According to the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli military is drawing up new plans for how it will conduct its next invasion of the tiny, besieged Gaza Strip. The new plans seem designed to minimize the number of civilians put in harms way by the invading troops.
The plan is seen largely as a reaction to the Goldstone Report, which took Israel to task for war crimes in its January 2009 invasion of Gaza. Despite publicly demonizing the report, to the extent that its author Richard Goldstone wasn’t able to attend his own grandson’s bar mitzvah, the Israeli military seems to have noticed just how badly the massive civilian toll made them look internationally.
Next time, and the plan seems to never even question that there will be a next time, when Israeli troops decide to roll into a refugee camp, the civilians inside will be given ample notice and time to flee from the camp.
The question absent from this strategy is “flee where?” Israel would certainly not allow Gazan civilians to flee into Israeli territory, nor likely would its close Israeli ally Egypt open the borders to refugees. Gaza is surrounded on all sides, and the entire strip, from coast to border, countryside included, is smaller than the city limits of Detroit. When Israel’s enormous, heavily armed military rolls in for another month of blowing up half-ruined buildings in refugee camps, the civilains may be encouraged to “leave,” but they really can’t go too awfully far, and as with the previous war there is unlikely to be a part of the tiny enclave that isn’t being attacked.