December 31, 2008

The Chance Of Biscuits (Or, Is That A Snuff Film The Israeli Air Force Has Posted On YouTube?)

At the Hassouna Bakery near Shifa Hospital, about 100 men and 50 women waited in separate lines to buy bread. Amal Altayan was telling others in the line that she kept her cellphone in her pocket so that if an Israeli missile destroyed her house she would be able to phone for help. The other women mocked her, saying that if a missile hit her house, she would be gone. Showing familiarity with the kind of knowledge circulating in Gaza these days, Ms. Altayan replied, “It depends. If it is an F-16 I will turn into biscuits, but if it is an Apache I may have a chance.” — from: "Amid a Buildup of Its Forces, Israel Ponders a Cease-Fire" (NYT)

I've been checking out the Israel Defense Force YouTube channel, as well as the Israeli Consulate's Twitter site.

Certainly, Israel has made substantial tactical and PR strides since Lebanon. Still, as much as these videos illustrate how heavy firepower can be confined to a limited footprint, these images still convey extreme shock and the sense that such overwhelming firepower couldn't possibly avoid all collateral damage in densely populated areas, especially given secondary explosions.

In terms of aerial surveillance, as well as getting the goods on Hamas, by the way, this video is particularly illuminating.

Update 1/1/09:


Thanks to multiple readers for calling out my link to the IDF video in the last line above.

Research from a number of sources, including the Israeli-Palestinian B'Tselem group in Gaza, indicates that the owner of the truck in the Israeli Defense Force bombing was not a Hamas member transporting rockets, but instead a civilian transporting gas welding canisters from his metalworking shop.

According to B'Tselem, eight people were killed in the bombing, including the son of the shop owner, Ahmad Sanur. My apologies for the horrible event and my flippant comment. As best as I can tell at this point, the video I linked to yesterday from the Israeli military's YouTube Channel (posted above, for as long as it remains on-line) documents the same attack on Mr. Sanur's shop. The second image of the gas canister was taken by B'Tselem field workers after the fact.

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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