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Gaza Secrets: UN Lies, the Hamas Charter & Israeli Self-Defense

February 2, 2009

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  • Sidney February 3, 2009 9:38 pm

    Get your news first by watching “Inside Scope”. Just received this email.


    Subject: Did Israel Shell a UN School? The Truth Exposed
    From: “HonestReporting”
    Date: Tue, February 3, 2009 9:15 am

    [View this article online:

    * * *

    HonestReporting Communique
    03 February 2009


    * * *

    Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,

    In war, the saying goes, “the first victim is the truth.” But an in-depth
    investigative report by the Canadian Globe and Mail’s Middle East correspondent, Patrick Martin ( proved to be the
    exception to the rule. Martin�s front-page report investigated the Israeli shelling of Hamas terrorists near a UN school that led to the tragic deaths of 43 civilians. His conclusion: the facts don’t support the accepted story that the school itself was shelled.

    According to Martin:

    “Physical evidence and interviews with several eyewitnesses, including a
    teacher who was in the schoolyard at the time of the shelling, make it clear: While a few people were injured from shrapnel landing inside the white-and-blue-walled UNRWA compound, no one in the compound was killed. The 43 people who died in the incident were all outside, on the street, where all three mortar shells landed.

    Stories of one or more shells landing inside the schoolyard were inaccurate.

    While the killing of 43 civilians on the street may itself be grounds for
    investigation, it falls short of the act of shooting into a schoolyard crowded with

    Martin’s report confirms the underreported Israeli accounts that the IDF
    accurately returned fire to the location from which it was being shelled by Hamas terrorists.

    Some of Martin’s key findings include:

    * There were no dead in the UN school, only some injured according to
    physical evidence and interviews with several eyewitnesses
    * Three Israeli mortar shells landed outside the school’s compound,
    not inside
    * Incorrect public pronouncements by the UN helped allow “the
    misconception to linger”

    The fact that people were milling around the area where Hamas was firing
    rockets is not Israel’s fault, but rather points out that Hamas fired from an area frequented by civilians, engaging in what former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls ( a double war crime: “Attacking [Israeli] civilians and hiding behind [Palestinian]

    At the time, however, John Ging, UNRWA’s operations director in Gaza,
    condemned the attack ( as “horrific”
    and suggested Israel knew it was targeting a UN facility.

    “We have provided the GPS co-ordinates of every single one of our
    locations,” he told the BBC.

    “They are clearly marked with UN insignia, flags flying, lights shining on
    the flags at night.

    It’s very clear that these are United Nations installations.”

    Later, in the Globe and Mail investigation, Ging:

    “acknowledged in an interview this week that all three Israeli mortar
    shells landed outside

    the school and that “no one was killed in the school.”

    “I told the Israelis that none of the shells landed in the school,” he

    Political impact

    We are often asked if media reports such as the Globe & Mail’s or even our
    own can have an impact. The answer is an unequivocal yes. Already, one European Member of Parliament, Paul van Buitenen ( has
    submitted a parliamentary question based on the Globe & Mail’s investigation. The MEP points out that UNRWA’s John Ging admits in the article that Israel didn’t attack the school but blames the confusion on the Israelis.

    Van Buitenen goes on to say that considering the fact that the EU is
    UNRWA’s single largest donor and that it wrongly condemned Israel for attacking the UN school:

    * Is the EU prepared to apologize to Israel for wrongly condemning it
    without checking the facts on the ground?
    * Is the EU prepared to investigate how it was possible that Mr. Ging
    apparently spread misleading information concerning the supposed attack on this UNRWA school and whether this was politically motivated?

    We commend the Globe and Mail for its investigative report and Mr. van
    Buitenen for his follow-up in the European Parliament. Please commend reporter Martin and the Globe and Mail for helping let the truth emerge about the shelling near the UN school. Please send letters to the Globe and Mail at: [email protected]

    Also write to your local media outlet if it was responsible for publishing
    the original allegations.

    This communique was adapted from HonestReporting Canada. Go to to
    find out more and subscribe.


    The Jerusalem Post
    ( reports:

    “The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees does little
    to check whether its staff or clients are terrorists, its former chief attorney, James Lindsay, says in a newly published report….

    The issue, Lindsay wrote, is not intention but oversight.

    “UNRWA has taken very few steps to detect and eliminate terrorists
    from the ranks of its staff or its beneficiaries, and no steps at all to prevent members of terrorist organizations such as Hamas from joining its staff,” he wrote….

    Lindsay cited examples of past charges against UNRWA staff, including
    a 2002 UNRWA driver who was accused – but never charged – with carrying weapons in an ambulance and a Gaza headmaster employed by UNRWA who was also an explosives experts for Islamic Jihad. Theheadmaster was killed by Israel last year.

    UNRWA has no preemployment security checks and does not monitor
    off-time behavior to ensure compliance with the organization’s anti-terrorist rules, Lindsay wrote.

    “Evidence of area staff members who have had second jobs with Hamas or
    with other terrorist groups does occasionally come to light,” he wrote.”

    Read the full story here –


    Also reported by The Jerusalem Post

    “Nuaf Atar spoke about the use of Gazan schools to shoot rockets at Israel. Zabhi Atar revealed that Hamas used food coupons to entice Palestinians to join its ranks and Hamad Zalah said Hamas took control of UNRWA food supplies transferred to Gaza and refused to distribute them to people affiliated with Fatah.

    These are three examples of testimony from Hamas and Islamic Jihad men who were captured by the IDF during Operation Cast Lead. Details of their interrogations have been released for publication by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)….

    Nuaf Atar, 25, lives in Atatra, in the northwest Gaza Strip, and was captured by paratroopers on January 11. In his interrogation by the Shin Bet, Atar said Hamas government officials “took over” humanitarian aid Israel allowed in to the Strip and sold it, when it is supposed to be distributed for free.

    Hamas set up rocket launchers and fired rockets into Israel from within school compounds since the operatives knew that the Israel Air Force would not bomb the schools, he said.

    Palestinians who opposed Hamas’s use of their land and homes as launch
    pads were shot in the legs, Atar added.”

    Read the full story here –

  • ProgressiveProIsrael February 3, 2009 7:18 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you got a strong reaction here; on this issue, there don’t seem to be too many reasonable, sane, well-informed people out there. Instead, all too often, we seem to get knee-jerk anti-Israel on the left, pro-Israel on the right, but with very little serious analysis – let alone balance – in between.

    Obviously, Israel – like any other nation in the world – isn’t perfect, but when it’s attacked by the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah (terrorist groups armed by Iran who want to wipe Israel off the map), it has the perfect right to defend itself, just as any nation would do.

    With both Hamas and Hezbollah, it’s crucial to know that these groups purposely place themselves in the midst of civilian areas. In part, they do this to deter an attack against them by Israel. In part, they do it so that in the event of an attack, the clueless media will do their propaganda work for them by broadcasting bloody images and portraying them as 100% Israel’s fault. It’s maddening.

    The question is, why do certain “progressives” seem to love Hamas (or at least excuse anything it does) and hate Israel (or at least blame it for everything)? There are a number of factors at work here. First, a lot of these vocal “progressives” are really the hard left, not really progressive at all. Second, a lot of Israel bashing “progressives” are badly misinformed, and that combines with their natural, knee-jerk tendency to identify with the “underdog” and/or “victim,” to lead to a anti-Israel conclusion. Third, to some extent it’s a reaction against military power, which many progressives inherently distrust. Fourth, it’s definitely a reaction to the neo-cons, Christian right, Bush administration, and others who many progressives despise. Fifth, sadly, there’s been a strain of anti-Semitism infesting the “left” for decades. In the end, the line between “anti-Israel” and “anti-semitic” becomes very blurry…

  • ProgressiveProIsrael February 3, 2009 5:06 pm

    Great show, Mark! I am so tired of the constant Israel bashing by supposed “progressives,” it’s great to see a super-strong progressive like yourself speaking out forcefully against Hamas and for Israel. Thank you.