Monday, December 29, 2008

Israel At War: A Primer

HonestReporting has put together a primer to understanding Israel's operation in Gaza. Here is a brief summary:

Israel at War: A Primer

Israel has launched a major military operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. Over the coming days and beyond, Israel will come under intense pressure both in the mainstream media and in online forums and the blogosphere. HonestReporting presents a guide, including images, video footage and source materials to help explain the current situation and Israel's actions.


Why has Israel gone to war against Hamas in Gaza?

  • A quarter of a million Israeli citizens have been living under incessant terror attacks from the Gaza Strip with thousands of missiles fired over the past eight years.

  • These missiles have been described as "home made" by the media. They are, in fact, deadly. Hamas has in its possession longer range Katyushas and Grad-type missiles which can cause devastation such as that on Monday 29 December as one Israeli was killed and 14 injured in a Grad attack on Ashkelon.

Hamas' responsibility for the current situation

  • The deterioration in the situation is the direct result of Hamas policy. It violated the calm, is firing against and attacking Israeli citizens, and is investing all its resources in arming itself and gathering power.

Israel does not target Palestinian civilians

  • The terrorist organizations work out of the Palestinian population centers and cynically exploit them, so the responsibility for Palestinian civilians getting hurt rests on their shoulders. Israel, for its part directs its activity at terrorist elements and does its utmost to refrain from harming the innocent.

  • Those homes and buildings which are used for storing weapons caches and manufacturing weaponry are legitimate military targets.

Israel prevents a humanitarian crisis

  • Israel has continued to allow humanitarian aid to pass through Gaza's border crossings despite Hamas's rocket and mortar attacks, including upon the crossings themselves.

  • Israel also plans to allow some Palestinians wounded in Saturday's offensive on Hamas to enter Israel to receive medical treatment. Meanwhile, Hamas is preventing wounded Palestinians from crossing into Egypt to receive treatment.

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