- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 18, 2009


It isn’t often that The Washington Times publishes a report inverting the reporting of a sequence of events with the potential for misleading readers. It did this with a front-page article by Joshua Mitnick and Betsy Pisik (“Israel bombs U.N.-run school, kills 40 Gazans,” Jan. 7). The headline and initial paragraphs grossly distort the sequence of events that led to the tragedy. They give the impression that Israel deliberately targeted the school for no reason.

Hamas is well-known for using civilians as human shields. It knows of Israel’s reluctance to respond because of the fear of killing innocent people, and it knows the propaganda value of seeing the Israelis blamed for deaths should they respond and cause innocent people to be injured or killed.

The U.N. agency in Gaza, known as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), is responsible for Palestinians in so-called refugee camps. More than 90 percent of its employees are Palestinians with a vested interest in keeping the operation going. It is highly conceivable that it was complicit in the tragedy. It claims to have given Israel the GPS coordinates of schools in Gaza to protect against attack. It surely had to know schools are being used as bases for terrorist activities, and perhaps this is one way to provide them with sheltered facilities. In this case, Israel responded immediately to the launching of rockets, killing not only targeted terrorists, but also, accidentally, the children. The death toll was high as a result of secondary explosions of munitions stored within the school.

One will not find the use of such barbaric tactics in any conflict throughout history.



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