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Examination of Israel’s November 2019 missile attacks on Gaza reveals deliberate actions that can be expressed by propositions, which lead to formulation of a syllogism – a syllogism of death that does not spare civilians.

Israeli military targeted Bahaa Abu al-Ata, “a top Islamic Jihad commander,” who, Prime Minister Netanyahu claimed, “… was a ticking bomb, in the midst of planning additional attacks in the immediate short term.”

The analysis leads to two propositions:

  1. From targeting Bahaa Abu al-Ata, Israel realized it was provoking an Islamic Jihad  reprisal,
  2. Knowing there would be reprisal attacks means that Israel initiated an occurrence they claimed they wanted to prevent.

Placing these propositions in proper context as a syllogism, forms a conclusion – Israel’s initial attack on Bahaa Abu al-Ata was meant to provoke a reprisal so Israel could retaliate and pound Gaza more ferociously – a syllogism of death.

Why did, or does Israel periodically, bomb Gaza and cause multiple deaths and wounded? The answers are conjectural, but fit a pattern:

  1. To diminish Gazan spirit and ontological security as part of a slow genocide.
  2. To test defensive and offensive weapons.
  3. To give military personnel live action training.

From past experiences, Israel knows that its defenses can neutralize 90 percent of the rocket fire from Gazan militants and that the other ten percent have infinitesimal likelihood of causing serious civilian harm. Statistics and images from the November 12 – November 14 assault exchanges tell that story:

Haaretz, November 16, 2019.

Islamic Jihad launched some 450 rockets at southern and central Israel, but the army said its Iron Dome defense system intercepted 90 percent of them. Rockets were fired as far north as Tel Aviv, shutting schools and businesses and forcing one million Israeli children to stay at home, as well as causing some damages and minor injuries. (ED: Minor injuries are most often Israelis getting scratched or falling while seeking shelter.)

Associated Press, November 14, 2019.

The fighting killed 34 Palestinians, including 16 civilians, according to rights groups.

NOTE: Finding exact, and up to date statistics on Gazan casualties, including wounded, was strangely not possible. Exact, and up to date statistics on Israeli casualties was simple – vague numbers that meant no casualties. Images tell another story.

The aftermath of a direct hit from a Gaza rocket,kitchen floor is damaged. (Photo: Israel Police)
Home is completely destroyed by an Israeli air attack in the Gaza Strip. (Al Jazeera) (Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

The media tell their own story. Google the words “Israel attacks Gaza,” and we get on the first page two headlines of attacks on Gaza, both from foreign news sources, and four headlines that describe what was not asked – “Gaza attacks Israel.”

Israeli attacks:Al Jazeera
1 hour ago – Israeli forces have killed a top Islamic Jihad commander in an air raid on his home in Gaza City, unleashing a new spiral of violence. Shortly after the attack on Tuesday morning that killed Bahaa Abu al-Ata and his wife, salvos of rockets were launched from Palestinian groups in …

Israel hit by rockets from Gaza after airstrike kills Islamic Jihad …https://www.nbcnews.com
1 day ago – Scores of rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel in … was the mastermind of many recent attacks against Israel and was a …

Gaza Rocket Attacks on Israel Resume, Risking Wider Conflict …https://www.wsj.com
6 hours ago – Israel’s foreign ministry said the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad has fired more than 360 rockets from the Gaza Strip, threatening Israel’s attempts to reach a long-term cease-fire with the Hamas group that controls the area.

Rockets launched deeper into Israel as Gaza death toll …https://www.haaretz.com
2 hours ago – Gaza factions launched massive rocket barrages at Israel for the … The Israeli army resumed attacks on Gaza, presumably in response to the …

Israel bombs Gaza as crisis escalates with more Hamas rocket …https://www.telegraph.co.uk
Israeli warplanes have kept up deadly raids on Gaza but failed to stop … Israel bombs Gaza as crisis escalates with more Hamas rocket attacks: In pictures.

Rockets Rain On Gaza And Israel After Airstrike Kills Militant https://www.npr.org
1 day ago – “He was a ticking bomb,” Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu said of Bahaa Abu … Militants in Gaza have responded with rocket attacks of their own.

The syllogism of death does not spare civilians.
Unguided rockets from Gaza have no explosive power and therefore can be regarded as “oversized flying bullets,” which only harm civilians by a rare direct hit or by shrapnel. They are meant to disturb the Israeli population but, because they are neither powerful nor directed, cannot be characterized as “directly targeting civilians.”

Israel’s guided missiles, which means they can be steered directly to chosen targets, have killed more than a thousand civilians and injured more than ten thousand, many seriously.

We have Gazan unguided rockets that are said to target civilians, with few of them finding their unguided target. And we have Israeli guided missiles, which do not seek civilian targets, mostly finding their way to civilian targets. The syllogism of death does not spare civilians.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, on CNN’s State of the Union program, proclaimed that Hamas wants casualties. “All civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can – it’s gruesome. They want the more dead the better.”

So, what is the problem? Why is Netanyahu cooperating with Hamas’ wishes? Just stop killing civilians and Hamas will be defeated. It is that easy.

Dan Lieberman edits Alternative Insight, a commentary on foreign policy, economics, and politics. He is author of the book A Third Party Can Succeed in America, a Kindle: The Artistry of a Dog, and a novel: The Victory (under a pen name). Dan can be reached at alternativeinsight@earthlink.net 


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