Human Shields Exposed, Rights Violated

I’ve written before about the bizarre situations which pass for reality in Middle Eastern affairs which concern Israel.  An article from the BBC does little to dispel my view that visitors to the region must be forced to abandon all logic and common sense at customs when they enter:

Large numbers of Palestinians have converged on a home in Gaza belonging to a senior member of the ruling Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The move follows reports the Israeli air force was about to attack it, but there has been no confirmation of this.

Nothing unusual about this: using civilians as human shields has been a weapon in the Palestinians’ armoury for years.  However, Louise Arbour, the UN high commissioner for human rights who was visiting a different town in Gaza, had this to say:

“The violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories are intolerable.  I think it’s clear that civilians are tremendously exposed.”

Well, yes.  They are tremendously exposed.  But perhaps civilians in the Palestinian territories could reduce this exposure somewhat by not deliberately gathering around the target of a proposed airstrike.

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7 Responses to Human Shields Exposed, Rights Violated

  1. Rob Kent says:

    Who says that the Palestinians use “human shields”?

    The respected Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem reports the Israeli army’s use of civilians in operations.

    http://www.btselem.org/english/Human_Shields/20060720_Human_Shields_in_Beit_Hanun.asp

  2. George Hargraves says:

    Actually, I doubt they were exposed at all. The terrorist leaders would know the IAF does not fire on civilian targets, without good reason, and so would call off the strikes. another propaganda victory for Hamas and its UN allies.

  3. Tatyana says:

    About one such “human shield”, this time – an American.

  4. Markus says:

    People who take action, on their own free will, are activists, they are not human shields, ala Tiananmen Square, people want their freedom, and they want to stand up for what they believe in. The other side views these actions with bias, Palestinians are not supposed to use arms to fight for their freedom, and they are also not supposed to demonstrate, or stand up for their own, this is pure hypocracy, what is it that you propose they do, lay down and die for example? Your blog is a great read when it discusses everything from the oil indusgtry to dubai but when it comes to the palestinain-israeli conflict, it reveals a great deal of pure ignorance….or bias, i think its the latter.

  5. Tim Newman says:

    what is it that you propose they do, lay down and die for example?

    No. Persuade themselves that Israel has a right to exist, andthat it is there to stay. Secondly, persuade the more extreme of their number that continued violence against Israel – for whatever reason – will never, ever result in an improved life for Palestinians.

    As for my blog being biased towards Israelis over the Palestinian cause, it is. I never suggested it was anything else. I have read the history of the conflict, listened to both sides of the story, read a lot of objective acounts of the situation, and come away rooting loudly and firmly for Israel.

  6. Pip says:

    Why do you come away “rooting loudly and firmly for Israel”? If you had read both sides of the argument then you would see that the Palestinians do not want to wipe Israel off the map. They are more realistic than that and see that they will never achieve that either. However they would like self determination and the right to live without their cities and villages being invaded by tanks every other day with the excuse that the IDF is searching for “militants”. Can’t think that many people, whatever culture or religion they are from, would be happy to accept land, homes, identity and freedom being taken away from them.

  7. lirun says:

    wow – brave man for entering the debate :)

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