Facts about the battle of Shejaiya the Guardian didn’t report

On July 20th, we posted about two Guardian reports, by Harriet Sherwood and Peter Beaumont, on recent fighting between the IDF and Hamas in the Gaza City neighbourhood of Shejaiya, a few kilometers from Israel’s border.

We noted that the Guardian devoted 625 words to the battles that took place in Shejaiya and, while focusing almost entirely on civilian casualties, failed to include even a word about the reason for the military operation.  Specifically, Sherwood and Beaumont didn’t inform readers that the civilian neighborhood of Shujaiya housed an underground terror headquarters and storage areas for rockets, bombs, and other weapons.

Below are excerpts from two articles about the battle, written by two of the leading Israeli journalists, Ron Ben Yishai and Nahum Barnea, both in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot.

The translation is by CAMERA:

Ron Ben Yishai
Yediot Achronot“Gaza time, Cairo Time”
Sunday July 20, 2014 (excerpts)


Regarding the fighting in Shejaiyya: it is reasonable to assume that the main reason there was so much resistance, was the lack of surprise. Four days prior to entering Shejaiyya, the IDF demanded again and again from the residents to evacuate. Towards the entrance, the IDF started a heavy artillery attack on the outskirts of Shejaiyya. The Hamas and Islamic Jihad, therefore, had four days and a warning of a few hours that the IDF is going in. This is why – as opposed to Hamas fighters escaping to their hiding places when the IDF launched the sudden ground attack – this time they hid traps, prepared anti-tank ambushes and waited for the Golani brigade, tanks and bulldozers to come in.

Another reason is that Shejaiyya is in effect a military compound prepared for fighting, which is planted in the heart of the civilian population. All of the assets that are important for the terror organizations are there: welding workshops for manufacturing rockets, labs for making explosives, rocket warehouses, hidden rocket launchers, command centers, and a tunnel system that enables the terrorists to move between these facilities quickly without being concerned about getting hit from the air. There are also entrances to tunnels that lead into Israel.

Shejaiyya’s location makes it preferable in the context of distance and as an observation point – for shooting towards the local surroundings as well as towards the Tel Aviv area and northwards. This is why it’s not surprising that Hamas and Jihad decided to fight for Shejaiyya, and they had time to prepare for such fighting.

Golani did what they came to do, fought and died, but it is quite clear that they continued and completed the mission, including extricating their [wounded and dead] friends.

That was the reason that the IDF began a heavy attack on Shejaiyya in the morning, with artillery, planes, helicopters and tanks. There was concern that Hamas will try to grab bodies of soldiers who lay dead in the streets, or wounded Golani soldiers. In order to cover the rescue mission and prevent [the terrorists from] coming close, the IDF shot into the neighborhood, and this is why many Palestinians who were not involved in the fighting were hit – including women and children. These photos did, and are still doing, damage for Israel in the international arena. But, as just said, there was a necessity to act in order to prevent the kidnapping of dead or injured soldiers. It seems the international community understands this.

Nahum Barnea
Yediot Achronot, The Bint Jbeil of Gaza

Monday July 21, 2014, page 2 of the print edition (excerpts)(The words of an IDF officer to the journalist Nahum Barnea):

“Shejaiyya probably has the most concentrated number of tunnels in Gaza. The neighborhood is dense, the homes are high, some have five or six stories… Many residents fled. Some stayed. Hamas people were threatening them with weapons. I saw this with my own eyes. We dropped warning pamphlets on them telling them to leave; we called them on the phone; we shot towards the outskirts of the open areas; we shot close to the houses. We could not do more than this. Anyone who had half a brain left and whoever stayed, stayed.”

23 replies »

  1. What also could be mentioned is Hamas’ preventing civilians from evacuating to inflate the casualty count.

  2. “Another reason is that Shejaiyya is in effect a military compound prepared for fighting, which is planted in the heart of the civilian population.”

    One can understand why the Guardian wouldn’t report that, it could destroy the paper’s reputation for partiality.

    • Another Islamist apologist of the ongoing war crimes of Islamists, just like that piece of sheet.

    • Duncan’s so smart. He doesn’t believe Israel has a right to exist, and so, therefore, any act of defense done by Israel attributed by him and proven by online imagery (because the computer never lies…. if they say it’s Gaza, then it sure as shit ain’t Syria!) is considered fair game for more rocket fire aimed at civilians from inside a civilian population.

      Way to go, Duncan!

      • Just can’t take the facts, can you? Carry on living in your fantasy world, you apologist for child killing war criminals!!

    • How are pictures of dead civilians a proof that anyone is “targeting” them? War is hell, and civilians die in ALL wars. Your logic is like a child’s: The more horrible an image is, they more it is proof.

    • The world is watching. You can’t suppress the truth about the brutal behaviour of Israel any longer. You are on the wrong side of history, my friend.

          • I know, everyone who disagrees with you must be a Nazi. That means that the whole world is absolutely full of Nazis!! Your pathetic slurs won’t silence me, my friend.

            • Duncan nobody wants to silence you.
              Every time you spew out your garbage you not only decrease support for the ‘Palestinians’ but you increase support for Israel.

              After all it is your Fascist friends in Hamas who throw people off tall buildings that they disagree with to silence them.

              • “Every time you spew out your garbage you not only decrease support for the ‘Palestinians’ but you increase support for Israel”

                I know, because there are literally TENS OF THOUSANDS of people reading CifWatch every day trying to make up their mind which side to support! Oh no, what have I done?

    • You see this is the problem, 750 and more dead is not biased reporting numbnuts, it’s a fact and an unpalatable one for your kin here, it’s over baby , it’s over, no more of this for me, it’s too easy now , you and the rest of the team , Peter Gerry baby , alexa , Adam, Chloe ,Koufax, Jeff, and all the other paid for view Zionist assholes here are not worth it, engaging with you and your nonsense is fun for a while, the sheer madness of your views and support for your killing machine against the Palestinian people is way too easy an argument to win , especially since you are so willing to dig your own graves , not one of you has any condemnation for the slaughter. In the name of all those innocents dead, goodbye and may your god go with you

      • Your hysterical outbursts are justified, your comrades are in a deep shit. I understand your disappointment seeing that the graves we are digging are not for us but for you and comrades. The world is really watching us and applauds our successes eliminating one of the most disgusting Islamist terror organization of the world.
        goodbye and may your god go with you
        ….and give you your 72 sex slaves as quickly as possible.

      • ‘Noam’ so you are leaving, again?
        Still rather like the London Buses I’m sure they will be another retard just like you along in a minute.

        But this remark of yours is comical even by your standards
        “ way too easy an argument to win..”
        So you come here and every time you post you get hammered by everyone else, you stagger around the site like a punch-drunk pug unable to answer questions or reply then run away defeated and screeching that you have won. Even by your standards of lying, distortion and self-delusion that is a new standard.

        Now let me see where have I noticed similar tactics recently? Ahh yes, your cowardly scum, terrorist friends in Hamas.

  3. Obviously coordinated demonstrations and attacks during football plays in Austria, maybe by the vile facebook scene of “Austrian” Turks

    The chanting of Palestinian slogans and interruptions by storming the fields with PLO flags by Turks here are hardly mentioned by the media

    but this could not be ignored or downplayed