Who targets civilians: Israelis or Palestinians?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meets with soldiers stationed near the north of Gaza Strip in Jerusalem on December 25, 2023. ( Avi Ohayon (GPO) /Handout - Anadolu Agency )

Blogger Abdullah Noorudeen argues that while the Western narrative states that Palestinians target civilians whereas Israelis do not, the evidence points to the contrary.

The world is currently being forced to witness a genocide unfold on our electrified slabs of glass. Despite repeated attempts to cease this harrowing spectacle, Western governments have ensured the crazed Zionist state continues its murderous rampage against mainly women and children.

At the time of writing, Israel has deliberately butchered over 8,000 little ones while those alive are fighting starvation and disease.

As horrific as this is, Western governments have been justifying all this barbarity because of Hamas’s military operation on October 7th.

According to their narrative, Hamas fighters broke out of Gaza to kill and rape as many Jews as they could possibly find and Israel is merely responding to a “terrorist attack.”

The neocon hate preacher Douglas Murray is emblematic of this narrative:

Speaking in October, he said: “The intention of Hamas last week was to kill as many innocent people as possible. The intention of Israel very clearly… is to kill as few innocent people as possible. That difference might seem academic to some people, but in it lies everything.”

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But let’s examine if this stacks up.

Over the past few months the stories of “Hamas massacres” have swiftly unravelled and remain either untrue projections of historic Zionist crimes or unsubstantiated. Moreover, a large number of Israelis have died at the bloodstained hands of the bloodthirsty IDF.

As renowned political scientist, John Mearsheimer has observed: “It’s quite clear on October the 7th, a good number, we don’t know what the number is, but a good number of the Israelis who were killed were not killed by Hamas. They were killed by the IDF.”

But what about intent? Does Hamas want to “kill all Jews”? And does Israel want to kill as few innocent people as possible?

Palestinian fighters on October 7

Hamas officials have very clearly outlined their reasons for the October 7th military operation and cite the historical destruction and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, the provocative escalation of violence, and the Zionist desecration of Masjid Al-Aqsa, along with the symbols of Islam within the sanctuary.

They point to Zionist settler violence, the extrajudicial killing of hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank, the demolition of their homes and families, and their detention and torture as constituting “slow-death policies.”

They also confirm that they had exhausted diplomatic and peaceful methods, such as reaching out to Egypt, Qatar and the UN, to halt the Zionist aggressions. But they were told in cold terms that it did not concern them.

It was only then that Hamas took the military route, as many argue is their right, to draw global attention to the slow Palestinian genocide by a brutal, racist, apartheid occupation.

As for the operation itself, Hamas officials have repeatedly asserted that they only sought to target military persons and objects. According to Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk, before commencing the operation, Hamas commander Mohammed Deif ordered his fighters: “Don’t kill a woman, don’t kill a child, and don’t kill an old man [i.e., the elderly].”

Other Hamas officials made similar statements.

Moreover, even if atrocities are independently verified and proven to have been committed, they would still need to be ascribed to Hamas’s chain of command.

And Israel?

Can we say the same about the Israelis?

The Zionist entity’s leadership has regularly and flagrantly expressed intent not only for mass civilian murder but also for the “crime of all crimes” – genocide.

IDF spokesperson R Adm Daniel Hagari, explaining the attack on Gaza, said: “The emphasis is on damage and not on accuracy.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cited genocidal Biblical passages in announcing his counter-offensive and declared that he will “turn Gaza into a deserted island.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog also blamed all Gazans: “Unequivocally, it is an entire nation out there that is responsible. This rhetoric about civilians is not true.” Israeli general and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Ghassan Alian called Gazans “human animals” before announcing that they will “get hell.” And that’s just the beginning.

Israeli attacks on Gaza continue

Numerous scholars of the Holocaust, genocide, and mass violence have warned that the “dozens of statements of Israeli leaders, ministers in the war cabinet, and senior army officers since October the 7th – that is, people with command authority – suggest an “intent to destroy” Palestinians” (see also here, here, and here).

Hundreds of scholars have warned of a potential genocide in Gaza. Since November, UN experts, including several Special Rapporteurs and members, have been warning that there was “a genocide in the making” in Gaza. On December the 18th, a UN panel examining the legal implications of Israel’s offensive concluded that “genocide is already happening” in Gaza. They have collected over 500 statements that demonstrate genocidal intent, “often of those in the chain of command.”

And Israeli actions support this intent.

Some 40-45% per cent of the bombs dropped on Gaza, which have thus far killed 20,424 Palestinians, are unguided “dumb bombs.” Put simply, at the very least, an equivalent of a nuclear bomb’s worth of carnage has indiscriminately targeted Palestinians.

And the remaining nuke’s worth of murdering is still calculated; Israel intentionally kills civilians through its Habsora AI-based “mass assassination factory”.

So I agree with Douglas Murray – intention is important. And in the realm of mass-murdering civilians, it is Israel that carries the weight of criminal, genocidal intent. Any case against Hamas is yet to meet that threshold.

This article first appeared on the Coolness of Hind blog.

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