Talk:Gaza War/Archive 21

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PCHR number for civilian dead

User:Fipplet removed the PCHR number for civilian dead. See this diff: [1]

Edit summary: "Reuters is a very reliable source. Not The Palestinian MoH wchich is equivalent to IDF numbers."

Actually, Reuters is no more reliable than anybody else. They did not say where they got their number from. Many sources are throwing out numbers like "half" the dead are civilians, but without giving a source.

Reference that was removed: 22nd Day of Continuous IOF Attacks on the Gaza Strip. 17 January 2009. Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

We have already discussed these type of estimates by Palestinians and Israelis. We report the numbers and let readers decide. We report the IDF number for fighters, and we report the various MoH and PCHR numbers.

All of them have long been in the infobox. So Fipplet needs to get consensus to remove them.

Please see also this recent WP:ANI discussion about Fipplet:

I suggest WP:1RR to Fipplet. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:09, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Ditto. Totally irresponsible editor.Nishidani (talk) 21:20, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Also tundrabuggy continues to remove the Gaza Massacre from the lead here [2]. I would think this is turning into disruption. Nableezy (talk) 21:45, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Expect the same from Doright, judging from past performances on other articles.Nishidani (talk) 22:12, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

External links

In the interests of making the article shorter and more encyclopedic, I removed the entire "Individual articles" subsection from this section; most of the items were opinion pieces. There are zillions of individual articles we could potentially point to, and for every opinion piece supporting one side, someone will want to add a piece supporting the other. I suggest that everyone working on the edit refrain from adding items that are not exceptionally notable, and remove those items if they are added. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 20:13, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I further added Paltube, a Hamas video site, since we should link to the perspectives of the warring parties. I would like to add the website of the Palestine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but it seems to be down. Anyone know anything about this? Jalapenos do exist (talk) 20:45, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm also removing the live webcam link, since the conflict is over. There should be more background/overview sources from mainstream media, like the BBC one. I think Reuters has a piece, but I can't seem to find it. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 21:01, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

The conflict ending at the time when 13 Isr. deaths were with 1300 Pal. deaths

Does it have any significance? Are there sources suggesting it was planned? Could it be that they were waiting for that outcome before calling a ceasefire to satisfy any internal political sentiment? Please let us know of any sources on the number issue - pre-planned. Leladax (talk) 21:17, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Any reliable sources commenting on this? If not, its OR. Although the facts are all in the article for our readers to make up their own mind --Cerejota (talk) 02:38, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Planned? Seriously? Is this a joke?! -Nomæd (Boris A.) (user, talk, contribs) 03:14, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it was meant to be a joke. Perhaps what Leladax meant was that the Israeli government may have had a list of objectives and a list of limits/constraints e.g. cripple Hamas without exceeding x civilian casualties before the current US admin's tenure comes to an end or something like that. That's plausible but as Cerejota says, without reliable sources it's irrelevant. I guess all of these kind of issues will be addressed by foreign affairs experts in the near future and Leladax may get his/her reliable sources. Sean.hoyland - talk 04:14, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


Times in the ceasefire section and intro do not match (I added 1 source to the other two referenced). Anyone feel like sorting this out?Cptnono (talk) 00:23, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

The ceasefire has already been broken by Hamas who has fired more than 20 rocket attacks within the first 12-14 hours of the ceasefire. [3]--Tomtom9041 (talk) 04:51, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

You can't violate a unilateral ceasefire if you did not make it Tomtom, read the source you provided, it says "But with more than 20 rockets fired from Gaza in the 12 to 14 hours between Israel's unilateral declaration and the Palestinians' own announcement," Hamas fired rockets before it made its ceasefire just to prove they could. (Hypnosadist) 06:00, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah yeah, just making a point.--Tomtom (talk) 06:15, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


Parts of the Reactions section need to be restored. For example, it doesn't make sense for UNSC Resolution 1860 to be absent from this article. There are also a few particularly notable government reactions, such as those of Turkey and Jordan - whose relations with Israel were strained as a result of this conflict, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia - who, uncharacteristically, criticised Hamas sharply. I also don't see anything wrong with listing those governments which took a clear side; the ones who stuck to diplomatic gibberish, and probably didn't even know or care what was going on, can be left out. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 00:28, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Mention in the intro of the section, but the resolution even has its own article. We should be careful not to be redundant. --Cerejota (talk) 00:56, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

News report video

I find it odd that a Wikiepdia article has a news report video in the article, as news reports are not encyclopedic by nature. I think that ideally, the video should be edited/screencapped to leave only the acceptable portions. The problem is it's much more difficult to edit a video than it is to re-word a newspaper article and weed out the relevant statements.

  • The video has POV statements by the narrator.
  • The report itself is not a notable occurance, and has portions that aren't notable. For example, the childs testemony that states he doesn't know where his friends are at.
  • Wikipedia should not offer first-hand news reports. --Nezek (talk) 01:36, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. I think the only plausible way to get anything out of that video would be to screenshot some of the pictures, because news reports are, as you said, inherently biased. Bsimmons666 (talk) 01:51, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with removal, but there are some points that are specific and are being made general, and WP:NEWS doesn't apply here. I would support a video with an interview of a notable person, for example, even if it had POV statements. I would support inclusion of raw, unedited video of incidents (which is much like including images - except its dozens of images per second with a soundtrack) - this is not journalism but illustration. The notability argument, however, is totally convincing. I guess it all boils down to: is this encyclopedic?--Cerejota (talk) 02:51, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
My main concern is the reporters' opinions and tone (POV) that keep poping up between the testemonies. A Wikipedia article would never have lines like "All over the hospital we saw civilian casualties of what Israel calls its war on Hamas" and "[...] because of Israel's descision to dismental Hamas by destorying Gaza", it is not encyclopedic, it is not a neutral point of view. If there's a reason Wikipedia is not intended as a primary news source, this is it. So WP:NOT#Journalism does apply here. The next reason to consider her POV important for the article is if it had some notable impact on the conflict, but it did not. --Nezek (talk) 03:51, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree it doesn't belong. Perhaps if there was a section: "Media coverage of the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict" and it was used to illustrate an example of media coverage then fine. Everything said in the video can easily be quoted in text (talk) 05:55, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Agree with removal. Seems to be a consensus, and I have no qualms about being the enforcer. Tundrabuggy (talk) 06:48, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Right then, who is feeling brave?

In the coming days and weeks this conflict is going to slip out of the news and into history. The 'status' section of the window on the right of the article will become a 'result'. But what is the result? It all depends on the aims. Now, the aims outlined in the second paragraph of the article for the Operation are to defend against Rocket fire. Therefore, if the rocket fire continues, this goes down as an "Israeli failure". If the rocket fire is prevented for the foreseeable future, we should rule an "Israeli victory."

I know this won't pan out as simple as that, but I don't see why not. OperationOverlord (talk) 03:27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

"I know this won't pan out as simple as that, but I don't see why not."
So what is it? The first or the last part of your sentence? Anyway, as I stated in other words somewhere above it is over when it is over and we won't know till at least in a week from now. And one thing is for sure: There won't be a "winner" to declare; Certainly not here on WP.--The Magnificent Clean-keeper (talk) 03:52, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
We as wikipedians shouldn't be the ones deciding. Once a majority comes to a conclusion, we can put it there. Changed my mind. All we need is something like the result of the 2006 Lebanon War article: "Ceasefire, provisioned by UNSC Resolution 1701.".Bsimmons666 (talk) 04:16, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Erm, but don't all wars end with a ceasefire? Otherwise they'd still be on-going because they'd never have.. ceased firing. Wars, battles and operations have results, they have outcomes. I hope we manage to decide what the outcome of Operation Cast Lead is in as definite terms as we can; its what we owe each other. OperationOverlord (talk) 04:32, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Way too early to be discussing the "result" IMO. I just read on aljazeera that there have been more than 20 rocket attacks within the first 12-14 hours of the ceasefire.

There's nothing to stop this from being anything different from the last ceasefire, there's every possibility that a week from now it'll all start up again.Andrew's Concience (talk) 04:39, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

In which case, our task is fairly simple. Israel has failed in its aims. OperationOverlord (talk) 04:40, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Premature in my opinion. RomaC (talk) 04:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
It has failed only in its stated aims. The stated aim and the real aim of a war are often two very different things. I believe that the real aim is to initiate the next phase of the 1996 "Clean Break" plan developed for Netanyahu by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and other neo-cons entrenched in the highest circles of power here in the U.S.. The destruction of the Gaza Strip secures Israel's southern flank and paves the way for the ultimate aim, the nuclear annihilation of Iran. NonZionist (talk) 08:11, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

They can just go back in you know, as I am sure that they will.-- (talk) 04:45, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

As they say in opera, "it ain't over till the fat lady sings". And with two implacable foes eventually one will be wiped out and will take the other one with them. There is so much hate on both sides cooler heads will eventually be forced to intervene and prevail. But will they be too late? It won't matter when the place is a radioactive wasteland. Which is the way this is all headed.--Tomtom9041 (talk) 04:59, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Comment People. Let's face some objective facts.

  • 1)Hamas is going to declare victory. Full stop. The circumstances are completely meaningless. As in the Soviet Union under Stalin, you declare victory to the party central committee and your dejected troops or you get a nine-millimeter hole in your back.
  • 2)Israel is going to declare victory. Full stop. They've been fuzzy about their goals for this operation, and they have plausible deniability. Even if they fail to destroy Hamas or to free Gilad, they can still claim that rocket fire has decreased. Even if the fire does not in fact decrease, they can still claim that they "sent a message of deterrence" and that it will immanently fall. Seriously, have you ever seen a black and white report from the government about their war aims? They can be like teflon.

The Squicks (talk) 06:39, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Who said anything about taking the Government(s) at face value, Squicks? We, as objective (insofar as we can reasonably be expected to be) chroniclers and historians, need to attempt to cut through the available documentary evidence and posit our collective hypotheses as to what each side was attempting to do. Now, if we take Hamas rocket-fire as a constant factor, and judge Operation Cast Lead as an Israeli response to it, our judgment naturally falls onto the Israeli side - was it an Israeli success, or an Israeli failure? That depends on the rocket-fire remaining a constant factor after the guns have fallen silent. Therefore, in your second scenario, if Israel claims victory because of deterrence, but rocket fire continues, we can posit that Hamas has not, in fact, been deterred, that the Israeli government is therefore wrong, and that no victory has been achieved. A campaign that does not meet its goals, and in fact reverts to the status quo ante bellum at considerable cost, is often considered a failure. OperationOverlord (talk) 07:24, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Too soon to even contemplate. Historians are still sorting the First Lebanon War!--Cerejota (talk) 07
27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Worrying edit summary

Tundrabuggy said this:

"There is ZERO CONSENSUS to add these photos. Please keep them off or we will go to DR".

Then take it there. Blackmail during an edit war never solved anything.--Cerejota (talk) 07:25, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


Could someone define what the concerns about DIMEs are in the article. I'm not especially familiar with them so I don't want to myself. Right now it just says that Israel denies accusations that it uses the weapon which reduces collateral damage. Thanks. --JGGardiner (talk) 09:12, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi, there's an article for DIMEs via the Dense Inert Metal Explosive link in the article with some details. Let's keep details in there to save space. (talk) 09:58, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Mention of UN resolution in intro

Surely this, if put in such a prominent place, should be followed by noting that it was completely ignored and the fighting continued. Otherwise it implies that the fighting did stop then.

Since it was ingnored, perhaps it shouldn;t even be in the intro.Jandrews23jandrews23 (talk) 09:27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Phosphorus bombs

I added to this article a statement regarding the IDF’s use of white-phosphorus bombs, and provided a source to support it. However, within 15 minutes 'Jalapenos do exist' removed it without discussion. Does anyone else agree that it is a very relevant issue within the current conflict, and should be mentioned in the article? Palestinian doctors are seeing a large number of civilians arriving at hospital with serious chemical burns, and an independent source (HRW) has supplied video footage of the bombs being deployed. Logicman1966 (talk) 03:46, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand why he would. It is an important element and it is verifiable by many reliable news source. I will restore the section, and if he doesn't like it, he should be the one to take it the talk page. --Falastine fee Qalby (talk) 04:04, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't see what the big deal is, since dumping phosphorous is legal. As well, wouldn't you rather have a lit battlefield where the militants can be targeted and the innocent civilians spared rather than an unlit battlefield where the IDF has no choice but to destroy everyone in the area? Regardless, I expanded the section and think that it should stay. The Squicks (talk) 04:49, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes I'd rather that they be brutally scorched and physically scarred for the rest of their lives rather than for them to be put out of their misery. No, I rather that both things didn't occur. That loaded question is offensive. And the point is of this discussion is that the use of white phosphorus is one of controversy, thus it belongs in that section. --Falastine fee Qalby (talk) 04:59, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm curious if there are any sources claiming Israel is using WP as a weapon (like coalition use of 'shake and bake in Iraq' - which is probably illegal), and not just for smoke/illumination (clearly legit, I think)? The HRW note by Reuters even underscored that they had only seen it used for the latter purpose. kzm (talk) 13:10, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's notable, that's undeniable and this article is supposed to provide a comprehensive understanding of what is actually happening 'in theatre' to use that deeply offensive term. Furthermore, surveys show that 9 out of 10 parents would rather that lethal projectiles of any nature were not rained down on the streets where their children play so removing it seems weird. Okay, I just made that up but you get the point. Sean.hoyland - talk 05:26, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, my understanding is that phosphorous is legal too. I thought the issue was really about Dense inert metal explosive which really are pretty controversial and perhaps are not well understood in terms of their long term health implications. Anyway, I'll leave it to you guys. Sean.hoyland - talk 04:56, 14 January 2009 (UTC)..I'm not saying they are being used by the way, I'm saying that injuries have been seen by a couple of medics which they say are consistent with that weapon being used etc etc..previous IDF activities..etc etc..and so on. Sean.hoyland - talk 05:03, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Logicman, I explained in my edit summary why I removed it. On that note, I recommend reading edit summaries of edits that interest you. To repeat: the issue was included in the section "Alleged violations of international law". I read the sources you provided, and in those sources there was no allegation of an international law violation, nor was there a refutation of such an allegation. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 12:12, 14 January 2009 (UTC) P.S. Happy editing.

Here is what B'tselem has to say about the legality of the use of white phosphorous: 'The Third Protocol to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, which relates to incendiary weapons, states that such weapons may only be used against military objects. When the military object is located within a civilian area, the use of phosphorous is absolutely prohibited.
Such as rockets?--Tomtom (talk) 06:00, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Israel has not signed the Protocol, but the rule it states is based on two customary principles of international law, which are binding on Israel. The first is the prohibition on using weapons that cannot distinguish between combatants and civilians, and the second is the prohibition on using weapons which by their nature cause unnecessary suffering.
Neither has HAMAS or Hezbollah.--Tomtom (talk) 06:00, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The use of such a weapon in a densely populated civilian area like the Gaza Strip breaches these two principles, and violates Israel’s obligation to take every possible precaution to limit harm to civilians.' [4], so your contention that this use of phosphorus is legal is incorrect. It may only legally be used as a smoke screen and only against a military object outside of a civilian area. Nableezy (talk) 19:59, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
As does the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel. Doesn't it?--Tomtom (talk) 06:00, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Why did you put a bunch of unrelated crap in the middle of my post? Nableezy (talk) 06:58, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Isn't Btselem contradicting the International Red Cross with that statement? The Squicks (talk) 20:56, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
No they are not, both groups say it is acceptable to use as a smoke screen in a non-civilian area, both also say that the use of it as a weapon in a civilian area is not acceptable. The ICRC is saying that they have not used it in this way, but they have not said that it is permissible to use as a weapon as B'Tselem is accusing them of doing. But yes, the ICRC has said that the IDF has not used it in this manner. I was just disputing the assertion that 'dumping phosphorous is legal' Nableezy (talk) 21:39, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
And HRW has accused them of using it as a weapon in this illegal manner. Nableezy (talk) 21:40, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

HRW?--Tomtom (talk) 06:00, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Look, here is a link to BBC News that talks of the use of white phosphorous. It also mentions the UN allegations of illegal Israeli use of the stuff (in other words, it is a legal weapon, but they are using it against civilians, which is illegal). Someone reference that in the article. That constitutes an alleged war crime. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:14, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Can the use of white phosphorous be considered chemical warfare? Trent370 (talk) 07:52, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Why the hell is there hardly any mention of the white phosphorous and its potentially illegal usage in this article? I don't understand, as there are plenty of sources from the UN and news media talking about how the Israelis are using it in their bombs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:17, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree, this needs to be highlighted to a much greater extent. It is a highly notable aspect of this subject, and it is documented in numerous reliable sources. I believe it would be the first use of chemical weapons by a NATO country since Vietnam. Trent370 (talk) 05:54, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I believe it would be the first use of chemical weapons by a NATO country since Vietnam. 2003 invasion of Iraq? The Squicks (talk) 16:56, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Israel is not a NATO member, and I dont think any chemical weapons were used by 'coalition' forces in Iraq, though I could be mistaken. Nableezy (talk) 02:02, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Calling WP munitions "chemical weapons" is a misuse of the term. A chemical weapon is one that uses the toxic properties of a given chemical as its main means of action. WP's action is not to poison, but to burn using a chemical reaction, it is an incendiary weapon.

People who die by exposure to WP do not die poisoned by its effects, they die because they get horribly burned (this shit will ignite body fat, making a candle out of anything living). They are very horrible in their effects, in particular because people die in a few minutes of horrible, unstoppable burning, and hence international law has moved to ban them.

But like depleted uranium, which is not a nuclear weapon, WP is not a chemical weapon, and those who allege this are wrong in their assumptions, like they are with DU.

That said, its use in this war is worrying, because it is clearly used in civilian areas, and not as parachute illumination/smoke charges, but air-burst incendiaries. Keep in mind, tho, that Israel is not a signatory of any treaty banning WP use, even on civilians, and that there is no general international law banning its use.--Cerejota (talk) 21:06, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I have a question about the Times Online article, which says that white phosphorus burns at extremely high temperatures. No fire burns cool, but I don't think this is a particularly hot fire, how hot is it? The chemical consequences are severe, but I am asking about the heat. Jokem (talk) 06:40, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Is not the temperature, but the nature of the fire. WP has a reaction where the oxygen is internally consumed, it burns underwater! So it is a pervasive burn, with little flames. Of course, other things ignited by it, like the felt wedges, or human fat, will burn with a flame.--Cerejota (talk) 02:27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry Cerejota, not true. WP does not burn underwater, I believe you are thinking of magnesium. WP is dangerous because it will ignite in warm air, so it is almost impossible to put out. I don't think the Times online article is accurate.
Here check this link out where a long term military expert says "this is not weapon grade phosphorus but smoke screen phosphore and perfectly legal even for civilian use" and he links to a red cross report where the red cross agrees that this phosphor in every way is only used as a smoke screen. Military use just looks a lot different: [[5]] - please always take propaganda from both sides with a grain of salt (Pallywood and Jewtube are rarelly reliable sources) Crass Spektakel (talk) 20:58, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Of course, but so must opinions of military experts. WP is just a weapon, true, but even a combat knife has a deadly effect. I am a geek for this crap, but I never forget that ultimately these things ar emeant to kill. WP as a smokescreen is relatively harmless if used according to instructions, but if the shot is too low, and the wedges fall on you, you will die a human candle. The Russians did this extensively in Grozny (I think like 20-25% of the rounds they threw where "smoke" WP, a percentage so high that throws into question the need for screens; so it is not unheard of to use smoke rounds as low-level incendiaries.--Cerejota (talk) 02:27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
BTW, I am a long-term "Danger Room" subscriber (Find a comment from me here:[6]).--Cerejota (talk) 02:35, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The quote that you cited there is not on the website.
I must admit when I read White phosphorus was first used as a weapon by Fenian terrorists in the 19th century. I chuckled. We are such deviant little bastards, aren't we? The Squicks (talk) 22:15, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Unrepentant Fenian bastards are my favorite terrorists.--Cerejota (talk) 02:27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Forgive me if I'm wrong but isn't the use of WP in civillian populated areas AT ALL. banned by the Geneva convention? Only as a marking or smoke screening device and never in situations where civillians could be exposed to it. That right there is a downright war crime by todays standards. (talk) 06:02, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Nope, it isn't explicitly. There is one treaty - of which Israel is not a signatory - explicitly banning WP in civilian areas (it all started with Russian use of WP in Grozny), and most human rights organizations interpret the Geneva Convention's "do not harm civilians" as meaning that WP shouldn't be used. It might be seen as a moral war crime by some, but it is not a legal war crime.--Cerejota (talk) 17:13, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Section titled: "Iranian involvment"

As Iranian involvement is widely reported as an important feature of this conflict, please feel free to improve upon but not merely delete all related content as Pietru il-Boqli did [| here] and Tiamut did [| here].

Below is the content of the Iranian involvement section at the time of this post:

Iran is viewed by many observers to be a serious component of the "Battle of Gaza." [[7]] Hosni Mubarak warned that "the Persians are trying to devour the Arab states." [[8]] Saudi Arabia's [Shura Council] member Mohammed Abdallah Al Zulfa stated that "Iran is the big threat in today’s world, supporting all the terrorists from Hamas to Hezbollah to some other terrorists that we don’t know their names yet," and that "Iran destabilized the region by supporting all the illegal activities and activists such as Hamas." [[9]] "Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman reportedly told the Israelis that Egypt wouldn’t oppose a quick strike designed to bring down Hamas." Palestinian Authority chief Abu Mazen blames Hamas, which is largely an Iranian proxy, for the fighting."[[10]] Hamas "has drawn itself increasingly into Iran's orbit. Much of its imported weaponry, and the expertise with which it now produces and refines its own rockets, have been provided by Iran. Dozens of its commanders have been trained in Iran in recent years, coming home and disseminating that 'education' as Hamas has built an army in Gaza. And, increasingly too, Hamas has come to act in the service of Iran's aims," according to a Jerusalem Post analysis. [[11]]

Doright (talk) 00:15, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

In the archived discussions, people decided that it was not good to start section on "Iranian involvement" or "US involvement" because it would never end. If you do insist on including this section, I will insist on a section on US arms supplies to Israel. US involvement is well-documented as a matter of official record and extends past some US/Israeli rhetoric and allegations that has yet to be confirmed by anyone. Tiamuttalk 00:25, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
This is to merely add another 'villain' in this story, since Iran is public enemy number 1 in the eyes of some, it will make it look as if Israel is fighting a bigger foe, which in itself makes it possible that Israel is fighting a proxy war as well against Iran through Palestine. This is best be left off, specially since Hamas gets its rockets "from" Egypt, and that being the reason why the border with Palestine is closed off at this time. Cryptonio (talk) 04:33, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

POV Exclusion

Tiamut, please provide a link showing where "people decided" the article should NOT represent the POVs of the main scholars and specialists who have produced reliable sources on the issue and that WP:RS views of prominent academics regarding the Gaza conflict should be entirely excluded from this article. As cited above, for example, Dr. Michael Ledeen states in the published article: "Everyone in the Middle East knows that the serious component of the Battle of Gaza is all about Iran." My entire edit contribution is merely a summary of his article. All the material is his. I merely included the links to his references. Doright (talk) 18:52, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

(ec) You need to read the archives, it is not our responsibility to bring you up to speed on all these issues and the discussions pertaining to them. Nableezy (talk) 19:49, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Nableezy, that's right. However, it is your responsibility to not violate WP:POV policy. I suggest you read it. Since my point seems to have been lost on you. Let me make it clear. What I have identified above is a violation of Wikipedia policy. When I ask for a link it is not because I have not read the archives. It is because a resolution of a dispute can only be made in the context of the specifics evidence that you purport to have. Failure to provide it makes the assumption of good faith more difficult and leaves your argument as a nullity. For a clique of editors to decide on presenting only one POV and exclude the POVs of main scholars and specialists who have produced reliable sources on the issue is a violation of Wikipedia policy which should be corrected without further delay.Doright (talk) 07:11, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but not many people feel like going through the archives to provide you with the link. You can find it yourself, if after you have looked and it is not there, raise the question. But your comments on the lead page proved you did not read the archives. And I am still waiting for you to 'stand corrected' over there. Nableezy (talk) 21:21, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but you have not addressed (here nor in the archives) the violation of WP:POV inherent in your decision to exclude the POVs of the main scholars, prominent academics and specialists who have produced reliable sources on the issue. For example, the article frames the conflict according to only one point of view. It reads, "The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, part of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, . . . " However, others have framed it as part of a conflict with Iran's quest to establish itself as the leading regional power. Please read Dr Michael Ledeen's article that I cited above [[12]] also read the statement of the Israeli Prime Minister that frames the conflict as one with Iran's foundation for power. [[13]] Doright (talk) 19:17, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Why dont you just read the thread directly below this. The decision was made by a collection of users in the past of not including either the US involvement as regards their support of Israel or the Iranian involvement as regards their support of Hamas. That decision is being revisited. I didn't really care either way, but if one goes in so does the other. For the reason of not creating a gigantic clusterf**k of this article, many users supported not including either. You want to push for its inclusion, many other users will push for the inclusion of the US section. And there are plenty of sources that say that this was really a political move on the part of Livni and others in Kadima, you want that in the article? So if you feel this way, bring it up down there, but for the last time stop asking other people to go through the archives for you. Nableezy (talk) 19:53, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, your argument is a straw-man. Why don't you just read what I wrote above? Since you, after repeated requests, have failed to address the violation of Wikipedia policy identified above I will correct it myself. Doright (talk) 21:21, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Remedy for documented [WP:POV] violation

This section suggests a remedy for and further documents an ongoing violation of policy WP:NPOV

See talk section above titled "POV Exclusion" for background and references. Changing from: "The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, part of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, . . . " to: The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, viewed by some as part of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict and by others as part of a conflict with Iran's quest to establish itself as the leading regional power, [[14]] . . . " Doright (talk) 21:35, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

You need consensus to add this, why do you not understand this? And you are talking about doing this to the lead? Nableezy (talk) 21:42, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
And you think valid sources for this are an editorial by Michael Ledeen, a founding member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, which is has as its stated aims "is threefold: to ensure a strong and effective U.S. national security policy; to educate American leaders on what it views as the vital strategic relationship between the United States and Israel; and to strengthen U.S. cooperation with democratic allies", or in other words an advocacy group, and the Israeli government? Do you really think that is NPOV. You are really raising POV question based on the opinions of the state of Israel and and editorial piece not being presented as fact? I can't believe I was actually taking this conversation seriously. Nableezy (talk) 22:00, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Additionally, the Prime Minister of Israel and Dr. Ledeen seem to be expressing a similar POV. Prime Minister of Israel says: "Hamas in Gaza was built by Iran as a foundation for power, and is backed through funding, through training and through the provision of advanced weapons. Iran, which strives for regional hegemony, tried to replicate the methods used by Hizbullah in Lebanon in the Gaza Strip as well. Iran and Hamas mistook the restraint Israel exercised as weakness. They were mistaken. They were surprised." [1]Doright (talk) 10:38, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
How is what he is doing any worse than taking the claims by B'Tselem and other groups like it purely at face value? (You haven't done that, but many many have on this page). The cognitive dissonance is stunning.
As I stated before, I would rather have neither the big Iranian conspiracy claims nor the big Jewish-American neo-con conspiracy claims in the article. I would like it if we didn't mention foriegn involvement at all, since it's clearly- as said before- clusterf--k waiting to happen. It would be like trying to add a section on whether or not size matters on the article human penis: there's no freaking way it could be mentioned in a neutral way since its embroiled in so much controversy. The Squicks (talk) 22:10, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
If you cannot see the difference between a human rights group that is widely respected and a lobby I can't help you. Nableezy (talk) 00:57, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Nableezy and Squicks, here is the Jew's bio. That you don't like the Jew's affiliation is not relevant. He is a prominent academic, adviser to the US Government, and his views are representative of a significant POV. You are now willfully violating WP:POV by your repeated deletion of this POV from the article.
And, Squicks, sorry , but your preference does not trump WP:POV policy. Furthermore, your argument is at best a non sequitur. That you view Dr. Ledeen POV as a "Jewish-American neo-con conspiracy claim" only signals your own point of view and your attempt to rationalize the exclusion of other POVs demonstrates a complete failure to abide by Wikipedia policy of WP:POV. Here is the Jew's bio:

Dr. Michael Ledeen is the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Dr Ledeen has also been a senior Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for many years. He is also a contributing editor at National Review Online. Previously, he served as a consultant to the United States National Security Council, the United States Department of State, and the United States Department of Defense. He has also served as a special adviser to the United States Secretary of State. He holds a Ph.D. in modern European history and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, and has taught at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Rome.

He is author of more than 20 books, the most recent include: The War Against the Terror Masters; The Iranian Time Bomb; Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are As Timely and Important Today As Five Centuries Ago, Tocqueville on American Character: Why Tocqueville's Brilliant Exploration of the American Spirit Is As Vital and Important Today As It Was Nearly Two Hundred Years Ago; and, Freedom Betrayed: How America Led a Global Democratic Revolution, Won the Cold War, and Walked Away. His forthcoming book (Spring, 2009, St. Martin's Press) is Accomplice to Evil; Iran and the War Against the West.

Dr. Ledeen regularly appears on Fox News, and on a variety of radio talk shows. He has been on PBS's NewsHour and CNN's Larry King Live, among others, and regularly contributes to the Wall Street Journal and to National Review Online. He has a blog on

Doright (talk) 01:04, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
So if I get a PhD to say that Israel is attempting to destroy the Arab people in to start WW3 and begin the apocalypse that should go in the lead? What is wrong with you? Nobody objected because he is Jewish, that is your own hyper-sensitivity talking. I object because his personal views do not belong in this article. That you happen to think that NPOV means prominently displaying your own POV is not our fault, but you are mistaken. You keep coming with these bs arguments about POV and are attempting to insert material from an editorial into the lead. This is dumb, I wasted enough time on this. If you want to add this get consensus. I am sure almost everybody will say that this does not belong, and in fact you would be violating NPOV if you do continue to add this bs. Nableezy (talk) 01:26, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Nableezy, I have cited you the relevant policy. I have shown you how your editing is in violation of policy and now you call it all "bs." The assumption of good faith does not require editors to endure an endless cycle of abuse from editors that refuse to follow policy. You claim I "keep coming with these bs arguments about POV," but never even attempt to show that the [WP:POV] does not apply. Merely calling my presentation "bs" is not an argument nor an indication of good faith. You, claim I would be violating NPOV if I add another POV to the article. However, you do not even attempt to show how that would be the case. You have made no argument supported by WP policy whatsoever, whereas I have. I believe your conduct will be properly viewed as disruptive and you may be subject to a suspension of your editing privileges on this article and related articles. Doright (talk) 04:13, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Good luck with that. Nableezy (talk) 05:08, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Ledeen is prominent, highly educated, and totally biased. He was until the mid 70s, a serious historian. His past since then, certainly in Italy, is notorious for its instrumental use of disinformatsia, fabricated by him and people who have been criminally indicted for their manipulations, is well known. He is an polemical extremist. If you want details, I can give them.Nishidani (talk) 19:00, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Further, what Doright keeps referencing as a policy WP:POV is an essay, the policy, which you would be violating by introducing an editorial statement as fact in the opening sentence giving undue weight to some guy who has been involved in forgery, is in fact WP:NPOV. Please go read it before making any more ridiculous assertions. Nableezy (talk) 23:09, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
You continue to violate policy. ""Neutral point of view" is one of Wikipedia's three core content policies." "Neutral point of view is a fundamental Wikimedia principle and a cornerstone of Wikipedia. All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing fairly, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. This is non-negotiable and expected of all articles, and of all article editors." see WP:NPOV. Nableezy and Nishidani, you both are knowingly violating this policy and attempt to justify your violation by enforcing your own views about the [WP:RS] source's potential bias. This only further demonstrates your own bias and your refusal to follow policy. By the way, the Prime Minister of Israel said the same thing as Dr. Ledeen. According to your criteria, the Prime Minister of Israel is not a reliable source either because he is biased against your POV and has been accused of most everything that one can imagine. Doright (talk) 07:15, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
In the speech you reference the word Iran shows up exactly 4 times. The speech contains 2,452 words. That you think 2 throwaway lines in a speech that long somehow deserves mention in the lead is NPOV demonstrates a lack of understanding of what NPOV says. That you further try to back up this statement with an editorial shows a lack of judgment. And again, you need consensus to add this to the lead, if you can get that then go ahead. But you do not have consensus to do so, so please refrain from vandalizing this article because it doesn't match up with your world view. Nableezy (talk) 08:05, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
If what Ledeen says is said by the PM use the PM. Ledeen is a known liar, and not a reliable source.Nishidani (talk) 09:34, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Let's see on the one hand an editor named Nishidani says Dr. Ledeen is a known liar and not a reliable source and therefore can not be cited as a source in Wikipedia. On the other hand, Dr Ledeen has been a senior Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for many years. He is also a contributing editor at National Review Online. He has served as a consultant to the United States National Security Council, the United States Department of State, and the United States Department of Defense. He has also served as a special adviser to the United States Secretary of State. He holds a Ph.D. in modern European history and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, and has taught at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Rome. Furthermore, Dr. Ledeen provides links to his references in the cited article. And his thesis is supported by the Prime Minister of Israel himself. The Prime Minister said, "Iran, which strives for REGIONAL HEGEMONY, tried to replicate the methods used by Hizbullah in Lebanon IN THE GAZA STRIP as well. You are disrupting the Wikipedia project.Doright (talk) 11:30, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
If it is disruptive to remind the ignorant of their ignorance, then I have been disruptive. I've answered you on my page. Nishidani (talk) 12:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Iranian involvment cont.

BTW, all the references Doright mention are old references that are not related to the article anyway. Even the single 28 Decemember reference he cited mentions a pre-28-December quote. --Darwish07 (talk) 01:23, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Let me say it again, every reference cited in that section; is either: a)Journalist opinion, b)News agencies analysis, or c)pre-war events and quotes. The section has summed up neatly all the kind of references that can not be used in our article.--Darwish07 (talk) 07:06, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
And here are articles about Iran:
The attempt to draw Iran into this slaughter is yet another indication that Richard Perle's 1996 "Clean Break" plan is being used as the script. The attack on the Gaza Strip is not an "intensification" of a conflict with Palestinians as the introduction suggests: It is a continuation of a conflict with the entire region. Here's the timeline:
  • 1996: "Clean Break" hatched
  • 2000: Neo-con PNAC calls for "new Pearl Harbor"
  • 2001: PNAC gets its wish
  • 2003: 9/11 used as pretext for destroying Iraq
  • 2006: Israel destroys Lebanon
  • 2007: Israel bombs Syrian installation
  • 2008: Israel wipes out the Gaza Strip
  • 2009: Israel gets U.S. to wipe out Iran and Syria
But, of course, we're supposed to pretend that all of these invasions exist in isolation. NonZionist (talk) 04:42, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Please, enough with the secret-evil-puppet-master-Zionist-moneybanker-scheme-to-conquer-the-world stuff. You have your own sandbox. Use it. Don't clog up article talk pages. The Squicks (talk) 05:10, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
He has a valid point, that Iranian involvement in this conflict is negligible to US involvement. There are RS articles about shipments of arms immediately prior to the initial attack, along with RS detailing US denials that the two are related, as well as the boasts of Olmert that he convinced Bush to order the abstention of the UNSC resolution. And if the 'Iranian Involvement' section were to include allegations from the past about funding or other support, that would surely open up a 'US Involvement' to further detail past support of Israel. And I don't see the word Zionist anywhere anywhere in his post besides his username. I would say neither belong in the article. Nableezy (talk) 06:07, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, the Iranian involvement is NULL compared to the US involvement. This Iranian section is totally based on quotes from the past and a couple of journalists opinions, thus if this section to be added, I have the rights to extract unbelievable facts from the academic paper "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy". And no one will be able to attack it cause it's considered a reliable source. People want to play the that game? I think it's just better for everybody to stick to the war facts and not bring our own views on here.--Darwish07 (talk) 06:28, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Iranian involvement in NULL? Hardly. Just like Hizbollah (which is also a military organization that took its own people hostage in the name of religious(?) belligerence), Hamas is a militant organization that is heavily dependant on Iran. Anyone with access to intelligence information will tell you that. Media information, however, is a whole other story, the difference being that the US and Israel are western democracies, which by nature allow more access to info and as a result more can be discovered by reporters, while Hamas and Iran run dictatorships whose leaders are elected democratically. As such, there's pretty much no free info or room for journalistic investigation there, and if you publish the wrong kind of article, the Iranian governemnt will shut down your newspapar. So the fact that there are less reports about Iranian involvement do not necessarily weaken this statement, but rather reflects the amount of freedom that a reporter has. Rabend (talk) 07:03, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I didn't say Iran involvement = NULL for the sake of soapboxing, but I said that it's null "compared to the US involvement". It's not our job to assume what the situation of a country is, or bring opinions that's not reliably cited. As I said above, all the cited references are:
  • Journalists opinions
  • News agencies analysis
  • pre-war events
which isn't accepted in Wikipedia. My reply is simple, if we're going to return back in time and dig in opinions and analysis for Iranian involvement, we can add a 300-page paragraph describing the US involvement alone. For the sake of avoiding useless and ugly debates, and to avoid digging in events pre-war, this section must be removed. --Darwish07 (talk) 07:13, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

The place for details of support Iran might provide to Palestinian organisations belongs in the separate articles on those particular groups. The section on Iranian involvement in this current Gaza conflict should be deleted immediately. (talk) 08:20, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree. The simplest approach is to not deal with who is supplying who in this article. Apart from anything else the volume of material supplied by the US and Iran are differemt by many orders of magnitude so it's simply absurd to just mention the Iranian supply chain. (talk) 08:50, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I added a section documenting the heavy U.S. involvement. The huge involvement by foreign powers turns the conflict into a global one. NonZionist (talk) 08:59, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Folks, I deleted the whole section. The whole article was sliding to utter nonsense, sorry. The references of both the Iranian and the US sections was of funny quality. --Darwish07 (talk) 11:36, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Iran vs. US involvement:
First, the United States government is heavily involved in supplying Israel. It has been since the Eisenhower Administration, although actual amounts of aid have varied from year-to-year. The U.S. has also heavily supplied numerous other countries, including Egypt. I oppose adding either a U.S. section or an Iran section, since both countries are in fact "interested spectators," although the different between U.S. Aid is that the United States has supplied weapons and supplies and money (the last two though private citizens and NGOs) and even a handful of U.S. Jewish (and fewer non-Jewish) volunteers and immigrants, while Iran has supplied both weapons, money and the Iranian equivalent of the Green Berets. (Namely, a few companies of trainers/elite militants) who provide aid and training to Hamas Forces, as well as proxy aid from the Syrian government. I feel that adding this section or a section like it, especially without a great depth of sources, is beyond the scope of the article and Iranian actions especially are going to be hard to verify. V. Joe (talk) 17:01, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you Darwish, ty for the extra policing. V. Joe (talk) 17:01, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Rather than simply discarding this important and well-sourced information, I have moved it to a new article: 2008-09_Israel–Gaza_Foreign_involvement. NonZionist (talk) 20:38, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't know if NPR or The Washington Institute for Near East Policy are considered RS, but they seem to have their facts straight. I assume a blog is not RS?-- (talk) 22:56, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Though i strongly agree with there being a " Foreign involvement " page, i believe it should be in the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict rather than having its own page. This is mainly because it is strongly relevant to the conflict, as both sides are obviously contributing to the crisis, for example iran suppling hamas with weapons whilst USA supply Israel with weapons. NeMiStIeRs (talk) 19:59, 15 January 2009 (GMT)

Is there then a consensus for moving the information from 2008-09_Israel–Gaza_Foreign_involvement back into the main article? Squicks and company are trying to get the subarticle deleted, while others are saying that the main article needs to be farmed out into subarticles. Kafka would love this! NonZionist (talk) 05:15, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Please read WP:SUMMARY and WP:POVFORK, and see the difference between the two. --Cerejota (talk) 21:16, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Policemen, again

Listen people you can not deny the fact that the IDF considers Hamas policemen as terrorists and count them in their reports of the numbers of dead. So, in reality, when you put the number 138 beside the 400-650 number in the infobox you duplicate the numbers of dead. Their place is not beside the 400-650 number but in the notes section. I even went as far and stated that the 400-650 numbers is not for militants but for fighters as some people have a problem with puting the cops in the category of militants. If you want I can even change the name from fighters to combatants, but at the end of the day they don't belong in the main part of the infobox, because most of them, if not all, were Hamas operatives, or potential Hamas operatives, seeing as 40 who died were recruits. They are considered the enemy by the IDF and they included them as such in their estimate of 400-650 dead. So you can not put 138 beside that number, the best place for them is in the notes section. If oyu want, we can add in the notes section beside the 138 number that some regard them as civilians and not combatants. However, bare in mind that an estimate of 670 dead has been given by the Palestinians who gave the numb. 138, and of those some 520 have been identified as women, children, elderly, newsmen, soccer players and medical workers by the Palestinians. So what? You are going to tell me that of the remaining 150 dead 138 are policemen and there were only 12 regular male deaths. Fact, the Palestinians are not counting the cops as policemen and the IDF is counting them as Hamas operatives. End of FACT.BobaFett85 (talk) 17:29, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree.--Fipplet (talk) 18:21, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Please read what was mentioned in the sections above. Since reliable sources disagree about whether to consider Hamas' security forces as "non-combatants" under international law, we must list them seperately. I believe there is a consensus among editors to preserve that neutrality. The Squicks (talk) 18:48, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
If the INFO box has as vague a surmise of 400-650 dead according to IDF calculations, that means the IDF's own calculations have a 33% margin of error, and the 250 may well include 135 policemen. The 135 figure for police killed is, by contrast, fairly specific. Under international law, police forces are combatants if the party attacked had given prior notification of their inclusion within the military. Nishidani (talk) 18:58, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
HRW says that policemen are civilians unless they are engaged in hostilities, so I would say the presumption is that they are civlians "Under the laws of war, police and police stations are presumptively civilian unless the police are Hamas fighters or taking a direct part in the hostilities, or police stations are being used for military purposes." [15] That Israel says they are militants can be presented, but if it is so should that line from HRW. Nableezy (talk) 19:44, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree with the user The Squicks, there should be a separate article on whether the census should count Gaza policemen as Hamas operatives, although again a policeman can also be a hamas operative. NeMiStIeRs (talk) 20:05, 15 January 2009 (GNT) —Preceding unsigned comment added by NeMiStIeRs (talkcontribs) 20:09, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

That's what I am talking about, user NeMiStIeRs just said it. The IDF counted the policemen as Hamas operatives when they stated the 400-650 number, thus when they stated that number they INCLUDED the policemen. There is no margine of error, THEY INCLUDED THEM IN THAT NUMBER. So when you separate them in the infobox it seems as the cops were separate fatalities from the those 400-650, while probably most of them were members of Hamas, and thus counted as such by the Israelis in their 400-650 number. Let's not kid ourselves gentlmen, we all know that most of the policemen are Hamas operatives. Also, that HRW talk about policemen are civilians until engaged in hostilities. Well, from that point of view they became combatants when they were attacked by the Israeli Air Force. The Israelis regarded them as an enemy. Thus, you proved my case for me. They are not civilians. Also, have you seen any reports of policemen being killed since that first day? No. That's because they all threw away their uniforms and changed into their Hamas militant uniforms to fight the Israelis. But, I see what the problem here is, so here is a consensus proposal, we count the 138 cops in those 400-650, and make a note of that in the notes section, but, and here is my proposal, we don't say Militants or Fighters in the infobox, but Armed Forces: 400-650. My reasoning, the Palestinians regard their militant groups as their Army, as well as their Police Force. In many countries their police forces are part of their armed forces and fight in their wars, example Iraq, policemen and soldiers die at the same rate in the same situations and are used for the same thing, to fight the war. Also, not all of these guys Hamas, there was a bunch of Islamic Jihad guys who got killed so we can not just say Hamas operatives: 400-650. So I think this is the best solution. The main problem here is all a matter of wording.BobaFett85 (talk) 20:28, 16 January 2009 (UTC) 20:27, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

I would say the infobox number can include the policemen, but there should be a note that policemen are counted. And no, the did not become combatants when they were attacked, they had to combatants to allow the attack. If Israel regarded them as their enemy and they had not been involved in any military activity, then Israel regarded civilians as their enemy. Read the HRW doc, it can explain better than me. I dont think we should say that they are combatants or civilians, but if the israeli count is including them it should be made clear that the count includes x policemen, with the note, soured to HRW, that 'Under the laws of war, police and police stations are presumptively civilian unless the police are Hamas fighters or taking a direct part in the hostilities, or police stations are being used for military purposes.' without making any proclamations that they were or were not combatants. But as far as me proving your point, I think you misunderstand what I said. I would argue that it was impossible for any of these men to engaged in hosilities as many were killed in the first attack, which was without warning. So how could they be involved in hostilities before the Israelis started bombing them? But that is my opinion, and obviously doesnt belong in the article. Nableezy (talk) 20:41, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Under the laws of war, police and police stations are presumptively civilian unless the police are Hamas fighters or taking a direct part in the hostilities, or police stations are being used for military purposes. is problematic. It also seems to be incorrect. If a Palestinian policeman provides direct material support to military people (say, he carries the missiles to the people who fire them), then he is arguably not a civilian even though- technically- it is true to say that he is not a "Hamas fighters or taking a direct part in the hostilities". The Squicks (talk) 20:48, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying that the international law is wrong. The law is the law. I'm just saying that their interpretation of the law is in dispute. The Squicks (talk) 20:50, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
See this story: Israeli Defence Forces spokesman Captain Benjamin Rutland told the BBC: "Our definition is that anyone who is involved with terrorism within Hamas is a valid target. This ranges from the strictly military institutions and includes the political institutions that provide the logistical funding and human resources for the terrorist arm." and "The IDF says it has intelligence that members of the police force often "moonlight" with rocket squads, but has given no details about the specific sites or individuals targeted. However, campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) argues that even if police members do double as Hamas fighters, they can only be legally attacked when actually participating in military activities."
HRW is indeed a reliable source, but their interpretation of international law in this specific situation is not the only interpretation out there. The IDF interprets indirect military support classifying someone as a combatant. HRW disagrees. We cannot as Wikipedia editors simply assume that one interpretion is simply correct and that another is simply incorrect. That is just our opinions. The Squicks (talk) 20:56, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
As the BBC reported, "Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions - quoted by Israel, although not signed by it - says that for a site to be a legitimate military target it must "make an effective contribution to military action" and its destruction or neutralisation must also offer "a definite military advantage"." HRW and the IDF agree with this. It's just that they disagree on its application. Frankly, Nableezy, don't you think that effective contribution is a can of worms? It's so vague. HRW says 'direct part in the facilities'; the IDF says 'indirect part'. I personally may be completely opposed to the Israeli strikes of police depots, but I can't say that my interpretation and my definition is the only one out there. The Squicks (talk) 21:08, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I would say we should include the Israeli allegation that these people were indeed 'involved with terrorism within Hamas' but we should not present it as fact. We don't have anybody reliable saying that these people were actually involved in any 'terrorist' activity. As such, I think we should give the Israeli rational for attack them, as well as the statement from HRW, which as I read it says that if they were providing material support then they are valid targets, if not then they are not. And yes I think it is vague, thought I dont see that as necessarily a bad thing. I am down with saying Israel has stated that these were valid military targets. But I would also want the position of HRW, which takes no position as to whether these policemen were combatants or not, that 'Under the laws of war, police and police stations are presumptively civilian unless the police are Hamas fighters or taking a direct part in the hostilities, or police stations are being used for military purposes.' Nableezy (talk) 21:11, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
And I would qualify the HRW quote with an explicit citation. Nableezy (talk) 21:12, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Rationale thru Israeli allegation that they were involved in terrorism is a good idea. Rabend (talk) 23:20, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Also can you please include your sources in your debate and provide the link, as i was just reading your comments i have seen most of the things that you have commented on are true and the sources are correct how ever there a few things that can be seen as a opinion rather than fact. Also some quotes that have mentioned .... unfortunately i have not been able to find them on the internet, thanks --NeMiStIeRs (talk) 22:24, 16 January 2009 (GMT)

We don't have anybody reliable saying that these people were actually involved in any 'terrorist' activity. I cited The Los Angeles Times before. How is that not reliable?
Regardless, so I guess the article would say something like this:

Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions says that a site must "make an effective contribution to military action" and its destruction or neutralisation must also offer "a definite military advantage" for it to be a legitimate non-civilian target. The IDF has stated that, as policy, "[o]ur definition is that anyone who is involved with terrorism within Hamas is a valid target. This ranges from the strictly military institutions and includes the political institutions that provide the logistical funding and human resources for the terrorist arm." The IDF interprets the Conventions such that Hamas-related police officers are not civilians, referring to its intelligence that the officers support militants firing rockets. Human Rights Watch disagrees with the IDF's interpretation, saying "Under the laws of war, police and police stations are presumptively civilian unless the police are Hamas fighters or taking a direct part in the hostilities, or police stations are being used for military purposes." B'Tselem also considers the officers to be civilians.

The Squicks (talk) 22:47, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying, how ever i merely meant that some quotes weren't exactly quote they had been slightly doctored to fit the users opinion though again i did not mean to point towards you. I Apologise if any offense is caused. Although regarding your LA times comment, i think i must have missed the link as this edit section is so big i was skim reading it. --NeMiStIeRs (talk) 22:54, 16 January 2009 (GMT)
Look if the IDF considers policemen to be combatants, then Hamas and its supporters argue that all Israelis over 18 are combatants since they have (technically) served in the army. It is my hope that such faulty logic is not repeated on wikipedia. Separating the policemen from both civilians and militants preserves neutrality, not taking either side.VR talk 23:09, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Well VR, in that case, if you want to separate them then you CAN NOT put the number 400-650 in the infobox, because the IDF counted all of the policemen in that number, you should remove 138 from 400-650. Go ahead, in that case I agree with you compleatly and will support you all the way. Put the policemen separately in the infobox, heck I'll put them for you, BUT in that case you CAN NOT put the number 400-650 in the infobox, because the readers will think that 400-650 is exclusivly the number of militants killed while separately from them 138 cops died, while in reality the 138 cops are among those 400-650 counted. And if you do that, then some readers might think that the IDF is claiming to have killed all those militants in addition to the cops and thus inflating their numbers of enemy combatants they killed for their propaganda purposes, and that is not neutral on your part. Also, the numbers would not add up and readers would be confused: 138 cops+670 civilians+400 to 650 militants is not equal to 1,100 people killed, but if we would count the cops as those militants and look at the lower number then we would get 670+400 (138 cops) then we would get 1,070 which is preaty much close to 1,100. I think my math just now actualy proves my point on the cops being counted as fighters by both the IDF AND the Palestinians themselves and not as civilians. Also, I heard today that the head of the Palestinian Interior Ministry was killed, that would mean he was a policeman in essence, the head of the police forces and we should count him as a civilian right? But, hey look at that, he was also one of the four main leaders of Hamas, who would have guessed. So, what to do know?BobaFett85 23:46, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

(Undent) About the LA Times article, let us just examine that for a moment. The relevant sections, or at least what I think you are referring to, correct me if I am incorrect, but the relevant passage was this:

Hamas, the militant group that has controlled Gaza since mid-2007, has an estimated 20,000-strong security force composed of police; Protection and Security, a unit similar to the U.S. Secret Service; and Internal Security, an intelligence and interrogation squad with a rising reputation for brutality.
Many security force members moonlight with the Izzidin al-Qassam Brigade, Hamas' military wing, which continues to launch dozens of rockets and mortar shells each day at southern Israeli towns.

From my reading of that passage it does not follow that the police are necessarily involved with any rocket firs. It says 'many security force member moonlight . . .', but it defines security forces as much more than the police. So I personally dont think that this article can be used as evidence that police forces are necessarily involved with any 'terrorist' activities. I would, as I said above, have the 400-650 figure in the infobox with (includes police forces)* with the note from HRW. In the body of the article I would have the numbers the IDF cites, with the HRW comment, with the IDF claim that these people were involved in 'terrorist' activities. I personally think that this is reasonable, but then again I haven't been known to be all that reasonable. Nableezy (talk) 01:53, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

From my reading of that passage it does not follow that the police are necessarily involved with any rocket firs. I think that, since English is not your first language, you are misunderstanding the term "moonlight":
–verb (used without object) to work at an additional job after one's regular, full-time employment, as at night.
So, The Los Angeles Times states that Hamas police agents work at "an additional job" as part of their main employment by firing rockets. The Squicks (talk) 04:51, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
P.S: Note that the LAT allegation is mentioned in the voice of the newspaper itself. He did not write "The Israelis have claimed that Hamas has ____"; he wrote "Hamas has _____". The reporter writes it as if it is a simple fact. The Squicks (talk) 04:59, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I said above, have the 400-650 figure in the infobox with (includes police forces)* with the note from HRW. That is not acceptable. If you mention the POV statements of one side, than you must mention the POV statements of the other side at the same time. Prominently putting the HRW side of the events first and then relegating the LAT/IDF side into way below that deep inside the body text of the article is not acceptable. The Squicks (talk) 04:56, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
In this article from the LA Times from 2007: Abbas bans Hamas police force the police are referred to as a paramilitary force. Tundrabuggy (talk) 04:38, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

This article from Australia [16] referring to today's hit on senior Hamas leader Said Siam  :Siam's police force was grudgingly respected for ending years of lawlessness in the territory...... However, human rights groups in Gaza also accused Siam's interior ministry of practicing torture and illegal detention to cower rivals. The business about ending years of lawlessness does not seem to correlate with this report [17] from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights which refers to the "security chaos" in the territories(esp Gaza). Note the clear accusation that the militants are making and firing rockets in civilian areas. Note the high number of women and children killed and injured by Palestinians in their zeal to kill Israelis. If the police were "respected for ending years of lawlessness," how could so much of this report have even happened? It makes the "Wild West" look good. Tundrabuggy (talk) 04:38, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

And this article from the UK Telegraph[18] : "Hamas fighters now a well-organised force. Hamas has up to 20,000 men divided between its armed wing, known as the Izzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, and paramilitary police, commonly known as Executive Force." Also:Hamas planning to move militia in bid to undermine Fatah - planning to move its 3000-strong paramilitary force into Gaza police stations in an imminent move which threatens to undermine the rival Fatah ... Clearly there are numerous RS that refer to the Gaza police as essentially a paramilitary group. That means they are in fact fighters, very much involved with fighting this war for Hamas against Israel. Tundrabuggy (talk) 04:57, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Also, you seem to forget that Israel claimed to launch strikes on Hamas rocket launching men. In fact, prior to December 27, the offense Hamas had committed against Israel was to launch rockets, not to patrol the streets of Gaza. Do you have reliable sources that all of the policemen were involved in launching rockets? Even if a small minority were launching rockets (as a minority of police in most countries is involved in drugs etc.) most police officers are there to maintain law and order. Actually, they have been doing this even amidst the Israeli offensive.[19]VR talk 05:14, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

First, I dont think HRW is a POV of a side. Also what I was saying that it doesnt necessarily follow that the police are involved in these activities is that the article says 'many security force member moonlight', but defines security forces as more than the police. So the line 'many security force member moonlight' != 'police forces moonlight'. And yes I know what moonlight means. Obviously, anything tundrabuggy wrote I didn't read based on past experiance. Nableezy (talk) 05:02, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I am sorry that you are taking that tact, as my purpose on this talk page is to improve the article. I will continue to read your contributions and feel free to comment on them. That is what the WP:TALK pages are all about. Please comment on content, not the contributor. Thank you. Tundrabuggy (talk) 05:31, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
And english is my first language, no need to be a dick because i misspelled fire.Nableezy (talk) 05:04, 17 January 2009 (UTC) (Edit: Ill assume good faith that this was not an insult, but yes, my first language is English) Nableezy (talk) 08:45, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Please comment on content, not the contributor. Tundrabuggy (talk) 05:31, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
That was a comment on the content of a comment. Leave me alone. Nableezy (talk) 05:44, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
(ec) But I am cool with the passage you wrote up there, my issue was how it is presented in the infobox. At least I would say it should say 400-650 (includes x police) without any further explanation. Acceptable? Nableezy (talk) 05:11, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree that police should be mentioned in the infobox, but not as part of the militants. They should have a separate category. They should also not be a part of the civilians.VR talk 05:14, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem with that is that the numbers we are using for militants, the IDFs, include the police. We cannot rightly subtract the number, so we would have to further define militants to include police. That is the IDF POV, so as The Squicks said we cannot have one without the other, right? So I still think that we should explain each 'sides' position, though I still cannot see how one can say that HRW represents a side, about what is and is not a militant. Nableezy (talk) 05:29, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
You all know my position on this and as far as I am concerned I stand by with Nableezy. I would even agree with what he said to add the note from HRW. Listen VR the problem here is you are using the 400-650 number as a number of militants killed, but THE IDF COUNTED THE POLICEMEN IN THAT NUMBER WHEN THEY STATED IT, YOU ARE CHANGING THE FACTS OF THE SOURCE REFERENCE WHEN YOU SEPARATE THE POLICEMEN FROM THE 650 NUMBER THAT IS WHY I WANTED TO PUT ARMED FORCES: 400-650 AND NOT MILITANTS OR FIGHTERS: 400-650. As Nableezy said, we can add in the notes section that according to HRW the 138 policemen can be considered civil servants and not active combatants under international law by some. Liste how many times do I have to say this, THE IDF COUNTED COPS IN THEIR NUMBER, THE IDF COUNTED COPS IN THEIR NUMBER, THE IDF COUNTED COPS IN THEIR NUMBER, THE IDF COUNTED COPS IN THEIR NUMBER. We already noted that that number comes from the IDF so people will understand. Add in the notes section a sentance which goes: According to HRW the 138 policemen can be considered civil servants and not active combatants under international law by some. Like I said above. Can we do with this? Can we put it like this? If nobody objects to this by this evening I will make the necesary changes and melt the copes number with the overall number of people killed that the IDF consideres their enemy. And I will add in the notes section the opinion of HRW. And VR, if you revert me again prepare for an edit war and I will seek a Wikipedia arbitar, because I have had it with your POV pushing since day one of this article regarding these cops that got killed. I presented you with cold logic facts but you chose to ignore them and made no attempts to make a consensus with editors that disagreed with you and only pushed your opinion.BobaFett85 (talk) 07:00, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I wouldnt even say that, I would say that according to HRW police are presumptively innocent unless the police are Hamas fighters or taking a direct part in the hostilities, or police stations are being used for military purposes. That statement makes no judgement as to whether or not the police were engaged in hostilities or whether or not that stations were used for military purpose, just informs the user as to how, according to HRW, the status of police is determined. I cannot see how that would be POV. But whatever yall say. Nableezy (talk) 07:12, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

In response to Israelis' claim that they were targeting "Hamas security apparatus" by striking the police station, a policeman, who was one of the survivors of the attack, stated, "No, it's not right. There are Hamas, Fatah and people who have no political affiliation to any factions working at the police stations. The Police Force is not political, its an institution for the people." [20] I think his words are more truer than anything you will hear about the police. --Falastine fee Qalby (talk) 07:14, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Dieter Fleck, Michael Bothe, The Handbook of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts, Oxford University Press, 1995 pp.306ff. discusses precisely this issue. Notification by sides of the status and combatant nature of the regular police force is required before the latter can be regarded by one of the parties in conflict as a legitimate object of military action. Israel does not recognize Hamas, and regards all of its components as terrorists, so one presumes the law, which deals with inter-states obligations, has not been taken into consideration. Israel does not admit the distinctions made in international law in the case of Hamas. Like much of the shoddy international coverage.Nishidani (talk) 09:25, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Listen people, in any case, the 400-650 number can not be put separately from the 138 cops because the Israelis counted them into that figure, so like Nableezy said it would be redundant. In fact we would be double counting bodies ourselves. End of story.BobaFett85 (talk) 11:45, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Would making the lead something short like ''X dead (Y police officers)<ref>The question of whether or not Hamas police officers are combatants is disupted.</ref>'' be an acceptable compromise?

It does not matter what the Israeli's count policemen as. The simple, UNQUESTIONABLE fact is that we cannot demonstrate that policemen as a collective group are or aren't combatants, its downright impossible to prove that. Concensus is right and fair in noting police casualties seperately. I can understand your concerns that it will appear to inflate the death count, but if clearly noted that policemen are tallied differently in the interests of fairness, I see no problem. Superpie (talk) 16:21, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

As for your statements on changing the source, we must seek to find as wide a number of sources as possible. I dont think it a good idea to start interpreting data within sources in such a manner, but at the same time I dont think its right to permit the Israeli side to define what is and is not a combatant. Superpie (talk) 16:25, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Listen Superpie you CAN NOT just say It does not matter what the Israeli's count policemen as. Why? Because we are using their number in the infobox, and people need to know that the number given by the Israelis includes the policemen, I don't understand why is it for some of you to understand that, it's plain and simple. I don't say to count them as Hamas fighters, but to note that they are included by the Israelis in the number they are claiming to have killed. So, how about this. I am making now a new proposal, and please people agree on this. We include in the casualties1 and casualties2 section only combatants killed, on the Israeli side their soldiers and on the other side we put the number claimed by the IDF, but we make a note of it that they included cops in their number and also say that policemen are regarded as civilians by the Palestinians, then we put Israeli and Palestinian civilians in casualties3 section along with the Egyptians and Fatahs supporters killed by Hamas, and the number we put will also include the policemen and again make a note that the number of civilians includes policemen who regarded as civilians by the Palestinians. How about that?BobaFett85 (talk) 20:00, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
If you read what I said, in laymans terms i've suggested we find sources which do note the difference. In the event this is impossible, then I stand by what other editors have done because it is important to make the distinction. Im ok with what you're suggesting, but I cant imagine it remaining very long. Superpie (talk) 20:24, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Also The Squicks, the source you used does not evidence that the police are engaged in military activity, only that certain members are. Nobody is denying that the police are likely full of Hamas militants, but not all are and certainly, there have been no reports of policemen engaging in hositilities, at least that I have seen. I would welcome being told if there are reliable sources otherwise. :) Superpie (talk) 20:31, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Bobafett85, or can anyone show me where the IDF have quoted the 138 policemen figure in their 400-650 dead?? I looked at the sources and couldn't find that? Also, if they have quoted the number can't we just subtract 138 from both 400 and 450? Why are we obliged to use the Israeli POV in this article?VR talk 20:40, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Listen VR, we use the Israeli number of people they regard as the enemy who have been killed because they are the only ones who gave a definite number. Also, what's that about the source you used does not evidence that the police are engaged in military activity, only that certain members are. We stoped talking about that because there were to many of us who differed on that, so please do not return on that subject. What we did agree, except you apparently, is that the IDF did count policemen in their 400-650, so we have to make a note of that. In any case: Fipplet, Nableezy and I agreed on that the cops should be counted in the 400-650 number, not as part of the number of militants killed, but just that they were included in the 400-650 number. Also, Superpie now also said he wouldn't have a problem with my new proposal. Under which we would put civilians in the third section of casualties, and put a note that cops are counted both among civilian fatalities and among the number of militant fatalities the IDF counted. Please, listen to me. According to the Palestinians count less than 100 militants were killed, I mean, how crazy is that? If the Israelis realy did kill this much civilians, they certanly did also kill hundreds of militants. In any case, four of us now agree on my proposal, what about you VR?BobaFett85 (talk) 21:17, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Just because nobody agree's shouldnt mean we quit talking about it ;) Superpie (talk) 21:25, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Source???? BobaFett85, where is the source that says Israel is counting policemen in 400-650? And after that find how many police is IDF counting in 400-650 militants killed? 138? 170? Some lower number? We can't say the number includes 138 policemen when the IDF claims a different number were killed.
Regarding your proposal, it is contrary to the purposes of the infobox. According to Template:Infobox Military Conflict "The combatant3 field may be used if a conflict has three distinct "sides", and should be left blank on other articles." How can you claim that Israeli civilians killed should not be considered part of the Israeli "side"? How can you claim that Palestinian civilians killed should not be considered part of the Palestinian "side"? Also, how do we separate the Palestinian wounded? Do we put the 5,000 wounded number in the casualties2 or casualties3?
You need to answer the above questions regarding your proposal.VR talk 01:45, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
First of all there is no source because IT IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE, but if you think they do not count them then explain why one of the main targets of the first day of bombings were almost primarily the Palestinian institutions? And if 250 people died the first day and we established 138 of them were cops that means more than 50 percent of fatalities were cops, that proves they were purposly targeted by the IDF and they were regarded as the enemy by the Israelis. Furthermore, if we sum up the current number of 750 confirmed civilians killed with the minimum of combatants dead that the IDF is claiming 400 (with the 167 cops among those 400) we would get 1,150, which is the current number of Palestinians killed, this gives more logical proof that the IDF counted the cops in their number. THE MATH ADDS UP. If we follow this pattern 750+400(167 cops)=1,150 everything is like it should be. As far as to the regard of your claim The combatant3 field may be used if a conflict has three distinct "sides", and should be left blank on other articles. That simply is not true. The casualties field that is in the bottom of the infobox and horizontali is used in dozens of articles on Wikipedia for civilian casualties, the vertical casualties fields are used for military casualties, yes there are instances that there are three or even four sides in a war, but we use vertical casualties fields primarily for miltiary casualties, the horizontal one at the bottom is a back-up for civilian casualties for just these kind of cases for compromises. If you don't belive me check out these articles which torpedo your theory: 2006 Lebanon War, Iraq War, 2007 Lebanon conflict, War in Afghanistan (2001–present), War in Somalia (2006–present), War on Terrorism... Especialy direct your attention to the 2006 Lebanon War article, we had a simillar situation there also like here. They counted both Lebanese and Israeli civilian casualties in the third casualties field. If you want, I can get you a few more articles?BobaFett85 (talk) 05:27, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
If you want we can drag this to WP:V, because on wikipedia there is no such argument as "IT IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE". Everything must be verified using published sources.
Also, your numbers seem to be a case of apples and oranges. The IDF isn't claiming that it has 750 civilians have been killed, the PCHR is claiming that. The IDF is actually claiming that 250 civilians were killed[21] so that gives your math a discrepancy of 500 dead (an error of close to 50%). Secondly, why do you expect the numbers to "ADD UP". It is perfectly reasonable to assume that at this point many casualties have not been classified as civilian/militant or have been misreported.
The wars you mentioned above were all part civil wars, except 2006 Lebanon War. So it was basically Iraqi (insurgent) vs. Iraqi (army) etc. I would use the format you talk of in a Hamas-Fatah war, where the belligerents are both Palestinians, but here we actually have two different sides. In the case of the 2006 Lebanon war, note that civilians aren't listed at all for the Lebanese side. Only the citizens or total number of dead are.
Finally, how about this proposal: let's assume you are correct in insisting that the IDF claims that 138 out of 400-600 are policemen. Then why can we not just state that the militant casualties are 262-462? (Subtracting 138 from both 400 and 600).VR talk 06:09, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Regarding examples, if we consider war between two parties, and not civil wars, we have the following examples: Iran–Iraq War, Kargil War (India vs. Pakistan), Falklands War (UK vs. Argentina), 2008 Turkish incursion into northern Iraq (Turkey vs. KWP) etc. All these examples have no casualties3.VR talk 06:21, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I think from this line:
At least two senior Hamas commanders were killed in the air strikes. One was identified as Maj.-Gen. Tawfiq Jabar, commander of the Gaza Strip police, who was killed at the Gaza Police Academy during a graduation ceremony; 70-80 Hamas operatives were reported killed in that attack.
in this article it is clear they are counting police in their number. Nableezy (talk) 06:56, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Right, but how many? 70-80? 138? 170? How can you say that 138 are included in the 400-650 figure? The IDF didn't say that number, so you're putting it in their mouth.
But Nishidani, what do you think of my proposal: once we find out how many policemen the IDF are including in their 400-650 figure, why don't we just subtract the number. Say if they're saying 80 policemen then we can say 320-570 as the militant casualty figure.VR talk 07:54, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I would accept your proposal VR, but the problem is that we could only do that if the IDF came out and said Of the 400 militants killed x were policemen. We have to do with what we have, and that's the overall number given by the IDF and the number of cops given by the Palestinians themselves. For the last time, THE IDF COUNTED ALL OF THE COPS IN THEIR OVERALL NUMBER BECAUSE THEY CONSIDERED THEM ENEMY COMBATANTS. Listen, it's not a question anymore if the cops are the enemy or not, it's a question if the IDF counted them in their number. They have. And I have made a proposal to include both an overall number given by the IDF with a note it includes cops and an overall number of civilians with a note it also includes cops, and we put the civilian casualties in the third field of casualties. The example of the 2006 Lebanon war article is an excelent one, they did it like they did because they had a problem how to include regular Lebanese soldiers killed during the war who were not the primary target of the IDF (Hezbolah was), but again they targeted some of them. In the end dead Lebanese soldiers were included in the civilian toll in the third field. Fortunatly for editors, that time the IDF didn't include soldiers in their overall number of enemy combatants killed, but here they have included cops with militants.BobaFett85 (talk) 15:43, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Ok let me spell out the problem with your proposal: you want to say that the IDF claims it has killed 70-80, 138, 170 (whatever number) of policemen. But the IDF doesn't say that. The only thing established here is the IDF is considering policemen to be Hamas operatives, nothing else. It would be wrong for us to claim that the IDF says 138 policemen were killed.
Why can't we assume that the IDF claims the same number of policemen as PCHR? Because IDF numbers in other areas contradict PCHR numbers by a wide margin. I've already given you the example of civilians: IDF claims 250 civilians dead, PCHR claims 750 civilians dead. We can't use the PCHR number and attribute it to the IDF.VR talk 20:27, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
It would not be wrong at all. Listen now very carefully, you are not listening to me. Number one, we have a reference with an IDF claim of 400-650 enemy fighters dead. Number two, we know the IDF consideres cops enemy combatants based on the fact that on the first day they exclusivly targeted police instalations and police officers, so there is your proof, they don't need to say it BECAUSE IT IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE, THEY INCLUDED COPS IN THEIR NUMBER. Number three, we have a reference with the claim from the Palestinians themselves that they confirmed the deaths of 167 policemen. Number four, if we combine those two references we get a number of 400-650 dead considered by the IDF to be enemy combatants, among them are also counted policemen, and we have a confirmation by Palestinians that at least 167 policemen died. End of discussion. Four of us have agreed on this course of action and I will make the proper edits to the infobox, but will wait for one last reply from you.BobaFett85 (talk) 23:20, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Listen, it was never my intention to argue with you VR, I just simple wanted to point out that the number given by the IDF that we are using includes the 167 policemen, that is all. It wasn't my intention to include them just because I thought they were militant operatives which is in contrast with the other sides claimes that they were civilians. Again, all I wanted to do is to proof that the IDF included them in their number. And with the number given by both the IDF and the Palestinians, readers can see for themselves when they read 400-650 (167 policemen) just how many of them were plain regular militants that were not part of the security services. But you can not contradict the fact that most of the cops were established as Hamas operatives. The ones that were not probably Hamas were the 40 regruts that were killed. OK, I'll stop insisting on the third field, but you have to let me add the policemen in the IDF count. Here is something we can probably agree on, the 400-650 number includes both policemen and militants, so how about this we don't put Fighters: 400-650 or Militants: 400-650 or even Combatants: 400-650. We will put Militants and policemen: 400-650 and put in the notes section that 167 were established as policemen. How about that?BobaFett85 (talk) 05:27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't know why you don't respond to my simple concern: what makes you think the IDF included 138 or 170 policemen in the 400-650 figure? What if they included, say, 90 policemen dead? My claims are justified, because IDF numbers on civilians have contradicted the PCHR number of civilians by a wide margin.VR talk 17:17, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposal: what if we had the following:

  • Total Hamas opertives: 400-650 (IDF)
    • Policemen: 170 (PCHR)
  • Total Civilians: _____ (PCHR)
    • ...

Would this format be agreeable to you?VR talk 17:17, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Both me and Nableezy have told you are reasoning why the IDF included the cops, but you don't want to listen. Also, as it is now, since I put Militants and policemen: 400-650, there is actualy almost no margine of error. We have got 400-650 militants and policemen stated by the IDF and 844 civilians by the Palestinians. If we would look at the lower number given by the IDF, 400 (which I think is the more correct one), and sum it up with the 844 civilians that would make a total of 1,244 people, which is preaty much almost the same number given by the Palestinians themselves. As far as your proposal, I have noted in the notes section the cops, why are you so much insisting that they be in the main part of the infobox, I already put Militants and policemen.BobaFett85 (talk) 17:39, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
(ec) I think the main point is that we do not know how many police the IDF are counting because they are not distinguishing between police and militants. They are not providing a number for the police killed, they are only identifying them as Hamas operatives. That said, if the number for the IDF is included, i think we have to say (includes police) without quantification for the number of police. On a separate line, we have the number of police according to whoever is saying whatever the number is. Is that not reasonable? Nableezy (talk) 17:41, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Gorilla in the room

OK people:

The events covered in this article are apparently over. We should now get on the task of taking this mess and turning it into an encyclopedia article.

That said, I believe a lot of the problems have to do with the mess of previous articles we have, which has been partly solved by 2008 Israel-Hamas ceasefire.

But there are others, like the merger of 2008 Israel-Gaza conflict with 2007-2008 Israel-Gaza conflict.

I ask and invite the good set of editors from all sides to come in and help with a total cleanup. This can be done, and is essential so that this article can be beat into shape.

In addition, I think we should rename into 2008–2009 Gaza War.--Cerejota (talk) 19:27, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I dont think we need the years, there is no disambiguation. Nableezy (talk) 20:32, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Cerejota that we need the years. The Squicks (talk) 21:25, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Good suggestion,Cerejota. Perhaps a call is needed for remarks on problematical passages, beginning with section 1, and going down the page. We should prepare a 'do list' perhaps. The Ist section on background should be brief, but it requires fleshing out, as well as a scalpel. One does need to know Gaza 1948, 1967, Israeli occupation, Sharon's withdrawal, Fatah's failure, the rise of Hamas. The blockade has a complex history, we need to summarize in a thumbnail sketch. The low-scale war since 2001-2008. Rockets and assaults by the IDF. I think, optimistically that can be done in a 10 line paragraph, though difficult. As it is it looks like a gang took over and just started firing rockets into Israel after Sharon did the nice thing, and withdrew. Nishidani (talk) 21:32, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
There is such an article for that summation Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is about a discrete part of that conflict, not the whole. --Cerejota (talk) 23:26, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
All articles I am familiar with in this area have a brief background article, whose details are covered more substantially on main pages to which the section is linked. I fail to see why we should make an exception here. Off the top of my head.
'In 1967 Israel wrested control of Gaza from Egypt, the occupying power since 48. One third of the Strip was subject to settlement and military zones, until Ariel Sharon's unilateral withdrawal in 2005. The PNA, Israel's partner in the Oslo negotiations, lost control to in the muncipal elections of 2006. A partial blockade, in place since 2001 (Al-Aqsa intifada), was tightened after a failed coup by Fatah, which led to a strengthening of Hamas, which Israel, the US and Europe regarded as a terrorist organization. A low-intensity war ensued between Hamas and the IDF until a truce in June 2008, in which Hamas undertook to curtail rocket attacks on Israel in exchange for a return to a loosening of the blockade. Both parties asserted the conditions of the truce were violated. Hamas pointed to Israeli military operations against it on Nov.4, Nov 17 and the failure to allow needed goods in, Israel complained of rocket fire, which had not been wholly suppressed, and which ot considered justified Israeli attacks, retaliatory or preemptive. Despite negotiations to extend the truce, its terms expired on the 19th of december. Hamas resumed its rocket assault and Israel, on the 27th. launched operation 'Cast Lead'.'

13 lines. Linked throughout, it can be shortened. Something like that to satisfy the background norm.Nishidani (talk) 14:45, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

We should halt renaming till this (part of) the war is over since we do not know what will happen next.--The Magnificent Clean-keeper (talk) 23:52, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Initially, I opposed using "Operation Cast Lead" as the article name. Now, I think that is the best name for it. Israel dominated and controlled the situation, while Palestinians fled for their lives. To call this a "conflict" -- one side attacking, the other side fleeing -- is Orwellian. It was Israel's baby, from start to finish, so Israel gets to christen it. NonZionist (talk) 07:14, 19 January 2009 (UTC)\
2008-2009 Palestinian Lovefest
Also known as Operation Cats Lead, which began intensified with the Big Bang.[2][3][4]

The Economist, an anti-Israel, antisemite left-wing New Antisemitism rag controversially claims otherewise, but what do they know.[5][citation needed]

You see, it started with the Big Bang! I gues my point is, background sections shoudln't be stand alone. Basically, the background section should address:

  1. General belonging to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - so readers can go to those articles for background
  2. Fatah-Hamas - SO readers can go to those articles
  3. Ceasefire/Blockade/Rockets - This is the causus belli, no doubt.

Going all the way back to the origins of the Gaza strip as an entity is well beyond the scope of this article, but should be made available one click away (and already is) to our readers. We are advised that we write for people with a minimum of intelligence, and that articles do not necessarily have to stand alone. For example, in Media and the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict we do not provide any background, because it is assumed people understand the main article covers it.--Cerejota (talk) 16:48, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Zippocat is more accurate to use but Im happy you dont. Brunte (talk) 02:31, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Israeli commanders


In the infobox, should Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert or maybe even foreign minister Tzipi Livni be noted as Israeli commanders? Olmert and Livni, along with SecDef Barak have been noted in many news articles as being a sort of 'triumvirate'.Bsimmons666 (talk) 01:10, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree.--Cerejota (talk) 02:40, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Agree. RomaC (talk) 03:42, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Disagree, how could the foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, be noted as an Israeli commander? PM and DefMin yes, ForMin, NO.--Tomtom (talk) 06:09, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Because she is a leader and representative of her country. In, say, Korean War, Harry Truman is listed as a commander. I agree that Olmert and Livni should be listed. They make the ultimate decisions (along with the cabinet?); the military commanders are the next chain of command, trying to achieve the politicians' objectivesJandrews23jandrews23 (talk) 09:39, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
More sources:

Okay, so I've gone ahead and added Olmert, but how about Livni? I'm thinking now that she shouldn't be listed, because (a) FMs generally aren't listed as commanders (b) she's not calling the shots militarily. However, she is part of a "troika", as proved above. Bsimmons666 (talk)

I don't like the idea of listing Livni because she isn't really a commander. I don't like seeing conflict infoboxes full of politicans anyway but Olmert is at the least the head of government. I don't think that merely having influence with the PM makes her a commander. For example we can look at Jandrews example where Truman is widely believed to have been influenced to intervene in Korea by his foreign minister, Dean Acheson who is not listed in that infobox. Livni's involvement should be in the article however. But I don't think the infobox line was meant for that kind of inclusion. --JGGardiner (talk) 23:26, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. (btw, I know I don't need the {{Resolved}} up there, but it stimulates dopamine production in my brain, so why not).Bsimmons666 (talk) 01:47, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
That's good. Usually this page just produces testosterone. --JGGardiner (talk) 01:56, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
The supreme commander of the IDF, the entity above CoS, is the whole Israeli government, not just PM. Unlike in US, where the president is a commander. So we should include neither Olmert, nor Livni, nor Haled Mashal. DefMin is OK, but not PM. Flayer (talk) 14:09, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Where does this go?

'According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, more than 22,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed' [ Gaza faces scenes of destruction as Israel withdraws,’ The Times January 19, 2009]?

Infrastructure and property damage assessments should become more accurate in the coming days, suggest a new section under "Effects." RomaC (talk) 16:11, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Splitting the Article (again)

As everyone can see the article is too long for comfortable reading and should therefore be split. The first thing that should have it's own article are the effects.

  • The International Law section should also be split into another article. The critics have now time to review the whole incident and should elaborate more in the next few days. Investigation regarding the white phosphorus munitions will surely be done and the article would get messy. So there should be a new article for reviewing the war or something but not of course "International Law xxxx", so the name is one of the problems in splitting.

These are my suggestion till now, awaiting your comments and will try my best in shortening the other related articles.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 22:37, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

This and that

This AP article gives some good figures for the infrastructure damage in Gaza:[29] "The first estimates by independent surveyors said Gaza lost nearly $2 billion in assets during Israel's three-week war on Hamas, including 4,100 homes, about 1,500 factories and workshops, 20 mosques, 31 security compounds, and 10 water or sewage lines." But it is unclear where the figures came from so I don't want to include it myself. But if someone else does, I'm okay with that because it is probably important for us to get some information about the total destruction in Gaza and so far we just have the casualties.

This Jerusalem Post article gives a final count of rockets that struck in Israel at 849. It also give the civilian wounded as 68 plus 295 treated for shock.[30] It looks like the infobox is again mixing in shock victims right now. I understand why Israel would include the numbers but I don't think that we should when we have the figures seperately.

We're going to have to keep an eye on the figures used. The infobox still gives different numbers for women and children wounded (1855 and 795) than the article itself (1497 and 626). Although when I check yesterday none of the article's three sources actually use the 1400 number so I don't know where it comes from.

I also note that the Background section links the 2007 Battle of Gaza as the "unsuccessful coup of Fatah and succeding military conflict with Hamas". Maybe that's a fair comment but certainly a disputed one and not NPOV in my opinion. But I don't want to change it without mentioning it here first. Thanks. --JGGardiner (talk) 23:04, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

The lead section still has the figure of Gazans without water as 400,000. I've just seen John Ging say that number is 500,000. I don't want to edit this in because the article has a few different figures. But here's the source if someone wants to work it out.[31] --JGGardiner (talk) 01:33, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Ground invasion

On January 3, the IDF attacked the Ibrahim al-Maqadna mosque in Beit Lahiya after the evening prayer. Witnesses said over 200 Palestinians were inside at the time.[146][147] Thirteen people, including six "believed to be under the age of 18,", were killed, and thirty wounded.[147][148] Israel has accused Hamas of using this mosque,[149] and others, to hide weapons and ammunition.[147][150] Another three Hamas commanders were killed on January 4: Hussam Hamdan, Muhammad Hilou and Mohammed Shalpokh.

Ground invasion began on January 4. Is this quote out of context in ground invasion section? AgadaUrbanit (talk) 08:05, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

No the ground invasion began on the 3rd. — CHANDLER#10 — 08:39, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
You're absolutely right, Ground invasion started Saturday night January 3d. Thank you for clarification. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 10:30, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


The edit warring about pictures made it to WP:AN3. Now that the rather emotive destroyed-Israeli-house pic is removed from the intro the article seems vaguely balanced, and I think emotive pix should stay *out* until there is a clear conclusion to the pix discussion above. The current state looks plausible to me. Further edit warring to include them, before the discussion is concluded, will be looked upon unfavourably William M. Connolley (talk) 08:38, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Good call! --Stephan Schulz (talk) 08:42, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Why undo?

User Dynablaster undid my addition to the "Ceasefire" subsection. No reason was indicated either in edit summary or on this talk page. So I put it back. If there is any reason to remove it, let's talk about it. Debresser (talk) 15:14, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

  1. ^ {{cite [32]}}
  2. ^ [33]
  3. ^ [34]
  4. ^ [35]
  5. ^ [36]