Martin Longman isn’t buying Israel’s claim that its warning shots are a humane gesture:
What’s clear is that these operations have a different purpose than killing individuals who belong to Hamas. The purpose is to make it clear that belonging to Hamas will cause your family to lose their home and quite possibly their lives. Even living in the same building as a Hamas member or maybe even in the house next door or across the street is a threat to your whole family.
This policy, then, is designed to turn the Palestinian population against Hamas.
It’s designed to make families disown children who fraternize with Hamas. It’s designed to cause apartment dwellers to purge their buildings of tenants who work with Hamas. The Israelis have a term for people who don’t leave their dwellings once they have been warned that a Hamas member is living among them. They are “human shields.” And, as human shields, they have made a decision that denies them any further human rights. …
Perhaps this policy can force Palestinian patriarchs (or matriarchs) to forbid their sons and daughters from associating with Hamas, but if Hamas goes away will their replacements be better? More compliant? Easier to negotiate with? This is a policy of beating people into terrified submission, but similar policies in the recent past have only seemed to bring short stints of calm. The Israelis call this “mowing the lawn.” The grass always grows back, and quicker if it is nourished with rain.
Watch an example of the other terrifying euphemism – a “knock on the roof” – here.