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Wednesday's tragic deaths in Beit Hanoun are the result of a tragic error and crimes against humanity. The tragic error is protested by human rights organizations as well as Palestinians. The crimes against humanity are protested by no-one. Gaza is in the grip of a number of terrorist organizations, and is subject to the leadership of a "democratically elected" genocidal terrorist organization. These organizations use civilians as shields for launching a constant barrage of rockets against Ashkelon and Sderot. Qassam rockets have killed in the past. A Qassam rocket narrowly missed a Yeshiva in Sderot this morning. Should Israel wait to respond until after hundreds of people die? In reaction to the killing of Palestinians, Hamas claimed they would call off their "cease fire." But all the while this cease fire has been in effect supposedly, rockets have rained down daily on Israeli towns, and the Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier as part of this cease fire. This is the cease fire. What is the Hamas version of war then?

All of the organizations and governments and leaders that are so quick to protest against the accidental error of Israel that killed 19 people, and to label it a war crime, have done nothing for months as Qassams rained down on the southern Negev. One of the most barbaric violations of the laws of war occurred recently when terrorists used a mosque to shield 60 terrorists, and then snuck them out disguised as women, using actual women as human shields. As noted by NGO Monitor, no rights group protested.

In Jerusalem Issue briefs, Avi Bell notes that Hezbullah have committed numerous crimes against humanity, but have not been subjected to the same criticism as Israel. Bell's lucid exposition of the laws of war, replete with Latin legal terminology, availeth us not. For alas, the rules of war are made for states and apply to wars between states. As long the Lebanese government, or rather the Syrian government, can hide behind the Hezbollah, they can do little evil. Only a few actions by non-government groups are described by international law as "crimes against humanity." A Tudor couplet lamented "Many laws and little right." International jurisprudence is about at the level of British jurisprudence in the time of Henry VII.

The IDF conducted an inquiry into the Beit Hanoun incident and concluded that the Shilem firing system was apparently at fault, and has suspended further artillery fire until the problem is resolved. All of this should not hide the basic facts: The Hamas and the Hezbollah initiated violence in both cases, from territory that was not occupied by Israel, and from which Israel had withdrawn in order to further the possibility of peace. The various NGOs and spokespersons of foreign ministries who have condemned Israeli acts are creating an impossible situation. They are using "international law" to guarantee that terror must always win, because states are not, according to them, allowed to make legitimate mistakes in war, and must always follow the rules of war, from which terror groups are exempt. What a pity that Human Rights Watch and Amnesty were not established in 1860, in time to stop one of the first egregious examples of war crimes in modern times, General William Tecumseh Sherman's march from Atlanta to the sea, expressly designed to terrorize civilians! What a pity they could not have intervened to stop the fire bombing of Dresden by allied forces, and the flattening of Berlin by Soviet artillery in World War II, both of which were surely not due to operational errors! How many innocent Germans were killed in these attacks? Surely they could have aroused international opinion, stopped the cycle of violence and forced an accommodation with the "democratically elected" government of the Third Reich!

We are all waiting for the following sort of announcements from the Hamas and the Hezbollah:

"The Islamic resistance has conducted an inquiry into the loss of civilian lives owing to the explosion of a suicide bomber in an Israeli supermarket. The suicide bomber had been instructed to attack a military base, but the bomb apparently went off prematurely due to a malfunction. Pending resolution of the problem, we are suspending resistance operations."

"The Fatah Al-Aqsah brigades have investigated today's incident in which a rocket fell near a kindergarten within the state of Israel, killing two children. Further use of Qassam rockets is suspended until the cause of the problem can be determined."

"The Party of God regrets the loss of innocent life that occurred when a rocket accidentally hit a residential area in an Israeli town. Pending installation of accurate guidance systems, we are suspending all rocket fire."

Don't hold your breath waiting for those announcements.

The IDF spokesperson announcement is below. (At http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000287.html for those reading this as an e-mail message.)

November 9th, 2006

Inquiry results regarding the incident in Beit Hanoun on November 8th 2006

Today, November 9th 2006 the IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, was
presented with the results of an inquiry conducted by a committee of experts
led by Maj. Gen. Meir Kalifi, regarding the circumstances that lead to the
incident in which uninvolved civilians were hurt in Beit Hanoun.

Before commencing his remarks, the Chief of Staff stated that the incident
at hand is an operational activity against the launching of Qassam rockets
that brought to a severe and unfortunate outcome of uninvolved Palestinian
civilians being hurt.

All the evidence of the inquiry indicate that the Palestinian civilian
casualties were caused by IDF artillery, and that the primary cause of the
incident was a technical failure in the "Shilem" System, which directs
artillery fire.

In light of the inquiry results, the Chief of Staff had instructed to halt
all artillery fire aimed at the Gaza Strip until further technical,
professional, and operational inquiries are completed.

The Chief of Staff noted that the investigation was thorough and of high
standard and accepted all the operational recommendations of the committee
and instructed to implement them.

The Chief of Staff emphasized that the IDF operates solely against the
terrorist infrastructure and uses all means at its disposal to avoid
targeting uninvolved civilians. The Chief of Staff expressed his regret for
the civilian casualties as a result of the technical failure.

Following initial reports of the incident the IDF Chief of Staff ordered to
halt artillery fire and the IDF immediately offered the Palestinian
population medical and humanitarian aid.

The circumstances leading to the incident have been investigated by a team
of professional experts led by Maj. Gen. Meir Kalifi. As part of the
examination, the artillery system was subjected to thorough technical and
professional assessments. The committee of experts comprised professional
representatives from the Artillery Corps, Logistical Units, weaponry
division, intelligence and Directorate of Defense Research and Development.

Moreover, the assessment team was aided by Dr Eli Zerizki, the designer of
the "Shilem" system.

Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000287.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 3 Comments

I was 14 when the horror of the hlocaust was revealed to the world it had a very profound effect on me. I was 18 when the State of Israel was founded, I thought it was shocking to inflict the creation of a Jewish state of then mainly European Population on the people of Palestine. Since then those poor people have suffered unimaginable horrors at the Jewish states hands, of one thing I am sure eventually they will triumph, mainly due to the fact that with declining American power the west will tire of Israels complete intransgience. The only thing that worries me about this isthe fact that Israel has an atomic arsenal and will probably use it if really in a corner wuthout friends

John Welsh, Wednesday, November 15th

SO now that Dershowitz has come out squarely behind Plaut, will Isseroff be issuing his long overdue apology to Plaut?

jeff gans, Sunday, November 12th

As we all know the United Nations is nothing but a front for the Muslim Nations. With the world media on their side,these Muslim countries tend to magnify any Israeli retaliatory attempt to defend itself.Yet on the other hand they never mention the constant Hamas sponsored barrage of rockets from Gaza into Israel.

C. S., Friday, November 10th

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