Saturday, December 29, 2007

Nice shooting (5)

al-'Aretz notices what we've noted a few times in the past month - how accurate the IAF has been in killing terrorists and not killing civilians:
The Shin Bet and the IAF (in some cases the IDF Southern Command is also involved) are responsible for the most lethal part of combating terror organizations in the Gaza Strip: the assassinations from the air, for which Israel coined the euphemism "pinpointed thwarting." This past month alone, at least 40 armed terrorists were killed in IDF air attacks.

Lately, the thwartings have indeed become more worthy of the title "pinpointed." In all the attacks of recent weeks, only gunmen were hurt, as confirmed by Palestinians. The rate of civilians hurt in these attacks in 2007 was 2-3 percent. The IDF has come a long way since the dark days of 2002-2003, when half the casualties in air assaults on the Gaza Strip were innocent bystanders.
(I believe that Ha'aretz is mistaken in saying that no civilians were hurt in the past few weeks, I think it meant that none were killed. There were some injuries, at least according to the Palestinian Arab press.)

Nonetheless, the idea that only 2-3% of the deaths from airstrikes during the entire year have been civilians is nothing short of phenomenal.

The Gaza terrorists are quite happy knowing that they live in cities and that the civilians around them act as de facto human shields; violating Geneva Conventions is not a very big taboo for them. They keep their explosives and tunnels and leaders in populated areas, hoping that if Israel does attack that they can win the propaganda victory of having many of their fellow citizens blown to bits as well.

The incredible statistic of one civilian death for every 40 or so terrorists is more than just amazing. It proves beyond any doubt (if you are not an inveterate liar) that the IDF, unlike its enemies, does not target civilians; it proves yet again that the IDF is the most moral army in history; and it proves that Israel spends far more time and effort in how to protect Arab civilians than Arab terrorists do. It is a record that the armies of the US, Britain and the rest of the free world should envy.