Today’s Update…Hamas Still Hiding Behind Civilians

From the IDF comes the following summary of activities in Gaza

a) A total of 18 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel today, no injuries were reported.

b) Four fuel containers and 102 trucks transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing today, bringing the total of aid trucks from the beginning of Operation Cast Lead to 1,028.

The IAF attacked over 160 targets since the early morning hours and overnight, including:
– 90 weapons smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip
– 25 rocket launching sites, including a squad of gunmen who fired mortar shells into Israel. Three gunmen were identified to have been hit
– 30 cells of armed gunmen, some of which were targeted in coordination with ground forces
– Hamas police headquarters in Gaza City
– An area rigged with explosive devices intended for detonation against IDF forces
– Nine weapons production and weapons storage facilities, including one in the home of a Hamas operative in Gaza City

Troops operating in the northern Gaza Strip encountered several gunmen armed with anti-tank missiles and light weapons. The troops directed the Air Force in targeting the gunmen, which successfully hit the gunmen.

Working with infantry troops in northern Gaza, a combat engineering force carried out a controlled detonation of a tunnel leading into Israeli territory in the vicinity of the Nahal Oz terminal. The tunnel, uncovered on Monday in a joint IDF and ISA effort, was apparently intended to be used to kidnap Israeli citizens or soldiers.

Six soldiers were wounded in ground operations throughout the night: In one incident, two officers were moderately wounded and an officer and two soldiers were lightly wounded when they were fired upon by gunmen. Soldiers returned fire and hit the assailants. Another soldier was lightly wounded in a second incident.

On a personal note, I do believe that we need to focus more human rights abuses of Hamas. I listened to the BBC program “World Have Your Say” last night and with their usual bias hardly anyone raised the question of human shields, use of children, and use of mosques and other public buildings, etc

An excellent article appeared this week in the New York Times (not always the friendliest paper) which is worth reading, entitled “A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/world/middleeast/11hamas.html?_r=3&hp

In summary the article points out:-

– Hamas, with training from Iran and Hezbollah, has used the last two years to turn Gaza into a deadly maze of tunnels, booby traps and sophisticated roadside bombs.

– Weapons are hidden in mosques, schoolyards and civilian houses, and the leadership’s war room is a bunker beneath Gaza’s largest hospital, Israeli intelligence officials say.

– Hamas militants are fighting in civilian clothes; even the police have been ordered to take off their uniforms…

– Israeli officials say that they are obeying the rules of war and trying hard not to hurt noncombatants but that Hamas is using civilians as human shields in the expectation that Israel will try to avoid killing them.

– Hamas tactics are working just fine! Hamas sends its own children into the line of fire and the European and American Left reward them by criticizing the Israelis for “brutality.” Ironically, the very people who pride themselves on their “concern” for Palestinian children are ensuring, through their actions, that more children will be deliberately used as cannon fodder.

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