The BBC reports that Palestinians stopped a planned air strike because protesters surrounded the house that was to be hit (link). The IDF decided not to strike, because it didnâ€™t want to kill all the civilians (or it didnâ€™t want the publicity headache of killing them).
Itâ€™s unclear (because the article left it unclear) whether this was just a house of a militant, or was actually a suspected storehouse of weapons.
How did the protesters know that the house was going to be hit? Israel told them. Apparently, â€œvery often the air force telephones a warning 10 minutes before the strike to give the occupants time to escape and keep down casualties.â€
Â Israel decided not to strike because of all the â€œinnocentâ€ civilians. Imagine if civilians gathered around a house that Hamas was targeting. Theyâ€™d drool all over themselves, and load up to hit it harder. Because theyâ€™re AIMING for civilians.
Â What is Israel supposed to do now? When they warn residents of an attack, they gather around. When they donâ€™t warn them, civilians die. The article also mentions that two weeks ago, women purposely went to a mosque to act as human shield for some militants who were holed up there.
Iâ€™m torn about how to treat volunteer human shields in a conflict. I mean, as a world-wide phenomenon, whether combatting terror, or in a real war.
My first thought is that volunteer shields are no longer innocent civilians. I donâ€™t have a second thought right now, though I may come up with one later.
No easy answers (apologies to my friend Charlie, who likes resolution).