At the weekly Hamas-organized “March of Return” riots, where thousands of palestinians try to break through the border with Israel in order to
peacefully walk around and then return to Gaza without incident flood Israel and murder us, the IDF has been remarkably restrained – especially considering the extreme violence and deadly goal of the rioters.
Our troops have been aiming at the legs of the rioters as a last resort, something now even the mainstream media has noticed. But trust them to find a way to make this sound like a bad thing, and use this evidence of restraint to actually bash Israel.
Israeli forces deployed along the volatile border with the Gaza Strip have fired live rounds at rock-throwing Palestinian protesters ever since demonstrations against Israel’s long-running blockade of Gaza began in March.
And for eight months, Israeli snipers have targeted one part of the body more than any other — the legs.
The Israeli army says it is responding to weekly assaults on its frontier by Palestinians armed with stones, grenades and firebombs. The military says it opens fire only as a last resort, and considers firing at the lower limbs an act of restraint.
Still, 175 Palestinians have been shot to death, according to an Associated Press count. And the number of wounded has reached colossal proportions.
Of the 10,511 protesters treated at hospitals and field clinics in Gaza so far, at least 6,392, or roughly 60 percent, have been struck in the lower limbs, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. At least 5,884 of those casualties were hit by live ammunition; others have been hit by rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters.
The upsurge in violence has left a visible mark on Gaza that will likely remain for decades to come. It is now common to see young men walking through dilapidated streets on crutches. Most have legs bandaged or fitted with a metal frame called a fixator, which uses pins or screws that are inserted into fractured bones to help stabilize them.
The wounded can often be seen gathering at a treatment clinic run by the Paris-based medical charity Doctors Without Borders in Gaza City, where Associated Press photographer Felipe Dana took portraits of some of them.
Some of those he photographed acknowledged throwing stones toward Israeli troops during the demonstrations. One said he had hurled a firebomb. But others said they were unarmed bystanders; one paramedic said he was helping rescue the wounded, while another man said he was waving a Palestinian flag and another said he was selling coffee and tea.
International human rights groups have said the military’s open-fire rules are unlawful because they allow the use of potentially lethal force in situations where soldiers’ lives are not in immediate danger.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, rejected international criticism that Israel’s response has been excessive. Instead, he said that firing at people’s legs was a sign of restraint.
“Hamas is responsible for orchestrating violent riots where thousands of Palestinians assault our borders with the goal of breaching our defensive lines and attacking Israeli forces and civilian communities,” he said.
“Israeli soldiers use live fire only as a last resort, after written and verbal warnings, as well as extensive use of tear gas and other non-lethal means have been exhausted. It is our duty to defend our civilians and sovereignty, and we do it with the minimal use of force possible,” he said.
Doctors Without Borders said this month that the huge number of patients was overwhelming Gaza’s health care system, which has already been severely weekend by a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt that has fueled economic stagnation and rampant unemployment, and devastated water and electricity supplies.
The Paris-based aid group said the majority of the 3,117 patients it has treated have been shot in the legs, and many will need follow-up surgery, physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
Gaza’s Health Ministry says it has carried out 94 amputations since the protests began, 82 of them involving lower limbs.
The report is accompanied by a photo of many of these rioters with crutches and the like.
Note how AP states as fact that we have shot rock-throwing Palestinian protesters, yet the reality that those who have been targeted have been trying to break through the fence or engaged in extreme violence is just a claim of our military spokesperson.
AP also characterize these Hamas-orchestrated violent riots, whose name even indicates their true purpose, as “demonstrations against Israel’s long-running blockade of Gaza.” Hamas are not even mentioned at all in this report.
It should also be noted (as Honest Reporting has) that rioters approaching the fence have often been in crouching position, so as to pull their legs level with their torsos, forcing the IDF to either shoot at the legs, and take the risk of hitting their upper bodies, or to hold fire. This context too is lacking from this one-sided report.
I get the feeling nothing short of our completely capitulation and destruction as a Jewish state will satisfy the AP and others in the mainstream media.