Somebody Killed Them

Timestamp: Very early Wednesday morning.

One of my greatest fears was realized Monday. The details are still incomplete but this much we know, hundreds of innocent people died when a hospital in Gaza was attacked from the air.

As of this writing it is unclear as to the responsibility for the attack. Most evidence appears to point to a Palestinian group’s missile hitting an unintended target but that is not an absolute at this point. The MO would also seem to fit that explanation. While I feared and warned against the possibility of Israel turning the situation into an excuse for a genocide, an isolated attack on a hospital would not fit the pattern of attack you would expect from the Israelis.

Before I go much further let me state my position (and that of most democracies). Israel absolutely has the right to exist and the right to self-defense! That is unequivocal! That is not to say that the Palestinians are without legitimate grievance. The two are not mutually exclusive.

This tragedy – and regardless of responsibility or intent it is a tragedy – is part of the risk of urban warfare. If you have a conflict in a densely populated area there will be innocent non-combatants killed and injured. Most of those injuries will not be simple bumps and bruises. People lose things like limbs, eyesight and hearing. It is too easy to miss a target by a block or less. If you do that in an open field it just makes a hole; in an urban area is can kill scores or hundreds of people.

I guess I go back to the title of today’s article. Somebody killed these people. To the dead does it really matter who did it? We need to bring this to an end and quickly. While “quickly” is yet to be defined, I am confident a conclusion to the current conflict will be reached. As to a long-term solution to the root issues underlying the conflict I am much less confident in the short run.

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