Gaza strikes refute Israel’s ‘morality’

The Israeli military's claim to be the most moral army in the world are starkly refuted by the facts in Gaza, where the majority of the victims have been innocent civilians.

The high civilian death toll in Gaza reveals the Israeli military's claim to be the most moral army in the world as nothing more than a sham. Photo: EPA / Abir Sultan
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The bloody assault on Gaza ought to finally refute the Israel Defense Forces' persistent claims to be "the most moral army in the world". For all the spin about taking extraordinary steps to avoid civilian casualties, the figures emerging from Gaza tell the truth: the vast majority of the 550-plus victims so far have been civilians and many of them children.

No neutral observer who watches massive bombs explode in densely populated urban areas of the Gaza Strip can honestly believe that these are the “pinpoint” attacks of Israeli propaganda. For all the talk about sending text messages warning families to vacate their homes and then sending a shell without a payload as a warning, on several occasions entire families have been obliterated.

None of those who saw the grisly aftermath of four boys killed on a beach by shells from an Israeli gunboat can truly believe that the IDF's high-tech weaponry means it is able to only attack legitimate targets. The only thing these boys did was to sneak out to play football after days of being restricted inside because of the Israeli onslaught.

The shelling of the Al Aqsa hospital in Deir El Balah city on Monday plays into this narrative. The hospital came under direct fire on four occasions and the surgical ward, intensive care unit and units of life-saving equipment were all severely damaged. Four people – most of them medical professionals – were killed and scores were injured.

The IDF sought to justify the hospital attack by saying rockets had been launched from there but journalists at the hospital reported that rockets were fired from the general location and not from the hospital itself.

Similar stories that refute the IDF’s oft-repeated claims to morality and restraint will continue to emerge until a ceasefire brings a degree of peace back to Gaza.

One could say the only crime of most of those killed in Operation Protective Edge was to be Palestinian and living in Gaza at a time when Israel’s military has a casual attitude towards spilling the blood of the Palestinian occupants, regardless of their age. Frustrated by its inability to stop militants in Gaza from launching missiles into Israel, the IDF is pursuing the government’s unspoken policy of collective punishment of all those living there. Rather than being the world’s most moral army, the IDF is just the enforcer of an immoral occupation.