Against Its Better Judgment, Amnesty International Discovers the Truth about the Gaza War

Amnesty International, hardly an organization known for sympathy with Israel, recently released its report on Operation Protective Edge. Evelyn Gordon notes that its findings undermine Amnesty’s own allegations that Israel attacked Gaza without regard for civilian casualties:

The most interesting finding in the [Amnesty] report was that Hamas’s rockets killed more civilians in Gaza than they did in Israel. Altogether, Amnesty said, the rockets killed six Israeli civilians and “at least” thirteen Palestinian civilians. Where did the latter figure come from? From a single misfired rocket. . . . In other words, Amnesty didn’t bother checking to see whether other Hamas rockets also killed civilians; it simply cited the one case it couldn’t possibly ignore, because it was reported in real time by a foreign journalist at the scene.

But according to IDF figures, roughly 550 rockets and mortars fired at Israel fell short and landed in Gaza, including 119 that hit urban areas. And it defies belief to think those other 549 rockets and mortars produced no casualties. After all, unlike Israel, Gaza has no civil-defense system whatsoever. . . .

But once you acknowledge that some portion of those civilian casualties was actually caused by misfired Hamas rockets rather than by Israeli strikes, then the claim of excessive civilian casualties becomes even more untenable. Indeed, it means the civilian-to-combatant fatality ratio from Israeli strikes was likely below the 1:1 [figure claimed by Israel, let alone the higher ratio alleged by Amnesty and the UN].

[Furthermore], Amnesty has admitted that Hamas used Gaza’s main hospital as a detention, interrogation, and torture center. And if Hamas was misusing a hospital in this way, it defies belief to think it wasn’t similarly misusing other civilian buildings for military purposes. . . . And, in that case, the allegation that Israel wantonly attacked civilian structures also collapses.

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Read more at Evelyn Gordon

More about: Amnesty International, Gaza, Hamas, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Protective Edge

 

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin