Discussion thread for the Hamas Attacks Israel thread, October 2023

3 posts were split to a new topic: Accidental Post in wrong thread

It is quite relevant as many of the hostages reported being mistreated, incuding rapes.

A senior United Nations official found “clear and convincing” information that hostages have been raped and sexually abused in Gaza and “reasonable grounds” to believe sexual violence, including rape and gang rape, occurred during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack led by Hamas.

“Based on the information it gathered, the mission team found clear and convincing information that sexual violence, including rape, sexualized torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment has been committed against hostages," the U.N. said in a report, adding that it "has reasonable grounds to believe that such violence may be ongoing against those still held in captivity.”

Mind you, Israel treatment of palestinian prisoners is not very good-

Inspectors detail binding of prisoners for days at a time, strip searches without proper cause, and cells infested by rats, bedbugs and cockroaches

…things related to Gaza and Hamas are of course relevant to this thread.

Things related to how prisoners of war were allegedly treated in Lebanon? Not so much.

Israel’s humanitarian aid coordinator for Gaza set out the details of the scheduled daily pause in fighting between 08:00 and 19:00 local time, along a key route running north from the Kerem Shalom crossing point, where aid is waiting to be delivered.

The announcement almost immediately triggered a furious political assault from far-right government ministers – and a rapid defence from Israel’s army, insisting that it did not signal an end to the fighting in southern Gaza, or any change to the entry of humanitarian aid.

The fact that this announcement has proved so explosive highlights the increasingly fraught situation of Israel’s prime minister, caught between the costs of his vague and so far unattainable military goals of dismantling Hamas and bringing home the hostages, and the political allies he relies on to stay in power.

Another example of how this incompetent, malevolent government is incapable of leading a successful campaign. The IDF has shown itself to be far from what we thought in terms of competence and discipline, but far worse than the IDF’s falloff in competence is the utter chaos in command and control from the civilian leadership. No clear mission, no clear orders, no clear communication, no clear anything. This government is incapable of any sort of success in this war.

Since I brought some of this stuff up, perhaps we can agree that it should not matter if your enemy, or some third party, are mistreating their prisoners— you are still not permitted to abuse your prisoners. As for taking place in a democracy or not, not sure that principle is really up for public debate (if a majority voted to torture prisoners for interrogation because fuck them, who cares… then what? It’s still not ok even, indeed especially, if a majority are bad people).

…was this even in dispute? I wasn’t aware that this was a debate.

If we are still talking about Israel, I too am not aware that there is a formal debate there about what to do with Palestinian prisoners, at least in public, but that does not mean everybody feels so unequivocal about it as you and I. Unless the “widespread inhumane treatment of inmates” is supposed to be attributed to a few bad eggs. I would hazard it is simply out of sight, out of mind, to the typical average person who does not deal with these matters.

…I’m still not getting the point. The Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian law lay out the requirements on how prisoners of war and detainees should be treated, and neither side are respecting those requirements. And what is happening here is unrelated to anecdotes about what may have happened to a prisoner of war in Lebanon.

Its pretty obvious that support for international law isn’t equivocal. There are people in this thread who argue it doesn’t actually exist. But again, I’m not sure what it is you want to discuss. Its happening, whether the average person wants to pretend that it isn’t or not. And it can’t be attributed to “a few bad eggs.” Because this is systematic, and has been documented for decades.

Just to clarify, did you mean to write “It’s pretty obvious that support for international law is equivocal”?

How about, being a nominal democracy [so, you are right, may as well forget about Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, etc.] might make— well, everything we are seeing— less likely, but is evidently not sufficient because it’s happening, even systemic as you say. Not that this is an exclusively Israeli phenomenon, to be clear.

…it doesn’t matter if it is or it isn’t. This thread is about the current conflict. So talking about how Hamas and how Israel treat their prisoners is relevant.

From 2020:

This isn’t something that started with this conflict. And things have simply escalated now, with thousands of prisoners, many just simply disappeared with family in Gaza not knowing if they are alive in detention or buried under the rubble.

This doesn’t mean Hamas holding the hostages is right, or defensible, or not a warcrime or an atrocity because it is. But context is important. Gaza is holding around 120 hostages, Israel has thousands. Gaza is killing maybe 10 soldiers a week (most weeks its less than this), Israel is killing hundreds of people, including women and children, in that same time.

I haven’t provided an update on the ground in a while, so now is as good a time as any.

More at the link.

Hezbollah is saber-rattling now.


This thread is about the altercation between Hamas and Israel in Gaza. Please don’t expand it to include other regional conflicts, even though they may be related. Feel free to start a new thread for this post, but it’s not appropriate in this thread.

Wild that an IDF spokesman is saying this. ‘…“Hamas is an idea, Hamas is a political party. It is rooted in the hearts of people– whoever thinks we can eliminate Hamas is mistaken,” Hagari continued. “[Hamas] is the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s been around for many, many years.”…’

Palpatine says the “intense phase of war with Hamas” is about to end.

Big if true.

…from Save the Chldren:

Thats on top of this:

In other words - you’re saying might makes right.

History shows that the “aggression” - which is actually oppression and killing - usually doesn’t stop when the surrender occurs.

Why not? Why can’t both sides be horrible, murderous thugs?

Israel might be a democracy but the government is NOT liberal. Netanyahu wants changes that would bring Israel closer to being a fascist theocracy. A couple ministers (ben Gvir, Smotrich) have openly called for both apartheid and genocide.


Smotrich wants to not only strip anyone not Jewish of full rights, he also wants to declare quite a few people now considered Jewish of that status so he can remove them from Israel. He’s not some hothead with a social media platform, he’s Finance Minister. He’s “protecting” the rights of non-Jewish Israeli citizens the way the Vichy Regime in France “protected” their Jewish citizens.

You’re ignoring the fact that there elements in Israel who also want a fundamentalist theocracy and some of those individuals are actually in the current Israeli government.

Can anyone suggest a source to help estimate the current strength of Hamas?

This US-focused report from June doesn’t provide useful numbers, and I was interested in:

How many overall members Hamas has now, compared to pre-Oct 7?

It’s described as a ‘military and sociopolitical movement’, so what % of the total is in the military arm (i.e. actively fighting Israel)? Has that percentage changed since October?

Any indication that fighters may have escaped to Lebanon or elsewhere in order to wait out the Israeli operation?

And are pressures being put on Lebanon or other countries ‘hosting’ Hamas leaders to have them arrested?

Apologies if there are good answers upthread already - I haven’t read all the posts (or the Pit thread).

No numbers, but Al Jazeera has the best information. Elimination of Hamas is just a red herring, the real goal is reoccupation of Gaza and eventual colonization.

Deliberate displacement and extermination of the Palestinian population of Gaza is being carried out in plain sight. Israel had an opportunity to defend itself on Oct 7 and it failed. What’s happening now is not war. In war two sides oppose each other and there are proportional losses on both sides. In Gaza, mass murder of civilians leaves bodies strewn in the streets.

IDF losses are negligible:

(my chart based on IDF web page)

At IDF losses less than one per day it’s obvious that most of those murdered in Gaza City were not shooting back.

The real goal of the extremists, perhaps. But Israel is not a monolith, and we should elevate and defend the Israeli voices (and the Gazan and Palestinian voices) who want peace and human rights for all.