Messaging and information for Operation Protective Edge .pdf
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Messaging and information for Operation Protective Edge
Whenever Israel goes to war, she inevitably has to fight on two fronts. Firstly, there is the
physical war, as she seeks to defend her civilians from those who are committed to doing them
harm. Secondly, there is the public relations battle, as enemies seek to discredit and demonise
her. We know that there isn’t a single county that gets the scrutiny and unthinking condemnation
that Israel does, and this is especially true during this period.
At times like this it sometimes seems like it’s impossible to switch on the TV, listen to the radio
or even kill time on Facebook without coming into contact with accusations about
disproportionality, war crimes, and worse.
So what can you do to help?
The following is a list of messages that you can help disseminate. Whether it’s contacting your
MP, writing a letter in to your local paper, or calling in to the radio, these are the facts that the
public needs to be aware of.
Point 1: Israel has no desire to harm ordinary Gazans.
Israel is going out of its way to minimize harm to ordinary Palestinians in Gaza. The IDF
is utilizing a wide range of methods to pre-warn Palestinians that it is about to strike their
areas, including text messages, leaflets, and the ‘knock on roof’ technique, where it fires
a small, non-explosive missile at a building to warn the inhabitants to flee. In cases
where the IDF believes civilians will be present, they terminate the mission.
Throughout this campaign, Israel has made significant efforts to alleviate the suffering of
Gazans. It has continued to allow material goods into the area. It has allowed
humanitarian truces. It has constructed a medical emergency tent to treat civilians, and
facilitated their safe passage into Israel for treatment.
The primary responsibility for this conflict lies with Hamas, since Israel agreed to an
Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that was backed by the Arab League.
Point 2: Israel is targeting Hamas and its terrorist infrastructure.
The main target of Israel’s actions is the terrorist infrastructure that Hamas has
embedded in Gaza. This includes thousands of rockets and missiles, with ever
expanding range. During this conflict, these rockets have travelled ever further into
Israel, indiscriminately threatening civilians. Each of these attacks is a war crime, as
admitted in this interview with the Palestinian representative to the UN.
The rockets themselves are stored and fired from civilian areas, which in of itself is a war
crime. Rockets are deliberately hidden in the locations that are difficult to store, include
hospitals, mosques and schools. (Even the UN has admitted that its schools have been
used at least twice to store rockets.) Often when these locations are hit by Israeli strikes,
there are secondary explosions – revealing the significant amounts of explosives being
stored in them.
Aside from the rockets, a major new concern are the ‘terror tunnels’ – tunnels that have
been built from Gaza into Israel for the express purpose of killing and kidnapping
Israelis. Hamas has repeatedly voiced its support for kidnappings, and the bodies of
Hamas killed as they came out of these tunnels turned up handcuffs and sedatives,
alongside weapons. These sophisticated tunnels, that took months and even years to
construct, were built with the materials and supplies that had been allowed in for civilian
Point 3: Is Israel’s response disproportionate?
Critics of Israel frequently cite state that Israel’s response is disproportionate, citing the
disparity in the number of deaths between the two sides. However, proportionate
response refers to the threat faced in war, not the number of people killed on each side.
Therefore, by only targeting the terrorist infrastructure, Israel is taking a proportionate
response to the threat it faces.
The disparity in deaths is not due to Israel in some way behaving unethically, but down
in large part to the different responses between the two sides to protecting their own
civilians. Israel has gone to inordinate lengths to protect its civilians from missile attacks,
from bunkers to the ‘Iron Dome’ system, while Hamas have deliberately attempted to
use Gazan civilians as human shields.
If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our advocacy work, please
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org