If the war hadn’t been such a disastrous tragedy for the Palestinian people, Israel’s counter-claims in response to the Goldstone report criticising Israel’s behaviour during the 08/09 Gaza War would be laughable.
According to a ‘Jerusalem Post’ article, the Goldstone Commission “never asked about:
1. Launching rockets at Israeli towns and villages from within residential dwellings.
2. Firing mortar shells into Palestinian neighbourhoods when IDF soldiers were operating in or near the area.
3. Firing anti-tank missiles, rifles and machine guns at Palestinian buildings in Gaza suspected of having been entered by the IDF despite the presence of Palestinian civilians in the area.
4. Seizing private homes from which to ambush IDF units.
5. Booby-trapping houses before and during the war and detonating the bombs.
6. Planting various types of anti-personnel and improvised anti-vehicular bombs near houses and detonating them.
7. Sniping and firing heavy machine guns at Israeli soldiers within residential areas.”
One needs to ask if the person who wrote this, Jonathan D. Halevi of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, actually stopped to think about the implications of what he was writing.
In item 1 Halevi seems to think that the rockets should have been launched from open paddocks where the Israelis could spot where they were launched from and then destroy them and the people firing them. As if.
In item 2, 3, 4, Halevi is implying that Gazan fighters, there to protect the Gazan civilian population from the Israeli invaders that were indiscriminately killing them, should not have done so.
In item 3 Halevi concedes that the IDF were using Palestinian civilians to cover their presence in civilian areas. In other words, the Israelis by their presence in the civilian areas were using the Palestinian civilians as human shields. To then complain that the IDF were being fired at while they were using Palestinian civilians as human shields and claiming it as a war crime is pure Chutzpah.
Apart from anything else, the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on the planet. Buildings and neighbourhoods become the battlefield. The IDF went into built-up areas and they became legitimate areas for Palestinian fighters to defend. It was the IDF that made the civilian areas battlefields, not Hamas.
The Chutzpah is transparent. The crimes are inexcusable and utterly indefensible. Palestinian fighters have every right to defend themselves and their people. The Israelis are clearly the aggressors; their Chutzpah is nothing less than deceit.