The story is simple, touching and chilling: Children caught and killed in the crossfire of a terrible artillery duel.
On Monday, April 10th, a little girl in the Arab village of Beit Lehiyah in Northen Gaza was killed by shrapnel from an Israeli artillery shell that was fired in response to more than 30 Palestinian artillery attacks that had been fired the previous day from Palestinian rocket launchers spread throughout Northern Gaza.
Palestinian missiles recently hit no less than 12 Israeli farming communities in the Negev region of Israel, causing panic throughout southern Israel.
Nobody in the West can relate to such an experience in their daily lives.
All Palestinian media featured pictures of the little girl who was killed on all of their news media outlets. As usual, it was difficult to discern the victim’s true information.
Her age was variously described as 7, 8, 9 and 12, depending on which Palestinian news media you were reading.
And the film of her charred body was flashed, over and over, on official Palestinian television and was even shown on all three Israeli news networks, and leading news anchors on Israeli state TV and Israeli army radio spent a full day of soul-seaching, asking Israeli army officials in countless interviews about “how could it be that we are killing little girls?”
Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Israel Resource News Agency at the Beit Agron press Center in Jerusalem has confirmed from its Palestinian correspondent in Gaza that Palestinians are also firing rocket launchers from two United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Palestinian Arab refugee camps in Gaza, one from a school yard adjacent to the UNRWA schools on the premises. The tactic is to do this from areas where there are children so if Israel responds in self-defense, similar accuations of children being killed can be leveled against Israel.
To screams of the Palestinian school children that “WE ARE READY TO DIE FOR ALLAH!”, the Palestinian rocket launchers fire missiles a few kilometers away into Israel’s populated areas. While there are standing orders from the Israeli military to strike back at the precise positions of the missile launchers, it will not be long until the news dispatches will report that hundreds of Palestinian school children attending UNRWA schools will be killed.
At a time when UNRWA affirms that a majority of the UNRWA teachers union remain active members of HAMAS, the inculcation of Palestinian children to die for their cause is to be expected. The UNRWA teachers lead their students in their chants of martyrdom on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, a Member of Israel’s Knesset Parliamment, Ron Cohen, who served as deputy commander of the IDF arillery corps during the Lebanon war in 1982, warned on the Voice of Israel government radio today that Israeli artillery shells are designed for fighting conventional war against armies, not against guerrilla armies that intentionally hide among civilians. Cohen assessed that any artillery shell that lands can spread shrapnel for as much as 500 meters, hurting or killing anyone struck by the projectiles.
Palestinians know know that reportage of civilians–particularly children–being casualties is their entry ticket into the media and moral compass of the world.
A senior official in Israeli intelligence observed that Israel would probably not hit back strongly at “every rocket launcher” unless and until a major catastrophe occurs.
For example, most recently, Palestinian missiles hit a school building in a southern Israeli town and the dining hall of a Kibbutz in southern Israel. The town’s children had just left the school and the kibbutz’s children had just left the dining hall in these respective instances. It was a matter of minutes, in each case, that the catastrophe of the mass killing of children in both cases had been averted.
In the newest war in southern Israel, the law of averages and probability is at work. It is only a matter of time before one of the missiles fired from an UNRWA camp will cause mass killings in Israel, and only a matter of time before the Israeli army finally knocks out the rocket launchers in the UNRWA camps causing massive deaths among the children in the UNRWA camp.