§288 IDF Didn’t Hit School. Sri Lanka did. And Nkunda has been arrestedFebruary 2, 2009
UN Admits: IDF Didn’t Hit School
by Maayana Miskin
(IsraelNN.com) During the Cast Lead operation in Gaza, IDF tank fire near a United Nations school in Gaza was blamed for the deaths of dozens of civilians who had taken refuge in the building. The incident became one of the most highly publicized attacks in the war, and led to heavy international criticism.
Recent reports suggest that the incident was not accurately portrayed by senior U.N. officials. John Ging, the director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, spoke to the Toronto Globe and Mail last week and agreed that no shell had actually struck the school building. Ging said he had never claimed that the school itself was hit, and he blamed Israel for confusion over where the strike took place.
Shortly after the alleged attack, Ging harshly criticized Israel for firing near the school, saying he had given the exact coordinates of the compound to the IDF. He charged that the IDF had failed to avoid hitting the building.
While admitting that Israeli fire had not hit the school compound, Ging insisted it made little difference. “Forty-one innocent people were killed in the street… The State of Israel still has to answer for that,” he said.
While many Israel news outlets reported that the strike had taken place near the school, several international media networks reported that the UN school building itself was hit. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs may have added to the confusion by releasing a report stating that Israeli fire “directly hit two UNRWA schools.”
Almost all reports said that the victims were primarily civilians who had fled to the school for shelter – a version of events cast into suspicion by the Globe and Mail report.
A teacher who was in the school at the time of the shelling reported that several people within the compound were injured, but that none were killed. Those killed were all outside in the street as the shells were fired, he said. Only three of those killed were students at the school, he added.
The teacher did not give his name, explaining that U.N .officials had told staff not to talk to the media.
The IDF responded to criticism over the attack by explaining that soldiers were simply responding to terrorist fire and did not mean to hit a civilian area.
You know, I made a google news search for “shell hits school”. Out of the 10 first items, 7 are about the israelis hitting the school, one (admitting, the first one – apaprently the most recent) is about that they did not hit the school.
But when UN staff in a school are exposed to military fire in Sri Lanka, that’s not top news, is it? Why is no one condemning the Sri Lankan army for this? Because they can’t prove since journalists are banned there? That happened in Gaza too. Because the Tamil tigers are crazy and evil terrorists and suicide bombers that use children soldiers and civilians as shields? That can be said about Hamas too.
If you compare the conflict in Sri Lanka between the Sinhalic government and the terrorists that claim to represent the Tamil minority, with the one in Israel, the resemblance is actually quite striking. Three major differences though:
1 – The Tamil terrorists are much more well equipped than Hamas or PLO ever were. They even have planes and boats and control areas that they have conquered by force. No palestinian force has ever conquered areas from Israel. It has all been agreements (except one stupid disengagement decision in 2005 – and that unilateral withdrawal was an israeli initiative). Hamas conquered the Gaza strip by force from Fatah-PLO, not from Israel.
2 – Sri Lanka has been much less successful in protecting its civilians than Israel. Many suicide attacks in Colombo during the past few years have claimed a much higher body count than in Israel.
3 – Sri Lankan army is ruthlessly killing civilians with the terrorists, not really doing much efforts to save as many civilians as possible. Bombing schools, hospitals, whatever.
But I know, it’s just wishful thinking. I just don’t get this fighting between the Hutu and the Tutsi. They look exactly the same, they believe in the same religions, they talk the same languages… still the Hutu killed thousands of Tutsis in Rwanda in the genocide 1994, and the Tutsi killed lots of Hutus in Burundi in the 70’s… it just goes back and forth with new generations growing up with war and wishes to revenge for what they’ve gone through. Basically, from what I can see most african conflicts are like this:
One group wants to kill another ethnic group (Sudan government the Darfuris, Rwanda Hutu the Tutsis, Darfur rebels the government, etc). There’s a genocide, people are thrown from their homes and they flee to neighbouring countries. The neighbouring countries (whether the government or other military units around – government affiliated or rebels) either kill the refugees creating more genocide, or protect them by wagin war against the neighbour. Or protect them by killing all civilians around that belong to other ethnic groups.
If I understand Congo correctly, the killers are claiming to protect the victims of the 1994 genocide by killing the wive’s and kids of the people associated with the ones commiting that genocide? Won’t that happen again in a few years, but back again the other way around?
It’s good we have UN peace keeping troops, isn’t it? We now we can always trust them, right?
One thing that strikes me regarding the above pictures is that no crazy terrorist looks like a crazy terrorist. Let’s take a look at a few others:
Except Mugabe maybe, they all look pretty normal, don’t they? They could all be happy fathers with a beautiful wife, a few children and a villa (which is probably true regarding most of them). Now picture them watching and smiling as their troops slaughter a few families with children, ripping the kids from the mothers, shooting them in the head as the parents watch. These are people who would actually watch this and smile. As long as the right people are killed.
The scary thing is that they are not detained in prisons or in mental hospitals. They’re adored as leaders and freedom fighters by thousands. People actually listen to them and act on it.