friday, a humanitarian ceasefire was declared over because the occupation claimed that hamas had “kidnapped” an israeli soldier. the occupation immediately massively bombing several places in gaza and particularly in the rafah area. basically, rafah was turned into rubble and at least 70 palestinians were killed. the zionists suggested – and western media uncritically parroted – that this massive massacre was a legitimate response to the an injustice perpetrated by hamas: the “kidnapping” of a soldier.
first of all, a soldier is not “kidnapped”, only civilians are “kidnapped”. when a soldier is seized or captured, s/he becomes a prisoner of war, subject to specific divisions in international law. richard silverstein, who had exposed that the first soldier captured by hamas was killed by the occupation army itself as foreseen in the “hannibal directive, explains this:
It’s worth noting a few linguistic oddities involved in this Gaza war. Israelis mobilize Hebrew as a weapon that either obscures the troubling moral dimension; or deliberately distorts reality in order to allow them to feel empowered in their outrage against their enemies. In this particular case, Israeli soldiers are not “captured.” They are “kidnapped.”
The use of the latter term allows Israelis to claim that their soldiers are not occupiers or invaders, but rather defenders. No enemy has the right to kidnap Israel’s soldiers whose only sin is defending the homeland. If the soldiers were “captured,” then it would infer that they are fighters engaged in a war with a legitimate enemy. Israelis refuse to acknowledge the validity or (often) even the existence of Palestinians or Palestine. Therefore, anyone fighting for Palestine must be a terrorist (illegitimate), not a soldier (legitimate). Terrorists “kidnap” hostages. Soldiers capture the enemy. Palestinians can never be the latter.
One of the major new developments of this iteration of the Gaza Wars is the tunnel network that Hamas dug underground. Though some of the tunnels have been used to cross into Israel and attack mostly military targets, the lion’s share of the tunnels are used to defend Gaza from the Israeli invaders.
Nevertheless, in the Israeli hasbara apparatus, they’ve become “terror tunnels.” Instead of being a means of defense of the Palestinian homeland, they become the deadly underground lairs of terrorists. Any act of defense by Hamas using these tunnels becomes nothing more than terrorism. It’s a shameful distortion of reality.
the use of the term “kidnapped” by the zionists and its adoption by many western media outlets just once more exemplifies the absolute hypocrisy in the coverage of news from palestine. as jonathan cook further, the news in western media was not that 70 civilians were murdered, but that one soldier was captured, as he points out in the article below:
From western reactions, it was also clear the soldier’s capture was considered more significant news than any of the massacres of Palestinian civilians over the past weeks.
Israel’s cynical calculus – that one soldier is more valuable than large numbers of dead Palestinian civilians – was echoed in the diplomatic and editorial corridors of Washington, London and Paris.
it later turned out that the ceasefire was not a ceasefire from the start, as the zionists continued military attacks in and on the tunnels in gaza. according to ali abunimah, hamas claims that after the ceasefire was announced, at 2am, occupation forces made an incursion of 2,5 km into rafah – a first during these bloody past weeks. hamas claims that they responded to this incursion at 7 am (still before the ceasefire).
in typical zionist manner, they presented the occupations military operations in and around the tunnels as compatible with a ceasefire. hamas’ response to these aggressive operations was presented as having broken a ceasefire. and again, the west copied. as silverstein explains in the same article:
Israel proclaimed a unilateral ceasefire, which wasn’t actually a ceasefire at all. It claimed it would cease “offensive operations.” But reserved the right to search and destroy Hamas tunnels. In IDF-speak, the destruction of tunnels is a defensive operation. This is utter nonsense. The tunnels are meant to defend Gaza. If you want a ceasefire you cease firing. You cease all military operations. You don’t cease some of them. If you refuse a general ceasefire in the accepted sense of the term, then you’re not observing a ceasefire. You’re observing an artificial conception which you call a “ceasefire,” but which isn’t.
This hasn’t stopped Israel from pointing its finger at Hamas and claiming that while Israel was honoring a ceasefire, Hamas wasn’t. Of course, there was no reason for Hamas to honor anything since there was no real ceasefire on the table. Israel, as usual, is playing games with the truth. The shame of it is that there is no one but Hamas to make them pay for this sham and deception. John Kerry and the Obama administration have been snookered. The EU is toothless. The world stands by jaws agape, while Israel pulverizes Gaza into limp hamburger meat.
as ali abunimah suggests in his detailed analysis of friday’s events and of related communication in his post “Did the Israeli army deliberately kill its own captured soldier and destroy Gaza ceasefire?”, the massive bombing of rafah on friday was likely to ensure that the kidnapped soldier was killed.
this analysis is confirmed by jonathan cook (see above-mentioned article).
And then there was the explosion of military fury as Israel realised its soldier was missing. Israeli correspondents suggested the notorious “Hannibal procedure” had been invoked: the use of all means to stop a soldier being taken alive, including killing him. The rationale is to prevent the enemy gaining a psychological advantage in negotiations.
The unleashing of massive firepower appeared designed to ensure Goldin and his captors never made it out of their tunnel, but in the process dozens of Palestinians died.
so, as soon as a ceasefire was pronounced, occupation forces began an incursion much deeper than previous once and proceeded with military operations. when they were met by hamas militants, the militants engaged in battle, apparently killed several soldiers and captured one (a practise that is not uncommon in acts of war). this is likely to have occured BEFORE the actual ceasefire was supposed to begin.
faced with the prospect of having a soldier in the hands of hamas, the zionists turned the capture into a major immorality of international concern (which elicited widespread condemnations), suggested that hamas had broken the ceasefire (which the zionists themselves never intended to fully honor) and proceeded to massively bomb rafah to make sure that the captured soldiers was killed.
in his article, jonathan cook explains how this manipulation of facts reflects the similar manipulation of facts that netanyahu employed to justify this war on the population of the gaza strip in the first place (i recommend you read it).
more significantly, there are various reports of up to 300 palestinians having been – in their case kidnapped – by invading occupation soldiers from gaza. there are even reports of executions, yet no specific information is available. when a soldier is captured, he becomes a prisoner of war, but the non-combatants (including “fighters” who are not, at that moment, engaging in combat or posing an immediate theat) cannot simply be seized under international law. furthermore, non-combatants in occupied territory are taken prisoner by the occupation forces, they can not be transferred outside the territory except for special circumstances (risk to their safety – not the case in palestine – thanks to lydia de leeuw for clariyfing this point to me).