No One in Israel Knew They Were Committing a Massacre, and They Didn’t Care

The bomber pilot didn’t know. His commanders who gave him the orders also didn’t know. The defense minister and the commander in chief didn’t know. Nor did the commander of the air force. The intelligence officers who aimed at the target didn’t know. The army spokesman who lied without a qualm also didn’t know.

None of our heroes knew. The ones who always know everything suddenly didn’t know. The ones who can track down the son of a wanted man in a Damascus suburb didn’t know that sleeping inside their miserable hovel in Dir al-Balah was an impoverished family.

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– Haaretz Weekly 12/11

Haaretz WeeklyHaaretz

They, who serve in the most moral army and the most advanced intelligence services in the world, didn’t know that the flimsy tin shack had long since stopped being part of the “Islamic Jihad infrastructure,” and it’s doubtful that it ever was. They didn’t know and they didn’t bother to check — after all, what’s the worst that could happen?

Reporter Yaniv Kubovich revealed the shocking truth on Friday on the Haaretz website : The target had not been re-examined for at least one year prior to the strike, the individual who was supposedly its target never existed and the intelligence was based on rumors. The bomb was dropped anyway. The result: eight bodies in colorful shrouds, some of them horrifically tiny, all in a row; members of a single extended family, the Asoarkas, five of them children — including two infants.


Palestinians gather around crater following an Israeli air strike at Deir al-Balah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 14, 2019AFP

Had they been Israeli citizens, the state would have moved heaven and earth to avenge the blood of its famous little boy, and the world would have reeled in shock at the cruelty of Palestinian terror. But Moad Mohamed Asoarka was only a 7-year-old Palestinian boy who lived and died in a tin shack, with no present and no future, whose life was as cheap and as brief as that of a butterfly; his killer was a celebrated pilot.

It was a massacre. No one will be punished for it. “The target bank had not been updated,” army officials said. (After Yaniv Kubovich’s investigation was published, the IDF Spokesman released another statement, “The building was confirmed as a target several days before the attack.”) But this massacre was worse than the targeted killing of Salah Shehada, and it was greeted by a more-sickening indifference in Israel.

On July 22, 2002, an Israel Air Force pilot dropped a one-ton bomb on a residential neighborhood that killed 16 people, including an actual wanted man. Before dawn Thursday, a pilot dropped a much smarter bomb, a JDAM, on a tin shack in which no wanted man was hiding.