Friday, February 14, 2020

  • Friday, February 14, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Peter Beinart points to a 2014 interview with Mike Bloomberg about Israeli actions in Gaza during the last war.

Bloomberg defends Israel (and even refers to Israel as "we") when he discusses the shelling of a UNRWA school in July:

Bloomberg is correct in saying that Israel has every right to attack the spot where they are being attacked from. He should have told the interviewer when she asked about the Geneva Conventions and an incident at a UNRWA school where some 15 were killed that Israel was fully within its rights under international law to attack a military objective, and that civilians in the area do not make a military objective immune to attack unless the expected collateral damage is disproportionate to the military advantage.

No one knew it at the time, but Israel did err in its attack. After four years of investigation, Israel admitted that a mortar or mortars that was meant to be shot at a target 130 meters away from the school had accidentally hit the school. Israel admits it was aware of the school and that the only civilians in the area were there, and it had no intention of attacking it. Decisions in the heat of wartime are made by the best available information that the commander in the field has, and the errant shells were not anticipated, so there is definitely no violation of international law here.

Bloomberg may not have known the details of international law while understanding in his gut that Israel was not doing anything immoral in wartime. But Beinart proves that he knows nothing about international law - which proves that Israel's actions are not only defensible but in nearly all cases, necessary.

Here are the results of Israel's investigation into the incident, which gives an idea of how thorough the investigations are (and how Beinart and Human Rights Watch and others simply assume Israel is a bloodthirsty tyrant intent on murdering innocents.)

As previously reported in media reports, in reports and complaints from an international organization and from NGOs received by the MAG Corps, it was alleged that an IDF strike in the vicinity of an UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun on 24 July 2014, at around 1500, resulted in the deaths of 15 persons, as well as injuries to others. Subsequently, the incident was referred to the FFA Mechanism for examination.

The factual findings collated by the FFA Mechanism and presented to the MAG, indicated the existence of grounds for a reasonable suspicion that the incident involved a deviation from the rules and procedures applicable to IDF forces. As a result, the MAG ordered a criminal investigation into the incident.

The investigation that was conducted was thorough and comprehensive. Testimony was obtained from numerous IDF soldiers and officers, as well as from seven Palestinians. Moreover, the investigation reviewed materials from the IDF’s relevant operational systems, witness affidavits received from Palestinians, and more. Additionally, video clips, radio communications and pictures were obtained, some of which was given to the investigating authorities by UNRWA and an NGO.

Documents reviewed in the course of the investigation showed that on 10, 17, and 20 July 2014, mass messaging was directed at the residents of Beit Hanoun through leaflets, radio and television broadcasts, telephone calls and voice messages, all calling on the residents to evacuate from the area. The evacuation was called for due to the IDF’s intention to enter the area for the purpose of locating and neutralizing a cross-border assault tunnel that, according to the information available to the IDF, originated in the Beit Hanoun area and ran into Israeli territory.

According to the testimony of commanders and soldiers, the civilian population did indeed evacuate from the area, and no civilians were identified during the ensuing fighting – with the exception of the civilians taking shelter in the UNRWA school, which was known to the IDF to be operating as a shelter for civilians who had evacuated their homes. It was also found that the commanders of the force tried to bring about the evacuation of the school, in order to avoid harm to those therein in light of the fighting that was occurring in the area, and that many attempts were made to try and coordinate the evacuation of the school and the transfer of civilians to a different shelter in a more remote area.

On the day of the incident, in the early morning hours, the IDF began advancing in order to clear enemy forces from the area. IDF forces came under heavy attack from enemy forces, who fired anti-tank missiles, small arms fire, and sniper fire against IDF forces. During the maneuver, IDF forces identified explosive devices embedded in the area next to the school. [That is a blatant violation of international law that is completely ignored by the Israel haters - EoZ.]While the forces were engaged in neutralizing the explosive devices, they were fired upon from a number of structures, resulting in injuries to an officer and to a soldier. A short time later, another unit was fired upon from the same area.

Following the combat, IDF forces evacuated the injured and moved back to defensive positions. Shortly thereafter, an order was given to fire towards the area of combat, in order to prevent the persistent enemy fire on IDF forces, and to facilitate the forces’ re-entry into the area.

The investigation's findings provide that the commanders who ordered the fire assessed that, with the exception of the school, the area was devoid of civilians. Accordingly, the precautions taken during the firing were mainly aimed at preventing harm to the school, and at reducing the risk of civilian casualties. The findings also provide that the forces were instructed to avoid any possible harm to the school and the civilians therein, and that the central consideration in choosing the impact point for the fire was ensuring strict compliance with safety margins from the school.

The forces directed mortar fire at an impact point located approximately 130 meters away from the school’s boundary (a distance significantly greater than the relevant safety margin). The firing was conducted using a single mortar so as to increase accuracy, and while employing visual surveillance and shells with the lowest possible potential to cause damage.

In retrospect, it turned out that three of the shells landed within the school grounds and hit persons located therein. The investigation materials showed that this outcome was not foreseen in real-time by the IDF forces, and was caused due to an unintentional and unexpected deviation of the shells from the intended impact point.

When it was discovered that the school had been hit, all forces in the area were instructed to cease fire immediately, and coordination efforts were undertaken to facilitate the passage of supply and medical vehicles into and out of the school.

As a result of this event, the IDF implemented operational lessons-learned, which were intended to reduce the risk of such incidents occurring in the future.

It should be noted that, in the course of the investigation, allegations were raised by various sources that a mortar shell or rocket fired by a Palestinian terror organization hit the school. No evidence was found to corroborate these allegations.

After reviewing the investigation's findings, the MAG found that the firing procedures in question accorded with Israeli domestic law and international law requirements. The decision to fire was taken by the competent authorities, for a clear military purpose, and the fire was aimed towards a source of persistent enemy fire emanating from a number of different locations in the area, which put the forces in clear danger. The attack complied with the principle of proportionality, as despite the outcome of the attack, which was only discovered in retrospect, at the time the decision to attack was taken it was estimated that no collateral damage to civilians was expected to result, and certainly no excessive collateral damage was expected. This estimation was not unreasonable under the circumstances. In addition, the attack was carried out while undertaking several precautionary measures aimed at preventing harm to civilians, including the use of the most precise munitions available to the forces, and the use of visual surveillance. The MAG found that the professional discretion exercised by all the commanders involved in the incident was not unreasonable in the circumstances. The fact that civilians uninvolved in the hostilities were harmed as a result of the attack, which was not expected at the time the decision to attack was made, is a regrettable result, but does not affect the legality of the attack ex post facto.

Accordingly, the MAG ordered that the case be closed without any further legal proceedings – criminal or disciplinary – to be taken against those involved in the incident.
The only part I don't understand is how three shells hit the school when only one was supposed to be fired at the legitimate target. But the MAG investigations, when read all together, shows how careful the IDF is in battle and how it keeps records of virtually every bullet. When the IDF is involved, it says so - and when it is not, it says that as well, as was the case of the nine women who the IDF found were in fact killed by a terrorist bomb (#3 in the link.)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive