Though you’d never know it by reading the New York Times headline – ‘Cease-Fire in Gaza Expires with Rockets Fired Into Israel’ – Hamas launched more rockets into Israel as the latest 72-hour cease-fire ended (at least they’re getting better and didn’t launch the rockets 90 minutes in to the cease-fire this time). The rockets were also launched on the holiest day of the Muslim week – Friday:
After three days of quiet, the Israeli military said, at least 18 rockets were fired at 8 a.m. and in the hour afterward. Two were intercepted by Israel’s antimissile defense system over Ashkelon, the military said, while 14 others fell in open ground, causing no injury or damage, and two landed short in the Gaza Strip. The military also reported two launchings of rockets or mortar shells from Gaza before dawn.
There was no immediate word from Hamas about the rockets, but Islamic Jihad, another militant faction that has taken part in the fighting and is represented at the talks in Cairo, claimed responsibility for firing them.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, wrote in an Internet posting on Friday morning that it did not accept an extension of the lull, adding, “We will continue negotiations.”
As usual, the misleading NYT report cites the disparate death toll without context. It references 1800 dead Palestinians, saying “many of the civilians”, The Times neglects to point out Hamas’s culpability in those deaths or the Hamas combat manuals captured by the IDF that prove that culpability. As for the line about “many” of the dead Palestinians being “civilians”, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer may be somewhat responsible for that phrase not being even more egregious.
Earlier this week, Dermer challenged not only the figure but the percentage of civilians lumped into that number by pointing out that claims that the majority of those 1800 deaths (if the total is even correct) come from Hamas as Shoebat.com reported. Dermer estimated 50% civilian deaths at most. Notice the Times said “many” instead of “most”.
Here is Dermer debunking the civilian death toll claims:
As for what Hamas wants (aside from its ultimate objective of the eradication of Israel) to stop firing rockets, the Times explains:
Indirect talks underway in Cairo appear to have yielded few results so far, not even an agreement to extend the temporary cease-fire. Hamas is demanding a lifting of the blockade on Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt and an opening of all the border crossings to allow the free movement of people and goods in and out of the Palestinian coastal territory. Israel is demanding measures to prevent Hamas from rearming and, eventually, the demilitarization of Gaza.
Lifting the blockade? Really? Just last week, so-called ‘humanitarian aid’ to Gaza from Turkey was seized. That aid consisted of ball bearings and cement mixers.
Again, Israel has had two essential objectives in this latest round of fighting. 1.) it wants to stop the rocket attacks on its people from Gaza and 2.) it wants to destroy all of the terror tunnels.
What are the tunnels made of? Oh, yeah, concrete.
All of this says nothing about the 2010 Gaza flotilla – also backed by Turkey – that was supposedly about ‘humanitarian aid’ and was anything but. It would make no sense for Israel to do anything other than strengthen the blockade of Gaza. If breaking it remains a goal of Hamas, Israel is not likely to stop pounding them.
At the risk of painting Hamas as a sympathetic figure with the video metaphor below, just compartmentalize the scene and forget Paul Newman (a leftist) was the hero. In this clip from Cool Hand Luke, Newman represents Hamas and George Kennedy represents Israel:
Kennedy played the role of a pro-Israeli Catholic priest in a 1986 Chuck Norris movie if you have any further difficulty likening Newman to Hamas in the metaphor: