Saturday, March 2, 2019

The protesters at the Gaza border fence are not unarmed and are not protesters, and here are the evidences.

And now that I have your attention let me be more specific. The constant attacks, since March 2018, on the border fence between Israel and the Hamas control Gaza Strip, by civilian looking crowds, are not protest. And the "protesters" are not unarmed.
Yes, there were real protesters at some distance from the border fence, tens of thousands of them, for many days, and yes, they were unarmed; and yes; they were unharmed. But the attacks on the border fence are a totally different kind of activity, and only those engaged in it were harmed by Israeli forces. 
The border fence is a military installation protecting Israeli civilians from violent infiltration by armed squads of Palestinian terrorists. These are members of organizations that have a rich record of murdering high numbers of Israeli civilians.  Attacking it and removing it opens the way for these armed groups to reach Israeli communities, putting at high risk the lives of the Israeli civilians protected by this fence.
It is interesting, to put it mildly, that while the world’s media had largely accepted the fact that most of the Palestinian killed when attacking the fence are members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad; they still treat the wounded as innocent nonviolent protesters. After all, both the wounded and the dead were hurt in the same circumstances, attacking, violently, the border fence. Isn't it common sense to assume that the wounded are also members of these armed groups? The statistics does not support this common sense. It also does not challenge it. The statistics simply does not exist. Those who can publish it are on the Palestinian side of the border, and they are not doing it. Now, why would they act this way? Are they trying to hide something?
A suspicious behavior is not a proof of guilt. But it adds up along with other evidences. And here they are:
The first are these figures. They are from the United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA. And they were published on the 25th of April, in the Ha'aretz English edition.

This map shows two things: first, that the wounded and the dead were hurt in the same circumstances, attacking the fence at the same places. It also shows the selectivity of the IDF, its effort not to kill and not to maim. While the numbers of wounded in each location is in the hundreds, the numbers of the dead are not higher than 10, for each of the locations. Such a gap can only exist if the Israeli side had made an extreme effort not kill. And as it is shown by the rest of the evidences: also not to maim. According to the article, 408 Palestinians suffered from gas inhalation. In order to suffer from such an injury, the victim has to be in some kind of a confine space. For this to happen in the open areas of the Gaza border fence, and to a large number of people, two conditions must be met. There has to be a massive amount of tear gas released, in huge volumes. And the people been targeted has to be in huge numbers themselves. This way they create confine spaces that magnify the effects of the riot control gas. This means that this less violent mean was given a huge preference over the more violent means of live ammunition.

And when we follow the data to its source this conclusion is confirmed. In May 10th the United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, published another account, containing statistical information. That account contain the following description: “Each Friday instances took place in which hundreds of demonstrators approached the fence in an attempt to damage it, burning tires, throwing stones and, to a lesser extend Molotov cocktail towards Israeli forces deployed on the other side. On several occasions, demonstrators flew kites with flaming materials attached to them, into Israeli territory, setting crops into Israel on fire.” [Emphasis B.T.] Hundreds of demonstrators in each incident are what it takes to create circumstances of confine space in open fields. And it takes large volumes of riot disposal gas to chase them away.
The publication has its bias against Israel. Demonstrators trying to damage a fence, or any other structure, are not demonstrators. They are violent attackers. In a later part of this publication it gives the legal opinion that there were no justifications for the lethal use of live ammunition, because such means are only to be used as a last resort in response to imminent threat of death or serious injury. But in the above description it mentions the use of several sources of fire by these "demonstrators". Fire, by its very nature, is both an imminent threat of death and the risk of serious injury; not only to the soldiers, but as it spreads through the fields behind them, it is a threat to the civilians living there. So is the removal of defense structures, like the border fence that protects those Israeli civilians from the live ammunition of the other side. Yet this legal opinion claims no such threats occurred. And as their own data shows, Israel did use it as a last resort. First preference was given to riot disposal gas, followed by snipers shooting to wound. Only afterword came the situations requiring to kill the attackers. 

United Nations statistics

This contradiction, of publishing information exonerating Israel, but interpreting it the opposite way, is a characteristic of anti-Israel bias. And it cannot achieve its purpose without manipulating the data to fit the ideological convictions. While manipulated, the additional information the OCHA publication provides, see above, contains more evidences of Israel selective and responsible use of firepower. First, their map shows that the no go zone was limited to the narrow path of the fence. Second, the gender and age distribution of the injured shows a higher representation of male adults. According to this information the number of adults injured is more than 4 times the number of children, and the number of males hurt is more than 15 times the number of females. There are 3 ways of interpreting this. One is that Israel’s preferred target was adult men. Two, is that most of these attackers pretending to be demonstrators were adult men in the first place. The third option is both. We do not know which of the possibilities is correct, because the information is manipulated; manipulated by omissions.
We do not know what they were doing when they were hurt, or by what they were hurt from. We have the general distribution of causes of injuries, but not the more specific ones, per age group, and per gender. This is important because of another omission, within another category of causes of injury called ‘other.’ ‘Other’ suggests a grouping of several categories into one category. This is usually done in statistics when in each of the categories groped together the figures are too small to be significant. In most cases when they are added into a single category, called other or miscellaneous, the final figure is also not very high. In most statistical releases this is one of the smaller categories. And it constitutes a small percentage of the total. Here however, it is nearly a quarter of the casualties, and the second largest category. For this to make sense this category will have to include at least six or seven different causes of injuries. These causes could be the responsibility of Israel, and they could also be the responsibility of Hamas. The article does not detail the category, living the impression that Israel is the only one responsible. But if the IDF is to be blamed, than what means has it used that hadn't been mentioned already? Tear gas, live munition, rubber bullets (the smallest category), and leaflets, all have been mentioned in this report. They have also been mentioned in all other coverages of this situation. However, there is no evidence of other means used; not in an article and not in a photograph. Since, the category of other must be made from several means; it is common sense to assume that at least one of them was caught by camera. Yet no such photo exists.  At the Palestinian side however, there are three causes of injury that are identified easily. The first two are unavoidable. These are accidents of various types that happen whenever there is a large gathering of people. And there are also self-inflicted injuries known as friendly fire incidents, when the violent means used by the Palestinian "demonstrators" accidentally hurt their own side. The third cause is the much covered mass use of burning tires by the "demonstrators." How likely it is for the first two causes to be large contributors for the high percentage of the category 'other,' depends on the level of organization. As for the massive use of burning tires, here there is no way to make an assessment, since no one has done something like this before. Only a careful professional study can answer that question. The lack of such study by the relevant authorities, local and international, is grossly irresponsible. There is no question that this kind of smoke is harmful. And there is no question that children are more vulnerable to it, as they are more vulnerable to any other kind of air pollution. With the popularity of the Palestinian struggle in many parts of the world, and the sympathetic media coverage, it is highly possible that someone else will try to copycat this kind of protest. Denying this information from them puts the lives of their civilians and their children at risk.
If the number of people, and children, badly affected by the massive burning of tires is high, then that irresponsibility is a criminal one. And if that number is indeed high, and most of the causes of injuries to children are self-inflicted, then the actual situation is far different the picture portrait in this report.

Just how harmless a single tear gas canister is in an open field, can be seen by this Gazan show of. Source Israellycool

Do you consider these pictures to be iconic, heroic, or child abuse?

This data can be dismissed as representing the early part of this confrontation. But a later report, by an anti – Israel site called the Middle East Eye, shows that pattern continued all the way to November. This time among the dead.

This data shows that the overwhelming number of the dead is adult men, nearly five times the number of children, and almost 80 times the number of women. this web site tries to bend the data against Israel by creating a new category, 29 and under, mixing adults with teenagers. it also tries to so by adding the personal stories of those killed. but most of the names on the list do not have a story attached to them. nearly 100 of the 190, were killed "east of ___" major community in the Gaza Strip, without any farther detail as to the location. Only 19 have background stories. But those stories do not represent the complexities of each of those attacks on the border fence. Again, hiding by omissions. They are just doing it differently than the OCHA reports do.   

Why would the preferred target of the IDF be adult men?
Well, these are men at combat age; they can carry weapons, and the can be more effective in tearing down the fence. Tearing down any defense structure is a military activity. It is given to a brunch of the military engineering core known as sappers. Show me where in international law they enjoy special protection the way medical personal do.  

The fact that they could does mean that they do. Evidences suggest they did. There are plenty of images showing these "demonstrators" tearing down the fence. As for been unarmed; the second evidence I bring suggests otherwise. It comes from this picture, published on May 16, 2018 in the Sky news website as a part of an unsympathetic coverage of the IDF.

A detailed analysis shows however, a group of armed men, surrounded by a crowd that includes a lot of young men, some unarmed, some not so clearly. But also many children, a few medics, and at least three men dressed as members of the press. There is no question that children, mostly teenagers, are used as here as human shields, a war crime in its own right. But the most important thing about this picture is that it shows organization. The charge is led by a young man with a flag and an ax. There is a man with binoculars, studying the area ahead. In the back of the left side a group of kids is getting instructions from an adult. And in the middle, a man carrying explosives has a teenager behind him and another in front of him.    

From left to right, an ax at the lead, a pointed chain wheal, explosives, Molotov cocktail, and incendiary liquid in bottles.  

Teenagers and children all over

Medics and press folks in the attacking crowd.

Teenagers around the explosives guy

A group of kids getting instructions from an adult

More evidence of organization 

As a human shield these kids are used as a defensive weapon, defending an armed assault. That picture shows the great length Hamas is going through, in order to get as many as possible of their own children, injured and killed. This makes the efforts by the IDF to bring down the number of casualties among the underage group only more remarkable. To be clear, every death is a tragedy, and every death of a child is an outrage. But who should be the focus of the outrage? Those who deliberately put them in harms way? Or those that go to great length not to harm them, while effectively protecting their own children?

Another picture of Gazan children used for military purpose.