The Associated Press reported on December 27 that “thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.”
In his latest column (1/2/09), Charles Krauthammer pointed to that report to prove just how obvious it is that Israel is the moral actor in this battle of good and evil:
Some geopolitical conflicts are morally complicated. The Israel/Gaza war is not. It possesses a moral clarity not only rare but excruciating. Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in advance to warn them of approaching danger.
Here’s what Amnesty International (12/29/08) has to say about it:
Compounding the atmosphere of fear resulting from the Israeli bombardments, Israeli forces have been sending seemingly random telephone messages to many inhabitants of Gaza telling them to leave their homes because of imminent air strikes against their houses. Such messages have been received by residents of multi-storey apartment building, causing panic not only for those who received the calls but for all their neighbours. Such practice was widely used by Israeli forces both in Gaza and in Lebanon in 2006, but has not been reported since. The threatening calls seem to aim to spread fear among the civilian population, as in most cases no air strikes were carried out against the buildings. If this is the purpose, rather than to give effective warning, this practice violates international law and must end immediately.