Reports of Israeli attacks on schools and hospitals

Richard Engel of NBC News says that the school that was hit by Israeli artillery was a designated UN refugee shelter which people went to seeking shelter from the aerial barrage. He shows one man who said his six children were blown to bits like scraps of paper. The UN official was adamant that there were no militants in the building. Four such schools have been attacked so far.

Meanwhile NPR news at noon reported that Israel has so far struck four hospitals in Gaza including a children’s hospital. Here’s a report of an earlier attack. Supplies are short and doctors in Gaza are being forced to treat patients without anesthetics and other essential medicines.

As a result of these atrocities, more and more mainstream commentators are condemning Israel’s actions in ways that would have been unthinkable just a short while ago.

The Washington Post has a sobering graphic updated daily with the number and breakdown of the deaths. The total as of today in 895.


  1. busterggi says

    Israel -- founded on terrorism, still using it more than sixty years later.

    But then, Yahweh always did support genocide.

  2. says

    The Pentagon warned Friday that an “imminent” delivery of Russian artillery to separatists battling government forces in eastern Ukraine creates “a great concern” for civilian casualties.

    The Pentagon sells/gives M-109 Paladin 155 self-propelled guns to Israel
    The Pentagon provides Israel with the “golden dome” antimissile system
    The Pentagon provides F-16s to Israel

    The Pentagon apparently has a ‘great concern’ for civilian casualties.

  3. lorn says

    It is hard to say what happened. The majority seem to be jumping to conclusions that Israel did it and then they following through with outrage because ‘no Palestinian fighters were present’.

    The Israeli official suggested, I suspect based on tone, without specific information, perhaps this might be a case of a ‘loose (mis-layed in the artillery sense) mortar tube’. Possible. Firing is typically battery fire with all tubes set to a specific azimuth and angle. If a tube in a battery vibrates loose while firing it can slide sideways and send mortar bombs in an unintended direction. The small number of explosions would be more in line with this explanation but that is entirely hypothetical and based upon an assumption that this is fire from Israeli weapons.

    I saw the same report on TV. It is interesting how the report I saw was edited in the video. It leaves out a counter-claim that the explosions were the result of misfired Hamas rockets.

    Having some experience around military weapons I note that the blast pastern on the pavement and shrapnel patterning on the wall (another part excised in this version) looked to me to be inconsistent with typical patterns of modern weapons.

    The pattern on the pavement looks to me more like what you would get if you used a low explosive like gunpowder or a low order detonation of high explosives. There is none of the disruption, cracking or cratering, of the blacktop and the dust pattern would seen to indicate slower air moments than what you would get with a high explosive military round detonating properly.

    There is also the fact that in a tight space crowded with people the amount of blood and numbers killed or wounded are quite low. Shelling of Sarajevo Market:

    “A mortar shell landed in a crowded open-air market in Sarajevo today, killing at least 66 people and wounding more than 200. ”

    That report sounds a bit high. For sure modern weapons are designed and optimized to inflict casualties but 66 dead and 200 wounded, while not out of the realm of physical possibility, is definitely on the high side of possible. The weapons used in the UN school attack appears to be less effective than one would expect of modern weapons well deployed. This doesn’t prove or disprove origin. Even modern shells sometimes misfire.


    The pattern of shrapnel on the wall seems to indicate a few large projectiles thrown in one direction. Most military weapons tend to show a much greater number of small projectiles fairly evenly spread withing the blast zone. Which is why they are more effective in inflicting casualties.

    The video ends with a report on west bank protests and showed fireworks. It occurred to me that the blast damage was much more consistent with what you might see if home-made shells, more similar to fireworks than modern military weapons, were used.

    Was this a Hamas missile gone astray or a Israeli mortar bomb gone astray? Or was it a purposeful attack by Israel or Hamas? It would be interesting to follow any investigation.

  4. Ravi Venkataraman says


    Stop being an apologist for one of the most despicable nations in the world, Israel. Even though the Israeli defense spokesman himself conceded the possibility of a stray shell, you are vigorously defending the Israelis and groundlessly accusing Hamas. 4 schools in 4 days looks to me more like intentional “stray” bombs than actual misfires.

    The Israeli government revels in killing women and children, and, like at Nurenberg, should be tried by an independent tribunal (no American judges allowed, only non-Muslim non-Jewish judges) and those convicted should be punished to the fullest extent. In order for them to understand the plight of the residents of Gaza, those who are guilty should be put into Gaza or some similar place while bombardment is going on.

  5. Silentbob says

    @ 4 lorn

    You remind of those people who study the angle of the shadows in Apollo lunar surface photographs to try to show that the moon landings were faked.

    What is your motive for all this analysis of blast patterns and blood volumes? Are you looking for evidence to back up what you’ve already decided you want to believe?

  6. Silentbob says

    Holy fuck! Have you seen PZ’s most recent post?
    Israel’s latest weapon in the War on Terror: rape threats.

  7. lorn says

    Silentbob @ #6

    “What is your motive for all this analysis of blast patterns and blood volumes? ”

    What are your motives? I want to know the truth of what actually happened outside the broad assumptions most people seem to be making. Should we just go along with the majority who blame Israel in this event based upon convenience and a lack of real evidence?

    The scene does not, based upon what I saw, clearly or unambiguously support the claim.

    Ravi Venkataraman @ #5

    Stop being an apologist for one of the most despicable non-nations in the world, Palestine. A non-nation that makes no effort at all to limit civilian casualties. You are vigorously defending the Palestinians and groundlessly accusing Israelis.

    The Palestinian government revels in killing women and children by plastering up posters, holding parades with children dressed as suicide bombers, and singing songs celebrating the indiscriminate killing of Jews.

    Sauce, meet gander.

  8. readysf says

    Israel’s behavior is profoundly troubling. War crimes by Jews are still war crimes.

    Susan Rice falsely said that Hamas started this round by firing rockets. Actually, the cease fire had worked well for 2 years until it was violated by Israel to provide a pretext.

    Israel is turning into a stinking rotten pariah.

  9. lorn says

    readysf @9:

    “Actually, the cease fire had worked well” …

    Sure, except for the importation of rockets large enough to reach deep into Israel, the construction of numerous tunnels, kidnapping and killing three boys, and a long list of other minor infractions the Palestinians were lambs.

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