1722. Given the apparent inability of the Palestinian armed groups to aim rockets and mortars at specific targets and, the fact that the attacks have caused very little damage to Israeli military assets, it is plausible that one of the primary purposes of these continued attacks is to spread terror – prohibited under international humanitarian law - among the civilian population of southern Israel.What is odd is how easily the commission goes along with the narrative that the rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists at Israeli civilian targets are inaccurate--all the more inexplicable since the Goldstone Commission recognizes that Hamas terrorists are not limited only to Kassam rockets:
1649. There is little independent confirmation of the types of weaponry held by Palestinian armed groups or the number of weapons that may be stockpiled. According to an Amnesty International report, of February 2009, the arsenals held by armed groups in the Gaza Strip include: al-Qassam (or al-Quds), 122mm Grad and 220 Fadjr-3 rockets as well as the al-Battar, the Banna 1 and Banna 2 anti-armour rockets.While the commission notes that the Grad rockets have a longer range, it neglects to mention that they are more accurate. According to GlobalSecurity.org:...(b) 122 mm Grad rocket1652. 122 mm Grad rocket is a Russian-designed missile with a range of approximately 20 to25 kilometres. Given the higher level of technological sophistication and the fact that it is manufactured with material not easily (if at all) available in Gaza, it is likely that they are not made in Gaza.1653. While most 122 mm Grad rockets have a range of about 20 kilometres, some have landed 40 kilometres inside Israel.997 Global Security has concluded that on the basis of photographs, that the rockets that struck open space near Yavne and Bnei Darom on 28 December 2008 were Chinese-manufactured 122 mm WeiShei-1E rockets, which can travel distances of 20 to40 kilometres.998
Recently [prior to January 2009], Hamas imported factory manufactured rockets from China and Iran. Based on a family of Soviet rockets dating back to World War II, these rockets have the range to hit many more Israeli cities, and their introduction help precipitate the current conflict.One does not even have to research the accuracy of Hamas weaponry, considering that the Goldstone Commission itself points out the premeditated pattern of Palestinian terrorist attacks:
The Iranian rocket, called a Grad, has a range of about 12 miles, long enough to hit the Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Sderot. The Chinese rocket, called the WS-1-E (and sold on a rather cheap looking Web site for a defense company) has an even greater range of up to 27 miles, and better accuracy than the Grad. And according to Amanda Castle, the public relations manager at Jane’s Information Group, Israeli intelligence agencies also believe Hamas possesses Iranian Fajr-4 rockets, which have a range long enough to hit Tel Aviv. [emphasis added]
1692. Where rockets have landed in towns and villages in southern Israel, they have caused localized property damage. This has included private houses1036 and cars.1037 During the operations in Gaza, a total of nine schools and kindergartens in Sderot, Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Kiryat Ha Hinoch were hit and damaged by rockets.1038 Two kindergartens were struck and damaged by rocket fire in Ashdod.1039 On 8 January 2009, a Grad rocket hit a school in Ashkelon.1040Think about that: 5 different Israeli cities were hit by Hamas rockets, and in each city schools are hit. It is difficult not to come to the conclusion that schools are being targeted--unless of course you are a member of the Goldstone Commission.
In spite of their own findings about the targets of Hamas--targets that Hamas terrorists have been successful in reaching--the best that the commission can come up with is the quote we started out with:
Given the apparent inability of the Palestinian armed groups to aim rockets and mortars at specific targets and, the fact that the attacks have caused very little damage to Israeli military assets, it is plausible that one of the primary purposes of these continued attacks is to spread terror – prohibited under international humanitarian law - among the civilian population of southern Israel.The Goldstone Commission knows full well that their original mandate to only target Israel for criticism still holds. True, an unwritten 'amendment' allows them to criticize Hamas--but there's no reason to get carried away now, is there?