Israel/Palestine

Death Comes to Beit Lahiya

Last Thursday, this is what happened in Gaza:

Palestinian militants bombarded southern Israel on Thursday after a Hamas commander’s house in northern Gaza was blown up in a blast which killed seven people, including a four-month-old baby.

The attacks started immediately after the explosion which Palestinian medics said also wounded 51 people, among them women and children, in and around the two-storey building.

The Israeli military said nearly 50 rockets and mortar rounds were fired from Gaza following the explosion, which Hamas blamed on the Jewish state despite its denial of involvement.

Israel denied involvement, but Hamas were adamant:

Witnesses and Hamas said Thursday’s blast that levelled a house in Beit Lahiya was caused by an Israeli air strike, but the army denied any involvement, saying it could have been an accidental explosion. …

“We blame this crime on the Israeli occupation,” Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu said in Gaza City. “We are used to Israel not admitting to its crimes.”

Adloyada has transcribed another Hamas announcement, this one from  Mushir al-Musri, also blaming the explosion on Israel:

The Zionist enemy is carrying out crimes and acts stupidly by destroying a home over the heads of inhabitants, innocent people, children, the elderly and women. We stress that it is not the place to talk about a tahidya (calm) at the time when the Palestinians are massacred and the enemy should know that for every stupid act there is a price to pay, and the resistance won’t sit with folded arms, and with God’s help, they won’t even dream of quiet and tahdiya as long as crimes are committed against our people.

As it happened, the explosion was a “work accident”, as Hamas eventually admitted:

An announcement Friday on the official Web site of Hamas’ military wing says the group’s “martyrs” died “while putting the final touches on a plan to carry out a special holy war mission.”

In other words, these individuals were killed because Hamas handles explosives carelessly. It also sites bomb factories in civilian areas: deliberately, so that when Israel targets them, it scores a propaganda coup by allowing them to blame Israel for any civilian deaths which ensue. The intended result is carnage: for Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike.

As Adloyada points out, there’s another important aspect to the story:

Also killed in the explosion were the finance director in the Hamas Interior Ministry – who was also a member of Izzadin Kassam – a commander of the Hamas anti-aircraft unit and a commander of the group’s rocket manufacturing unit, Israel Radio reported.

In other words, and as you might expect, Hamas officials who are responsible for the civilian infrastructure of Gaza, are also actively involved in carrying out acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians.

Without a doubt, something needs to be done to ameliorate the progressive emiseration of the civilian population of Gaza, whose rulers took power in a coup which resulted in the deaths of several hundred people.

However, it is difficult to see how an effective international aid can be properly delivered, when Government officials responsible for holding the purse strings are also personally involved in making the bombs which are aimed at their neighbours, and whose government attempts to disguise explosives as bags of EU food aid.

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