Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Palestinians attack, Israel to blame

The Gaza reporting of the Washington Post’s Scott Wilson continues to fascinate and exhaust me. Going in, I know I’ll need to carefully parse just about every word he writes but I can’t resist the challenge. Today’s piece does not disappoint.

I know that he does not necessarily come up with the story’s headline but I can’t see him objecting to this one: Israeli Airstrikes Hit Palestinian Ministry, School

“Israeli military aircraft destroyed the Palestinian Interior Ministry before dawn Wednesday, wounding at least seven people…”

Yep – damn those belligerent Israelis – what were they thinking? Well, maybe it was that the airstrikes took place only AFTER:

“the military wing of the governing Hamas movement fired a rocket at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon that landed in an empty school.”


“An Israeli airstrike soon after hit the Dar al-Arqam School, a Hamas-funded institution here that Israeli warplanes also targeted last year.”

Maybe Mr. Wilson was on deadline…or maybe he just didn’t think it important but why is the Israeli school simply noted as “empty” while we learn pretty much everything about the Palestinian school except its soccer team’s record and whether it too was empty? On the latter, though, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it too was empty…if only because if it hadn’t been empty, this would have been a gleeful Page One story about Israeli treachery instead of its current Page A-8 status.

Mr. Wilson continues his description of the Palestinian school with this curious disclosure:

“Israeli military officials said the Islamic school, part of Hamas's social-service network, provides charity to families of suicide bombers.”

Now I’m no expert on the Israeli military but I have enough respect for their professionalism to think that either a) they wouldn’t purposely bomb a charity or b) if they did, they wouldn’t immediately disclose that they had purposely bombed a charity. So what gives here?

As he mentions, the school had been previously hit (September 2005). At that time, an Israeli military official was a little more specific:

“Israel, however, makes no distinction between the civilian and military infrastructure of Hamas. Israeli Captain Yael Hartmann told TNS that the school was targeted because "it was bringing up the next generation of Hamas members." Air Raids Terrorize Gaza Residents, Target Key Infrastructure - The NewStandard

Israel believed this because “[i]n February 2003, an IDF unit in Gaza went into the Dar al-Arqam school, created by the founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Among the texts found for teaching the next generation of Palestinians were the writings of famous Saudi Wahhabi religious authorities, among them Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Fahd, the author of a religious ruling justifying the use of weapons of mass destruction against infidels (i.e., Christians and Jews).” Israel News - Daily News Alert from Israel

The backdrop of all this is the kidnapping of Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, by some Palestinian armed groups.

“[A] spokesman for one of the armed groups, the relatively unknown Army of Islam, said the gunmen would no longer participate in Egyptian-led diplomatic efforts to broker an agreement for Shalit's release…
“…The spokesman, who goes by the name Abu al-Muthana, added that no new information would be provided about Shalit.

"Whether he will be killed or not killed, we will not disclose any information about the fate of the soldier," Muthana said. "We will not kill the soldier, if he is still alive."

True to Mr. Wilson’s reporting style, that statement “…if he is still alive” is just recorded without any follow-up or context.

And for those of you wondering about the human cost in all of this, on the story’s web page is also a link to a video, described thusly:

VIDEO War is part of the landscape in Gaza. War in reflected in the music and the countless number of martyr posters around this densely populated costal strip. Psychiatrists say this, and Israel's military strikes, is traumatizing Palestinian civilians.” (Video by's Travis Fox)” (Emphasis added)

Still no word from Mr. Wilson or the Post on the effect of all this on Cpl. Shalit’s family.

Thanks for reading these articles so I don't have to.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Preview on Feedage: maryland-conservatarian
Add to Windows Live iPing-it