Having read a detailed account of the IDF’s enquiry into the incident of the boys killed on the beach in Gaza I kind of knew that Krishnan Guru-Murthy would find a way of using it to damn Israel.
Sure enough he ignored the findings apart from the admission that the IDF’s surveillance mechanism made it impossible to tell whether the running figures were adults or children.
“Why, if it was impossible to tell, did you continue your attack?” asked Krishnan, of his long-time bête noire Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli government.
By that token, one might surmise, one would never attack anyone ever.
Did you see that programme last night about the Met? There was a horrible spate of crimes - muggings with violence, that had been terrorising the law abiding people of Camden. The young criminals were using scooters to zoom up to their victims, sometimes right up to the victim’s doorstep, (or even further) snatch the booty and speed away.
If the police were on the scene in time to give chase, the wily lads would remove their helmets so that the police could not pursue them with any vigour lest they should cause a death. The criminals were using themselves as human shields, if you like.
Needless to say the residents of Camden were totally pissed off. The poor spokesperson from the Met had to face the residents’ hostility at a meeting - rock and a hard place anyone? I think they resolved the matter by wholesale arrests and imprisonment. No doubt it’s only a matter of time before that un-resolves itself again.
Just look at the expression on Krishnan Guru-Murthy’s face. It’s a picture, ain’t it?
Someone has appointed Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Channel Four, the BBC and much of the press as judge, jury and hangman-in-chief over matters of which they personally disapprove; but we don’t get to know who has made this appointment, when it was made, and by whose authority.
It must be covered by that super-duper injunction that excludes the general public from access to material prohibited under the dedicated official secrets act (otherwise known as for the purposes of journalism and art) and from knowing by whom, why or from what we have been excluded.
As it happens I can see that there are two sides to this story.
The Israelis claim that the target was a a weapon-storage 'container', while the Palestinians and their supporters say it was only a dilapidated fishermen’s hut.
The Israelis expressed regret, said it was a tragedy, and that they don’t target civilians. Their opponents dispute that, and wonder why the IDF failed to identify the figures as children playing on a beach. The Israelis also say that the spot where the boys were playing was closed off from the rest of the area by a fence, and from aerial observation operational staff had concluded Hamas figures were entering the area to conduct a military action, and authorisation was given to fire a missile after one of the identified figures entered the container and after 'a civilian presence in the area' had been ruled out.
The Palestinians and their supporters say the IDF had failed to take the appropriate precautions stipulated by the rules of protecting civilians in a conflict. The stature of the boys was small compared to adults; no IDF soldiers, potentially exposed to danger, were in the area as the ground invasion had not yet got underway; no other persons were in imminent danger, and therefore there was no urgency in launching a strike.
The IDF, they concluded, could therefore have taken more exhaustive measures to verify whether or not the targeted people were militants.
Lastly, the compound was located in the centre of a city with a half a million residents, between a public beach and a fisherman's area, close to international hotels lodging journalists, facts that would not rule out the possibility civilians might in the area.
That last paragraph implies that the entire Gaza war was not viable as a war zone under any circumstances (because Gaza is the most densely populated place on the planet and the biggest open prison in the world)
It also implies that such an area is jam-packed with international hotels full of journalists eager to mop up any scandalous gossip about Israel they can conjure up. Every confrontation in the region has at least half a dozen camera-men in attendance.
What’s my point?
Gaza is like a lad on a scooter without a helmet. The media is on the case, always waiting to pounce on any casualty caused by the Israelis, who are like the police, forced to chase a criminal who has made himself intentionally vulnerable, and inevitably blamed when it ends in tragedy. The media is like the media; it puts the Israelis between a rock and a hard place.