Given how far out on a limb I went recently (here and here) to explain how there is no moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel’s general response to Hamas, I must present this lede from The New York Times:
JABALIYA, Gaza Strip — An examination of an Israeli barrage that put a line of at least 10 shells through a United Nations school sheltering displaced Palestinians here last week suggests that Israeli troops paid little heed to warnings to safeguard such sites and may have unleashed weapons inappropriate for urban areas despite rising alarm over civilian deaths.
As the story relates, all the evidence points to Israeli troops using imprecise heavy artillery in a densely populated area. And the Times makes clear that Israel, so far, has not made a case that the heavy artillery used in this attack was justified because of “the enemy’s insistence on operating near shelters and other humanitarian sites that endangers civilians.” Nor has the attack yet been justified by claiming Israeli troops were “under great or imminent risk” at the time they allegedly fired the heavy artillery.
What we know for sure is that the July 30th attack “killed 21 people at the school,” which is in a “crowded Jabaliya refugee camp.” We also know that:
Two shells slammed the roof of a second-story classroom filled with sleeping women and children, and one exploded in the school courtyard, where men were bowed in prayer among the eucalyptus trees.
The Israelis knew where this school was. A U.N. spokesman has said they were informed of its exact location 17 times. On the day of the attack, U.N. officials forwarded photographs of the munitions it found and details of the strike to Israel’s Coordination and Liaison Administration, which the Times describes as “the go-between for international organizations and the Israeli military.” The U.N. also has “a list of more than 3,000 potential witnesses, their identification numbers and contact information.” It seems past time for some detailed explanation, if not justification, from the Israelis. And while I will wait for the Israeli response, there seems to be no moral excuse for what happened, Hamas or no Hamas.
In fact, it is exactly these kinds of incidents that feed the Hamas monster.