Those who are shocked by the Palestinian death toll in Gaza might be interested in knowing that the figures being bandied about by Hamas and the Palestinian Red Crescent include dozens, possibly hundreds, of Fatah members who were murdered in cold blood by Hamas over the past three weeks.
Since the war began, Hamas has been rounding up Fatah members throughout the Gaza Strip. The ones who get off easy only get shot in the legs, have their eyes poked out, and/or have their hands smashed or cut off. Many others are simply murdered; sometimes in mass executions.
In this clip, Jamal Najar, a popular Palestinian singer in the West Bank, describes how some of his cousins in Gaza were murdered by Hamas over the last few days, including a father who was shot dead in front of his children, for the crime of having walked out of his house:
Hamas officials have been including these people, that they themselves wounded and killed, in the casualty figures that they distribute to the press -- based on the reasoning that these victims, too, were killed in the context of the Israeli offensive. It should be noted, however, that Hamas' policy of torturing and murdering Fatah members (and often members of their families as well) dates back to Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007. Hamas does not always try to hide these killings -- to the contrary, they sometimes film them, and proudly broadcast them on television with rousing musical accompaniment, as you can see in the video below from Hamas TV:
[Note: I chose a clip that contains no closeups or visible blood. Nonetheless, some may find it disturbing.]
Since Saturday night, when Israel's unilateral cease fire went into effect, Hamas' roundups and murders of their Fatah rivals have dramatically increased.
Interestingly, however, the international media has barely been covering these ongoing tortures and murders, nor has any Western government seen fit to condemn them, or even make mention of them. Apparently, their excessive handwringing over Palestinian deaths is reserved exclusively for those deaths caused by Israel. Nobody actually gives a damn about the loss of Palestinian life, if those deaths are at the hands of other Palestinians.
Of course, this is not to imply that many Palestinians weren't killed in Israeli strikes. Many have asked why the level of civilian casualties in these strikes has been so high. An explanation for this is provided, not by an IDF spokesman, but by Hamas representative Fathi Hamad on Hamas TV: He explains that the Palestinians have deliberately turned death (their own) into an "industry" (his term) of which they are exceedingly proud. In order to bring about these glorious Palestinian deaths, Hamas fighters make a point of surrounding themselves with "a human shield of women, children, [and] the elderly". Why would they want to do such a thing, you may ask? Hamad answers this, too, using a phrase that has become, in recent years, a frequent statement of principle among Muslim clerics: "We [Muslims] love death as much as you [Jews and Westerners] love life". Watch it for yourself:
Given the Palestinians' brilliantly successful, suicidal "death industry", and their resolutely determined efforts to get as many women, children, and elderly as possible killed in Israeli strikes against terrorist targets, it is nothing short of incredible that Israel, because of its commitment to humane values, has somehow managed to keep the civilian death toll as low as it has been.
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