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It is probable that this incident will be used as the centerpiece of a major propaganda effort to legitimize and glorify Hamas as well as being a weapon in current efforts to gain a Hamas victory from the operation. Many will recall the real or imagined death of 12 year old Muhammad al Dura, supposedly killed by IDF troops -- an event recorded in dubious footage of French television. In a stroke, numerous Muhamad Al-Duras may have been created today.
Given the inevitability of such incidents, wiser (and more cynical) planning might have tried to complete the operation in a much briefer time, with a much higher concentration of force. That would certainly have resulted in more civilian casualties as well as more IDF casualties, but it would have at least assured a decisive military success.
The Palestinian Maan news service reported that "dozens" of people had been killed, and the "moderate" Palestinian authority is trying to prosecute the "war criminals" who perpetrated the "massacre" in Gaza.
As far as is known, the facts regarding the Gaza incident are that about thirty people were killed, including 28 civilians and two Hamas terrorists. The terrorists, Imad Abu Askhar and Hassan Abu Askhar, had gathered refugees fleeing the shelling and forced them into the school yard, where they were used as human shields. An IDF film made in 2007 shows similar use of human shields, a policy that has been repeatedly endorsed by the Hamas.
Yesterday, 80 truckloads of humanitarian aid were shipped into Gaza from Israel. While UN officials complain of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Hamas has been seizing humanitarian aid, food, medicines and fuel for its own use or to sell to residents. Hamas has also been preventing civilians from fleeing south out of Gaza city to avoid the fighting. Inside Gaza, IDF soldiers found a maze of tunnels beneath Gaza houses, including one that was a setup for kidnapping Israeli soldiers by mounting an operation similar to the 2005 Hezbollah operation in Rajjar.
That is the reality behind the images, but it is mostly likely the manufactured images that will shape international policy and be recorded as "history."
Original content is Copyright by the author 2009. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/