'Hungry and Shell-shocked'

Amira Hass reports from Gaza.


Gert said...

It's remarkably difficult to find accurate information on IDF artillery positions and Gaza targets.

I was a drafted artillery gunner (155 mm, self-propelled) some twenty years ago and even back then, without GPS and digitised maps, long distance shelling was remarkably accurate. We usually missed a couple of shots at the start of fire, during which a Forward Observer would correct the shelling. Today, with GPS and computerised targeting, these pieces practically aim themselves, with no need for Forward Observers or analogue topology. I've seen such American pieces in action during Nato manoeuvres in West Germany, with my own eyes. An American soldier told me: "they practically shell while we sleep".

This then begs the question: why are there so many Palestinian casualties?

Perhaps the inordinate rate of shelling is the answer: over 1,400 in one week. To shell, say a mortar position (comparable to a Kassam position), we would normally have fired 1 or 2 so-called rounds (being 6 or 12 shells, 1 or 2 shells per piece with 6 pieces in a battery), then paused.

It seems to me the Israeli shelling is not in agreement with the principle of reasonable (measured) response. The Israelis have the right to defend themselves but with such a barrage going on, innocents invariably get killed.

And in most such situations, war correspondents would cover this kind of "action" (a valuable commodity, sadly) closely but it's very hard to find any images at all...

Sophia said...

Dear Gert,

This is a very informative comment that deserves a post. It seems to me that reproters don't inquire too uch about these technical aspects when they report. Do you mind posting it on your blog ?

I sent you an email yesterday.

Gert said...

The more I think of it, the more I'm convinced this constitutes what could be called "heavy bombardment". Such shelling rates would normally only occur to soften an enemy prior to a major offense (see the allied liberation of Kuweit), or, alternatively, in artillery-on-artillery battles, the kind we've seen in WW I.

I haven't picked up my emails yet, due to extensive spam. But I will.

Yes, I'll probably post on this but unlikely tomorrow because I need to get back to business again.

Thanks for your responses.

Since March 29th 2006