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IDF using Facebook to threaten to destroy Gaza family's home

The army says Hamas built a tunnel under a six-story apartment building that houses the Hammad family, threatening to destroy it. Most of the family has already fled.

Elizabeth Tanboura stands with three of her daughters: Sundos, Malak, and Marwa (right), in front of their destroyed home in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip. Elizabth lost her husband and 2 of her children during an Israeli attack on August 25, 2014. Two other boys survived as they were not in the house at the time of the attack. Photo taken March 19, 2015. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Illustrative photo of a Gaza family who lost their home during the 2014 Gaza war. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

The IDF is using Facebook to threaten to destroy the home of a Gaza family, claiming Hamas has built a tunnel directly underneath it.

On August 10, Yoav Mordechai, commander of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), announced on the unit’s Arabic Facebook page that the IDF had discovered two tunnels built by Hamas, which has ruled the Strip since 2006, under both an apartment building and a nearby mosque in the town of Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip.

In his post, Mordechai warned the residents living in and around the six-story apartment building — home to 21 members of the Hammad family, including four women and 12 children — that Hamas was using them as “human shields,” and thus their lives are now in danger due to a potential Israeli military strike on the area.

According to Adalah — The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, some of the family members fled the building in response to the threats. The less fortunate ones, who had nowhere to go, stayed behind.

That same day, Israel’s Channel 10 published aerial imagery of the building along with remarks made by Israel’s Southern Command Chief Eyal Zamir, who reiterated the claim that Hamas had been digging tunnels under the home, without providing any evidence.

Mordechai

Commander of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Yoav Mordechai’s Facebook message to the Hammad family, urging them to leave their apartment building or face the possibility of an Israeli attack. The apartment building and mosque under threat are marked in red.

Several days later, Omar Hammad, the owner of the building, received a phone call from an individual who identified himself as a member of Israeli military intelligence, who proceeded to inform Hammad that he and his family’s lives were in danger.

Over the past few years, Hamas has developed a sophisticated network of tunnels, running some dozens of miles below the Gaza Strip, which are used both to smuggle goods and for military purposes, including infiltration into Israel.

Adalah and the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights have both called on the IDF to immediately halt its threats against the family and other civilians in Gaza, which they say violate international law.

According to the Geneva Conventions, acts or threats of violence that seek to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

“International law forces us to distinguish between civilians and enemy combatants,” said Adalah attorney Muna Haddad. “According to the law, even the presence of a large number of combatants, is not sufficient to justify an attack which would cause disproportionate damage to nearby civilians.”

“These are civilians we are talking about,” Haddad added, “people who were forced to flee their home and change their lives because of the army’s threat. It goes directly against international law.”

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    COMMENTS

    1. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      You are totally right. The Hamas is make tunnels and kill the Israeli population. The Israeli left is sick..

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Begging your pardon, Halevy? We wish to point out that the Israeli, ostensibly liberal democratic but actual popular democratic quasi-Feiglinist, government makes occupation for fifty years and among other gross violations of international law and common standards of human decency kills the Palestinian population. The Israeli Right is sick.

        Reply to Comment
        • Timothy Porter

          Funny, how without the myth of occupation, an occupation whose existence you fail to prove, you have absolutely no ammunition. Let me refresh your memory: https://972mag.com/how-netanyahu-rewrote-israeli-history-with-one-viral-video/122378/#comment_form_wrap

          Also, you seem to need a history lesson. Israel gained control of Judea, Samaria and Gaza under a Labor gov’t. So, no the current Israeli gov’t did not make “the occupation for 50 years”

          Also, hypothetically, if Israel had really been an occupying power, which it is not, it doesn’t mean that the occupation would be illegal under international law, let alone constitute a “gross violations of international law and common standards of human decency.”

          You’re basing your rhetoric on so many ludicrous and illogical assumptions!

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “the myth of occupation…” is simply not a serious reply and I do not feel the need to waste space here with arguments as to why the Earth is or is not flat.

            Reply to Comment
          • Timothy Porter

            Let’s face it, there is no occupation. If you argue that there is one, then you might as well argue that the Earth is flat. You are simply choosing to avoid the topic, because if you choose to accept reality, then your narrative falls like a stack of cards.

            Btw, as I’ve pointed out above, you HAVE in fact attempted to argue for the existence of the occupation in the past. https://972mag.com/how-netanyahu-rewrote-israeli-history-with-one-viral-video/122378/#comment_form_wrap

            You must be still reeling from your previous attempt. I don’t blame you.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You’re a crank.

            Reply to Comment
          • Timothy Porter

            Ben, sorry for interfering with your attempts to bash Israel unopposed. Rather inconsiderate of me.

            Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        @Itshak: In the last ‘war’ Israel was firing hundred pound artillery shells into densely populated areas in Gaza. Self defense, of course.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Timothy Porter

      Ben, I do have a few suggestions for you and all the other “critics” of Israel. Stop obsessing. Stop making ludicrous accusations that you cannot back up with facts. My people have dealt with blood libels for thousands of years. Sooner or later the truth will manifest itself.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bert Gedin

        “Sooner or later the truth will manifest itself”. So says one of the analysts, here. You don’t need the “sooner or later”, Mr. Porter. The truth is here, now, for those who wish to recognise it! But in so doing, you must stop deceiving yourself and others.

        Reply to Comment
        • Timothy Porter

          Mr. Gedin, let’s hear your “truth.” I suggest using facts and sound arguments, unlike our friend Ben.
          Speaking of the truth, just a couple of days ago NYC experienced a “Palestinian”-style attack. That’s right folks, the “intifada” has gone global. Israel-haters cannot easily dismiss that fact despite their endless “creativity.” Maybe, just maybe it’s time to unite against this unbridled evil? Naw, you can’t expect Israel-haters to employ common sense.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ‘just a couple of days ago NYC experienced a “Palestinian”-style attack. That’s right folks, the “intifada” has gone global’

            A laughable attempt to blur matters, the crudest propaganda. I can’t tell if your confusion is genuine or disingenuous and I don’t care. You’re a crank.

            Reply to Comment
          • Timothy Porter

            Prey tell, how am I confused? Everybody knows that the “Palestinians” invented this kind of thing. Perhaps, there’s something to the Palestinian identify after all.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Everybody knows? On the contrary, The Sicarii (סיקריים), a splinter group of the Jewish Zealots who, in the decades preceding Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 CE went around stabbing innnocent Romans, and were regarded as “bloodthirsty,” could be said to have invented this kind of thing. The Israelis of today could likewise be said to be the new Romans. Have a nice day.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tom Parker

            Ben, I was specifically referring to car rammings. There were no cars in 70 CE.
            For your information the Sicarrii are condemned in the Jewish tradition. Jews don’t hang posters with pictures of the Sicarii on their walls. The Israelis of today are the only indigenous large group in the area. The Jews refer to places by their original historical names, for example “Judea”, “Samaria. It is the Arabs who refer to places by their Roman names, for example “Palestine.” They also used to refer to Jerusalem as “Illya” which comes from Roman “Aelia Capitolina.” History is fascinating if you only care to learn it. Have a nice day.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “I was specifically referring to car rammings. There were no cars in 70 CE.”

            Hilarious irrelevancy.

            “Jews don’t…”

            Not amusing. A blatant attempt to both sneak in racism disguised as an argument and to conflate Israel with Jews. As in “Jews don’t, Arabs do.”

            Israeli Jews don’t resort to stabbings and other forms of asymmetric violence because they don’t have to, because they are the Romans of 2017. You are dressing up the luxury of the side with overwhelming power as something higher and purer than it in fact is, and connecting it to race, saying that Jews don’t do something that in fact the Stern Gang and Menachem Begin quite clearly DID do when they were not the overwhelming military power. Perhaps the Stern Gang members and Menachem Begin were not Jews? Is the Stern Gang “condemned in the Jewish tradition”? Is Menachem Begin “condemned in the Jewish tradition”?

            Thank you for implicitly admitting that the Palestinian sources of identity and meaning and self-determination have their roots at least as far back as the Roman occupation and extending now to the neo-‘Roman’ Israeli one.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tom Parker

            Hilarious irrelevancy? I was pointing out who invented this particular form of terrorism. How is it irrelevant?
            Ben: “A blatant attempt to both sneak in racism…” Racism is such an overused word. Was what I said factual or not?

            You know, you employ so many leaps of logic and go out of your way to obfuscate uncomfortable facts, you are the DEFINITION of a demagogue.

            Comparing Begin or Lehi to any of the folks you support is both laughable and offensive. Again, you are the definition of a demagogue.

            And btw, can you name ONE Arab who identified as a Palestinian before 1967?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Demagogue? You don’t even know what the word means. You’re out of your league, Mr. Parker-Porter.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            And, much of our condemnation of the Sicarrii and Yochanan ben Zakkai turn upon the tactical/strategic failure of Zakkei to realize it was foolish from a tactical-strategic standpoint to go up against the Roman occupiers with violent instead of non-violent resistance. The condemnation of the Sicarrii is NOT moral in the way you may be implying–it does not turn upon some mythical ethical tradition imported from the 21st Century into the 1st Century. No one here is arguing that it is not similarly foolish at this point in the evolution of the conflict for the Palestinians to use violent as opposed to non-violent resistance against the Israeli neo-Roman behemoth. Everyone understands that the Israelis love violence, it is the only language they speak, that the Israelis would love nothing more than for the Palestinians to dully persist with violent resistance alone. To behave like the overheated, impulsive ben Zakkei. That is, btw, an implicit point of publications like +972 Magazine. To argue both the tactical wisdom and moral power of non-violence. In case you were wondering.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Correction!: Everywhere I wrote “ben Zakkei” I meant “the Zealots.” Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkei was of course the wise sage who OPPOSED the Zealots.

            Reply to Comment
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