Thursday, February 05, 2009

How can people be so heartless, How can people be so cruel?

Does this sound reasonable to you?
Israel Defends Gazan Deaths
Military says shelling that killed 3 daughters and niece of Palestinian doctor was `reasonable'

The Israeli military has defended the actions of its troops in an incident last month that resulted in the deaths of three daughters of a Palestinian doctor in Gaza.

A niece of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish was also killed.

The tragedy unfolded on Israeli television Jan. 16 as the doctor was being interviewed via cellphone by an Israeli reporter. The 55-year-old physician related the deaths of the children moments after his house was bombed.

Abu al-Aish's story deeply touched the Israeli audience: even Prime Minister Ehud Olmert acknowledged crying as he heard the doctor speak.

[...]
The Israeli military said its personnel contacted the doctor by phone "several times" in the days before the incident, urging him to evacuate his home because of fighting in the area, as many of his neighbours had done. But Abu al-Aish insisted on remaining.
[...]
"I am telling you 100 per cent no," said Abu al-Aish. "There is no need for them to falsify."

He said the Israeli military action was unprovoked.

The Israeli military said its forces in the area on Jan. 16 came under mortar and sniper fire from Hamas gunmen located in a building "adjacent" to the one occupied by the Abu al-Aish family.

"During the counter-fire opened by the IDF forces, suspicious figures were identified in the upper level of (Abu al-Aish's) house and were thought to be spotters who directed the Hamas sniper and mortar fire," the Israeli military said.

The military said its field commander assessed the situation under the pressure of combat and gave the order to open fire on the suspicious figures. Shortly afterward, two tank shells slammed into a bedroom occupied by four of the physician's daughters and a niece.
It seems to me that Israeli troops deliberately targeted the bedroom of the doctors house, and I suspect their targeting optics could identify exactly who the 'suspicious figures' were. This was pure and simple retaliation on the doctor's family. Approved by Israel's government and carried out by their military.

If you think I'm engaging in paranoia or hyperbole, read the following:
Not guilty. The Israeli captain who emptied his rifle into a Palestinain schoolgirl

An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday.

The soldier, who has only been identified as "Captain R", was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago.

[...]
The military court cleared the soldier of illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and perverting the course of justice by asking soldiers under his command to alter their accounts of the incident.
[...]
A recording of radio exchanges between Capt R and his troops obtained by Israeli television revealed that from the beginning soldiers identified Iman as a child.

In the recording, a soldier in a watchtower radioed a colleague in the army post's operations room and describes Iman as "a little girl" who was "scared to death". After soldiers first opened fire, she dropped her schoolbag which was then hit by several bullets establishing that it did not contain explosive. At that point she was no longer carrying the bag and, the tape revealed, was heading away from the army post when she was shot.
[...]
On the tape, Capt R then "clarifies" to the soldiers under his command why he killed Iman: "This is commander. Anything that's mobile, that moves in the [security] zone, even if it's a three-year-old, needs to be killed."
[...]
Capt R claimed that he had not fired the shots at the girl but near her. However, Dr Mohammed al-Hams, who inspected the child's body at Rafah hospital, counted numerous wounds. "She has at least 17 bullets in several parts of the body, all along the chest, hands, arms, legs," he told the Guardian shortly afterwards. "The bullets were large and shot from a close distance.
When I read this today it made me sick. I mean that literally, I scan the news on my lunch hour and after I read that I left the lab and walked around outside trying not to vomit. When I came back in, pale with frozen tears on my face, my boss asked me if I needed to go home for the day. She thought I had the flu until I showed her the article.



Cross posted at VidiotSpeak