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IDF: Mortar to Blame for Killing Palestinians in UN Building

Israelis don’t kill Palestinians, errant mortars do.

When Israeli troops hit a United Nations building last Tuesday, killing upwards of 40 Palestinians, Israel’s spin machine went into full gear. In the subsequent week, it churned out pretty much every form of deniability possible — incurring the protest and wrath of UN personnel who were there.

I think, if I recall correctly, I heard all the following alleged: Hamas fighters were in the building and firing from it. I think a few Zionuts in the comments section suggested something about secondary explosions and the Palestinians putting on a show of the aftermath — but I may be conflating my pro-Israel talking points.

Sean wrote in the comments section of this post more accurately. He heard the following:

1). That Hamas fired a mortar from within the school grounds
2). That Hamas fired a Qassem from within the school grounds
3). That Hamas “fired” from inside the school itself, without specifying what it fired. Obviously, you cannot fire a mortar or a Qassem from inside a building.
4). Hamas booby-trapped the school and the Israeli mortars triggered these booby traps which in turn triggered “secondary explosions” from the explosives caches the UN/Hamas cabal stored at the school, and it was these explosions that killed the victims there.

The idea was that Israel would never do such a thing for no reason. And while I think Israel does not try to aim at an kill too many Palestinians as it did that day, they sure are guilty of not giving a shit about them.

The spin cycle seems to have all ended when the IDF admitted it was a mistake late last week. However, an IDF investigation is taking it even a step further away from accountability, and is blaming it on an “errant mortar” and other nonhuman devices, including it’s GPS system, as well as another machine system that decided not to work properly that day:

The troops had intended to launch a smart missile to take out the Palestinian launch team but a technical malfunction made this impossible, according to the probe. The commanders of the force instead decided to fire on the Qassam team with mortar shells equipped with a Global Positioning System for accurate fire.

So, they used the dumb mortar instead and forty Palestinians died in a UN shelter, all because the dumb mortar made a mistake and the GPS has an error margin of 30 feet (which is MUCH bigger in small, highly crowded Gaza).

The Israeli politicians who planned this whole assault and the soldiers who loaded the mortar were all innocent in their banal disregard for Palestinian life. It was the damn machine’s fault!

Despite the investigation’s blame-the-machine strategy, some IDF officers told Haaretz the mortar-loaders “should have refrained from using mortar rounds and relied instead on more accurate fire.”

I can relate to the investigation’s findings though. It’s like when I was high school, I failed a Math exam because my calculator kept giving me the wrong answers. I should have had the IDF conduct the investigation afterward. Maybe they would have bombed Texas Instruments to vindicate my D+.

Speaking of illogical reasoning,

Other officers said they found the death toll published by Hamas grossly exaggerated, pointing out that a week ago only three IDF soldiers were killed when a tank fired two rounds – which have a much larger impact than mortar rounds – into a building which was occupied by 50 IDF soldiers.

How does this make any sense? I think having a mass of people in a shelter is a little more prone to higher casualties than a mere 50 soldiers in a building; and where the building was hit is more important than the type of armaments used.

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Discussion

12 Responses to “IDF: Mortar to Blame for Killing Palestinians in UN Building”

  1. Where’s the spin? Before anything was known for certain, theories were floated about. And with HAMAS expoloiting the deaths of innocents, who was to say?

    But, after an investigation, Israel admits that a mortar hit the school. I’m not quite sure where the spin is?

    Posted by cho | January 11, 2009, 10:28 pm
  2. I have read the following reported by the IDF:

    1). That Hamas fired a mortar from within the school grounds
    2). That Hamas fired a Qassem from within the school grounds
    3). That Hamas “fired” from inside the school itself, without specifying what it fired. Obviously, you cannot fire a mortar or a Qassem from inside a building.
    4). Hamas booby-trapped the school and the Israeli mortars triggered these booby traps which in turn triggered “secondary explosions” from the explosives caches the UN/Hamas cabal stored at the school, and it was these explosions that killed the victims there.

    Explaining its attack on al-Fahora school, the Israeli military claimed that a mortar was fired from the playground, and it responded with a single shell whichkilled known Hamas fighters; the resulting explosion was compounded because Hamas “booby-trapped the school”.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-obama

    “According to the IDF, among the dead were members of a Hamas cell. The infantrymen returned mortar shell fire into the school grounds, the army said … booby-trapped bombs triggered secondary explosions.”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24885076-20261,00.html

    This latter is the most ridiculous of them all. We are to believe that Israeli mortars don’t kill people, but they can set off Hamas booby traps which do kill people. Apparently, the UN not only allowed Hamas militants to use a UN school as an ammo dump, but also let them booby-trap the school as well, just in case it was hit by an Israeli mortar in which case they could kill some of their own people and blame it on Israel.

    This patently ridiculous and convoluted explanation is identical to the nonense Israel offered in defense of one of its gunboats murdering a Palestinian family picnicking on a beach:

    “The military now says that it fired six shells on to and around the beach where Huda Ghalia’s family died, with one of them falling about 100 yards away, but by coincidence a mine planted by Hamas exploded in the same area at the same time. The military backs its claim with analysis of aerial photographs, shrapnel and what it is says is intelligence that Hamas has mined Gaza beaches to stop Israeli forces landing, although it is not known to have used such a tactic before.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jun/13/israel3

    Once again, Israel fires a barrage of shells at a group of civilians which does not manage to kill any of them but does unfortunately occur just as a conveniently-placed Hamas mine decides to set itself off, causing the otherwise guiltless Israelis to get the blame. (Side note to Israeli propaganda department: targeting artillery within 600 meters of a friendly position is considered “danger close” meaning extraordinary care must be taken for precise aiming to avoid friendly fire incidents.)

    Posted by Sean | January 11, 2009, 11:01 pm
  3. Some comments:

    The accuracy of a "dumb" mortar is 3 meters or 10 feet. If it is reasonable to expect that it is possible to wipe out the enemy without too much damage to civilians it is perfectly OK. Accidents happen and it is not a war crime.

    Booby-trapping schools a ridiculous claim?? Just check the latest IDF video where a zoo and a school are booby-trapped.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHhs9ihSmbU&feature;=channel_page

    It is time for you to really understand the animal Israel is dealing with. It is a murdering group of gangsters that mercilessly uses its own people in a futile fight against Israel as a proxy to Iran.

    I am not sure if you have read the latest comments from the Egyptian negotiator who informed that the Hamas negotiators had been pressured by Iran not to accept any deal with Israel or they will looses their funding and arms. As one thing, Iran wants to use this conflict to take the world attention away from the Iran nuclear program.

    It is time for Israel to hit and hit hard to cut the head of the snake that will change the equation in the middle east for years to come.

    Let me tell you that after this war is over, the political balance in the ME will change for the good. All moderate forces will sigh from relief and animosity toward Isarel will be forgotten in few months. Then it is time to discuss the Palestian state issue.

    Posted by Arno | January 12, 2009, 2:57 am
  4. “It is time for you to really understand the animal Israel is dealing with. It is a murdering group of gangsters that mercilessly uses its own people in a futile fight against Israel as a proxy to Iran.”

    You are talking about human beings here. Grow up Arno. Israel fired a mortar into a school and killed many children cowering for their lives, get over it. You can’t justify this war crime by saying these people are “animals.”
    Guess who else used that logic not to long ago?

    “It is time for Israel to hit and hit hard to cut the head of the snake that will change the equation in the middle east for years to come.”

    This bombardment has only made Hamas more popular amongst the Palestinians and Arabs and Muslims around the world. Now, Israel will be forced to eventually negotiate with Hamas.

    “Let me tell you that after this war is over, the political balance in the ME will change for the good. All moderate forces will sigh from relief and animosity toward Isarel will be forgotten in few months. Then it is time to discuss the Palestian state issue”

    Yea, it will change. The “moderates” you speak of will have a tougher time imposing their despotic dictatorial rule on their unruly citizens. Animosity towards Israel will not be forgotten, just like animosity towards Apartheid South Africa wasen’t forgotten until the Afrikaneers gave the indigenous people their human rights.

    Theres an easy end to this conflict Arno. End the blockade, end the occupation, then sit down at the negotiating table. Either agree to what Hamas simple demands: which are the 67 borders. If thats not possible, then be prepared to share Israel with the indigenous population of the land in a bi-national state.

    The choice is Israels.

    Hamas agrees to 67 borders:

    http://reut-institute.org/en/Publication.aspx?PublicationId=401

    Posted by Super Sayyin | January 12, 2009, 12:11 pm
  5. Theres an easy end to this conflict Arno.

    Hamas surrenders.

    Posted by Roy | January 12, 2009, 12:25 pm
  6. Sayyin:

    When I said animal, I did not mean it in its literal sense. Ever heard the saying?

    You should get your facts right before you use words like “war crime” lightly. Either you do not know what war crime is, or you purposefully use the word to demonize Israel. Either way, it is wrong. In a fair trial Israel would never be condemned.

    Sayyin, your word against mine: I claim that Hamas will loose, negotiations will dress up some kind of dignity to save face, Hamas will be stripped of all military and political power and the equation in ME will be dramatically changed.

    If I were you, I would be happy for the fact that Iranian hegemony is reduced. This means that there may be a Palestinian state after all. Then they can show what they are made of.

    Posted by Arno | January 12, 2009, 1:06 pm
  7. I am not sure if you have read the latest comments from the Egyptian negotiator who informed that the Hamas negotiators had been pressured by Iran not to accept any deal with Israel or they will looses their funding and arms. As one thing, Iran wants to use this conflict to take the world attention away from the Iran nuclear program superiorpapers reviews

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