No one is unaffected by the civilian casualities. But it's precisely images like these which are used by Hamas for diabolical propaganda puposes. Israel has been extremely judicious in abiding by the laws of war and in conducting its campaign with respect for human rights and the prevention of civilian deaths. As Yaacov Lozowick notes:
Hamas has been stockpiling weapons in civilian homes. This is against international law, but since I'm no great fan of international law I mention it only to note all the media outlets who aren't mentioning it - the folks who cannot formulate a sentence about Israel's policies without telling about whatever Israel is doing which is illegal. Those hypocrites, you know. But I digress.Humanitarian warfare ... the burden of peace ... and the necessity.
According to the laws of war, placing military ordinance in civilian settings is forbidden because it erases the line between civilians and soldiers, and since getting at the soldiers so as to kill them is permitted, civilians will inevitably also be killed. Hezbullah, Hamas, and the Fatah-based Palestinian terrorists never put any store in any of that just-war theory or practice, since in their self understanding they are victims, period, and no matter what they do will always be justified. Their useful idiots in the West parrot this alongside them, thus demonstrating their rejection of the noble heritage of the Enlightenment.
The practice has booby-trapped Israel, of course. If we hit the terrorists along with their civilian shields, we're damned for waging war on civilians. If we refrain, so as not to be damned, the terrorists are safe, and sooner or later they'll kill Israelis.
The advance of technology, however, has created new possibilities. In the week of air-attacks, the IDF proved it had excellent intelligence, and in many cases targets hit from the air kept on exploding for a number of minutes after they were hit, as the ordinance stored there exploded. More significant, the IDF has figured out how to separate the civilians from the weapons: call the neighbors and give them ten minutes warning. The numbers prove how efficient this has been: prior to the ground invasion, more than 600 targets had been destroyed, fewer than 500 Palestinians killed, and fewer than 100 of those were civilians even by Palestinian and UN reckoning. Of course, there remain the pictures of civilians surrounded by devastation, but they're alive, and it wasn't Israel that stacked bombs in their cellars.
Apparently, by Friday Israel had made at least 9,000 (nine thousand) such phone calls.Here's an American website touching upon the same story.
Alongside the thousands of civilians whose lives have been spared there are hundreds, at least, of armed Hamas fighters, the people who put the explosives in the cellars in the first place: by warning their neighbors, Israel has warned them, too, thus giving them the chance to escape and fight another day: say, tonight, or tomorrow, when they'll still be alive to fight the IDF troops, instead of lying dead under the rubble, as would have been possible had we hit their explosive stashes without prior warning, as any normal army wold have done.
See also, Jeffrey Goldberg, "The World's Pornographic Interest in Jewish Moral Failure" (hat tip: Memeorandum).
UPDATE: From Reliapundit, in the comments:
THIS IS A STAGED PHOTO.
WHY WOULD ANY SANE MORAL HUMAN BEING NOT HAVE ATTEMPTED TO DIG THE CHILD OUT?
BUT THEY JUST STAND THERE, BESIDE THE ARAB/FRENCH PHOTOG.
IS THAT WIRE AN AIR-TUBE?
ALL I KNOW IS THIS:
French TV claims photos from 2005 showed damage from Israel's Gaza operation
By Haaretz Service
Tags: France, Gaza, Israel News
French public television network France 2 on Tuesday revealed they had aired photographs that allegedly showed destruction caused by the Israel Air Force during Operation Cast Lead, which were in fact taken during a different incident in 2005, one in which Gaza civilians were killed by an explosion caused by militants in the Strip.
The footage aired on Channel 2 on Tuesday afternoon showed dozens of dead bodies, including Hamas gunmen and citizens, which the channel said were killed by an IAF bombing raid on January 1st. It later came to light that the channel had instead aired footage of the devastation caused after a truck full of explosives blew up in the Jabaliya Refugee Camp.
A news editor at France 2 told Le Figaro Tuesday that they had "made a mistake by airing those pictures, which he said depict events from 2005.
MISTAKE MY ASS.
THIS CRAP IS LIKE JENINGRAD AND AL DURA.
UPDATE II: The photo at top was featured in today's Los Angeles Times hard-copy story, "30 Palestinians Sheltering in Gaza School Killed."