This Saturday Israeli airstrikes completely destroyed a 12-story civilian tower block also used by the US-based Associated Press, as well as Al-Jazeera, and other channels. This destruction of leading media stations was justified by MSM with unfounded claims of “Hamas, Hamas, Hamas”, which still does not justify their actions under international law.
According to a tweet published by the IDF, the strike was justified with the unfounded claim that Hamas was hiding equipment in the Al-Galaa tower block. This was the statement widely reported by mainstream Western media, which uncritically regurgitated the IDF statement as fact. But let’s take a look at the claim being made and analyze it rationally.
The Associated Press (AP) said that less will now be known about what’s happening in Gaza, whilst Al-Jazeera took a similar line and condemned Israel’s attack on journalist facilities. Many journalists in Gaza also say that the attack was specifically aimed at taking away the voices of Palestinians and damaging media coverage.
Israel’s claim is that if Hamas is using high-rise buildings, they become legitimate military targets. If we are to assume that the Al-Galaa tower was being used by Hamas, whilst the IDF admits knowing civilians and journalists were using the building, then what the Israeli military is saying is that either Hamas essentially held al-Jazeera (AJ) and AP journalists hostage or they were somehow collaborating with Hamas. No one from AP or AJ has said anything of the sort, instead they were outraged at Israel’s actions. So at the very least this part of Israel’s story is lacking evidence. It is also important to note the fact that Israel’s government is basically saying it’s allowed to kill civilians at will if they are in proximity to Hamas, even if international journalists, even if they are unaware.
عاجل : الاحتلال يجدد قصفه لبرج الجلاء وسط مدينة غزة pic.twitter.com/F8C0qnbHUt
— حسن اصليح | Hassan (@hassaneslayeh) May 15, 2021
Then we have to deal with whether the building actually becomes a military target if an opposing group has intelligence regarding military equipment in the building. Bringing down an entire building is not justifiable, especially when Israel has precision weapons which can target whatever they think exists there. Bringing down the whole building is a crime and not justifiable for a target which does not pose an immediate threat to anyone when going by Israel’s justification.
If Israel used its precision weapons to hit the building, but left it intact, and it did contain the alleged Hamas equipment, then they would have been able to let the journalists of that same building then expose what they had destroyed. But now Israel has given itself the whole “benefit of the doubt” argument, due to the entire building being turned into dust. Only a criminal covers up the evidence intentionally, for fear of what it would show.
Israel further provided the argument that they had valiantly let the people know to get out of the building, with CNN unquestioningly quoting exactly that, and made it seem like a positive thing that an alleged one hour notice was provided. But this brings up another massive hole in Israel’s narrative. If it gave one hour’s notice, Hamas couldn’t have withdrawn its equipment in that time if what they were saying was true. At the very least, if this was actually important technology being used to coordinate attacks and posing an imminent threat to Israelis, surely Hamas would have tried within that hour to extract some of the equipment. If this were the case, it would mean that Israel was now pre-warning Hamas of its strikes so that it can protect its operations, and if so, then this should be broadcasted as a breakthrough in Israel-Hamas relations. Of course the reality is starkly different to the magical fairy land of propaganda provided for Western audiences.
If you think Harry Potter was a quality piece of imaginative fiction and you haven’t read through Israel’s excuses used to justify its war crimes in Gaza. If you are a fan of such fantasy-laded stories, then you are truly in for a treat.
The real reason, I believe, for Israel bombarding this building could be two fold. Firstly, Israel would like to significantly weaken press coverage of its crimes wherever possibly, but secondly, it is very possible that committing this action could have been a cry for help to the US government. The reason why this is a possibility, is because such an action is extremely hard to defend and has forced the US to further engage with the issue now.
Israel is all out of options, the Palestinian uprising is growing by the day and the more Israel’s government indiscriminately kills, the more motivated the Palestinians seem to get. Israel’s attempted ground invasion was thwarted, despite their attempt to play it off as if the announcement of the move was done in order to bombard tunnels. The Israeli military and political leaders know well that a ground invasion will be too costly for them, due to the amount of casualties they are likely to endure and that politically this will cost them a price personally. A ground invasion is also the only way to actually hit anything of significant military value to Hamas, hence the only way to stop return rocket fire and crush Hamas.
As is the case between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel is too frightened to engage with Hamas properly on the ground, and on top of that, the morale of their troops is extremely low. What Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoped would be a quick victory for him politically, has turned into a complete nightmare, now he wants the nightmare to end. Attempts from Israel for a ceasefire have been useless up until this point and the only thing Israel has achieved militarily is a massacre of innocent civilians, along with a small number of members of armed groups.
This situation is unprecedented and has been brought about due to the steadfastness of the Palestinian people across the territories. Needless to say, this is now something that Israel will always have to worry about, from this point on.