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A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

POLISH REPORTER CONFIRMS HAMAS USED HUMAN SHIELDS IN GAZA - He witnessed how they deliberately provoked Israeli fire by launching rockets from residential areas so as to use casualties as propaganda - He is one of several media correspondents exposing this practice. - Hamas officials have confirmed their use of human shields - It's in their war manual, found by the IDF

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  • Polish reporter's witness account of Hamas launching rockets from crowded civilian areas in order to use Arab civilian casualties as anti-Israel propaganda.
  • Map of Gaza showing the many empty areas in the region.  They are not used for rocket launching precisely because there are no civilians for human shield use.
  • Links to other foreign correspondents' reports of Hamas use of human shields
  • Daily Mail report of Hamas ADMITTING they use human shields.
  • IDF found Hamas' own urban warfare manual recommending the use of human shields
  • Thousands of Arabs expelled from their homes at the Gaza-Egypt border and their houses destroyed BY EGYPT because of jihadi activity.  The media ignores it because they can't blame Israel.
  • The plight of thousands of Palestinians in Yarmouk, Syria.  Blockaded by Assad, starving, victimized by ISIS.  The media ignores it because they can't blame Israel.
  • Ex AP correspondent exposes widespread bias in international reporting from Israel and Gaza.


I Saw Hamas' Cruel and Selfish Game in Gaza
By Wojciech Cegielski
Polish reporter Wojciech Cegielski spent a month in Gaza during last summer's war. He has no doubt Hamas used people as human shields.
A man drove up in a pickup to our tiny street. He placed a rocket launcher outside and fired. But the rocket failed to go upwards and flew along the street at ground level for a long time before destroying a building. It was a miracle that nobody was hurt or killed.   
When we calmed down, we started to analyze the situation. It became obvious that the man or his supervisor wanted the Israel Defense Forces to destroy civilian houses, which our tiny street was full of. Whoever it was, Hamas, Iz al-Din al-Qassam or others, they knew that the IDF can strike back at the same place from which the rocket was fired.

Iconic photo of Gaza children
deliberately placed atop a building
that was a war target
I spent a month in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. It was one of the worst and deadliest months I have seen in my life.

The reality there was much more complicated than was seen from a safe distance in Europe or the United States.

Yes, Israel bombed Palestinian houses in Gaza. But Hamas is also to blame for its cruel and selfish game against its own people.

First incident:

The first incident happened late in the evening. I was in the bathroom when I’ve heard a loud rocket noise and my Spanish colleague, a journalist who was renting a flat with me near the Gaza beach, started to scream.

Continue reading this and other related items as listed on top.

He wanted to light a cigarette and came to one of the open windows.   The moment he was using his lighter, he saw a fireball in front of his eyes and lost his hearing.   From what our neighbors told us later, a man drove up in a pickup to our tiny street.

He placed a rocket launcher outside and fired. But the rocket failed to go upwards and flew along the street at ground level for a long time before destroying a building. It was a miracle that nobody was hurt or killed.

When we calmed down, we started to analyze the situation. It became obvious that the man or his supervisor wanted the Israel Defense Forces to destroy civilian houses, which our tiny street was full of. Whoever it was, Hamas, Iz al-Din al-Qassam or others, they knew that the IDF can strike back at the same place from which the rocket was fired. Fortunately for us, the rocket missed its target in Israel.

Second incident
The second story happened in the middle of the day. I was sitting with other journalists in a cafe outside one of the hotels near the beach.
During wartime, these hotels are occupied by foreign press and some NGOs.
Every hotel is full and in its cafes many journalists spend their time discussing, writing, editing stories or just recharging the phones.
Suddenly I saw a man firing a rocket from between the hotels. It was obvious that we journalists became a target. If the IDF would strike back, we all would be dead. What would Hamas do? It would not be surprising to hear about the “cruel Zionist regime killing innocent and free press.”
For me, provoking is also creating living shields.
While I was interviewing people on the streets of Gaza, I couldn’t meet anyone who spoke something other than official propaganda. But some Palestinians, when they were sure my microphone was turned off, told me they have had enough but they are afraid.
No one would dare to say publicly that Hamas is creating a hell inside Gaza. But they were also asking “what if not Hamas?” The Palestinian Authority government would have no authority there. So if not Hamas, they say, there could be somebody much worse. “The choice is between evil and evil plus,” one of them said.
The reality is much more complicated than can be seen from a distance.
The writer is a foreign news correspondent for Polish Radio.
His twitter account -
This article originally appeared on Haaretz

IsraellyCool:  It’s not clear why Mr. Cegielski waited a year to come forward with his story. However, it is consistent with many that we heard last summer, for example, herehere, here, here, and here.

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Hamas admits it DID use schools and hospitals in Gaza Strip  as 'human shields' to launch rocket attacks on Israel - but claims it was 'mistake'
DAILY MAIL  -  Hamas appeared to admit using human shields to fire rockets into Israel for the first time today, but refused to accept responsibility for the slaughter of hundreds of innocent Palestinians killed in retaliatory airstrikes.
In a veiled confession that comes two weeks after the end of the Gaza war, a senior Hamas official said the group's fighters had no choice but to use residential areas from which to launch missiles into their neighbour's territory.
There is a common misperception that Gaza is crowded.  On the contrary.  There are many empty areas as shown on these maps.
Hamas disregards these empty areas for the launching of rockets because they would not benefit from the propaganda of civilian casualties. 
But while Ghazi Hamad claimed they took safeguards to keep people away from the violence, he admitted 'mistakes were made', blaming Israel's heavy-handed response for the deaths of civilians.
Ahead of a U.N. investigation, the Israeli military has released reams of evidence, including satellite photos and aerial footage, to support its claims that it acted responsibly and attempted to minimize Palestinian casualties. It asserts that Hamas made no effort to disguise its attempt to maximize Israeli civilian casualties.
Throughout the war, the Israeli air force compiled dozens of video clips showing alleged wrongdoing by Hamas, an Islamic militant group sworn to Israel's destruction.
These videos, many of them posted on YouTube, appear to show rockets flying out of residential neighborhoods, cemeteries, schoolyards and mosque courtyards. There are also images of weapons caches purportedly uncovered inside mosques, and tunnels allegedly used by militants to scurry between homes, mosques and buildings.
Confession: In a veiled confession that comes two weeks after the end of the Gaza war, a senior Hamas official today said the group's fighters had no choice but to use residential areas from which to launch missiles into their neighbour's territory 
Hamas rockets launched from residential areas
'Hamas' excuses are outrageous, misleading and contrary to the evidence supplied by the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) and the reality documented by international journalists on the ground in Gaza,' said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman.
But a black-and-white satellite image released by the Israeli military illustrates the difficulties in proving the point. The army says the image, taken of the Gaza City neighborhood of Sheikh Radwan, shows four rocket launch sites sitting next to a cluster of schools and a nearby residential neighborhood.
Such images, it says, are evidence that Hamas used built-up areas for cover - and carelessly exposed civilians to danger in Israeli retaliatory strikes. However, the image itself is grainy and shows no clear signs of rocket activity, though rocket launchers are often hidden underground. The army refused to say how it had made its conclusions.
A visit to the area this week found three separate military sites - possibly training grounds - slightly larger than football fields located close to the state schools. 
The sites are mostly concealed from street view by barriers made of corrugated iron, but one bore the sign of Hamas' military wing, al-Qassam Brigades, while another bore the sign of the Islamic Jihad, a militant group allied with Hamas. The bases were deserted. Visible from the outside were human cutout figures and what appeared to be exercise hurdles.
Another location identified by the Israeli military as a rocket-launching site is in northern Gaza around the newly built Indonesian hospital. Immediately to the north of the two-story hospital and across the road to the west are two Hamas military facilities. Both stand in close proximity to residential homes. The hospital stands intact, while nothing is visible from inside the bases.

During 50 days of fighting, many observers witnessed rocket launches from what appeared to be urban areas. One piece of video footage distributed by the AP, for instance, captured a launch in downtown Gaza City that took place in a lot next to a mosque and an office of the Hamas prime minister. Both buildings were badly damaged in subsequent Israeli airstrikes.
There was other evidence of Hamas having used civilian facilities: Early in the conflict, the U.N. agency that cares for Palestinian refugees announced that it discovered weapons stored in its schools as they stood empty during the summer.
'I don't think there's any doubt urban areas were used to launch rockets from in the Gaza Strip,' said Bill Van Esveld, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. 'What needs to be determined is how close to a populated building or a civilian area were those rocket launches.'
The issue may never be conclusively settled as both sides voice competing narratives over their conduct in the deadliest and most ruinous of the three wars since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007.
'Yes, Hamas and others may have used civilians as human shields, but was that consistent and widespread?' said Sami Abdel-Shafi, a Palestinian-American who represents the Carter Center in Gaza. 'The question is whether Israel's response was proportionate.'
The war erupted on July 8 when Israel launched a massive aerial bombardment of Gaza in response to weeks of heavy rocket fire by Hamas and other Gaza-based militant groups - part of an escalation that began with the killing by a Hamas cell of three Israeli teens in the West Bank.
Evidence: This photo, provided by the Israel Defense Forces, shows the Gaza City neighborhood of Sheikh Radwan where it says Hamas used four rocket launch sites sitting next to a cluster of schools and nearby residences
Evidence: This photo, provided by the Israel Defense Forces, shows the Gaza City neighborhood of Sheikh Radwan where it says Hamas used four rocket launch sites sitting next to a cluster of schools and nearby residences

Source:  Daily Mail

Further proof of Hamas' use of human shields  -  It's in their own war manual

For example, several days ago, the Wall Street Journal published a photograph by Nick Casey of Hamas spokesman Mushir Al Masri using a local hospital as a backdrop to give interviews. The hospital and its patients served, in effect, as a shield for Masri to speak to reporters without being targeted by Israel. A few days after it was posted, the Journal had removed Casey’s photo from its website without explanation.

Meanwhile, a French journalist in Gaza, Radjaa Abu Dagga, published an article in the French newspaper Liberation, describing how when he was taken in for questioning by Hamas, the interrogators used a room in the Al Shifa hospital – proof that Hamas is using the hospital as a shield. But that article, too, was deleted from the Liberation web site after a short time.

Sreenivasan Jain, a courageous reporter for New Delhi Television (NDTV), posted a detailed expose on August 5, showing Hamas terrorists assembling, and then firing, a rocket right in the middle of a neighborhood filled with residential buildings and hotels. His amazing report can be seen on the NDTV website.

ndtv white

NDTV reported last summer
that Hamas fired from area outside a hotel

It’s the most graphic evidence yet of Hamas deliberately acting in, and from, civilian areas – in the hope of drawing Israeli fire that will cause civilian casualties and increase international criticism of Israel.

Now comes the most damning evidence of all – in Hamas’ own handwriting.

On August 5, the Israeli Army released copies of an official Hamas manual that it discovered in the Shuja’iya neighborhood of Gaza, where one of the fiercest battles of the war was fought.

It’s titled “Urban Warfare,” and it was produced by Hamas’s Shuja’iya Brigade.The manual includes detailed instructions on how to use the civilians of Gaza against Israel.

It explains how because of Israel’s concern about civilian casualties, Hamas can use the “presence of civilians” to its military advantage.

Having civilians nearby causes the Israelis “(1) Problems with opening fire; (2) Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations and afterward; (3) Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it.”

The “Urban Warfare” manual also emphasizes the benefits of damage to civilian property: “The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] and increases their gathering [support] around the city defenders (resistance forces[i.e. Hamas]).”

Lesson twenty of the Gaza war: The “racism” lie spouted by the likes of Diana Buttu and Yousef Munayyer cannot change the inescapable truth that Hamas deliberately uses Palestinian civilians as human shields, and therefore bears complete responsibility for the harm that has come to them.


- Their homes destroyed by Egypt
- So nobody cares. Another evidence that FAKE concern for Palestinians is a cover for anti-Semitism and for the plan to destroy Israel
Military operation to create buffer zone in Rafah
Arab residents on the Gaza-Egyptian border were rounded up by armed soldiers and forced to flee their homes, which were promptly exploded in impressive plumes of dust and sand. 

But the soldiers were Egyptian, and there has been no international criticism of the buffer zone Egypt is establishing by force on the Gaza side of the Sinai border.

The expulsion is in response to increased jihadism in Gaza and Sinai that resulted in a massacre of more than 30 Egyptian soldiers a few days ago.
Tanks, helicopters and soldiers force Gazans to flee their homes before destroying them - while buffer zone evacuation meets no criticism.
Egyptians evacuate their homes near Gaza border

Read more

 - The UN and the world, through UNRWA, have kept Palestinian refugees in camps instead of relocating them 
 - Palestinian refugees and their descendants have been told they must wait for the destruction of Israel 
 - Used as tools by the anti-Semitic world, they have had to endure decades of discrimination by other Arab countries, misery, hunger, and now ISIS

Key points

  • ISIS jihadis entered the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk through the nearby Hajar Aswad neighborhood

  • Al Qaeda-linked rebels reportedly opened a closed road for ISIS militants
  • Once inside extremists battled a Palestinian group who run the camp
  • ISIS now controls 90% of Yarmouk 
  • Jordan blocked the only Yarmouk exit, thereby leaving Palestinians to their fate 

  • Residents of the Palestinian-run Yarmouk camp are seen queuing to receive food supplies last year

    Starving Palestinians in Yarmouk, Syria, waiting for UN rations
    They were blockaded by president Assad because
     of Palestinian participation in the revolt against his government.
  • There have been reports of beheadings of Palestinians by ISIS
  • ISIS are Sunni, Palestinians are split between Shia and Sunni. 
  • Shia Palestinians are considered infidels by ISIS, and subject to beheading.
  • The UNRWA-run refugee camp has been under Syrian government siege for nearly two years.
  • The siege led to widespread starvation. Many died of hunger.
  • The Yarmouk Camp is a 0.8sq.mi. district of Damascus populated by more than 112,000 Palestinian refugees, who have been cut off from any foreign help during the Syrian insurrection.
  • The UN runs Yarmouk and all other Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East.
  • Decades ago the UN separated Palestinian refugees from all other world refugees and created UNRWA, an agency specifically tasked to keep several generations of Palestinians in camps INDEFINITELY.
  • The United Nations and the Arab world have been using Palestinian refugees and their descendants as tools against Israel, and forcing them to endure miserable lives and discrimination by their Arab host countries, with no hope of a new life elsewhere, until they destroy the state of Israel.
  • The Palestinian refugee problem originated with genocidal Arab wars that intended to massacre Israelis.
  • They told Arabs to flee so that the invading armies could more easily massacre Israelis.
  • Israeli PM Netanyahu has predicted that any Jewish territory ceded to Palestinians will fall into the hands of extremists, such as ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas or a myriad of other jihadist groups.  Gaza is already in the clutches of Hamas.  The new Palestinian state would self-destruct in bloody savagery.
  • If it were not for Israel's limited control of the area, the West Bank would have fallen into the hands of jihadists long ago.   There is already an ISIS presence in the West Bank and in Gaza.  GIVE THEM A STATE?
  • UPDATE April 5:  Some 400 families have been evacuated from ISIS-controlled Yarmouk.  (Read details further on this page.)
  • UPDATE April 6:  100 Palestinians have been killed or kidnapped by ISIS, while pro-Iran Hamas fighters swear revenge.  (See latest pictures of ISIS roaming through the Palestinian camp.)



    MEDIA MALPRACTICE IN THE COVERAGE OF ISRAEL as exposed by former AP correspondent Matti Friedman

    • The international press in Israel had become less an observer of the conflict than a player in it. It had moved away from careful explanation and toward a kind of political character assassination
    • Israel’s flaws were dissected and magnified, while the flaws of its enemies were purposely erased
    • Something toxic is driving this –  ” Jews are troublemakers, a negative force in world events, and that if these people, as a collective, could somehow be made to vanish, we would all be better off”.
    • When I worked in the AP’s Jerusalem bureau, the Israel story was covered by more AP news staff than China, or India, or all of the fifty-odd countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. This is representative of the industry as a whole.
    • People observing this conflict from afar have been led to believe that Israel faces a simple choice between occupation and peace. That choice is fiction.
    • The Palestinian choice, it is said, is between Israeli occupation and an independent democracy. That choice, too, is fiction
    • (Partition for the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state) will bring the black-masked soldiers of radical Islam within yards of Israeli homes with mortars, rockets, and tunneling implements. Many thousands will die. 
    • No international investment or guarantees, no Western-backed government or Western-trained military will be able to keep that from happening, as we have just seen in Iraq.
    • The only group of people subject to a systematic boycott at present in the Western world is Jews, appearing now under the convenient euphemism “Israelis.”
    • The Jews of the Middle East are outnumbered by the Arabs of the Middle East 60 to 1, and by the world’s Muslims 200 to 1.
    • Neo-Nazi rallies at Palestinian universities or in Palestinian cities are not — I saw images of such rallies suppressed on more than one occasion.
    • Jewish hatred of Arabs is a story. Arab hatred of Jews is not. 
    • The time has come for everyone to admit that the fashionable disgust for Israel among many in the West is not liberal but is selective, disproportionate, and discriminatory.




    Foreign Press Association issues strong condemnation of Hamas tactics of intimidation and interference

    Read more


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