Turkey to Probe Gaza Offensive

There were three articles just in today’s Washington Post on Gaza and the recent Israel-Palestine “war”.

The article U.N. Says School in Gaza Where 43 Died Wasn’t Hit by Israeli Fire begins

GAZA CITY, Feb. 6 — The United Nations said this week that Israeli mortar fire that killed at least 43 people in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp on Jan. 6 had landed just outside a U.N.-run school housing refugees from the fighting but did not hit the school itself.

Israel has said the attack was in response to Palestinian fire coming from the area around the school.

On the day of the incident, and in the weeks since, there were conflicting reports over whether the Israeli strikes hit the building.

There seems no question that some seeking refuge within the school fell victim to Israeli fire landing outside of the school. This is a sad, but unfortunately expected outcome when a terrorist group like Hamas chooses to operate from within heavily populated areas. To observe that all of Gaza is heavily populated does not absolve Hamas or their responsibilities.

The article U.N. Halts Aid to Gaza In Dispute With Hamas begins

GAZA CITY, Feb. 6 — A United Nations aid agency that serves more than half of the 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip suspended humanitarian shipments here on Friday, accusing Hamas of confiscating U.N. material for the second time this week.

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency said Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls Gaza, had seized 10 trucks filled with rice and flour. Earlier in the week, the agency had accused Hamas’s police force of confiscating blankets and food from a U.N.-affiliated warehouse.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Hamas to release the aid immediately. In a statement from New York, the world body said the suspension would remain in place “until the aid is returned and the agency is given credible assurances from the Hamas government in Gaza that there will be no repeat of these thefts.”

The suspension comes at a time when Gaza’s residents are still reeling from the effects of a 22-day Israeli offensive in the coastal territory.

The unasked question from this article goes along the lines of “how bad must Hamas’ actions have been in order for the U.N. to suspend aid?”. This is further proof, as if any discriminating individual actually needs further proof, that Hamas does not act in the best interest of the people of Gaza. Quite the contrary.

And finally, there is a news brief Turkey to Probe Gaza Offensive

A Turkish state prosecutor has launched an investigation into allgations that Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip amounted to genocide and crimes against humanity, the Islamist-oriented human rights group Mazlum-Der said. The probe began after the group submitted a complaint naming 19 people it considered responsible for the operation, including Prime Minsister Ehud Olmert, President shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Deense Minister Ehud Barak.

First of all, I find the use of the terms “Islamist” and “human rights” in the same thought as a bit of an oxymoron. But let’s allow for the possibility that Mazlum-Der is actually sincere in its efforts for advancing human rights in Turkey. We do know, of course, that Turkey has, how shall we say, direct experience with genocide, though Turkey will not officially acknowledge the use of that term. So while they will not officially recognize the genocide committed against the Armenians (complete with concentration camps and many hundreds of thousands of deaths), they are quick to point fingers after a 22-day offensive in which thousands of operations were carried out in a densely populated area. As with the operations in Lebanon, Israel was clearly focused on damaging Hamas through damage of buildings, rather than through deaths of civilians. It is estimated that the recent Israel-Gaza conflict claimed 4,000 buildings with another 20,000 severely damaged. Israel dropped leaflets and made phone calls alerting the population. This is not a sign of genocide and crimes against humanity.

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