Archive for War Crimes

Blown Away

Yesterday, we shared with you the laugh-out-loud story that American forces blew apart not only a hospital in Kunduz, but a warehouse and a “mansion” (which in Afghanistan is any hut with two chamberpots).

It just gets funnier:

Doctors Without Borders staff also reported seeing people shot from the air as they ran between buildings during the hourlong attack October 3 in Kunduz, it said. The charity said at least 30 people — including 13 staff — died during the early-morning strike.

The U.S. Department of Defense said Thursday it appreciated Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF, making its report available to American investigators and expressed its condolences to those affected.

As the fighting intensified, Doctors Without Borders said it reaffirmed the GPS coordinates of the main hospital and administration office building at its Kunduz center with the U.S. Defense Department, Afghan Interior and Defense ministries and the U.S. Army in Kabul in a September 29 email.

“Confirmation of receipt was received from both U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Army representatives, both of whom assured us that the coordinates had been passed on to the appropriate parties.

“A series of multiple, precise and sustained airstrikes targeted the main hospital building, leaving the rest of the buildings in the MSF compound comparatively untouched,” the charity’s report said.

“This specific building of the hospital correlates exactly with the GPS coordinates provided to the parties to the conflict,” it said, adding that GPS coordinates were taken directly in front of the main hospital building hit in the strikes.

The center’s Intensive Care Unit was the first building to be hit before the airstrikes moved east to west across the main hospital building in “wave after wave of strikes,” the charity said.

“Many staff describe seeing people being shot, most likely from the plane, as people tried to flee the main hospital building that was being hit with each airstrike.

We had asked, and MSF had confirmed, that they were treating Taliban patients. So, it was a target-rich opportunity. But if that’s our goal, we should own it. We’re coming for you, goat-humpers, and no hospital can hide you.

If it is not our goal to strafe medical centers, maybe we shouldn’t send the Grim Reaper of gunships.

PS: I’m not really enjoying the deaths of innocent French doctors and guilty Taliban jihadists. I’m just enjoying Obama’s culpability in war crimes. War crimes. Cincy Sheehan told us about this guy.

PPS: Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney need a fourth for golf. You’d fit right in, sir.

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What’s the Matter Obama, You Couldn’t Find a Preschool to Bomb?

A hospital, a warehouse, and a “mansion” (of sorts): that beats Bill Clinton’s targeting of an aspirin plant!

A deadly U.S. airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital last month has triggered an international outcry and investigations by the Pentagon and NATO. But it was not the only U.S. aerial assault to cause significant damage in this northern city.

Hours earlier, U.S. warplanes zeroed in on a warehouse and a mansion in two densely populated residential areas, according to witnesses and local officials. No one was killed in those attacks, but the targets were pulverized and the walls and windows of nearby homes were shattered.

No one was killed in “two densely populated residential areas” when “the targets were pulverized and the walls and windows of nearby homes were shattered”? Go on, pull the other one.

And how did we manage this trifecta of tribulation, but with the invaluable aid of our friends, the Afghanis:

All three U.S. strikes — on the warehouse, the mansion and the hospital — were requested by Afghan commanders, who say they asked for help because their forces were under attack by Taliban fighters. But residents said that while their neighborhoods had been conflict zones earlier, there were no militants at any of the locations at the time of the attacks.

The clinic bombardment, on Oct. 3, killed 30 medical staff and patients, in one of the deadliest civilian casualty incidents of the Afghan conflict.

Together, the three attacks raise questions about the quality and reliability of the intelligence Afghan security forces are providing to their American partners, as well as U.S. decisions to act on that intelligence. The target of every Afghan request for air support has to be independently verified by American military advisers before it is approved, according to U.S. rules of engagement.

Fourteen years after the U.S. intervention toppled the Taliban regime, intelligence gathering and coordination between U.S. and Afghan forces remain a major challenge. Faulty information and communication have been behind numerous civilian casualty incidents, as well as “friendly fire” attacks. Now, investigators are examining how an American AC-130 gunship could bomb a hospital for more than an hour.

I cannot tell a lie (this time): I burst out in laughter at that last line. You tell us when you get to the bottom of that, my army of Sherlocks. Pounding a hospital for over an hour—you wanna see what a AC-130 gunship looks like?

A treatable condition, I understand. But I imagine the hospital patients and staff excreted enough bricks to rebuild that “mansion” (of sorts) pulverized by the initial strikes.

I want to bomb the Taliban more than anyone, but there ought to be consequences when you miss. A Nobel Peace Prize can’t serve as a get-out-of-jail-free card forever, can it?


Don’t Feed the Animals

Your old friend, BTL, is a very bad person. (But you knew that, didn’t you?)

He can’t help finding this amusing:

Women loyal to President Assad in a besieged region of Damascus are being paraded in metal cages in the hope of preventing further air-strikes raining down on a stricken suburb of the Syrian capital.

Almost 500 Alawites – male and female – have been rounded up by Army of Islam militants and are now being held captive in the cubed jails mounted on the back of flat-bed trucks and pick-ups.

[T]he locals see this extreme retaliation as the only way of ensuring the airborne attacks are ended – as it would mean President Assad targeting his own supporters.

At least 100 cages are now being used to ferry the hostages around the city, in the Eastern Ehouta region.

Videos of the trucks have been shared on YouTube and clearly show terrified women helpless inside the thick metal fencing.

Panicked men are also seen asking to be released from their enclosures.

However, the rebel groups continue to parade the trapped hostages, driving through streets where dozens of buildings have been reduced to rubble by bombing campaigns.

One woman, Mervat Ali, from Qardaha, can be heard saying: ‘We wish that the Russian warplanes never shell civilians again.

‘We are experiencing fear here with the people.’

Maybe it’s stronger in the original Alawite.

But you have to laugh (or I do). Muslims ululate to high heaven if you so much as sketch Mohammed’s big toe. But they treat each other the way a baby treats a diaper.

My back’s a little sore this morning, and I’ve got a list of errands to run (in my car, not on it 😉 ), but I thank God Almighty that I am not one of those sorry Syrians.


Bombing Hospitals Americans Can’t Be Bothered To

We’re in no position to complain, mind you, just being curious: What is the origin or the reason for Russia’s infamous brutality? I mean, anyone can bomb a hospital, but who else returns to finish the job?

After the first airstrike hit near a hospital in eastern Idlib, Syria, no one was injured, according to one local man.

But then the warplane returned.

“Run, the plane is coming back,” aid workers can be heard saying on video, right before the next explosion hits.

Activists say the incident was a “double-tap.” That’s when attackers strike, wait for first responders to arrive and then hit the same spot.

A dozen people were killed in the incident, which was caught on video by the Syrian Civil Defense, a humanitarian aid group.

The Syrian-American Medical Society, which runs the hospital, says the strikes were launched by Russian warplanes.

Just a one-off?

This is the third report in a week of hospitals being targeted in and around Aleppo, Syria.

Video from a rescue group shows what it says is an unexploded cluster bomb.

Russia denied on Thursday that it used cluster munitions.

Assad’s regime has been accused of using cluster bombs in the past, accusations the government has denied.

Russia denied bombing the hospital, too. But then, Russia has trouble telling reality from pretend:

Actor Kal Penn has found himself mistaken for a terrorist — again.

After his character, Kumar Patel, was flagged as an Islamic extremist in the 2008 movie, “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” it seems the “terrorist” tag just won’t shake.

Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian Ambassador to the UK, used a still from the movie — showing Kumar imagined as an extremist and taunting an elderly female airline passenger — to illustrate a point about U.S. involvement in the fight against ISIS in Iraq.

Pretty funny. Except to the hospital patients in Syria. But then, nothing is very funny to them.

PS: America declined to get involved in Syria, and today declines to even to approach Russian jets. So, we tacitly allow if not support Russia’s war crimes. Sorry to harsh your mellow, but we did have a point to make with this post.


Military Experts Agree

Air power alone won’t do it. You need to send in the tanks:

A U.S. tank “destroyed potential evidence” by forcing its way onto the ruined site of a hospital bombed by American forces in Afghanistan, the charity said.

Doctors Without Borders, which ran the facility in Kunduz, said the tank’s “unannounced and forced entry” through the gates had also frightened staff and damaged property.

The charity, which is also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said in an emailed statement to NBC News that it had been informed the tank contained a delegation from a “U.S./NATO/Afghan investigation team” looking into the incident. It not say who provided that information.

After the U.S. gave shifting explanations for the incident — which MSF has called a war crime — President Barack Obama apologized to the charity last week. The U.S. and Afghan governments have launched three separate investigations but MSF is calling for an international inquiry.

The tank forced its way through the closed main gate of the bombed-out compound at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday (5 a.m. ET), according to the charity. MSF has since pulled out of the derelict site, but said one of its teams arrived earlier on Thursday to visit the crumbling building.

It said the tank’s “intrusion” contravened an agreement between MSF and the joint investigation team that the charity would be “given notice before each step of the procedure involving the organization’s personnel and assets.”

It added: “Their unannounced and forced entry damaged property, destroyed potential evidence and caused stress and fear for the MSF team.”

Did it occur to MSF that that might have been the point? If you’re going to take Obama to the ICC for war crimes, why wouldn’t he destroy evidence and intimidate witnesses? It’s what criminals—be they war, organized, or petty—do.

“A U.S./NATO/Afghan investigation team”—how much “investigating” can you do inside a tank?


United Nations Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Though sorry is the only word that describes them:

Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, the UN body tasked with aiding “Palestinian refugees,” admitted on Wednesday that Hamas terrorists hid weapons at UNRWA facilities during their terror war against Israel last summer.

“We were the ones who found the weapons caches in our facilities during inspections,” Krahenbuhl told Yedioth Aharonoth in an interview. “The reason that the whole world knew about it is that we told them.”

Krahenbuhl’s reference is to at least three separate occasions in which rockets were found at UNRWA facilities. After the first finding of rockets at an UNRWA school, UNRWA workers reportedly called Hamas to come remove them.

Likewise, a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was detonated, killing three IDF soldiers. Aside from the massive amounts of explosives hidden in the walls of the clinic, it was revealed that it stood on top of dozens of terror tunnels, showing how UNRWA is closely embedded with Hamas.

So, after confessing their collaboration with Arab terrorists, the UN must have been pretty contrite, huh?


[W]e knew the revelation would lead to harsh responses against us in Israel, but try to imagine what would happen if we weren’t the ones who published it. The act of publishing proves we aren’t ready to allow it and show restraint.”

During Operation Protective Edge last summer Krahenbuhl entered Gaza three times.

“I was the only senior international official who condemned the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip at Israel,” he claimed.

While we wait for the ink to dry on his Nobel certificate, let’s consider that statement:

“I was the only senior international official who condemned the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip at Israel.”

Why? Did he draw the short straw?

After he uttered those bitter words, however, he rinsed his mouth with these sweeter sounds:

“When I see whole neighborhoods in Gaza that were destroyed by the IDF, or that there are UNRWA schools that were harmed after we gave the IDF their locations a dozen times and clarified that there are citizens there, then certainly we will put out condemnations,” added the UNRWA head, not mentioning how Hamas embedded its terrorist infrastructure in civilian centers.

Let’s make the UN bureaucrat feel better:

Commenting on Israel’s report on Operation Protective Edge last summer, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Sunday that it was actually the third report thus far that has confirmed how the IDF had prevented civilian deaths. “I can say without any question that we in the IDF are careful about any and every small detail. We do not compromise on any principle of morality, or of law.”

Israel did everything it could to avoid getting into a war, and the matter was gravely considered before the IDF went into Gaza. “We very carefully weighed our steps, despite the never-ending rocket fire aimed at our civilians, which were dispatched from civilian areas, hospitals, mosques, and schools,” places that Israel avoided firing back at at nearly all costs, he said.

According to the report that Israel submitted to the UN over the weekend, the IDF went far beyond the call of duty in protecting Palestinian Arab civilians during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. “Israel sought to avoid the conflict and exercised great restraint over a period of months before the war when its citizens were targeted by sporadic rocket attacks from Gaza,” the report said. “Hamas launched attacks against Israel from the heart of its own civilian communities in Gaza and positioned its munitions and military forces there also, including in schools, hospitals and mosque.”

As opposed to the terror groups who think nothing of committing war crimes against the people they purport to protect, said Yaalon, Israel “displayed only values of that were life-saving. We set a very high moral standard, even for Western armies. When there was reason for an investigation or criminal charges, we lost no time in conducting them, and in punishing offenders when necessary.”

So, my little gray UN nonentity, you can assuage your guilt over complicity with Arab war criminals by knowing that Israel took care of your mess with the greatest moral and military care.

You’re welcome.


War Crimes Update

Have the Israelis asked us to “show restraint” yet? If not, their restraint is truly impressive:

A strike by US-led forces on the northern Syrian province of Aleppo on Friday has risen to 52 including seven children, a group monitoring the conflict said on Saturday.

The British-based Observatory for Human Rights said the air raid on Friday had mistakenly struck civilians in a village on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River in Aleppo, killing members of at least six families.

The group said at least 13 people remain missing.

The United States has previously said it takes reports of civilian casualties from the US-led strikes seriously and says it has a process to investigate each allegation.

Oh good. I feel better.

Medea Benjamin, where are you now that your country really needs you?


US Protected At Least 1000 Nazis After WWII

NY Times has the information

In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show.

At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich.

The agency hired one former SS officer as a spy in the 1950s, for instance, even after concluding he was probably guilty of “minor war crimes.”

And in 1994, a lawyer with the C.I.A. pressured prosecutors to drop an investigation into an ex-spy outside Boston implicated in the Nazis’ massacre of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania, according to a government official.

Aleksandras Lileikis was a Nazi officer implicated in 60,000 Jews’ deaths. He later worked for the C.I.A. before immigrating. Credit U.S. Department of Justice

Lileikis was apparently massacring Jews from Vilna ghetto (Lithuania) in the killing pits of the Ponary woods. He is just one of the creeps that our government protected. The article states that we protected Adolf Eichmann’s right hand man, for example.

I recommend that everyone go to the link and read this. It will make it much easier to watch the pain of ebola, immigration, crappy economy, etc. You won’t care.

– Aggie


No…Almost None…Few Some Civilians Were Harmed in the Prosecution of This War

But we’re progressives, so it’s okay:

The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.

A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria’s Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23.

The village has been described by Syrian rebel commanders as a reported stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front where U.S officials believed members of the so-called Khorasan group were plotting attacks against international aircraft.

But at a briefing for members and staffers of the House Foreign Affairs Committee late last week, Syrian rebel commanders described women and children being hauled from the rubble after an errant cruise missile destroyed a home for displaced civilians. Images of badly injured children also appeared on YouTube, helping to fuel anti-U.S. protests in a number of Syrian villages last week.

“They were carrying bodies out of the rubble. … I saw seven or eight ambulances coming out of there,” said Abu Abdo Salabman, a political member of one of the Free Syria Army factions, who attended the briefing for Foreign Affairs Committee members and staff. “We believe this was a big mistake.”

You can say that again, Abu. One almost six years old, and we’re still paying for it. As are more than a few innocent Syrian women and children.

Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, told Yahoo News that Pentagon officials “take all credible allegations seriously and will investigate” the reports.

At the same time, however, Hayden said that a much-publicized White House policy that President Obama announced last year barring U.S. drone strikes unless there is a “near certainty” there will be no civilian casualties — “the highest standard we can meet,” he said at the time — does not cover the current U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

The “near certainty” standard was intended to apply “only when we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we noted at the time,” Hayden said in an email. “That description — outside areas of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on the ground in Iraq and Syria right now.”

No, of course not. Furthest thing from our minds. I’m sure the seven or eight dead women and children understand (even though I don’t).

I won’t BS you: I know (and have repeatedly written) that when you go to war, you sign on for anything and everything, the very little good, the overwhelming bad, and the disgustingly ugly. War is hell, as the general said.

But will this pack of jackals similarly level with us? Does their “areas of active hostilities” make any sense? Doesn’t an area become hostile when you deem it so by firing a Hellfire missile at it?

Obama seems to believe in war by Marquis of Queensbury rules. No boots on the ground, no civilian deaths. And if some do occur, well, we never promised you a rose garden.

And about the “boots on the ground” promise…

PS: The howls of indignation from the Left will begin in 3…2…1…1…1…

PPS: Don’t hold your breath:

Dana Milbank, the liberal Washington Post columnist who can be tough on liberals, was at the White House for an antiwar demonstration in the wake of Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. A grand total of 22 people showed up.

Here’s what he quoted lefty activist David Swanson as saying:

“If George W. Bush were launching wars with Congress out of town, oh, it would be flooded. They would be screaming.”

Obama, said Swanson, “can get away with some abuses and worse and be forgiven because he engages in wars more eloquently and reluctantly, but the people who die in the wars are just as dead and the people who suffer from the sabotaging of climate agreements have their climate just as destroyed.”

Global warming? Seriously?

Medea Benjamin of Code Pink was asked why so few on the left oppose Obama. “‘He’s totally defanged us,’ she said, citing his party, his affability — and his race. ‘The black community is traditionally the most antiwar community in this country. He’s defanged that sentiment within the black community, or certainly voicing that sentiment.’”

Blaming the brothers. Again.

Andrew Sullivan, a conservative who largely became an Obama booster, is equally incredulous:

“The way in which Obama supporters have lamely acquiesced to this reckless war fomented by a dangerous executive power-grab is more than a little depressing. It strikes me as uncomfortably close to pure partisanship. I can’t imagine them downplaying the folly of this if a Republican president were in charge.”

Some of us knew they were full of it a decade ago and more.


Israel Guilty as Charged

Of going too easy:

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich (Yisrael Beytenu) has called on the government to take a much firmer hand with Hamas, just hours before a ceasefire is rumored to go into effect Monday.

Aharonovich made his comments following a “difficult” visit to the Tragerman family, whose four-year-old son Daniel was killed in a mortar attack on Kibbutz Nahal Oz in southern Israel on Friday.

“With a terrorist group you need to deal in a far more violent and harsh way, to defeat it. I have said this already a number of times in the past.”

“What is important to us is to return security to the residents of the State, with an emphasis on the south,” he continued.

Hard to argue with that.

And I don’t dispute this:

Barak Seener, an Associate fellow at Britain’s Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, thinks Israel is “choosing not to win” the war in Gaza.

“In general,” he explained, “modern warfare is not geared towards protracted conflict, and thus Israel should have initially gone in harder. This was prevented by a lack of extensive sound intelligence of tunnels and the whereabouts of Hamas operatives. Israel’s diplomatic standing will decline as Europe does not anymore understand the power of ideologies, let alone a genocidal, zero sum game Islamist and suicidal ideology.”

“There is so much that has been reported in Israeli news outlets but has not been reported in European outlets. This includes Hamas executing Fatah members, children digging tunnels, concrete being redirected to building tunnels rather than hospitals and schools, the affluence of Hamas’s leadership who divert funding to the Palestinians to their own personal accounts, even pictures of tunnels were reported by the Washington Post a few weeks earlier than Reuters.

“The main issue is that Israel should take exactly the same initiatives (not more) as Allied forces have done in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. While it is natural that Israel should seek to avoid civilian casualties, its priority is to its own civilians and soldiers.

I dispute only this: “Europe does not anymore understand the power of ideologies, let alone a genocidal, zero sum game Islamist and suicidal ideology.”

Europe understands all too well: James Foley’s executioner was British. Europeans are just praying that the Islamist threat will spare them if they ignore or submit to it. Which is how Europe deals with most threats. Israel does not have that “luxury”.

PS: If there is such a thing as a “just war”—and I believe there is—the irrevocable defeat of Hamass would have to qualify. Not a truce or a stalemate (during which Hamass would merely rearm), but an unqualified, unconditional defeat. Hamass has not amended its genocidal charter; it has not softened its warcraft. Indeed, to indiscriminate shelling of Israeli civilians they have now added human shields to their tactics. No mosque, school, or hospital is safe from their militarization. Where is the morality in leaving even a trace of such a regime? The “war crime” is in leaving it intact.


About Those War Crimes

Yeah, but would the truth sell papers?

International media outlets, including The New York Times and the BBC, have raised serious questions regarding Gaza civilian casualty figures as recorded by health officials both in the Strip and abroad.

The outlets maintain that the hard data does not support the notion that the Israel Defense Forces is engaged in “indiscriminate” killing of unarmed residents in the Palestinian enclave, as was suggested by several international leaders over the past month.

Citing figures released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the BBC’s head of statistics Anthony Reuben found that the number of civilian men killed in the fighting outnumbered the number of women by a factor of nearly 3.5:1. According to the UN, 725 men were killed in the conflict as opposed to 214 women. When the 216 confirmed “members of armed groups” were included in the figures, the disparity grew even larger. Israeli military officials said 750-1,000 Hamas and other gunmen had been killed in the fighting as of Tuesday, August 5.

“If the Israeli attacks have been ‘indiscriminate,’ as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women,” Reuben noted dryly.

I emphasized the word civilian because I think most of them were anything but. As the New York Times concedes:

The question echoes a New York Times analysis from earlier this week, which showed “that the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll: They are 9 percent of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34 percent of those killed whose ages were provided. At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71 percent of the population and 33 percent of the known-age casualties.”

Sorry, you Jew-hating human rights wonks, but you have been hoist by your own petard:

The death-toll statistics may constitute decisive evidence that, contrary to the claims of organizations such as the UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch, and others, civilians were not the targets of Israel’s strikes in the Strip. Deliberate targeting of civilians would amount to war crimes under both international and Israeli law. Israel has stressed that it is seeking to avoid civilian casualties as it tackles Hamas rockets and tunnels, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday the international community should hold Hamas responsible for all Gaza civilian deaths since it uses Gaza civilians as “human shields” for its terrorist infrastructure.

Now, where again did the BBC (hardly friendly to Israel in the best of times) get their data?

“Citing figures released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights…”

How can the UN accuse Israel of war crimes when their own data proved the smear just another blood libel. But as Mark Twain (might have) said: “A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

PS: Meanwhile:

Conflicting reports concerning the mysterious death of a senior Hamas official surfaced Thursday, three days after his mangled body was said to have been uncovered in the ruins of the battered Shejaiya neighborhood, in the northeastern Gaza Strip.

While initial reports stated that Ayman Taha, a former spokesman for the Gaza-based terror organization, had been killed during an Israeli airstrike in the embattled coastal enclave, Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported that he was executed by a Hamas firing squad earlier this week for allegedly maintaining contact with intelligence services in Arab countries, and specifically in Egypt.

Taha, according to Al-Quds, was shot several times in the head and chest. His body was later transferred to the Shifa hospital. Hamas initially barred the incident from publication until Thursday, when the information was released.

All we know for sure is he’s dead. Very dead.

The rest is not so clear:

Sources in the Gaza Strip said on Thursday that Taha was executed because Hamas feared he might implicate some of its leaders in many corruption scandals. “The man knew too much about the senior leaders of Hamas.”

The international media, for its part, will simply endorse the Hamas story because it is more convenient to blame Israel than to get into trouble with a radical Islamist movement that carries out extra-judicial executions.


What Did You Learn in School Today?

Don’t get upset, Aggie. They promise an investigation:

The UN secretary-general on Wednesday said he was “alarmed” to hear that rockets were placed in a UN-run school in Gaza and now “have gone missing,” and he demanded a full review of such incidents.

A statement by the spokesman for Ban Ki-moon expressed the UN chief’s “outrage and regret” at the placement of weapons at a site run by the global organization. The UN says that has happened at least twice so far in the current fighting.

“Those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children,” UN staff and anyone seeking shelter, the statement said.

That’s pretty funny. “Endangering the lives of innocent children” is Hamass policy. Just as aiding and abetting them is UN policy.

But fear not:

“The United Nations is taking concerted action to increase its vigilance in preventing such episodes from happening again,” the statement said.

The statement also demanded that militant groups stop such actions and be held accountable for endangering civilians.

That’s telling ’em.

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