Re: Williams Lake Tribune: Diana French: “Stop the madness” (Page A6, Nov. 18, 2015; www.wltribune.com/opinion/351200311.html).
In war, the first casualty is the truth. Williams Lake Tribune columnist Diana French outrageously accuses Israel of “terrorism” implying that Israeli forces intentionally target Palestinian children for political purposes.
There is no foundation to this claim.
In truth, every civilian casualty in war is deeply regrettable, but let us not forget that in recent warfare between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist terror organization embedded their operatives and weapons from within civilian population centres (hospitals, schools, and residential areas) all the while targeting Israeli civilian areas.
This was a flagrant violation of the protocols of war, specifically the Geneva Conventions and it constituted a bona fide double war crime (hiding behind civilians while firing at civilians).
Israel undertook every effort to safeguard civilian lives by carrying out pinpoint targeted strikes on terrorists in Gaza and by aborting attacks when civilians were in the vicinity.
Israel also distributed warnings in advance of carrying out attacks via phone calls, text messages, leaflets and more. Hamas made every possible effort to maximize civilian casualties, both on the Israeli and Palestinian side.
For Hamas, a dead Palestinian is an important propaganda tool in its public relations strategy.
At the time, Hamas had fired thousands of rockets at Israel and close to 20,000 this past decade. Each rocket or mobile bomb, is packed with shrapnel and nails in an attempt to murder an innocent human being. Even the Palestinian Representative to the UN said Hamas rockets constitute “crimes against humanity” but nary a peep of criticism by Ms. French.
Hamas’ war crimes have beendocumented by the United Nations itself along with Canadian and international journalists who saw its operatives dress in disguises as non-combatants.
Importantly, journalists who expose Hamas’ human shield practices become targets of this terror group.
Would Ms. French condemn Hamas for the deaths of 160 Gazan children who died while building terror tunnels?
Why no criticism of the fact that Hamas used 13- and 14-year-old Palestinian children by adorning them with explosives-laden suicide-bomber belts to attack Israelis?
More examples of Hamas child abuse was seen in how the terror group openly admitted to giving Palestinian children grenades to throw at Israelis.
Does Ms. French denounce Hamas for the summary executions of 40 alleged “collaborators” (20 of whom were really just peaceful protestors condemning Hamas’ efforts)?
I echo Ms. French’s statement that we must “stop the madness.”
Editor’s note: Mike Fegelman is the executive director of an organization which criticizes anti-Israel media bias.