Hamas attack on Israel

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by dyqik » Thu Oct 26, 2023 8:07 pm

monkey wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2023 7:18 pm
lpm wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:00 pm
It's unbelievable how some people just repeat the lies of a terrorist group.

Yesterday Biden got asked about the Gaza death toll claimed by Hamas and said he has "no confidence on the numbers".

My twitter feed was full of people angry about this comment and calling Biden a genocide denier. And I don't even follow the worst Corbynite end of left wing commentators.
On this, the Guardian have just done a bit on the Gazan casualty numbers - clicky I have been wondering why Important People have been suggesting that the Health Ministry can't be trusted to count properly when I haven't noticed that happening in the past. It's mostly a guy from Human Rights Watch explaining why they trust the Health Ministry numbers. The TL/DR is that he says they've been accurate in the past.

Personally, I wouldn't take anything counted while bombs are still falling as gospel because of the bombs complicating things (which is also pointed out in the article). I wouldn't call anyone who questioned Hamas's trustworthiness a genocide denier, because there's good reason to do that too.

While Hamas are c.nts, there is also an incentive for Israel to make you unsure about how many civilians they are killing - which is going to be a number far greater than zero - as it is harder to complain or care about civilian deaths if you don't know how many there are.
The Gazan Health Ministry have reportedly also released names, ID numbers and ages of all of the casualties they are claiming (up until 3pm local time today). That makes verification possible, eventually, and isn't what you'd do if you were greatly inflating numbers for long term propaganda.

Of course, if you were only trying for short term effect, and didn't care about being trusted in the future, then verification wouldn't be so much of a concern for you. And a list of casualties doesn't tell you the cause of death, or which side is proximately to blame for those deaths.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by jimbob » Thu Oct 26, 2023 10:21 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2023 9:50 am
WFJ wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2023 7:38 am
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/24/worl ... video.html

Israel's denial of responsibility for the hospital explosion is now looking questionable.f
It looks like the earlier explanation needs to be reassessed.

But we can still be confident that what exploded in the hospital year isn't consistent with a bomb dropped by an Israeli aircraft. If it had been an Israeli bomb the damage would have been far worse and different to what was photographed.
This thread

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1715 ... 36660.html

Has a lot of analysis that seems to still be accurate
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 27, 2023 5:10 am

On the health ministry figures.

Firstly, that the numbers are not an accurate measure of deaths. Leaving aside the trustworthiness of the source (and I’m sceptical) it is impossible to collect accurate data on deaths in the middle of a high intensity war in which hundreds of thousands have likely been displaced. Many bodies will only be discovered in the future. Many people thought to be dead will be discovered later to be alive. One of the first casualties of war is comprehensive data collection.

Secondly, given the massive amounts of bombing of residential areas, enormous and rapid displacement of people and widespread degradation of critical infrastructure it is inevitable that there will have been very large numbers of civilian deaths.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 27, 2023 5:55 am

Interesting video of the leader of Hamas being interviewed on Saudi TV.
https://x.com/hxhassan/status/171540442 ... 1zY-PW4R9w

to;dr the Saudis are very pissed off.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Grumble » Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:44 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 5:55 am
Interesting video of the leader of Hamas being interviewed on Saudi TV.
https://x.com/hxhassan/status/171540442 ... 1zY-PW4R9w

to;dr the Saudis are very pissed off.
Tbh I understood Hamas to be aligned with Iran and therefore I would expect Saudi to be pissed off as a starting point.
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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 27, 2023 10:17 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 5:10 am
On the health ministry figures.

Firstly, that the numbers are not an accurate measure of deaths. Leaving aside the trustworthiness of the source (and I’m sceptical) it is impossible to collect accurate data on deaths in the middle of a high intensity war in which hundreds of thousands have likely been displaced. Many bodies will only be discovered in the future. Many people thought to be dead will be discovered later to be alive. One of the first casualties of war is comprehensive data collection.

Secondly, given the massive amounts of bombing of residential areas, enormous and rapid displacement of people and widespread degradation of critical infrastructure it is inevitable that there will have been very large numbers of civilian deaths.
Yes, but the question here is whether the number of deaths are really as high as those lists imply, not whether every death has been counted. Can you trust those numbers as a lower bound?

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 27, 2023 12:04 pm

dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 10:17 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 5:10 am
On the health ministry figures.

Firstly, that the numbers are not an accurate measure of deaths. Leaving aside the trustworthiness of the source (and I’m sceptical) it is impossible to collect accurate data on deaths in the middle of a high intensity war in which hundreds of thousands have likely been displaced. Many bodies will only be discovered in the future. Many people thought to be dead will be discovered later to be alive. One of the first casualties of war is comprehensive data collection.

Secondly, given the massive amounts of bombing of residential areas, enormous and rapid displacement of people and widespread degradation of critical infrastructure it is inevitable that there will have been very large numbers of civilian deaths.
Yes, but the question here is whether the number of deaths are really as high as those lists imply, not whether every death has been counted. Can you trust those numbers as a lower bound?
I don't know. People have been quoted in the media stating that the Ministry of Health figures have been treated as being reliable in the past. But war changes everything, both in terms of ability to collect data and incentives to lie or be truthful. The latter may apply internally within Hamas as well as externally.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 27, 2023 12:40 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 12:04 pm
dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 10:17 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 5:10 am
On the health ministry figures.

Firstly, that the numbers are not an accurate measure of deaths. Leaving aside the trustworthiness of the source (and I’m sceptical) it is impossible to collect accurate data on deaths in the middle of a high intensity war in which hundreds of thousands have likely been displaced. Many bodies will only be discovered in the future. Many people thought to be dead will be discovered later to be alive. One of the first casualties of war is comprehensive data collection.

Secondly, given the massive amounts of bombing of residential areas, enormous and rapid displacement of people and widespread degradation of critical infrastructure it is inevitable that there will have been very large numbers of civilian deaths.
Yes, but the question here is whether the number of deaths are really as high as those lists imply, not whether every death has been counted. Can you trust those numbers as a lower bound?
I don't know. People have been quoted in the media stating that the Ministry of Health figures have been treated as being reliable in the past. But war changes everything, both in terms of ability to collect data and incentives to lie or be truthful. The latter may apply internally within Hamas as well as externally.
That was a rhetorical question - I've given my view, with appropriate caveats, above.

In any case, Hamas and Israel have been in an armed conflict for decades, so this being a war isn't necessarily new.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 27, 2023 12:42 pm

dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 12:40 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 12:04 pm
dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 10:17 am


Yes, but the question here is whether the number of deaths are really as high as those lists imply, not whether every death has been counted. Can you trust those numbers as a lower bound?
I don't know. People have been quoted in the media stating that the Ministry of Health figures have been treated as being reliable in the past. But war changes everything, both in terms of ability to collect data and incentives to lie or be truthful. The latter may apply internally within Hamas as well as externally.
That was a rhetorical question - I've given my view, with appropriate caveats, above.

In any case, Hamas and Israel have been in an armed conflict for decades, so this being a war isn't necessarily new.
Its a far more intense war.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 27, 2023 1:16 pm

To put the above comment in context, over 2015-2022, in Gaza there were 435 recorded conflict deaths (source), that's an average of about 55 per year. It was a period in which there was relative stability and normal bureaucratic activities like recording deaths could take place. There's little incentive to lie because those deaths could be verified. For example, journalists could interview family members.

Over the past few weeks there has been massive displacement and destruction and very likely high numbers of casualties. Verification might be possible but it would take a long time, probably years. If it were to happen people would need to do things like take DNA samples from cadavers or trace family members.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 27, 2023 2:32 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 1:16 pm
To put the above comment in context, over 2015-2022, in Gaza there were 435 recorded conflict deaths (source), that's an average of about 55 per year. It was a period in which there was relative stability and normal bureaucratic activities like recording deaths could take place. There's little incentive to lie because those deaths could be verified. For example, journalists could interview family members.

Over the past few weeks there has been massive displacement and destruction and very likely high numbers of casualties. Verification might be possible but it would take a long time, probably years. If it were to happen people would need to do things like take DNA samples from cadavers or trace family members.
Again, that's irrelevant. The question is whether there have been at least as many deaths as those claimed by the Gazan health ministry. No one expects the list to be complete. The question is whether the names on it are fake and/or if they died as a result of Israeli action.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 27, 2023 2:38 pm

dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 2:32 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 1:16 pm
To put the above comment in context, over 2015-2022, in Gaza there were 435 recorded conflict deaths (source), that's an average of about 55 per year. It was a period in which there was relative stability and normal bureaucratic activities like recording deaths could take place. There's little incentive to lie because those deaths could be verified. For example, journalists could interview family members.

Over the past few weeks there has been massive displacement and destruction and very likely high numbers of casualties. Verification might be possible but it would take a long time, probably years. If it were to happen people would need to do things like take DNA samples from cadavers or trace family members.
Again, that's irrelevant. The question is whether there have been at least as many deaths as those claimed by the Gazan health ministry. No one expects the list to be complete. The question is whether the names on it are fake and/or if they died as a result of Israeli action.
No one outside a few people in Gaza knows, and it’s currently impossible for anyone outside Gaza to verify the information.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 27, 2023 2:47 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 2:38 pm
dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 2:32 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 1:16 pm
To put the above comment in context, over 2015-2022, in Gaza there were 435 recorded conflict deaths (source), that's an average of about 55 per year. It was a period in which there was relative stability and normal bureaucratic activities like recording deaths could take place. There's little incentive to lie because those deaths could be verified. For example, journalists could interview family members.

Over the past few weeks there has been massive displacement and destruction and very likely high numbers of casualties. Verification might be possible but it would take a long time, probably years. If it were to happen people would need to do things like take DNA samples from cadavers or trace family members.
Again, that's irrelevant. The question is whether there have been at least as many deaths as those claimed by the Gazan health ministry. No one expects the list to be complete. The question is whether the names on it are fake and/or if they died as a result of Israeli action.
No one outside a few people in Gaza knows, and it’s currently impossible for anyone outside Gaza to verify the information.
Which is why we have to consider what I wrote above - has this information been reliable in the past (yes), is there a strong incentive to lie at this time (likely), would lying about this be detected (probably, eventually), and would that affect a decision to lie or not (likely so).

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 27, 2023 3:13 pm

I doubt that the decision would be affected by the possibility of eventual verification. Israel has pledged to dismantle Hamas. That includes the personnel in the health ministry.

If Israel succeeds then none of the senior government personnel will be working there in a year. If they are still alive they’ll be in an Israeli jail or in a refugee camp. If there is a full investigation they won’t care about the outcome.

If Israel fails and Hamas remains in power in Gaza there will be no verification. There will be no negative consequences for anyone who lied.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 27, 2023 4:02 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 3:13 pm
I doubt that the decision would be affected by the possibility of eventual verification. Israel has pledged to dismantle Hamas. That includes the personnel in the health ministry.

If Israel succeeds then none of the senior government personnel will be working there in a year. If they are still alive they’ll be in an Israeli jail or in a refugee camp. If there is a full investigation they won’t care about the outcome.

If Israel fails and Hamas remains in power in Gaza there will be no verification. There will be no negative consequences for anyone who lied.
Verification has previously taken place with Hamas in power in Gaza, so I don't follow your final claim here.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 27, 2023 4:16 pm

dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 4:02 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 3:13 pm
I doubt that the decision would be affected by the possibility of eventual verification. Israel has pledged to dismantle Hamas. That includes the personnel in the health ministry.

If Israel succeeds then none of the senior government personnel will be working there in a year. If they are still alive they’ll be in an Israeli jail or in a refugee camp. If there is a full investigation they won’t care about the outcome.

If Israel fails and Hamas remains in power in Gaza there will be no verification. There will be no negative consequences for anyone who lied.
Verification has previously taken place with Hamas in power in Gaza, so I don't follow your final claim here.
The premise was a scenario in which they’d lied.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 27, 2023 4:34 pm

“Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East“ wrote:
For more than two weeks now, unbearable images of human tragedy have come out of Gaza. Women, children and elderly people are being killed, hospitals and schools have been bombarded – no one is spared. As I write this, UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, has already, tragically, lost 35 of its staff, many killed while in their homes with their families.

Entire neighbourhoods are being flattened over the heads of civilians in one of the most overcrowded spots on Earth. The IDF has been warning Palestinians in Gaza to move to the southern part of the strip as it bombs the north; but the strikes also continue in the south. There is nowhere safe in Gaza.

Nearly 600,000 people are sheltering in 150 schools and other UNRWA buildings, living in unsanitary conditions with limited clean water, little food and medicines. Mothers do not know how they can clean their children. Pregnant women pray that they will not face complications during delivery because hospitals have no capacity to receive them. Entire families now live in our buildings because they have nowhere else to go. But our facilities are not safe – 40 UNRWA buildings, including schools and warehouses, have been damaged by the strikes. Many civilians sheltering inside them were, tragically, killed.

Gaza has been described over the last 15 years as a large open-air prison, with an air, sea and land blockade choking 2.2 million people within 365 sq km. Most young people have never left Gaza. Today, this prison is becoming the graveyard of a population trapped between war, siege and deprivation.

For the past few days, intense negotiations at the highest levels finally allowed very limited humanitarian supplies into the strip. While the breakthrough is welcome, these trucks are a trickle rather than the flow of aid that a humanitarian situation of this magnitude requires. Twenty trucks of food and medical supplies are a drop in the ocean for the needs of more than 2 million civilians. Fuel, though, has been firmly denied to Gaza. Without it, there will be no humanitarian response, no aid reaching people in need, no power for hospitals, no water, no bread.

Before 7 October, Gaza received some 500 trucks of food and other supplies every day, including 45 trucks of fuel to power the strip’s cars, water desalination plants and bakeries. Today, Gaza is being strangled, and the few convoys now entering will not assuage the civilian population’s sentiment that they have been abandoned and sacrificed by the world.

On 7 October, Hamas committed unspeakable massacres of Israeli civilians that may amount to war crimes. The UN condemned this horrific act in the strongest terms. But let there be no shadow of a doubt – this does not justify the ongoing crimes against the civilian population of Gaza, including its 1 million children.

The UN charter and our commitments are a commitment to our shared humanity. Civilians – wherever they are – must be protected equally. Gaza’s civilians did not choose this war. Atrocities should not be followed by more atrocities. The response to war crimes is not more war crimes. The framework of international law is very clear on this and well established.

It will take genuine and courageous efforts to go back to the roots of this deadly deadlock and offer political options that are viable and can enable an environment of peace, stability and security. Until then, we must make sure that the rules of international humanitarian law are respected, and civilians spared and protected. An immediate humanitarian ceasefire must be enacted to allow safe, continuous and unrestricted access to fuel, medicine, water and food in the Gaza Strip.

Dag Hammarskjöld, the second UN secretary-general, once said: “The UN was not created in order to bring us to heaven, but in order to save us from hell.” The reality today in Gaza is that there is not much humanity left and hell is settling in.

The generations to come will know that we watched this human tragedy unfold over social media and news channels. We will not be able to say we did not know. History will ask why the world did not have the courage to act decisively and stop this hell on Earth.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... re-in-gaza

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 27, 2023 5:48 pm

Here’s a quick heuristic on casualties.

The UNRWA has about 13000 staff in Gaza (source).

Latest casualty figure is 53 deaths (source), the figure mentioned in the above post is probably a day or two old.

That makes a mortality rate of 0.4%.

Apply that to the whole population of Gaza and we get 8 800 killed.

Clearly that depends upon whether UN workers would be killed at the same rate as the rest of the population. But I can’t think of an obvious reason why not.

I’m not suggesting that this is an accurate estimate. Just a heuristic to work out a ball park figure.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 27, 2023 6:29 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 5:48 pm
Here’s a quick heuristic on casualties.

The UNRWA has about 13000 staff in Gaza (source).

Latest casualty figure is 53 deaths (source), the figure mentioned in the above post is probably a day or two old.

That makes a mortality rate of 0.4%.

Apply that to the whole population of Gaza and we get 8 800 killed.

Clearly that depends upon whether UN workers would be killed at the same rate as the rest of the population. But I can’t think of an obvious reason why not.

I’m not suggesting that this is an accurate estimate. Just a heuristic to work out a ball park figure.
I'd assume that the rate for UNRWA workers would be significantly lower than the population at large. They are less likely to be sick or old or very young, will likely be trained in some level of safety in this area, and will likely have much better communications and warnings of military activities.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 27, 2023 9:11 pm

dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 6:29 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 5:48 pm
Here’s a quick heuristic on casualties.

The UNRWA has about 13000 staff in Gaza (source).

Latest casualty figure is 53 deaths (source), the figure mentioned in the above post is probably a day or two old.

That makes a mortality rate of 0.4%.

Apply that to the whole population of Gaza and we get 8 800 killed.

Clearly that depends upon whether UN workers would be killed at the same rate as the rest of the population. But I can’t think of an obvious reason why not.

I’m not suggesting that this is an accurate estimate. Just a heuristic to work out a ball park figure.
I'd assume that the rate for UNRWA workers would be significantly lower than the population at large. They are less likely to be sick or old or very young, will likely be trained in some level of safety in this area, and will likely have much better communications and warnings of military activities.
Yes, could be.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Imrael » Sat Oct 28, 2023 4:54 pm

Seen a couple of tweets to the effect that all comms to Gaza down, with some pretty doom-laden commentaries.

My main worry at the moment is that I cant see a sensible Israeli win condition. Which means they may just keep blowing things up until the northern strip resembles downtown Hiroshima. OTOH the cease-fire requests do at least give them an exit strategy of sorts, which makes the pressure worth while I guess.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Oct 28, 2023 5:47 pm

Imrael wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2023 4:54 pm
Seen a couple of tweets to the effect that all comms to Gaza down, with some pretty doom-laden commentaries.
Some or all of the mobile networks and ISPs are not functioning. I don’t know whether that’s due to lack electricity due to fuel shortages or direct damage from air strikes. It’s very likely that Hamas has been using the mobile network for its own internal communications.

It will probably be possible for important information to get out of Gaza, for example by using a combination of satellite links and solar panels or diesel generators (if someone can find fuel). But it’ll be very difficult for everyday people if they can’t contact each other in the middle of a mass population displacement.
Imrael wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2023 4:54 pm

My main worry at the moment is that I cant see a sensible Israeli win condition. Which means they may just keep blowing things up until the northern strip resembles downtown Hiroshima. OTOH the cease-fire requests do at least give them an exit strategy of sorts, which makes the pressure worth while I guess.
As for an Israeli scenario, people should check out the battle of Raqqa in 2017, in which coalition forces defeated IS. About 80% of the city was left uninhabitable.

However, one difference is that most of the population had fled Raqqa before the battle started. In Gaza there is currently nowhere to go.

Certainly Israel has demanded that everyone leave the north of Gaza. The Israeli army might be able to clear Hamas out of the evacuated areas in the north with similar levels of destruction. But if Hamas remains embedded within the population in the south of Gaza then Hamas can claim a victory.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by IvanV » Sun Oct 29, 2023 3:42 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2023 5:47 pm
Certainly Israel has demanded that everyone leave the north of Gaza. The Israeli army might be able to clear Hamas out of the evacuated areas in the north with similar levels of destruction. But if Hamas remains embedded within the population in the south of Gaza then Hamas can claim a victory.
It has left open the question, "What next?" and "What about the rest?" ever since they demanded everyone to leave the north so they could scour it. One does worry that the open-air prison camp just got smaller and won't re-enlarge. But it seems at the moment there is nothing preventing people going back, and some have, because the conditions in the south are so awful. But that might change, and northern Gaza might be emptied. Then, what next?

Is the scouring of northern Gaza a demonstration project, that may stop there, or else may continue, to be used as a negotiation point? That makes little sense, as Hamas won't agree to anything, and there isn't an alternative interlocutor.

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by bob sterman » Mon Oct 30, 2023 7:35 am

The BBC is continuing to have trouble naming things....

Anti-Israel mob storms Dagestan airport in Russia
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-67258332

The mob held signs indicating that they were were looking for Jews. Still not clear enough for the BBC apparently.

The Guardian managed some accuracy...

Mob storms Dagestan airport in search of Jewish passengers from Israel
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/ ... rom-israel

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Re: Hamas attack on Israel

Post by EACLucifer » Mon Oct 30, 2023 7:57 am

bob sterman wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2023 7:35 am
The BBC is continuing to have trouble naming things....

Anti-Israel mob storms Dagestan airport in Russia
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-67258332

The mob held signs indicating that they were were looking for Jews. Still not clear enough for the BBC apparently.

The Guardian managed some accuracy...

Mob storms Dagestan airport in search of Jewish passengers from Israel
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/ ... rom-israel
Yeah, this was a damn pogrom, and the only thing that stopped there being murders was they don't appear to have found any actual Jews. They did severely beat an Uzbek though as they apparently thought he was Jewish.

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