Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gaza update: war is hell, especially if you are a civilian imprisoned in a war zone

If there are many more incidents of the Israelis shelling U.N. facilities in Gaza, it may start to appear, um, intentional rather than accidental. In the latest episode, a UN compound, which housed a hospital, a relief supply warehouse, and at least 700 Palestinian refugees, suffered direct hits from Israeli shelling.

As reported here (and also on NPR), the Israeli government response took the kitchen sink approach:
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, visiting Tel Aviv on his peace mission to the region, expressed outrage at the attack and demanded an inquiry into how the compound, clearly marked with UN blue flags, could be targeted. He claimed that Defence Minister Ehud Barak had told him that it was a "grave mistake"
Mark Regev, the spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, claimed it was "not clear whose shells, whose fire hit the UN facility... It could have been ours, it could have been Hamas."
The Israeli army told the Jerusalem Post that it shelled the UN compound because it had come under attack from militants firing guns and anti-tank missiles from near the premises.
Got that?

1. This was a "grave mistake" and we are terribly sorry.
2. It's not clear we are responsible for this.
3. We did in fact do this, and we were entirely justified.

In my experience, you don't typically hear this type of bullshit from people who have acted in a responsible manner.

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