The IDF gains nothing from killing civilians

Who gains more from a man being shot in a group holding a white flag, Israel or Hamas?

By Hugh Fitzgerald, Frontpage Magazine

In Gaza, a man named Ramzi Abu Sahloul had been standing in a group of four other Palestinian men, all civilians, with one of them waving a white flag, when suddenly, shots — not a single shot, and this is important — rang out, and he fell, mortally wounded. He was then carried away from the scene by the four other men who had been standing with him, who were immediately joined by other Palestinians, including one who appears to have been a young relative.

The whole scene was captured by an ITV cameraman. When the shooting appeared on ITV, the news reader left the clear impression, without the slightest evidence, that an Israeli sniper had killed him. Immediately the same story about an Israeli sniper killing an innocent Palestinian civilian appeared on all the major news outlets — agencies including AP, UPI, and AFP, and broadcasting channels including the BBC, MSNBC, and CNN, all echoed one another: “Israeli sniper kills Palestinian Ramzi Abu Sahloul.”

More on this claim, plucked out of the ether, that an Israeli sniper had killed Abu Sahloul, can be found here: “Media assumes every Gaza civilian shot was killed by Israel – but they never have any evidence,” Elder of Ziyon, January 24, 2024:

ITV has a distressing video showing a man in Gaza, with a white flag, being shot and killed.

It was not the man holding the white flag who was shot, but another one in the group who had just been interviewed a minute before by an ITV cameramen.

Nowhere in the video do we see any IDF soldiers.

Yet everyone reporting on this story, somehow, “knows” that Ramzi Abu Sahloul was killed by an “IDF sniper.”

Not one news outlet asks a basic question: who gains more from a man being shot with a group holding a white flag? Israel or Hamas?

The voiceover to the ITV video ends with this: “Yet another Innocent Palestinian killed, though he posed no threat whatsoever.” No “threat” to whom? No threat to the Israelis who, we are supposed to think, “in their bloodlust they killed him nonetheless.” We are clearly meant to believe the ITV people had no doubt that it was an IDF sniper who had killed him. But there is overwhelming evidence that it was not an Israeli sniper, but a Hamas gunman, who shot and killed Ramzi Abu Sahloul.

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What good could Israel possibly derive from murdering a Palestinian civilian in a small group waving their white flag? Israel gains nothing, and loses a great deal, from killing civilians, which would only be used to blacken the image of the Jewish state.

As is well known, the IDF makes enormous efforts to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza, which is the most difficult of battlefields, a densely-populated urban environment, where the enemy, Hamas, has embedded itself within the civilian population, using those civilians as human shields to protect them from IDF attacks. Hamas hides its weapons, its command-and-control centers, its operatives, in civilian buildings such as schools, mosques, and apartment buildings and, of course, in the vast network of tunnels, about 300 miles in total length, that it has built underground, and which it uses to move men and weapons about, undetected.

In order to minimize civilian casualties, Israel has dropped 6 million leaflets, made 14 million prerecorded calls, and 72,000 personal calls, to warn civilians in Gaza to move away from sites about to be targeted.

Why would an IDF sniper want to kill in cold blood Abu Sahloul as he stood with a group of five, waving the white flag? The IDF had nothing to gain, and much to lose, by killing Abu Sahloul.

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There is no proof that an Israeli sniper was responsible. In fact, there is clear evidence that the volley of shots — at least six — were not from a sniper’s rifle. If you listen carefully, you hear not one, but two shots in immediate succession, and then, about six seconds later, a volley of five shots.

That is not what a sniper, using a sniper’s long-range rifle, does: he fires one deadly shot. There is no volley of shots from a sniper’s rifle, as there were here. Yet the ITV newsman did not realize that the shots must have come from an M-16 or a Kalashnikov. Nor did he inquire as to where the IDF soldiers were located, which turns out to have been much farther away than a long-range sniper’s rifle could have covered.

Those considerations did not stop the ITV newsman, and after him the rest of the media, from blaming this invisible— and almost certainly nonexistent — IDF sniper, for Abu Sahloul’s death. And without stopping to consider the evidence of the number of shots, and how far the IDF soldiers were from where the Palestinians had been standing, the international media promptly repeated the story of the “Israeli sniper” who killed Abu Sahloul.