The Fallout from Premeditated Barbarianism – Part 10
Part Ten: Death and destruction from air, sea, and land
At the time of this writing, Israel’s Operation Protective Edge that is being waged against Hamas’s rocket-fire into Israeli cities and towns and a fight against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, has entered its 16th day; it is now day seven of Israel’s ground offensive.
Terrible destruction is being wreaked in Gaza as the IAF targets Hamas lairs and often causes massive secondary explosions as weapons caches ignite. Israel’s Navy is also pounding Hamas targets with precision ordinances from the sea. Israeli troops are moving house to house in Gaza City seeking out the entrances to Hamas “attack tunnels,” Hamas gunmen, and weapons caches. When Israeli troops uncover a tunnel entrance they enter the tunnel and often engage in fierce fighting with Hamas gunmen who desperately try to protect their tunnels. The “attack tunnels,” as they are now called, have taken years to dig and fortify, each tunnel costing millions of dollars to construct; they are all interconnected, like a huge network of nerves and arteries. There is a virtual city beneath Gaza, a labyrinth, which to the IDF resembles a maze. There is one Gaza above and another Gaza beneath the one above.
The tunnels have been dubbed “attack tunnels” due to the fact that 30 tunnels have now been discovered that go right under the Gaza-Israel border and come out near, and often inside, Israeli towns and kibbutzim. High-ranking IDF officers say that the tunnels are impressive. One suggested that Israel should employ the tunnelers to build the proposed underground light rail in Tel Aviv. Israeli demolition experts destroy the tunnels with explosives. When the munitions inside ignite the secondary explosion sends rubble and earth several hundred meters (yards) into the air.
Several incursions into Israel by dozens of Hamas gunmen wearing IDF uniforms have taken place in the past few days with the intent of murdering and kidnapping Israelis. Fortunately, IDF troops in full combat gear are swarming around near the Gaza border and all attempts to kill or kidnap Israelis have ended either in the deaths of the gunmen or of them fleeing back to the safety of their underground fortresses. The “attack tunnels” thus far discovered under the border could accommodate an invasion force into southern Israel of at least 1,000 fully armed terrorist gunmen, which could create a massacre of cosmic proportions among the Israeli population of southern Israel.
The fiercest fighting in Gaza is taking place around the tunnels and a heavy casualty toll is being taken among the Israeli soldiers with 32 having now fallen in battle. Deaths among Hamas gunmen is slowly inching up toward the 300 mark. Some 75 gunmen have surrendered to Israeli troops, another 31 have been captured, and all are being interrogated at a detention center within Israel.
Israeli border towns are emptying out as the battle beyond the border rages and infiltrations by Hamas gunmen appear to be on the rise. Fifty percent of the residents have now gone to live elsewhere, with the number rising to 80 percent in towns that straddle the Gaza border. Southern border town residents are seeking safer ground; the newly discovered “attack tunnels” have them spooked. Ofra Benudiz, a mother of four, living in a kibbutz near Sderot, said: “It’s changed our viewpoint entirely. The rockets we somehow got used to. This is something else. They are under our homes. Our greatest fear is that they will infiltrate.” Others tell of how, when the closed their eyes at night, they heard “phantom shoveling sounds.” It was a rude awakening for them to now realize that the noises were actual and not phantom. One tunnel came out right under the dining room of a kibbutz. Had gunmen broken out of that tunnel there would have been many casualties.
IDF troops have fought ferocious firefights with Hamas gunmen, who know every inch of the tunnels, and found that the fiercest fighting took place in order to protect Hamas command centers. The IDF is looking for the master tunnel that houses the Hamas high command.
On Monday July 21, after four days of advance warning for Palestinians to leave their homes in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, Israel attacked the Hamas stronghold with ferocity. That day Israel lost 13 of its soldiers, and some 80 Palestinians were killed. Gallagher Fenwick, the correspondent for France24, followed the Hamas line when he spoke about a massacre of women and children. Fenwick and others would be unable to broadcast from Gaza if they did not toe the Hamas media line, but watching France24 news, which is always pro-Arab and anti-Israel, Fenwick’s terrorist-line monologues are to be expected. Conversely, Al-Jazeera, which has been labeled a “terrorist network,” was far more impartial in its English news; even reporting that most of the Palestinians killed were of fighting age.
Hamas has ordered all Palestinian media and social networking sites to always use the term “innocent civilians” when referring to casualties and they are “not to show evidence of rockets fired from population centers.” However, several foreign correspondents have tweeted that rockets are being fired from near their hotels and one tweet told of a Hamas gunman going through the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City “dressed in a woman’s headscarf … tip of a gun poked out from under cloak.” The tweeting correspondents have all received threats on their lives, but one, Harry Fear, a journalist from the UK, tweeted his critics: “Should a journalist only report the noise and ferocity of Israel’s attacks & not the sounds of Gaza’s rockets? Both terrify people.”
IDF soldiers suffered heavy losses fighting in Shejaiya due to being fired upon from more than 20 houses with machine guns, rocket propelled grenades, and anti-tank weapons. Several attack tunnels were found that led from Shejaiya right to the Israeli border, a distance of almost two and a half kilometers (1.5 miles). Inside the tunnels were found tranquilizers and bandages, which could well have been in preparation for kidnappings.
The IDF released audio and video recordings of the warnings being given to civilian residents in Gaza City. The IDF actually counts the number of people who flee from a particular building after a warning. If the number of those pouring out is not large enough it drops a small bomb on the building and then one could see more people quickly run out. After that a warplane drops a one ton bomb and the building erupts in a terrifying, massive fireball when the munitions inside explode. When the rubble and dust settle and the smoke drifts away, the building is nowhere to be seen.
The IAF pilots have been flying sorties almost non-stop for 16 days and often only nap in their planes; some have not seen their wives or children for several days at a time. Pilots interviewed by Israel’s Channel 2 television tell how they have difficulty sleeping after they inadvertently kill civilians.
On the evening of Friday July 7 the IDF released black-and-white aerial footage of a site in the Gaza Strip which was marked as a target for the IAF to attack. The footage was for Israeli consumption, but it is an example of the lengths Israel will go to in order to save Palestinian lives.
The video shows the target, but as the Israeli pilot zeroed in on the target, he stopped short of dropping munitions on it, as he had been instructed to do. “There are people, there are people close to our target,” he could be heard saying in Hebrew. “It looks like there are people, possibly children, in our targeted area.” After a moment, he receives a reply from the personnel on the ground. “We are not going to strike this target now,” says the female soldier on the other side of the line. “Let’s move on.”
Those political talking heads screaming for Israel to end to hostilities against Hamas would do well to ascertain exactly what is going on instead of spouting about what they do not know. Does the reader not think it odd that Israel is the only nation that is not allowed to win. Europe, especially, seems to believe that Israelis should be happy to be fodder for terrorist rockets, but then the great majority of Europeans are inherently antisemitic. Anti-Israelism is merely a euphemism for antisemitism.
To be continued