Whether or not you agree with the Gaza incursion, you can’t think that Israel is making themselves look very good with their hits on UN sites.
Israel’s original story on hitting the UN school was that militants fired from inside the compound. Recently, the story has changed to that IDF forces were fired upon from next to the compound and that a stray Israeli mortar was what hit the UN school.
Once again, Israel’s initial claim in the case of today’s shelling of the United Nations Relief and Works agency (UNRWA) is that militants were firing from inside. The head of the UNRWA (who was in the building at the time) dismisses this as ‘nonsense.’
One could argue that given the urban warfare where Hamas has made it a goal to mix with the population that civilian casualties are inevitable. Regardless, it seems like a bit more care could be undertaken to avoid hitting buildings that are next to the people you are trying to hit.
This isn’t the first time Israel has had problems with errant attacks on UN sites. These events harken back to the 2006 Lebanon war, where IDF forces killed 4 unarmed peacekeepers at the UN observer post. Believe it or not, the claim was once again that militants were firing from near the location. In this case, Israel’s attack was a bit more egregious, as it lasted for around 6 hours, this was a known UN location and the UN reportedly notified Israel as to who they were really shelling.
All three of these incidents highlight what I see as a lack of full effort to avoid collateral damage.
I have spoken to a good amount of people that defend Israel’s tactics, saying that the IDF warns people before they bomb houses and that they do what they can to avoid casualties. That being said, I find it hard to believe that supreme caution is being taken care to avoid inflicting injury on civilians when in the same breath, I hear all Palestinians being lumped into one category and cursed. Of course, this is done on both sides. And this is why all of this continues on and on and on…