or company commander, say many combatants who spoke to Haaretz. They say that there are commanders who will shoot at a building with a suspect in it even if there are civilians in the vicinity, while other commanders will act differently.

Throughout our discussions with various defense officials, officers and combatants, the dilemma of distinguishing between a civilian and terrorist kept cropping up. How can you identify someone if you're in danger, or decide whether it's right to wait a while without rushing to shoot. Turning to commanders can yield different answers, depending on the person and the situation.

"For our commanders, if we identified someone in our area of operation who was not part of our forces, we were told to shoot to kill," said a soldier from a reserve brigade in describing his experience. "We were explicitly told that even if a suspect runs into a building with people in it, we should fire at the building and kill the terrorist, even if other people are hurt."

The test of time

Civilians in Gaza are aware of locations that are defined, at least on paper, as firing zones. They are supposed to remain in and around humanitarian shelters. These are areas in which the IDF does not create combat zones.

An intelligence officer who is in the thick of combat says that "what is happening in the northern Gaza Strip should not worry the Americans; it should worry Israel."

But the test of time is relevant here, half a year into the war. "If we were there for a month or two, you could stick with the order that anyone approaching should be shot," says the officer from the front command post. "But we've been there for six months, and people have to start coming out; they are trying to survive, and that leads to very serious incidents."

These incidents are very troubling for the American administration, which in recent weeks has been demanding that Israel manage its policy of firing as it relates to civilians in a much more responsible manner. And yet, an intelligence officer who is in the thick of combat says that "what is happening in the northern Gaza Strip should not worry the Americans; it should worry Israel."

He says that "there are over 300,000 civilians there, most of them concentrated in areas the IDF has defined as humanitarian shelters since the beginning of the war." These people, he says, "are the most disadvantaged people in Gaza, people who didn't have the money needed to move to the south or to rent an apartment or room, or even to obtain a tent."

The situation in these areas, he adds, is very difficult. People residing there fight for food and for a place to sleep. He says that it's become a life-or-death struggle in which violence reigns and governance is absent.

A senior IDF commander who is involved in the combat adds that "in many parts of northern Gaza there are civilians who are not in these humanitarian shelters," he says. "Some of them simply returned to or stayed in their houses to protect their property from pillage, concerned that someone else would take over their house while they fled."

"Instead of starting to rebuild and disperse the people in these shelters, soldiers are brought back to the same areas, which have only become more crowded, with people who have much less to lose," says a reserve officer who has just left a combat zone in Shujaiyeh.

Thus, people in their homes, which happen to lie outside the humanitarian shelters where the IDF does not operate, are in clear danger. "They could be in buildings right next to where soldiers are located," says this commander. "If someone sees them, they are usually hit." Sometimes they don't know that they are perceived as posing a danger. Thus, there is an IDF order for Gazans to avoid going on rooftops. Anyone on a roof is liable to be shot.

The senior commander estimates that there were incidents in which civilians tried to reach areas they thought the army had left, possibly in the hope of finding food left behind. "When they went to such places, they were shot, perceived as people who could harm our forces," says this commander.

One officer mentioned another factor that increases friction with civilians: the fact that in recent weeks the IDF has remained static in many parts of the Strip, without moving to fight in new areas.

"Instead of starting to rebuild and disperse the people in these shelters, soldiers are brought back to the same areas, which have only become more crowded, with people who have much less to lose," says a reserve officer who has just left a combat zone in Shujaiyeh. This officer believes that the IDF and the entire defense establishment clearly understand that at the end of the fighting, Israel will have to contend with these incidents and their implications vis-à-vis the international community.

Meanwhile, a General Staff investigative team is on the ground, sending its conclusions to the military advocate general. But with no one knowing how many terrorists have been killed and how many civilians have been counted as terrorists, it seems that this team's task is not a simple one.

In response to questions by Haaretz, the IDF spokesperson said that regard to categorizing the fatalities from IDF fire in Gaza and the number of terrorists killed, "the IDF is in the midst of a war against the Hamas terror organization and is acting to foil threats against its forces. The IDF constantly calls on civilians to evacuate intense combat zones and is investing efforts into allowing civilians to evacuate as safely as possible."

"In contrast to claims being made, the IDF has not defined 'kill zones.' Support for this comes from the fact that the IDF has arrested a large number of terrorists or suspected terrorists during the fighting, without inflicting damage in intense combat zones," continued the army.

Indeed, there is no written order regarding a kill zone in the IDF's rule book. But this doesn't mean that the concept is unknown to soldiers. Evidence of this is the investigation of the incident in which the three hostages were killed.

As for the documented footage of the attack on the four unarmed Gazans, the IDF spokesperson responded that "the area documented in the footage is an active combat area in Khan Yunis, in which there was a significant evacuation of the civilian population. The forces there experienced many encounters with terrorists who fight and move in combat areas, while dressed as civilians, and camouflage combat gear in buildings and property that appear to be civilian."

"The incident documented in the footage was examined by the investigative apparatus of the General Staff, which is a body that is independent and responsible for examining exceptional incidents that happen in the course of combat," the army added.
[Post edited 5 Apr 9:41]
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Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 10:02 - Apr 5 with 616 viewspointofblue

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 17:34 - Apr 4 by redrickstuhaart

I dont believe for a moment that their sole intent is to destroy Hamas, or that they are remotely concerned about Palestinian casualties or damage to Palestinian infrastructure. I suspect its part of the plan.


I think their intent is destroy Hamas but it's got to the point where those on the far right believe every Palestinian is part of Hamas, or at least supports them, and is therefore seen as a legitimate target. Kill children and they won't grow up to join Hamas. For now, the far right control the government and, I imagine, hold great sway over the army.

My belief is they also perceive calls from the international community for a ceasefire being far louder than the request to release the hostages, which plays into a victim complex where those on the right do not feel the country has much support, so are willing to ignore any requests or orders from outside bodies as "they hate Israel anyway". It's a classic tactic - portraying a lack of allies theoretically brings more people inwards. I'm not sure if it's fully working.

Meanwhile...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-68687749

Poll: Who would you play at right centre back on Saturday?

0
Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 10:16 - Apr 5 with 588 viewsredrickstuhaart

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 10:02 - Apr 5 by pointofblue

I think their intent is destroy Hamas but it's got to the point where those on the far right believe every Palestinian is part of Hamas, or at least supports them, and is therefore seen as a legitimate target. Kill children and they won't grow up to join Hamas. For now, the far right control the government and, I imagine, hold great sway over the army.

My belief is they also perceive calls from the international community for a ceasefire being far louder than the request to release the hostages, which plays into a victim complex where those on the right do not feel the country has much support, so are willing to ignore any requests or orders from outside bodies as "they hate Israel anyway". It's a classic tactic - portraying a lack of allies theoretically brings more people inwards. I'm not sure if it's fully working.

Meanwhile...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-68687749


The reason for the calls for less murder are louder than the calls for return of hostages, are twofold.

1: Thereis far more murder and ethnic cleansing happening than there are hostages

2: The world assumes / understand Israel to be a democracy with proper systems, safeguards and values which can and will respond, whilst recognising Hamas as a terrorist organisation driven by a hateful ideology. The world is struggling to come to terms with having been mistaken.
2
Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 10:35 - Apr 5 with 558 viewspointofblue

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 10:16 - Apr 5 by redrickstuhaart

The reason for the calls for less murder are louder than the calls for return of hostages, are twofold.

1: Thereis far more murder and ethnic cleansing happening than there are hostages

2: The world assumes / understand Israel to be a democracy with proper systems, safeguards and values which can and will respond, whilst recognising Hamas as a terrorist organisation driven by a hateful ideology. The world is struggling to come to terms with having been mistaken.


Both points to me are what is feeding the far right in Israel. Palestinian lives are seen as more important than Israeli lives and the Israeli government is being held to a different standard to Hamas, and therefore Hamas are "getting away" with holding hostages by the international community. Not only that, but there are constant - correct - calls for a two state solution but very little saying Hamas needs to recognise the state of Israel to move forward. In their mind, the pressure is on Israel to agree to a ceasefire and recognise a two state solution with very little in return.

I think most on the far right believe this. Some may use it as a convenient excuse whilst deep down seeing the different nuances involved, which they find uncomfortable or unhelpful so ignore.

Poll: Who would you play at right centre back on Saturday?

0
Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 10:37 - Apr 5 with 551 viewsredrickstuhaart

Watching the Israeli military and government spokesmen on the latest Gaza murder on 10:35 - Apr 5 by pointofblue

Both points to me are what is feeding the far right in Israel. Palestinian lives are seen as more important than Israeli lives and the Israeli government is being held to a different standard to Hamas, and therefore Hamas are "getting away" with holding hostages by the international community. Not only that, but there are constant - correct - calls for a two state solution but very little saying Hamas needs to recognise the state of Israel to move forward. In their mind, the pressure is on Israel to agree to a ceasefire and recognise a two state solution with very little in return.

I think most on the far right believe this. Some may use it as a convenient excuse whilst deep down seeing the different nuances involved, which they find uncomfortable or unhelpful so ignore.


Of course, Israel are an internaionally recognised state, whilst Hamas are a terrorist organisation. Do they really want to be held to the same standards? They are certainly achieving them.

Of course a two state solution inevitably involves recognition of Israel. But the opposition to that solution is primarily Israeli.
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