If true, this is simply amazing.
In GAZA CITY — Afew minutes before 3 a.m. on Nov. 19, Khalid Azzam’s cellphone rang.
It was late for a call. But the number flashing on his phone’s screen — an Israeli number — raised concern. As a member of Islamic Jihad, Azzam was a target in Israel’s widening air campaign six days into its recent confrontation with the various armed groups of the Gaza Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces often call the militants in Gaza whose homes it intends to strike minutes before doing so, a way of minimizing the deaths of any women and children who might be inside.
For Israel, the warnings have a logic that is both moral and strategic. Even a successful operation against a senior militant can be overshadowed by the outrage — among Palestinians and around the world — that can ensue over civilian deaths.
But the phone calls are no guarantee that innocents will be spared. No single event galvanizes support for Gaza’s armed groups like mass civilian killings by Israel’s military, and despite what Israel describes as exceptional caution, the recent conflict featured several of them.