4 Most Common Myths About Israel and Gaza -- Debunked
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Myth: Israel protects civilians by airdropping leaflets warning residents of Gaza to avoid locations and individuals affiliated with Hamas.
Fact: In the last five days, Israel has bombed an estimated 1,643 sites in an area that is just 140 square miles – about twice the size of Washington DC. Hamas is the party that runs the local government. The question must be asked: Just where are the people supposed to hide?
Myth: Retaliation by Palestinians is either terrorism or just plain stupidity. The former is the common belief of advocates of Zionism, and the latter is a frequent concern (albeit not often expressed openly) among liberal supporters of Palestinian rights.
Fact: The right to self-defense (most often through “retaliation”) is enshrined in international law and was America’s own first response after it was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. Why was it ethical for the U.S., but not for Palestinians?
As one young Gazan wrote on Facebook: “When you see your family killed by Israeli soldiers in front of your eyes and you see your house demolished in front of you, you feel so angry that you want to fight back. But once you fight back, you are called a terrorist and the aggressor becomes the victim who has the right of defense.”
Catherine Charratt, a PhD candidate in international politics at the UK’s Aberystwyth University, recently wrote:
According to the Geneva Conventions, a people under occupation have the legal right to resist their occupation; Article 1 (4) of Protocol 1 stresses that force may be used to pursue the right of self-determination.
(However,) according to Western news media, all resistance fighters in Palestine are illegitimate militants, while Israel -- as a Western-favored state -- is allowed to target and assassinate Hamas government and military officials... So, Palestinian military and political leaders can be legitimately targeted but they are not allowed to legitimately retaliate.