Stories From The Gaza War You May Have Missed 5
(January 14, 2009)
Newlywed Israeli Soldier Fights For Life
Aharon Karov was given leave from his paratroop unit so he could get married. Less than 48 hours after the wedding he was called back to his unit.
The newly married couple had a difficult time separating after such a brief time as husband and wife, Karov’s father said. “But it was clear to them that there are times when you have to sacrifice for the sake of the state of Israel.”
— Haaretz, (January 14, 2009)
Pilots Abort Missions to Spare Civilians
“We work very hard to keep civilian casualties as low as possible,” Apache helicopter pilot Capt. Orr said. “Each missile we shoot is pinpointed to the very meter we want it to go.”
Orr has flown dozens of combat missions over Gaza and said aborting some of his targets for fear of harming civilians were among his proudest achievements. “The ones I remember are when I have locked in on a target and I fire and then at the last second I see a child in my cross hairs and I divert the missile,” he said. “That leaves a mark.”
— AP, (January 13, 2009)
Life Under Rocket Fire
“Yesterday, I set my alarm for 8:30. But it was not to be. At 8:15 the red alert siren sounded and almost before I could open my eyes my younger daughter, 2, was already running to our protected shelter, her older brother, 4, hot on her tail. My children seem to think this is some sort of game, and I am glad it is so. For them it is a place for the family to be together to play and sing songs. I pray that this war will be over before they are old enough to understand that this is a different game – one of life and death.”
— Soni Singer is the director of the San Diego-IBIM Student Village, situated one and a half miles from the Gaza border.
Classes at both Shikma and Sha’ar HaNegev have endured countless interruptions as red alert sirens give students and staff about 15 seconds’ warning to find shelter from incoming high explosive warheads packed with ball bearings and other objects calculated to cause maximum death and injury.
“Many, many times our lessons are disturbed by the attacks,” Tammy said. “And if you are taking an exam, when you come back to the class after a red alert you have forgotten what you wanted to write.”
“When there’s a red alert we run out of the classroom into a safe room,” 17-year-old Lihi Va’anunu said. “We wait one minute and go back to the classroom. But it’s very difficult to focus on study after that. We try to, but it’s hard. So when I get home and I feel calmer I study to try to catch up with what I missed in the lesson.”
Yael adds: “When I hear the alarm I get scared for my family. You can’t focus on learning when you hear the alarm at school. Some people are very, very scared. There are school days when there are no alarms but there are also days when the alarm sounds six or seven times.”
— World ORT
“Both children went to Ori's gan in the morning, and I was very glad. I was able to continue to work in Sderot. In the afternoon, I was completely engaged in a car call when suddenly I noticed cars and trucks stopping in the middle of the street, and people running to the side of the road. It seems that I'm really feeling like things are normal, because my initial thought was that it was an accident. And then I noticed that people were not running to the roadside, but to houses nearby. And suddenly it registered that I had heard a red alert alarm. I stopped immediately and ran quickly to a protected place. This was terribly frightening.”
— Ravit Ohayon-Michal is director of the Jewish Agency's Israel Department activities in Sderot, Eshkol and Sha'ar Hanegev
US Public Backs Israel
Forty-four percent of Americans support Israel's use of force, while only 18 percent considered Hamas' use of force appropriate. Fifty-seven percent think that Hamas is using excessive force, while only 36 percent said Israel was.
When those polled were asked whether the United States should favor a Palestinian state, 45 percent said it shouldn't, 31 percent said it should and 24 percent said they didn't know.
— McClatchy Newspapers, (January 13, 2009
A Mad Source of Lies From Gaza
The source of many stories accusing Israel of human rights abuses is Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert, who has been treated by the media as a nonpartisan observer, and quoted accusing Israel of conducting an “all out war against civilians,” “deliberately targeting the [Palestinian] population,” and causing “a man-made disaster.”
Gilbert is a radical Marxist and a member of the political Red (Rodt) party, a revolutionary socialist party in Norway. He has been a pro-Palestinian activist since the 1970's and travelled to Lebanon in support of the Palestinians during the first Lebanon war in 1982. He has long been a vocal opponent of Israel and the U.S.
In Sweden’s biggest morning newspaper, columnist Lisa Bjurwald stated that Gilbert and his colleague Erik Fosse did work for the Norwegian aid organization NORWAY, whose partners include Hezbollah’s Martyr Foundation, which collects and distributes money to suicide bomber’s families.
During the second Lebanon war, Hezbollah would not publish the names of killed operatives, preferring instead to bury them in secret, without media coverage, to reinforce the “divine victory” myth it sought to create. Reporters abetted this strategy, Marvin Kallb noted in a study of war coverage, by rarely publishing photographs of terrorists and creating the impression that the war on the Hezbollah side was being fought by ghosts.
Hamas has adopted a similar policy. On January 10, 2009, the main Hamas online forum announced that it was forbidden to publish photographs, names, or details of those members of the resistance (i.e., terrorist organizations) killed or injured in the fighting until the end of the “Israeli aggression” in the Gaza Strip. The moderator said that any message violating those principles would be removed from the forum. He added that they were all “soldiers of the resistance” who should avoid providing assistance to the enemy.
The Hamas policy has three objectives:
— IICC, (January 13, 2009)