Gaza gets the mercy it doesn’t deserve 7

 From Power Line:

As Yaacov Lozowick notes, the IDF has called the neighbors of targeted sites to give them a ten-minute warning. Lozowick comments:

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.

But what about the IDF system which provides for the warnings? As a manager of complex IT systems, Lozowick reconstructs the efforts that have gone into its creation:

First, Israel clearly has created a sophisticated GIS (geographic information system). A system that records tens of thousands of buildings, their location, and their distance from each other. Then there’s a database with the names of the tens of thousands of families who live in the buildings, and the phone number of each family. The system has the ability to identify all the families and phone numbers that could be affected by an attack on any given building. Finally, given the numbers involved, there must be a system that automatically makes concurrent phone calls to dozens of families, since everybody has to have the same ten-minute warning.

Ah, and someone put tens of thousands of piece of information into that database.

Such a system costs real money, takes time to set up, and since it is obviously operating close to flawlessly, it was tested, fiddled with, tested, fiddled with, and tested again. The purpose, I remind you, is to save the lives of thousands of Palestinians who happen to have murderous neighbors.

Lozowick concludes that the IDF is the most moral army in the world: "This drives some people bonkers, and they often go ballistic. Alas for them, and fortunately for many Palestinians, it happens to be the simple truth."

The care taken by the IDF to avoid civilian casualties complicates the achievements of its military objectives and increases the hazards to its soldiers, and it doesn’t do much to win Israel friends outside the United States. It is nevertheless an essential component of Israel’s strategy in dealing with its terrorist enemies.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 5, 2009

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