Haim Harari is a world-renowned Israeli physicist, a fifth-generation Israeli, whose great-great-grandmother was already born in Jerusalem. His family thus has lived continuously in Jerusalem for over one hundred fifty years. He wrote the best book on terrorism I ever read, entitled
View from the Eye of the Storm: Terror And Reason in the Middle East
This book has become a kind of a best-seller, and the paperback edition is about to be released at the end of January. After reading his book I wrote to Haim Harari and since then we have become e-mail friends, and have been keeping in touch. He sent me and other friends the following report on 8 January.
A View from the Target Zone
These words are written a short distance away from the most northern hit, so far, of the Hamas missiles, which are methodically aimed only at the civilian population in Israel. You may refer to this message as “A View from the Target Zone.”
For eight years, approximately 5000 rockets have been sent deliberately into Israeli population centers, by the Hamas terrorists. The rockets are extremely inaccurate. The good news is that they often hit an empty field. The bad news is that, when they do hit buildings and people, they kill, maim and destroy. It is a very ugly game of Iranian Roulette.
But the most significant fact is that the undisputed purpose of the rockets is to kill civilians in a random manner. Since they miss entire towns, they could not possibly be aimed at military or strategic targets. No claim is made by Hamas of anything other than a deliberate attempt to kill civilians within Israel. The world knows about the rockets but rarely mentions that they are aimed only at the civilian population and at nothing else.
Hamas consistently refers to Israel itself as “the occupied territory.” It refers to any town in Israel as an “illegal settlement.” Its declared aim is to destroy Israel. It has proudly endorsed, initiated and sent numerous suicide murderers into Israeli buses, supermarkets, shopping malls, weddings and other crowded places. It explicitly states that it will continue to do so. Since Israel succeeded in preventing the suicide murders by a combination of the protective wall, other defensive measures and good intelligence penetration, the missiles became the preferred way of killing Israeli civilians.
Hamas is declared to be a terrorist organization, not only by Israel, not only by the US, but also by the European Union, who is not suspected of being pro-Israeli. This is the same European Union that refuses to label Hizbullah as a terror organization, but repeatedly and officially declares Hamas as such. Hamas is fully funded and largely controlled by Iran, a country openly and totally committed to the destruction of Israel, while continuing to enjoy trade with much of the western world.
The Hamas media, and especially its independent TV station, carry daily children programs (including programs for kindergarten age) depicting the Jews (and not only the Israelis) as pigs, dogs, scum of the earth and creatures that must be killed. One of these program features a rabbit which eats Jews. There is plenty of documentation of these programs, including animations and programs with child presenters. Major western news media never report on this phenomenon, while some of them publish op-ed pieces by declared Hamas leaders.
The favorite hour of launching the daily Hamas rockets during the last eight years was 7:45 in the morning, but only on weekdays. Why? Because this is the time in which the streets are full of Israeli children, on their way to school. No one wants to waste rockets when no children are in the streets, during the weekend.
Eight year-old children in the Israeli town of Sderot, a few miles from the Gaza border, live, since they were born, with these rockets. They know no other life. When the alarm sounds, they have exactly 15 seconds to reach an improvised cover. Eighth-grade children, age 13, have never gone to school, since kindergarten, without the real threat of having a rocket hit them on the way. Their parents have never felt safe about sending their child to school. It is very difficult for anyone living in a normal safe place, to imagine what it means to send your child to school, every single day, for eight years, with the fear that he or she may never reach school because of a missile attack, aimed at killing the children. The world seems to accept this.
Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005. Not one Israeli soldier or civilian remained there. Everything was ready for the people of Gaza to start a new life and economic development. There was no blockade, border crossings were open. Instead came increased shooting of rockets into Israel, a Hamas coup, throwing Fatah Palestinians from roofs of buildings to their death and torturing their own people in their prisons. It is regrettable that Israel did not react with full force to the very first rockets after its withdrawal from Gaza, but there was always the naïve illusion that perhaps talks, discussions, verbal threats and temporary closings of the border crossings, might do the job. What Israel did not take into account was that Iran, directly or through Hizbullah, was paying the Hamas operatives, per rocket launch.
Through the elaborate system of tunnels dug by Hamas under the Gaza-Egypt border, thousands of tons of explosives and larger and better Iranian missiles have been continuously smuggled into Gaza. The Israeli Government stupidly agreed in mid 2008, to a six-month cease fire. During the “mock cease fire,” many rockets were launched into Israel by a variety of real and fictitious Palestinian organizations, with a clear Hamas sub-license, pretending that Hamas itself is observing the cease fire.
In the meantime, Hamas could successfully prepare for the next round. It acquired Iranian rockets that were equally inaccurate, but carried larger warheads, had a longer range and contained numerous tiny steel balls, in order to increase the civilian casualties over a larger radius. Again, the inaccuracy of the rockets guaranteed that they could only be sent into random civilian targets. But now the rocket range covered a population of close to one million Israelis and the damage is much more significant.
Larger and better rockets were now stored in mosques, schools, hospitals and normal apartment buildings. Mortars were added to the menu of shooting at Israeli civilians. Schools financed by the UN were used in order to launch mortar shells and missiles. The greenhouses left intact by the withdrawing Israelis were destroyed, their metal parts were converted to primitive rockets and their locations became favorite launching areas. Launching rockets at the Israeli population brings a much better income than growing strawberries and flowers in greenhouses.
Whenever Israel opened the border crossings to supply Gaza with basic food and fuel, Hamas was attempting to blow up the crossing points. Providing too much food and fuel would disturb the flourishing black market totally controlled by Hamas chiefs and their allies. It would also spoil their propaganda machine. Most supplies were transported through the tunnels from Egypt, under Hamas auspices, creating a lucrative business for the Hamas “families.”
The absurd notion that Israel must supply fuel, electricity, food and medication to an outlaw region controlled by a terror organization, became a permanent mantra in the western media. Israel was supposed to provide Hamas with raw materials for the rockets launched at its citizens, with electricity for the machinery used to produce these rockets, with food for its designers and manufacturers, and with building materials in order to construct safe bunkers for the Hamas leadership under schools and hospitals. On the one hand Hamas was claimed to have been the legitimate democratically elected government of the majority of the population and on the other hand the population, that allegedly elected these thugs, was declared innocent and suffering. The inconsistency was never pointed out.
Once the border crossing was closed, as a result of the repeated Hamas attacks, the international game of a “humanitarian crisis” was successfully played, with full cooperation of the western media. Famous incidents included photographs of poor Gaza residents with candles and (allegedly) no electricity, staged behind black curtains in full outside daylight (visible through cracks between the curtains). Most western media happily used these fake pictures and, when the lie was exposed, never mentioned it. Hamas leaders were never lacking food, fuel, electricity, luxurious private vehicles and all amenities of well-to-do black market profiteers.
Very few western journalists remained in Gaza, after several were kidnapped by Hamas. Almost all reports to western media come from Palestinians, who are either sympathetic to Hamas, or afraid of it, or openly active in its ranks, or all of the above. The reader of the New York Times, or the viewer of a European TV network, never notices who provides him or her with the news. All photographs, both stills and videos, are provided by Palestinian operatives, who would stop at nothing in order to support the propaganda machine. On western TV, Hamas rockets are launched only from empty fields, never from a school or a crowded neighborhood, as it is in real life.
United Nation sources in Gaza are often quoted, condemning Israel for the “Humanitarian Crisis.” But these sources are normally employees of UNRWA, the UN agency that, since 1948, makes every effort to perpetuate the “refugee” status of the great-grandchildren of the 1948 refugees. The grandparents of these “refugees” were displaced 60 years ago by a distance of a 20-minute drive and were never resettled because they were receiving free food from the UN. The UN objected vehemently to any attempt at settling the refugees, their children and grandchildren. The few real refugees, who remain alive today, and are 80 year old, were 18 years old when they were displaced. All the terrorists are third- or fourth-generation “refugees” held as such, courtesy of UNRWA.
These UN organizations employ, by their own admission, numerous active Hamas members. When the latter make statements on behalf of “UN sources in Gaza,” the Palestinian journalists never mention to us who these “UN sources” are. The public gets the impression that these are truthful objective sources, while being fed with standard Hamas lies. Western media never disclose to us that the jobs of these people depend on perpetuating the misery of the so-called “refugees.”
A Headmaster and science teacher of one of the UNRWA schools in Gaza was a leader in the rocket industry of the Islamic Jihad, a satellite terror organization in Gaza, collaborating with Hamas. The UN strongly denied the Israeli accusations that they are employing such a person, until the man was killed by Israel and was eulogized by his friends as a leader of the Islamic Jihad and a designer of rockets.
When Israeli truck drivers were bringing the humanitarian supplies to Gaza, during the period of Hamas rocket fire, they were frequently attacked by Hamas. At least one Israeli truck driver, supplying the Palestinians, was deliberately murdered. No protest was launched by the UN. But, when during the current fighting, an Arab truck driver, employed by the UN, was accidentally killed, the UN became indignant and stopped all its “humanitarian” activity in protest, to the tune of loud denunciations from all “UN sources.”
The Israeli defense forces monitor every detail of this fantasyland by using airborne drones and by a very successful intelligence penetration of the Hamas ranks. They know which apartment building serves as a missile storage place, the addresses and phone numbers of Hamas leaders, which school serves as an ammunition depot, etc.
When the six-month “ceasefire” ended, in mid December, Hamas refused to continue it, launching 90 rockets into Israeli towns and villages in one day. In retrospect, this has prevented a much more dangerous future situation. Had there been an additional “ceasefire,” Hamas would have acquired rockets covering all of Israel and possibly much more accurate Iranian missiles. The Iranian supply line of explosives and weapons, together with the flourishing business of smuggled goods, went through the tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border with efficiency and regularity. Had such efficiency been attempted in improving the lives of the Palestinians in Gaza, the entire Middle East would have been an entirely different place. But, coupled with the weapon smuggling, it was essential to create the charade of the “Humanitarian Crisis.”
During the current operation, when the Israeli Air Force wants to blow up a house which serves as a missile storage, Israel phones every family in the house and gives them 15 minutes to evacuate. Hamas is then sending the women and children to the roof of the building in order to prevent the Israeli aircraft from making the kill. Israel has now developed a tiny arrow-like missile which can be sent to the corner of the roof, making a loud noise and harming no one, in order to scare away the women and children on the roof, before the real bomb destroys the missile collection or the explosive storage place. Often, the women and children used by Hamas as a human shield, escape and the house is then blown up, with a spectacular secondary explosion of the stored missiles or other war materials. On other occasions, a Hamas person gets to the roof and prevents the women and children from leaving. In those cases, the operation is not completed by the Israeli Air Force, in order to spare civilian lives, at the risk of having the rockets launched into Israel on the following day.
Never in history, has any country made such an enormous effort to avoid civilian casualties, in fighting against murderers who target only civilians and never anything else. No one in Kosovo, Serbia, Georgia or Iraq, was offered such a courtesy by the bombing and attacking powers. This fact is never mentioned by the western media.
Many of the heroic commanders of Hamas are hiding in the central hospital of Gaza, in an elaborate network of bunkers, trusting that Israel will not attack the hospital. Hamas spokesmen issue proclamations from the maternity ward of the same hospital, knowing that Israel will not hit them there. Ironically, of all non-Israelis, the Hamas leaders are the only ones who know for sure that Israel never deliberately hurts civilians. They exploit this fact. The rest of the world buys the Hamas lies and blames Israel for hurting civilians.
Repeated claims of “humanitarian crisis” are made from the same hospital. The doctors in charge never tell us that the hiding leaders of the Hamas are using them and the patients as human shields. Whether the doctors are only scared or are deliberate accomplices, we do not know. Probably some are active Hamas members and others are justifiably scared to speak up. We never hear a word from the International Red Cross regarding the use of the hospitals as the headquarters of terror leaders.
One of the most horrible “impartial” testimonies on the humanitarian situation, in the hospital, is delivered repeatedly to the western media by a “Norwegian Doctor” serving there. The man is well known from his 2001 interviews with Norwegian TV, in which he explicitly supported and justified the 9/11 attacks. Needless to say, none of the networks who bring us the righteous doctor, mention this. He is just “A Norwegian Doctor” attending to the wounded.
Palestinian ambulances are routinely used to move terrorists around. This has also been the Palestinian practice in the West Bank during the terror wave in 2001-2002. An ambulance is an ideal method of transporting a suicide murderer across check points. In the unlucky case that the criminal is caught, there is at least a good press photograph of the ugly Israelis attacking or stopping an ambulance. It is a win-win situation. If an ambulance full of healthy Hamas terrorists and explosives is hit from the air, the pictures are even better for the western media and for Al Jazeera.
Several Hamas leaders are moving around Gaza surrounded by children, and often holding a child on their arms. There are well documented cases in which Hamas terrorists were pulling reluctant children by their ears to accompany them when they move from one building to another. None of this is mentioned by the western media.
Several Mosques, which were used as ammunition dumps, were destroyed by Israel. In every one of these cases, the air photographs showed a primary explosion, from the air missile or bomb, and a much bigger secondary explosion, from the stored missiles or other explosives in the mosque. The secondary explosion is an absolute clear proof of what was hidden at the mosque. The normal beautiful carpets in a mosque would not create a secondary explosion. Western media have these videos, but rarely show them or mention their existence.
But the same western media repeatedly show the pictures of injured or dead children, some of whom were indeed accidentally injured or killed by the Israeli attacks on military and terror targets, and some are obviously fake pictures with red paint smeared on children’s faces. At least in one case, the same child, obviously painted and not injured, has been paraded in front of various TV cameras by several different men, each declared to be his father by a different network.
Children and innocent civilians are, indeed, killed and injured, in spite of all the enormous precautions and efforts of the Israeli forces. This is truly tragic. But the only alternative for Israel is to sit still, absorb the thousands of missiles on its civilian population and wait for bigger, deadlier and longer range missiles to start destroying everything in Israel. Israel is offered a choice between a complete national suicide, on one hand, and an attack on the terrorists, with extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties, but with the knowledge that such casualties must occur when the other side is using children as human shields, storing explosives in mosques, shooting mortars from schools and hiding the perpetrators in hospitals.
Most Hamas terrorists hide in safe bunkers, leaving their families in the war zone. They are happy to fight to the last Palestinian civilian, not to the last Hamas terrorist. Women and children are moving within the battlegrounds, with Hamas snipers shooting, using them as cover. The women and children are not allowed into the limited space of the Hamas bunkers. More than once, a woman is observed carrying a suicide belt. Israeli soldiers, who are trying to help these women to move safely away from the fighting area, are at a very serious risk of a suicide murder.
When the Hamas terrorists are killed, they are counted by the “UN Sources” as civilians. That is how the “UN sources” reach the huge numbers of dead civilians they are reporting. Interestingly, Al Jazeera almost never shows dead bodies of young males, and the western media, being fed by Palestinian stringers, follow suit.
The Hamas TV (”Al Aksa TV”) and Al Jazeera show, 24 hours a day, repeated video clips with loud music, showing injured bloody children, including some body parts. Some injuries are real, some are not, but the videos are shown nonstop between every two news items. The news items themselves are often lies, but that really does not matter. What do matter are the video clips, edited like commercials, brainwashing a worldwide audience and a new generation of future terror sympathizers.
A video taken several years ago in Gaza, surfaced. The video documents an accidental explosion of a Hamas truck, carrying a large number of missiles, among celebrating Palestinians somewhere in Gaza. Many were killed and injured in this accident, and the pictures were devastating. There is no Israeli involvement whatsoever, and the event happened a few years ago. European networks, including France 2, are showing it now as evidence for the current “criminal” behavior of Israel. The French channel apologized later, but the number of people who heard the apology is significantly fewer than those who saw the horrible pictures and believed the lies. In this case, at least, the hoax was delivered by the Hamas and France 2 was apparently the victim, not the perpetrator, as it definitely was in well-known previous cases.
Israel opens the border crossings daily, during the fighting, in order to provide basic food ingredients and medication to the civilian population. No one can remember such a gesture in any other war in history, certainly not toward the side that attacks only civilians and repeatedly announces that its only aim is to totally annihilate its opponent. Most of the supplies are captured by the Hamas terrorists and used for their own troops and their flourishing black market, never providing them in an organized way to the population. “UN sources” claim that not enough food is transmitted.
That the Hamas murderers use these tactics, lies and methods, is not at all surprising. That the international community, with all its investigative reporters, swallows these lies so eagerly, without exposing them, is something which demands an explanation.