GAZA BLOODBATH: UPI reports the escalation of Israeli activity in Gaza, with eleven Palestinians and one Israeli killed in fighting today. The report does not enumerate the casualties in such a way that the reader might distinguish between combatants and non-combatants. Clearly, the Israelis are targetting Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists; but it is unclear from the report how many of the eleven dead fell into those camps. This distinction is an important one and should be made in press accounts. Lumping them together as “Palestinians” is a disservice to the reader.

Also buried in the report is the continued despicable Israeli tactic of razing the houses of suspected terrorists, leaving non-combatants homeless. This practice is not only unconscionable, but it is amazingly counter-productive: “The destruction of terrorists’ houses is a message to suicide bombers and their partners in terror that their activity carried a price that anyone who takes part in hostile terrorist activity will pay,” the IDF spokeswoman said. The message is a good one; the method is not. Since the primary victims will be women and children, the only possible result is to flame the hostility. Arrest–or even kill–the terrorists. But don’t intentionally target their families; that’s just stupid.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.